Archive | Food & Drink

How Much Beer does £4 get you in the world?

How Much Beer does £4 get you in the world?

Posted on 25 May 2018 by Chris Ford

For some reason a true marker for how much a place costs to visit  for me is the price of a pint, well its a good a marker as any right?   so here for a bit of friday fun we share with you this infographic of how much beer you will get for £4.00 around the world, now this reminds me I have to book myself some cheap flights to Prague ,cheers!

 

thanks to Money Guru for the graphics

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Having the right glass for your drink

Posted on 18 April 2018 by Chris Ford

 

There is nothing quite as off-putting when you’re enjoying being at an event when refreshments are served in plastic or cardboard cups; and grabbing a quick coffee packaged in cardboard on the way to work might have become a habit, however, it has more to do with helping you wake up than matters of taste. Hot drinks such as tea and coffee always seem to taste better when served in a china cup, or at least decent crockery of some kind, while cold drinks benefit from being served in the right glass for your particular beverage. Here are a few tips to help you use the correct glasses for different drinks.

 

Whiskey glasses

Most whiskey glasses are of substantial weight and are shaped like squat tumblers. They are used for serving whiskey with or without ice or water. Beautiful contemporary versions come in a wide variety of shapes and styles, some of which are colored and decorated by hand. If you like your whiskey in a cocktail, perhaps to celebrate World Whisky Day for instance, you can also opt for a highball glass or a Martini glass, depending on your preferred recipe. Each year, World Whisky Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May – an essential note for your social calendar, perhaps.

 

Gin glasses

The recent surge in the popularity of gin has resulted in debates about appropriate glassware. For example, traditionally, gin and tonic have been served as a long drink, in a highball glass. Connoisseurs argue, however, that a more appropriate option is to use a Copa glass –  stemmed drinkware topped with a glass bowl, rather like a cross between a tall brandy glass, or snifter, and a fat red wine glass. Developed by the Spanish, who are fervent gin drinkers, the Copa de Balon is said to be favored by gin experts. You can get a wide range of drinkware, including both highball and Copa gin glasses, from Dartington.co.uk.

 

Other glassware

 

Lovers of champagne flutes are also in for a disappointment. Experts say they are too narrow to allow you to fully enjoy the aroma of your fizz, whether prosecco, cava or champagne is your preferred tipple. Instead, try moving to a tulip shaped glass or a narrow white wine glass instead. If you’re a beer drinker, of course, you have lots of choices. Tankards and dimpled glasses with handles are ideal for most pints, while tall glasses with curved sides are said to be better for pale ales as they release the fizz. Snifter glasses for brandy are often also used for stout, while goblets suit strong ales and IPAs. If you like to travel, take some pictures of glasses used around the world as part of your online journal and educate your friends at home on the subject.

 

If you haven’t tried some of these alternatives before, why not get together with some likeminded people and select some different glassware for your preferred refreshments. Then you can make an informed choice about the correct glass for each type of drink.

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Abd el Wahab bring their Lebanese delights to  London

Abd el Wahab bring their Lebanese delights to London

Posted on 15 March 2018 by Chris Ford

A few weeks ago on an extremely cold snowy evening we were invited to the London opening of upscale Lebanese restaurant Abd el Wahab in Belgravia.

Abd el Wahab is named after the street in Beirut where their original restaurant still stands, and now has 45 locations in the Middle East. But this London opening marks their first European venture. , With a strong reputation for both their food and service, we were eager to try their famed dishes for ourselves.

Upon entering Abd el Wahab we were greeted with a bright modern clean relaxed space which while feeling extremely high end was welcoming at the same time.

The five course feast that followed was nothing short of amazing.  Having never really experienced Lebanese cuisine before I wasn’t really sure what to expect other than of course the hummus (which was amazing) but the sheer variety of flavours and dishes on offer was a real treat. Each course was brought to our table family style (which I’m a big fan of) enabling us to try a wide variety of what’s on offer.

Hummus with Chickpeas

Highlights were of course the previously mentioned hummus but we really enjoyed the platter of grilled meats including their amazing mixed grill platter featuring grilled lamb koftas and cubed chicken as well as the extremely moreish cheese pastries which I had stop myself from eating the whole plate of! We finished with final course of desert consisting of some wonderfully palate cleansing fresh fruit as well as their decadent pistachio baklawa stuffed with ashta (pictured) to finish.

pistachio baklawa stuffed with ashta

A big surprise for us though was the fantastic wine on offer. Not previously knowing the Lebanese even made wine we thoroughly enjoyed the Lebanese wine on offer from Abd el Wahab’s cellar which they are rightly very proud of. As well as the Lebanese wines Abd el Wahab of course offer wines from around the world to cater for all tastes.

Abd el Wahab is a very welcome addition to the London food scene which really would recommend you go and try for yourself, speaking to the manager they have big plans for the building including in the coming months a cigar lounge in the basement with a fully stocked humidor, what a better way to end your meal that a cigar afterwards? I know I will be returning to do just that!

Where:

Abd el Wahab , 1-3 Pont St, Belgravia, London SW1X 9EJ

Abd El Wahab

Nearest Tube : Sloane Square

 

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No booze, no problem?  A look at Non Alcoholic Beers

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No booze, no problem? A look at Non Alcoholic Beers

Posted on 12 January 2018 by Chris Ford

Around this time of the year, not only is everyone a bit broke, but people embrace something called Dry January where they abstain from booze for the month after the excesses of Christmas and New Year.

One thing that goes alongside Dry Jan are non-alcoholic beers and in recent years they have become massively popular to the point I know a fair few people that enjoy low or no alcoholic beers on a regular basis.  Having never tried one before I thought I’d take a look at what’s out there in the supermarkets and most important of all how do they taste?*

Budweiser Prohibition

From Budweiser’s website it says Prohibition is brewed in exactly the same way as regular Bud, with exactly the same ingredients but without the alcohol – but does it taste the same? Well I’d say this was my least favourite of the four, very thin-tasting like something is missing (yeah I know the booze! ).  Saying that this was my girlfriend’s favourite out the bunch so it obviously isn’t terrible. Again the Budweiser taste is there but I wouldn’t rush back to try it.

5/10

San Miguel 0.0%

San Miguel is one of those beers that tastes great on a hot sunny day and I associate with many a Spanish summer holiday on the beach, but will it live up to that memory? The first thing I noticed about this one is its very sweet, there’s certainly that San Miguel taste there and I’d say the most beer-tasting out of the four I sampled. While it isn’t as full flavoured as regular San Miguel there’s certainly flavour there unlike some of the others that taste really thin.

9/10

Heineken 0.0

I drank a lot of Heineken in my youth so I know it well, and the Heineken 0 0 is a great non-alcoholic beer!  There’s a slight malty taste here, which isn’t unpleasant, I think this one is the closest tasting to its regular counterpart. My only complaint it was quite gassy compared to the others.  I was actually torn which I preferred the San Miguel or this it was really close.

8/10

Brew Dog Nanny State

Well first off if you are into Craft Beer or not a lager drinker and looking to go No Alcohol then this is the obvious choice.  Looks and smells like beer, has a tamed hoppy taste with some of the floral fruity notes you might expect and slightly bitter. My one criticism would be it does seem to leave a slightly artificial after taste, which can be a bit off-putting. To be honest I’m really surprised with this one as I thought it would be my favourite, I don’t think I’d drink it again. So not for me but I think some would get on well with this, especially if you don’t drink lager.

6/10

 

 

So in conclusion if I had to go down the Non Alcoholic beer route it would certainly be either San Miguel 00 or Heineken 0.0 – both are close enough to the original to have a pleasant enough drink and not feel left out.

 

 

*I was sent all these beers  on the basis that I’d give an honest review which I have.

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Makers Mark Whiskey Cocktail ‘The Road Less Travelled’

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Makers Mark Whiskey Cocktail ‘The Road Less Travelled’

Posted on 22 November 2017 by Chris Ford

 

 

Last week I had a lovely evening at The Athenaeum Hotel THE BAR with Makers Mark Whiskey UK ambassador  Amanda Humphrey learning about the history of the brand.

 

It was a really interesting evening in a stunning venue, and fascinating to learn how Maker’s Mark still employ a very old-school approach to their business despite the size of the brand. Each bottle is hand-dipped in their signature red wax and the labels are still printed and cut the same way they have always been despite the obvious advances in technology.  This makes owning a bottle that little bit more special, now I know this.

The bar staff at The Athenaeum Hotel held a competition to come up with a new cocktail to showcase Maker’s Mark’s latest expression Makers 46. We tried the winning cocktail on the night, which was amazing! Here’s the winning recipe for that cocktail ‘The Road Less Travelled’ for you to make at home if you can’t make it to The Athenaeum to try it in person.

 

 

The Road Less Travelled

INGREDIENTS

20ml Maker’s 46

20ml Mancino Chinato

20ml Rinomato Aperitivo

5ml Maraschino

2 dashes of aromatic bitters

4 dashes of rhubarb bitters

 

METHOD

Stir all the ingredients, strain into a ginza rocks

glass over a chunk of ice and garnish with an

orange twist.

 

‘The Road Less Travelled’ cocktail which is available now for £15 at THE BAR at The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences

You can buy some Makers 46 here.

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The Botanist Gin Dinner – London Cocktail Week

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The Botanist Gin Dinner – London Cocktail Week

Posted on 20 November 2017 by Chris Ford

We always enjoy London Cocktail week when it comes around but the highlight for us this year had to be the wondering dinner we attended at SAGAR & WILDE in Bethnal Green hosted by The Botanist Gin. Here’s a insight into the food and drink pairings we had on the night along with recipes so you can try them for yourselves.

I still dream about that Venison Ragu and the Islay Martini was quite possibly the best gin cocktail ive ever had!

 

Venison Ragu

Venison haunch

Chicken stock

Red wine

Carrot

Celery

Onion

Garlic

 

  • Dice mire poix
  • Salt venion haunch and grill.
  • Sweat mire poix, add red wine and reduce. Add chicken stock and bring to boil.
  • Put venison and liquid in gastro and braise for 4 to 5 hours in low oven
  • When meat is ready and can be pulled from bone, shread meat and reduce liquid.
  • Check seasoning and finish with sherry vinegar

 

Cocoa Pappardelle

1240g ‘00’ flour

200g semolina

4 tablespoons cocoa powder

7 eggs

360g egg yolk

 

  • Mix dry ingredients and add yolks and eggs and knead until soft
  • Roll pasta through machine to 1 mm thickness and cut to 1cm ribbons

 

 

Lamb belly

  • Salt lamb bellies over night
  • Wash and vac pack pack with thyme garlic and olive oil.
  • Cook at 84C for 6 hours
  • Remove from bags, take out bones and press between grease proof and chill
  • When cold, portion
  • Grill and cover with mint sauce

 

 

Wild Mint Sauce

 

  • Make a gastrique by boiling together equal white vinegar and demerara sugar.
  • Chill and add chopped wild mint and pour over lamb bellies

 

Beetroot salmon

 

1 side of salmon, skinned

 

30ml Botantist gin

500ML beet juice

50G brown sugar

30G Caster

130G salt

10G pink Salt

 

  • 1 side of salmon, skinned
  • Combine ingredients and cover fish.
  • Cure for 48 hours turning each day

 

Apple Cake

250 grams unsalted butter

300G sugar

4 eggs

300 G flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

4 tablespoons cream

6 braeburn apples peeled

demerara sugar (for sprinkling on top)

 

  • In an electric mixer, mix butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at the time and stir
  • Sift the flour and baking powder together, mix some of it onto the batter, then add some of the milk, then some of the batter like this until all blended. Don’t over work
  • Smear half of the batter in a buttered gastro, cover with cake batter and add apples all over mix.
  • Sprinkle with Demerea sugar
  • Bake at 180 C for 25-30 mins

 

 

Islay Martini

 

Glass: Martini

 

50ml Botanist Gin

5ml Dulce Infused Dry Vermouth

2.5ml Port Charlotte Whisky

 

Garnish: Sea Aster

 

  • Stir in mixing glass over cubed ice, strain and garnish.

 

For more info on The Botanist Gin head over to https://www.thebotanist.com or to buy yourself a bottle click here.

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BREWDOG – Craft Beer For The People

BREWDOG – Craft Beer For The People

Posted on 04 October 2017 by Chris Ford

BrewDog are I think most will agree  have played a massive part in bringing craft beer to the mainstream and that’s certainly true for me, my first proper craft beer was their flagship ‘Punk IPA’ and I haven’t looked back since.

Saying that I’m still far from a expert when it comes to beer which is why I welcome this new book from the guys behind BrewDog  ‘Craft Beer For The People’ aims to cover everything from how beer is made looking at the ingredients and decisions brewers make to how to understand the different styles, how to cook with and match beers with food and even how to brew your own!

To celebrate the launch we have two copies of the book to give away, if you fancy one just drop us a email at enterthecomp@gmail.com  we will pick two lucky readers at random to win.*

Craft Beer For The People is available from November 5th and you can grab yours here.

 

*Competition closes on Monday 9th Oct at 9am when two winners will be selected at random to win.  Open to UK residents only.

 

 

 

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Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch: Johnnie Walker Introduces Latest Limited Edition

Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch: Johnnie Walker Introduces Latest Limited Edition

Posted on 23 August 2017 by Chris Ford

Johnnie Walker is launching three new experimental whiskies from its Blenders’ Batch range for both whisky aficionados and cocktail lovers. The limited edition whiskies are being introduced at the Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year Final in Mexico City.

Johnnie Walker blender Aimée Gibson and Johnnie Walker Master Blender Jim Beveridge pictured at the Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year Final in Mexico City. Aimée led the development of Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Wine Cask Blend, which is being introduced at the prestigious cocktail competition this week and will be available in selected countries from September 2017.

All three new blends – Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Wine Cask Blend, Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Rum Cask Finish and Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Espresso Roast – were designed to form the foundation of exceptional Scotch cocktails and yet, like all the brand’s classic whiskies, they can also be enjoyed straight up over ice.

We are  certainly interested to see how these turn out, making blends espeically for mixing as cocktails is an interesting approach and we look orward to trying these in the coming months and sharing our thoughts. with you all.

Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Wine Cask Blend is launching in selected countries from September 2017

Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Rum Cask Finish and Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Espresso Roast will be available globally at some of the world’s best bars from October 2017.

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The San Miguel Experience – London

The San Miguel Experience – London

Posted on 31 July 2017 by Chris Ford

 

Last week San Miguel invited me to San Miguel – The Experience in London.

Now this may sound like a chance to drink some of Spain’s favourite beer and it was but there was a lot more to it than that.

San Miguel have teamed up with some pretty inspiring people who we joined for an evening of inspirational talks, creative workshops and immersive experiences celebrating people from around the world who live life differently.

I’ve picked out a couple of my favourites here, the most noticeable one I guess was  the Virtual Reality simulator Birdly which makes you feel like you are soaring above streets of New York city, pretty dizzying realistic stuff!

 

Then there was Mike Kus, a British designer and photographer as well as pretty amazing Instagrammer.  Mike guided us through how he takes a photo for Instagram and generally how to take better snaps. It was the simple things like use interesting / different angles and the settings to use to enhance your image. Mike mainly uses the brightness, contrast and structure tools right in the Instagram app itself for his processing.  He also just uses a regular iPhone. I left feeling impressed and inspired that I can up my Instagram game (watch this space on that one!)

The other stand out session I attended was more interactive. We joined Belgian pastry chef and chocolatier Willem Verlooy for a really enjoyable class where we made our very own chocolate treats. I filmed most of the session in the video below, (sorry for the poor sound on this one my mic wasn’t working properly!)

After a few great talks we then had to of course check out the beer and food selections, being hosted by San Miguel there was course an array of their beer range on offer. I really enjoyed some of the less common offerings particularly like the 1516 which is made to conform to Germany’s strict purity laws and result in a fresh slightly smoky tasting spin which went down really well.  The other winner for me was the San Miguel Selecta 3 toasted malts and 3 specially selected hops creating a really smooth beer with a lovely slight hoppy finish. I really really liked this one!

I can’t wait for the San Miguel Experience to return to London next year, it was such a fun inspiring night.

For more info on San Miguel head over to https://www.sanmiguel.com/en , Mike Kus is on Instagram at @mikekus  and Willem Verlooy is at @willemverlooy

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The Regal Rogue boozy brunch

The Regal Rogue boozy brunch

Posted on 18 July 2017 by Chris Ford

Last month I received a curious invitation to join a brand called Regal Rogue for a bit of a boozy brunch on a Saturday morning to kick off London Wine Week.

Regal Rogue was developed by Brit-born Mark Ward. Mark realised, while living in Australia, that they produce some of the best wine in the world so why no vermouths?  Hence Regal Rogue was born.

I don’t think I have ever had vermouth before, so this was a bit of an education of me. We learnt that Regal Rogue was being used a base ingredient for an array of cocktails on offer and with the blazing sunny weather we were experiencing, they were perfectly refreshing while not too boozy for the early morning start.

On arrival we started off with a ‘Lively Spritzer’ consisting of Regal Rogue Lively White, fresh grapefruit, lemon, sparkling wine and a sprig of rosemary.  The grapefruit shone through on this one and really woke me up!

 

The brunch was served family style and to start we had a selection of five starters to try. I went for the Granola with Honey oaks, roasted buckwheat, quinoa and rosella yoghurt which was amazing, I would never ever normally order this for breakfast but it really was tasty, a game-changer for me breakfast-wise.

Then we went onto the main breakfast items, I particularly enjoyed the crispy haloumi as well as the smoked haddock and sea beet kedgeree. Again not things I would normally order for breakfast but this all felt like a real treat. To accompany our meal we had a choice of Regal Rogue cocktails.  My favourite was a mix featuring ‘Daring Dry’ with apple, celery, spinach and cucumber which complemented the strong flavours of the kedgeree perfectly.

The interesting thing about Regal Rogue to me is its actually quite low in alcohol making it an ideal mixer for summer cocktails. You can enjoy them and not worry about getting too tipsy in the heat. But as the brunch drew to a close we did up the alcohol game a bit and enjoyed a ‘Australian Rogroni’ which had Regal Rogue Bold Red mixed with gin, Italian bitter and a large slice of orange, and wow this really packed a punch! But so good on this roaring hot day.

I guess the take home from the Rogues brunch though wasn’t the food. It was that Vermouth can be used as an excellent and light replacement for spirits in things like gin and tonics or negroni with surprisingly fresh and delightful results. Give it a go especially as we continue to enjoy this glorious weather!

 

for more info on Regal Rogue head over to www.regalrogue.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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