Festive Old Fashioned Cocktail

The old fashioned is the classic whisky cocktail.

And you know me, there’s nothing I like more than putting a twist on a classic…

Festive old fashioned ● Christmas cocktail recipe ● Cake + Whisky

Especially when said twist happens to be a festive one.

I mean, there’s a very limited period of time when people (my boyfriend) won’t judge me for adding cinnamon and cranberry to any food/drink that gets near me. And I fully intend to make the absolute most of it.

Festive old fashioned ● Christmas cocktail recipe ● Cake + WhiskyFestive old fashioned ● Christmas cocktail recipe ● Cake + Whisky

The perfect festive mix of sweet cranberry syrup, zesty orange and warming cinnamon, this festive old fashioned remains true to its classic roots, but with a little cheer-y lift.

Festive old fashioned ● Christmas cocktail recipe ● Cake + WhiskyFestive old fashioned ● Christmas cocktail recipe ● Cake + Whisky

The perfect berry & bright tipple to go alongside a spot of tree decorating and Bublé singalong.

But you know the drill – don’t drink and drive, ‘elf and safety etc…

Festive old fashioned ● Christmas cocktail recipe ● Cake + Whisky

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More (easy but life-changing) recipes to make this Christmas

Mulled-wine inspired Christmas martini (VE)

Turkey + cranberry sausage rolls

Christmas orange salad (VE)

Festive Brussel sprout slaw (V)

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Festive Old Fashioned Cocktail

On Whisky Cocktails

Whisky is a divider sort of drink.

You love it or you loathe it.

You drink it neat or on the rocks, with maybe a few classic cocktails thrown in for good measure.

And that’s about all the options there seem to be.

On Whisky Cocktails • Cake + Whisky

But while I’m a neat-whisky-loving kind of person with some bias towards a nicely crafted Manhattan, Sazerac or Whisky Sour, I still find this vision to be quite limitative.

Whisky doesn’t have to be the manly-man drink it’s too often seen as being.

Drinking whisky can be done in a variety of ways.

Whisky cocktails don’t always have to be strong – they can also be subtle, and go all the way around the flavour wheel.

Spicy, floral, zesty, herbacious… the only  limit is your imagination – or that of a good bartender, as recently demonstrated by an incredible Bruichladdich-based cocktail I tried recently at The Rosewood’s Scarfes Bar.

Unlike any whisky I’d ever tried before, this was fresh and sour, subtle and floral and all-in-all absolutely fantastic!

So if you’re convinced you’re a whisky loather, give this one a go… maybe it’ll convert you!

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More cocktail recipes:

Pineapple Fizz Mocktail

Classic Old Fashioned

Rapsberry Wine Spritzer

On Whisky Cocktails

Dublin Mini Guide

My first plans of visiting Dublin go back a long, long while. Early 2012 to be precise.

And then my entire bag, including every form of ID I had got stolen and I couldn’t go. There was also the family trip for my brother’s 18th birthday I couldn’t attend because of work obligations, and the aborted trip because of poor weather conditions.

Fast forward 5 years almost to the day and there I was, finally stepping foot into the Emerald Isle’s capital. And it was totally worth the 5-year wait and anticipation.

A city in full reconversion where Celtic history meets the latest tech innovations, Dublin is a fascinating destination.

This means there’s something for everyone, from hipster designer goods to fine dining, from little community cafés to wow-inducing libraries. And then everything else.

It also means planning a trip to Dublin can feel rather daunting –especially for the most FOMO-prone amongst us– so I’ve gathered together the things we prefered from our short trip in case you need inspiration for a trip!

SEE

Trinity College Library's Long Room, Dublin Trinity College Library's Long Room, Dublin Trinity College Library's Long Room, Dublin

Trinity College Library’s Long Room

The largest library in Ireland, permanent home to the famous Book of Kells and acting as “copyright library”, the Trinity College Library comes at the top of every list of things to see in Dublin.

I’d usually run away from that sort of place, but its Long Room, panelled with wood, then covered in books from top to bottom is the real-life version of my Beauty & The Beast dreams and truly worth seing.

Book your tickets online and try to go early to avoid touristy crowds though.

Humans need not apply at Dublin Science Gallery Humans need not apply at Dublin Science Gallery Humans need not apply at Dublin Science Gallery Humans need not apply at Dublin Science Gallery

Science Gallery

It may have ‘science’ in the title, but each exhibition at the gallery proves it to be the most creative, innovative and artistic venue in Ireland.” – Shane Hegarty, Irish Times, April 2011

The current exhibition, Humans need not apply, looks into the collisions between automated world and consciousness and looks into the consequences on work and society of machines being incresingly able to do everything better, faster and for longer.

DO

Irish Whiskey Museum, DublinA mini guide to Dublin, Ireland | Cake + WhiskyTeeling Distillery Dublin, Ireland

Build-your-own whiskey tour

Whisky is to Dublin what wine is to Bordeaux – the water of life. Quite literally for the former, as the gaelic spelling of whiskey, uisce beatha, translates to “water of life”.

While the Irish capital lost all of its distilleries and most of its international trade following the two world wars and the American prohibition, the spirit of Dublin is nowadays coming back to the city, with distilleries such as Teeling producing and trading in the historical Liberties quarter and the brand-new Irish Whiskey Museum drawing on centuries of shared history.

Seasoned whisky drinkers will also enjoy the incredible Irish and international selection available at the Dingle Whisky Bar.

A mini guide to Dublin, Ireland | Cake + WhiskyA mini guide to Dublin, Ireland | Cake + WhiskyA mini guide to Dublin, Ireland | Cake + WhiskyA mini guide to Dublin, Ireland | Cake + WhiskyScout Dublin store | Cake + Whisky

Get off the beaten track

Forget the never ending list must-visit places, forget the maps, tourist buses and the recommended itinerary. Instead, take the small streets, go ’round in circles and explore.

There’s no better way to discover what a city really is like and find true local gems in the process.

With plenty of gorgeous buildings, carefully curated designer stores (above is my favourite, Scout Dublin) and incredible street art, Dublin will throw plenty of good things your way!

A mini guide to Dublin, Ireland | Cake + WhiskyHoath, Ireland at sunset | Cake + Whisky A mini guide to Dublin, Ireland | Cake + Whisky

Make it to Hoath for the sunset

Because no matter how much I love cities, nothing beats a sun-kissing-the-sea sort of sunset (and the fresh-off(the-boat seafood doesn’t hurt either)!

EAT

Dublin's best brunch at The Fumbally | Cake + Whisky Dublin's best brunch at The Fumbally | Cake + WhiskyDublin's best brunch at The Fumbally | Cake + Whisky

The Fumbally

A locals’ favourite for great coffee, some of the best eggs in town and an unbeatable, laid-back atmosphere. Go early, especially on weekends, to avoid the (long) queues.

Forest Avenue restaurant, Dublin | Cake + Whisky Forest Avenue restaurant, Dublin | Cake + Whisky Forest Avenue restaurant, Dublin | Cake + Whisky
Forest Avenue

Financial Times-acclaimed neighbourhood dining room run by passionate husband and wife team, turning truly excellent seasonal ingredients into simple-yet-spectacular modern dishes.

The Winding Stairs, DublinThe Winding Stairs, Dublin The Winding Stairs, Dublin
The Winding Stairs:

After a browse through the little downstairs library amazing selection of weird and wonderful books, make sure you pop upstairs for a generous plate of their bread and butter pudding.

It’s golden, moist, drenched in salted caramel sauce and the absolute best pudding I’ve ever had. Absolutely life-changing.

Murphy's Ice Cream, Dublin

Murphy’s:

4 words. Brown bread ice cream. Simply divine.

What’s your favourite thing to see, do or eat in Dublin? Any tips for my next trip?

Dublin Mini Guide

Hudson Whiskey Tasting at The Vestry

There’s no better feelling than that of discovering a new favourite place when you weren’t looking for it. You’re walking down a road you’ve walked down a thousand times before, and then you noticed it. It looks nice and welcoming, so you push the door and get in.

And before you know it, you end up at that very place 3 nights a week, or more if you happen to have visitors/good excuses.

Hudson Whiskey Tasting at The Vestry | Cake + Whisky

I have a feeling that’s what’s going to happen with me and The Vestry.

Previously a vestry within St. Sepulchre’s Parish, The Vestry is a new wave wine bar a stone’s throw away from Smithfield Market. And basically the perfect local.

Hudson Whiskey Tasting at The Vestry | Cake + Whisky

It’s big enough so there’s always a table available for you but intimate enough to feel a bit like home. It’s beautifully decorated, with plenty of dark wood and charming retro touches. The staff is adorable. The drinks selection is on point. And so is the local-focused, seasonally-led menu.

And as if that wasn’t enough, The Vestry also hosts regular food & drink sampling evenings and masterclasses where you can meet their favourite suppliers.

Hudson Whiskey Tasting at The Vestry | Cake + Whisky

Given that whiskey is one of my not-so-secret weaknesses (the clue’s in the name, really!), I simply had to make it to the Hudson Whiskey tasting, hosted by global brand ambassador Tony Vanaria.

From the wish to create a climbing ranch to opening New York state’s first post-Prohibition distillery via many a creative production techniques (including the fantastic ‘Sonic maturation’), Hudson Whiskey’s history is just fascinating.

Hudson Whiskey Tasting at The Vestry | Cake + Whisky

One of the pioneer of the craft American whiskey wave, the brand takes pride in their rather unconventional roots, sourcing the best local ingredient and trial-and-error-ing their way to make the best whiskey.

And they’ve done rather well for themselves.

Hudson Whiskey Tasting at The Vestry | Cake + Whisky

It all started with Hudson’s Baby Bourbon, the first New York-aged whiskey since Prohibition – and New York’s first bourbon ever. Made with 100% Empire State corn, it’s a Bourbon in all its glory. Sweet, woody, smoky, with mellow notes of vanilla and caramel.

Hudson Whiskey Tasting at The Vestry | Cake + Whisky Hudson Whiskey Tasting at The Vestry | Cake + Whisky

Just the ticket for a state-of-the-art Old Fashioned!

Big Apple Cocoktail with Hudson Whiskey | Cake + Whisky

Delightful also in a Hudson Big Apple cocktail. Super easy to make too: in a tall glass, pour 35ml of Hudson’s Baby Bourbon over ice. Top with cloudy apple juice and a few dashes of orange bitters. Garnish with an apple slice and voilà!

Hudson Whiskey Tasting at The Vestry | Cake + Whisky

If you’re more of a Manhattan or a Sazerac kind of person, Hudson’s rustic and spicy Manhattan Rye will be right down your alley. This was my favourite and I can’t wait for my next trip to Gerry’s to add one of the brand’s adorable little bottles to my spirit collection!

There’s also a blended Bourbon, made using a unique four grain blend, and a few special blends making the most of some ‘happy accidents’.

Hudson Whiskey Tasting at The Vestry | Cake + Whisky

If you’re not sure which one’s for you, I recommend you make a beeline for your local Young’s pub and try them all. Or better yet, go to The Vestry. And if you spot me in a corner acting as if I’d always lived there, come say hi!

A great local, a great drink & a new friend… doesn’t that sound neat?!

The Vestry117 Charterhouse St, London EC1M 6AA
Hudson Whiskey Tasting at The Vestry

Classic Old Fashioned

I’m the most useless person when it comes to New Year’s resolutions.

New year, new me simply isn’t for me. The thing is, I don’t want things to change completely.

So what I’m wishing you & myself for 2017 is some more balance. Just as many cakes, cocktails, burgers and general naughtiness, but also some extra greens, vitamins and general healthy things.

Cocktail of the month - The Old Fashioned

Starting things as I mean to go on (and introducing the new ‘Cocktail of the month’ feature on Cake + Whisky!) with an Old Fashioned.

Simple, strong & smooth, it’s a true Mad Men-worthy cocktail and the perfect introduction to the world of drink mixing.

Cocktail of the month - The Old Fashioned

First of, peel a wide slice of orange peel and place it in a tumbler glass.

Cocktail of the month - The Old Fashioned

Top with 10ml simple sugar syrup (2 bar spoons) and muddle lightly using a bar spoon.

Cocktail of the month - The Old Fashioned

Add a double mesure (50ml) of your fave cocktail whisky (I used Woodford Reserve Bourbon).

Cocktail of the month - The Old FashionedCocktail of the month - The Old Fashioned

Add 3 ice cubes and a few dashes of Angostura bitters.

Cocktail of the month - The Old Fashioned

Stir with a bar spoon.

Cocktail of the month - The Old FashionedCocktail of the month - The Old Fashioned

Pel another slice of orange peel and twist over the drink to release citrus oil, then rub the inside of the peel on the rim of the glass before adding the peel to the drink.

Repeat as many times as you have guests and serve immediately.

Cocktail of the month - The Old Fashioned

Oh, and if you’re going away some time soon (lucky you!), make sure you pick up one of Tipplesworth’s genius cocktail kits* to get everything you need to make the sassiest drinks on the go (or without having to leave your couch)!

What’s your favourite classic cocktail? Also, what sort of drinks would you like to see featured in this new ‘Cocktail of the month’ feature? 

*The old fashioned cocktail kit I used to mix this drink was sent to me by Tipplesworth but all pictures, opinions and inability to take new year’s resolutions my own.

Classic Old Fashioned

LoveScotch pop-up at The Drift

Neat, on ice or with soda.

That’s pretty much the only options you have when it comes to Scotch whisky.

Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift

Or rather, had, before the #Lovescotch pop-up opened.

Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift

An exclusive partnership between swanky City restaurant The Drift and upscale spirit brand Diageo, Lovescotch aims at proving that Scotch is much more versatile that it’s given credit for.

Until March 2017, you can get stuck into ‘Scotchtail’ (understand classic cocktails with a whisky twist) masterclasses and experiential tasting and just generally soak up the gorgeous surroundings.

Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift

I mean, how pretty does the pop-up look? Very antique-store meets boudoir, super-intimate and just my kind of place.

Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift

Add in the opportunity to experiment with cocktails you already know & love (each with an exciting twist!) and you’re in for a treat from up North!

Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift

The Scotchtail Masterclasses shows the diversity of Scotch by experimenting with it in classic cocktails, where traditionally other spirits would have been used.

Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift

Combining Johnnie Walker Gold, passionfruit liqueur, vanilla & pineapple juice and served with a Champagne chaser, the Goldmember is a clever take on The Drift’s Pornstar Martini bestseller.

Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift

The same tangy flavour as the classic, but with a more grown-up, complex finish – the perfect way to make any whisky-hater change their mind!

Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift

And a great accompaniment to The Drift’s generous Meat Platter!

Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift

Piled high with chicken Satay skewers served with smooth peanut sauce, mini beef sliders, fiery chorizo, more-ish Scotch egg, served alongside piping hot fries and onion rings and unbelievably addictive smoked paprika mayo…

Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift

But the fun doesn’t stop there, there’s still a world of Scotchtails to try!

Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift

My favourite was the Seven Flowers, a citrusy mix of Haig Clubman scotch, elderflower syrup and lemon juice, all topped with Champagne.

Sweet, sour and incredibly elegant.

Lovescotch Pop-Up at The Drift

And incredibly easy to make, should you want to give it a go: just pour, shake, sieve and serve!

Or you know, let the amazing people at The Drift do it for you! Whether you’re a Mojito fan, an Espresso Martini aficionado, a Pornstar Martini lover, or a French 75 addict, LoveScotch is really quite a neat place to be.

Masterclasses are available for private bookings and would make for the perfect start to a girls’ night out (or a brilliant way to switch up the office’s traditional Christmas party for something a bit more un-usual!).

#LoveScotch pop-up at The Drift / until March 2017 / More information on The Drift’s website

The Drift, Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

*I got invited by The Drift to try out the #Lovescotch pop-up but all cocktail lovin’ and slider addiction my own.

LoveScotch pop-up at The Drift

Basement Sate Dessert & Cocktail Bar

A party without cake is really just a meeting.

And birthday meetings aren’t really a thing, so cake was most definitely needed after our Bao feast.

Basement Sate | Cake + Whisky

Dessert bars are having a bit of a revival in London, and Basement Sate was one of the trend-setters.

Created by two friends who love well made drinks, decadent desserts and meaningful music in equal parts.

Basement Sate | Cake + Whisky Basement Sate | Cake + Whisky

Inspired by the revival of Soho, they created a place where people can sate (= satisfy (a desire or an appetite) to the full) themself in an informal and social setting, and where the music is as vibrant as the cocktails & desserts.

Cocktails + dessert it was then!

Basement Sate | Cake + Whisky

Little Japan for the Mr.

Basement Sate | Cake + Whisky

An unusual but intoxicating mix of Japanese whisky, artichoke liqueur and sweet vermouth.

Basement Sate | Cake + Whisky

El Pampa (pisco, almond & champagne syrup, granny smith juice) for me.

… and then the puds!

Basement Sate | Cake + Whisky

The Hazelnut Rocher.

Basement Sate | Cake + Whisky

A Ferrero-inspired wonder combining hazelnut praline brownie, chocolate espuma, milk chocolate sphere, dark gianduja, caramelised hazelnuts, chocolate caviar and caramelia pearls.

Basement Sate | Cake + Whisky

Between smashing the chocolate dome & all the endorphins, it’d be a delicious cure for a bad day (and the perfect way to make a good one eve better!)

Basement Sate | Cake + Whisky

And then there was fruit.

Cocktail-inspired fruit-based pud’, that is…

Basement Sate | Cake + Whisky

The beautiful, zesty & exotic Bitter Orange.

Basement Sate | Cake + Whisky

Basically a Negroni in dessert-shape, with white and pink grapefruit jelly, gin-infused rhubarb wind, vanilla poached rhubarb, chocolate crumble & orange sponge cake.

Basement Sate | Cake + Whisky

Creative desserts & cocktails, Basement Sate definitely lived up to the expectation and is the perfect venue for any special celebration (or any time you want to treat the sweet-toothed in your life!)

Only one thing left to say: ‘Pip Pip Hooray, it (was) my birthday’

Basement Sate8 Broadwick Street, Soho, London W1F 8HN

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Basement Sate | Cake + Whisky

Basement Sate Dessert & Cocktail Bar