Tag Archives: tasty

Tasty Tequila

30 Nov

Tequila, for me, has always been consumed as a quick and dirty shot when I’m already too drunk to know any better.

So, I thought, what better way to displace that idea as tequila as a drink of last-resorts than to head to a tequila competition and see what some cocktail masters were doing with the product.

The el Jimador Bartender Cup brought together 15 top mixologists from across Europe to a super cool warehouse under London Bridge to find the best new shot, long drink and cocktail. I was there to sip and sup some down.

People mull around while the bartenders hustle (photo courtesy of randr PR)

As the boy was otherwise engaged I was this time joined by my chatty and cheerful friend Lucy who can talk a storm and who definitely can handle her drink.

Sliding up to the bar upon arrival, we immediately got into the spirit by grabbing a tequila cocktail – a refreshing, sparkling tequila and lemon concoction. So far, so good.

This was followed by an elderflower version and then a grapefruit one.

Bartenders work hard for the money (photo courtesy of randr PR)

After this, things get blurry but I know there was lots of shouting and clapping, along with debates about how easily we could tell which country each bartender was from just by looking at their appearance rather than their country name tag. France and Turkey were the easiest for me. There was also, most certainly, a very loud Brazilian band which played out tunes on garbage bin lids.

Finally, over a small shot of aged tequila (and can I just say here, the aged el Jimador is like a really nice bourbon, which shocked me to no end) the winners were announced. Mr France came in as overall winner while Poland, Greece and Russia acted as the tripartite of winners for each individual category. Ah, finally, something Greece can be proud of…

I remember little of the rest of the night – though I believe Lucy did decide to confiscate all the undrunk competitors’ cocktails which were lined up at the back of the room and ensure we did our damndest to drink them down before a cater waiter could swoop them away.

What I can say though is that, yes, tequila does make you a bit drunk, BUT its flavours are worth so much more than just a dirty shot at the bar. And I hope you’ll join me in a Gwilty cheers to this drink, by having a go at making the winning long drink, the recipe of which, I’ve put below!



The winning bartender in the long drink category puts the final touches on his work

Winning long drink: Pasion por Mexico

·         40 ml el Jimador Blanco

·         10 ml Passoa

·         20 ml Mus Passion Fruit

·         20 ml passion fruit syrup

·         30 ml pineapple juice

·         3 parts lime

Glass: Hurricane

Methodology: Pour all ingredients into a glass (hurricane) filled with crushed ice, then mix with the bartender tablespoons.

Created by Krzysztof Jadach, Diva Bar, Poland

For the love of Oysters

24 Nov

They say oysters are an aphrodisiac. I agree more with 17th century satirist and poet Jonathan Swift, who eloquently said: “He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.”

And, you kind of have to agree with him. Maybe that’s why they are supposed to get your heart racing. Because one sorry sod decided to eat one as a way to save his ransomed girlfriend from pirates and, by doing so, proved his worth and discovered a delicious new snack! Sexy indeed!

Ok, maybe not. But, I still can’t help but be a little put off by oysters when I see them, despite always loving them once I start tucking in.

So, it was with joy (and some tiny trepidation) that I headed over to Boisdale of Belgravia recently to sample its menu featuring the top six oysters in the UK – recently deemed so by an esteemed judging panel which slurped its way through many an entry to crown the winners. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it I suppose!

I wasn’t sure what to expect but was thrilled when I was presented with a plate featuring these beauties:


The five on show (the sixth oyster and champion of the rock category, the Dorset Oysters entry from Poole, could not attend my tasting) looked, well, not sumptuous, but very pretty. They were all: “Look at me, I’m a shiny oyster, in a shiny shell…ooo…how I radiate in this light.” Radiate they might, but not for long.

With a quick scoop of my spoon, I loaded a dollop of shallot vinegar on top and quickly sucked down a Loch Ryan. Then followed the Duchy of Cornwall, the Maldon, a Maldon Rock and a Portland, quicker than you can say: “Oh, don’t those look tasty.”

I was a big fan of the runner-up in the rock oyster category (the Maldon Rock) – it was meaty (without being too chewy) and had a delicious level of minerality. I can’t say I loved the Maldon, however – it was supplied by the same company and came third in the native oyster category, but it was a bit too much for me to handle. It being the largest, I found myself spending far to long with it swooshing about my mouth for my liking. But, maybe that’s right up some people’s streets.

By the end of the tasting, I could confidently say I highly enjoyed the oysters. Whether I was feeling any more romantic was hard to say – though I did rattle on lovingly about my steak when it came, so maybe there was a hint of the old love-stuff swirling in my brain? Or maybe it was just the wine talking…

The Boisdale Oyster festival HAS BEEN EXTENDED until April and is running at all of the company’s locations. They are offering the winning oysters at 50% off from 5-6pm Monday to Friday until the end of the fest. For more information, head here.

Montenegrin munchies

22 Mar

The hangover was bad…the morning heat was near searing, the headache plumb pounding. I needed food and I needed it to be luscious and greasy.

My friends and I had already discovered the joys of Cafe Armonia in our small village of Perast on the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro multiple times. For lunch, dinner and a few doses of our new favourite tipple – Amaro Montenegro – Armonia served the goods.

But could this mistress of tasty delights also satisfy the taste buds of a desperate gal in need of fat to soak up the previous night’s toxins?

Saddling up to our favourite table, the boy and I stared vacant-eyed at the menu – the words were in English rather than the local dialect, but we were too hungry to make sense of the muddle.

And then it jumped out: the glorious lines advertising a perfect match for our weary heads.

Its contents: slices of bread dipped in egg and fried, layered with tomato, cheese, more egg and bacon.

Its name: Przenice.

Like zombies we waved to our favourite hostess and, unable to pronounce this beautiful bit of bready goodness, merely pointed and wiped our drool away.

An eternity later – or 10-minutes in non-hangover world – and we were presented with steaming cups of coffee and our prized possession.

The bread was soft and savoury; the cheese crispy and running. The egg danced its way through every layer – the tomato its zingy partner in crime.

A little slice of heaven in an already heavenly locale…and a definite cure for the Montengrin munchies.

%d bloggers like this: