Past Events



January: Monkey Shoulder at the Jub Jub

Posted by on Jan 31, 2012 in Past events | 0 comments

January: Monkey Shoulder at the Jub Jub

LCS were lucky enough to be given some places at the first of a series of events being run by Anonymous Artists in conjunction with Monkey Shoulder. Global brand ambassador Dean Callan was on hand to make us some spectacular cocktails including a Malt Jockey which was put into a barrel to age before being revealed at a future event. The recipes for some of the cocktails are listed below along with some photos from the evening:       Monkey Diablo Ingredients Half a bottle of Monkey Shoulder infused with vanilla and cinnamon (approx 80ml per person) 1 orange peeled in a horseneck garnish and studded with cloves 1 pot of freshly brewed coffee (always have enough coffee on hand for 2/3 amount of whisky used) Sugar to taste Method Warm the serving dish with a glass of boiling water then discard, add monkey shoulder, vanilla and cinnamon. Set the coffee up next to the dish, then set the orange peel into the centre of the dish fixed at the top to a set of tongs or a bar spoon. Light the whisky on fire, now using a ladle pour the whisky down the peel again and again until the clove and orange flavour has infused with the whisky (carefully!). Once the desired effect is achieved extinguish flame and pour in coffee. Taste the mixture and sugar to taste.     Malt Jockey Ingredients 40ml Monkey Shoulder 30ml sweet vermouth 10ml maraschino liqueur 2 dashes chocolate bitters Method Stir and strain, garnish with an Orange Twist.     Artist’s Special Ingredients 40ml Monkey Shoulder 30ml amontillado sherry 30ml fresh lemon juice 25ml Redcurrant syrup (50:50 redcurrants and sugar, boiled down with enough water to cover) Method Shake and strain, twist of orange over the top (and then...

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January: Remy Martin at LCC

Posted by on Jan 10, 2012 in Past events | 0 comments

January: Remy Martin at LCC

Our first Cognac event took place at the LCC on Goodge Street with Remy Martin. A few thoughts from a some of our members below… “As beautifully presented an evening as it was to taste. Passionately and eloquently spoken by our marvellous hostess, this was a seductive introduction into the world of fine Cognac.” Lewis Byrne “It was a really enjoyable event – informative (I now know at least something about cognac…!), generous and fun – perfect!” @SngleMaltWhimsy I really enjoyed the evening, the pre event cocktails a lovely unexpected surprise. I loved the French mojito! I thought the presentation was pitched at just the right level, really informative and interesting and not too long. I found the Remy representative had a great style and delivery delightful, really engaging and her passion for the brand was very clear. The event was very popular so the area was pretty packed but she still managed to make sure the whole room felt involved. Remy Martin put on a really great evening, a big thanks for their generosity. The canapés were pretty special too. Just a pity it was a ‘school night’ !! Jan McGinley “The LCS was treated to a fantastic event put on by Cognac Kings, Remy Martin at the London Cocktail Club. The presentation was informative without being too drawn out (a sadly all-too-common problem.) Leaving us more time to get to talk one on one, and also appreciate the very well chosen cocktail menu. I was most pleasantly surprised by the Remy-based Mojito. The exceptional gift bags and seemingly bottomless bar tab were greatly appreciated and really made the evening stand out in my mind, and perhaps a bit in my hangover 🙂 Thank you very much for having us, it was a great evening!” Ryan...

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November: Bitters blending at Shaker & Co

Posted by on Dec 20, 2011 in Past events | 0 comments

November: Bitters blending at Shaker & Co

This post has been written by one of our members – the wonderful Sandrae Lawrence of The Cocktail Lovers. As well as taking part in our bitters blending Sandrae and Gary were on hand to help us to judge the final 14 recipes made by our members. Her thoughts on the evening are below… In our books a tutored tasting of the superior bitters in Master of Malt’s extensive portfolio would be a fabulous way to while away any evening but those clever chaps from the London Cocktail Society went and upped the ante for their latest outing. Imagine it; not only did we get to play wannabe alchemists playing with Master of Malt’s single ingredient bitters, there was also a fabulous prize up for grabs: the chance for the winning recipe to be put in production. Well, you didn’t need to ask us twice… The setting was the brilliant downstairs room at Shaker & Company. It was decked out in full Benedictine regalia on that particular night but each month a different brand will take it over. For our purposes the retro school desks, wooden seats and dark, moody lighting worked perfectly – particularly when lined with the myriad apothecary bottles featuring the likes of juniper, black pepper, curacao, coffee and clove. After being warned about being too heavy-handed with the intensely dry angelica and the unbelievably hot naga chilli, the 14 teams set to work, aiming to create a winning recipe in 30 minutes. And yes, it was as tough as it sounds. No sooner had we tasted a little bit of this and a little bit of that (one teeny droplet of each on the back of the hand), it was time to dream up something people might be willing to pay for. We didn’t do well. We knew that even before our mixture was put up for blind tasting. We’d like to pretend that was because we were called on to be judges but really, it was just that we didn’t get the balance right. Honestly, it’s so much harder than you might think. With our judges hats on we offered up our palates to the 14 original recipes, each vying for the chance to have their creators faces immortalised on the winning bottle. Ben Ellefsen from Master of Malt led the proceedings, while Emma, Kate, Mark and yours truly brought up the rear. Apart from one or two dubious offerings (ours was probably among them) the overall standard was satisfyingly good but two mixtures really stood out. Step forward Camille Hobby-Limon who came a very close second to a highly delighted Mike Wood, Kevin Bee and Victor Gembala who made up the Brick Lane team. Their winning concoction, inspired by curry (though not tasting of it) was further tweaked during an evening at Graphic bar, where the wonderful Sarah and Adam made some cocktails for the group to try them in, before some further additions were included. This final recipe is now in production. London Cocktail Bitters are available to buy from Master of Malt now! Make sure you add a bottle to your cocktail lover’s Christmas...

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October: L.T.D at The Social

Posted by on Nov 12, 2011 in Past events | 0 comments

October: L.T.D at The Social

This post has been written by one of our members – James Mitchell who has recently begun a blog called Straight-Up Lifestyle. You can also find him on Twitter, his username is @JG_Mitchell. His thoughts are below… L.T.D turns cocktail snobbery on its head, flips it over and then takes it one step further. After years of cocktail imbibitions, you may well be able to navigate your way around a choice of 30 gins or more. At L.T.D, however, you can leave that sort of knowledge at the door. That’s because you’ll be drinking what the barman gives you and that’s a choice of precisely one base spirit per category. Yes, that’s right – just one vodka, one gin, one whiskey (and its not a bourbon or even rye), one tequila, one Cognac and one rum. And that’s it! But L.T.D’s Spartan approach to bartending doesn’t stop there. If you’re expecting Riedel glassware, think again. You’ll see the barman shaking your drink in a jam jar, taking the lid off and sticking a couple of straws in there for you. And that’s your drink, served up just like that. Welcome to L.T.D! The London Cocktail Society (LCS) kindly organised an outing for its members to L.T.D on Halloween. The visit involved a little bit of fancy dress, a few tastings and a talk from cocktail master Dré Masso, the brains behind the bar concept/experiment. L.T.D in its current incarnation is a one off – what you might call a pop-up, but they prefer the term ‘bar experiment’ It’s based in the upstairs bar at The Social, 5 Little Portland Street and is being headed up by Dré Masso for just three months, running from 1st October 2011 until New Year’s eve, so there is still plenty of time to check it out and form your own opinions on the place. For me the limited selection of spirits is intriguing. With such a selection you might expect to find a choice of the most revered luxury brands in the trade but no, the selection at L.T.D includes Stolichnaya Vodka, Beefeater Gin, Havana Club 7 Year Old Rum, Ocho Blanco Vintage Tequila, Courvoisier VS Cognac and (surprise of all surprises), Jameson Irish Whiskey! There are of course an abundance of bitters, fruit juices mixers and many other ingredients involved, however these have been decanted into green bottles so as not to detract focus from the 6 main spirits. This does mean that you can be safe in the knowledge that the menu contains a lot of classics and loads of the most popular cocktails at the moment. Whether they taste how you expect may be another matter though… Before getting into the cocktails and how they taste, however, it seems only fair to explore the curious concept behind L.T.D. The story goes something like this: After 12 successful years the people behind The Social decided it was time for a bit of a change so they decided to let Dré Masso take over their upstairs bar and to give it a bit of a rethink. Dré is almost certainly what you’d call a safe pair of hands within the world of the cocktail. He’s been mixing drinks since he was a teenager and today he trades as a brand and bar...

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May: The Zetter Townhouse (exclusive preview)

Posted by on Oct 8, 2011 in Past events | 0 comments

May: The Zetter Townhouse (exclusive preview)

Such is our reputation for enjoying a good drink, we are often fortunate to be invited to give new bars the once over before they formally open for business.  One such occasion was the hotly anticpated opening of the Zetter Townhouse, a quirky but endearing hotel in Clerkenwell.  In place of the usual hotel reception, the entire ground floor is given over to the cocktail bar, put together in collaboration with Tony Conigliaro and Camille Hobby-Limon of 69 Colebrooke Row fame. With such a pedigree behind them, its fair to say we were expecting big things from the cocktails, but the decor was the first thing to take our breath away when we arrived.  The idea behind the look of the bar is that it looks like the living room of Aunt Wilhelmina who is a well-travelled but eccentric character.  Cue all manner of oddities ranging from cats holding umbrellas to boxing kangaroos and seating that looks as though it has travelled the world.  Different yes, but also incredibly cosy and welcoming. Members enjoyed discounted rates on the drinks, allowing everyone to check out the full menu should they so desire!  A particular hit was the ‘Master at Arms’, a mix of port evaporation, myers rum and grenadine served in a small coupette with fine string tied into a sailors knot around the stem.  When they weren’t drinking their way through the menu, members enjoyed a bite or two to eat and tried their hand at table tennis in the games room downstairs.  This bar is sure to become a firm...

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August: Maker’s Mark at LAB

Posted by on Aug 30, 2011 in Past events | 0 comments

August: Maker’s Mark at LAB

This post has been written by one of our members – Sarah Belizaire-Butler who runs the blog Eats, Drinks & Sleeps. She describes good food and drink as “the cornerstone of my universe” and we couldn’t agree more! In August Sarah attended our Maker’s Mark event at LAB in Soho. Her thoughts are below:   I have my Spirits WSET Diploma exam in a couple of months and so have signed myself up for a raft of Spirits tastings to help get up to speed. First up on my list was the Bourbon evening at LAB (London Academy of Bartenders) with the London Cocktail Society on Bank Holiday Monday. London Cocktail Society is a great collection of cocktail fiends. The group is free to join and every month members are invited to exclusive tastings, cool cocktail bars or distillery visits. The bourbon evening was hosted by Maker’s Mark brand ambassador, and Kentucky girl with an authentic Southern drawl, Jane Conner. Maker’s Mark only has one whisky in the UK market and so instead of showing a range of different whiskies we wouldn’t be able to buy, Jane took us through a maturation tasting of Maker’s Mark, comparing and contrasting White Dog, Under Mature, Fully Mature and Over Mature examples of Maker’s Mark. First Jane set the scene with a potted history of Bourbon and Maker’s Mark. Bourbon was first created out of luck and necessity. In order to develop Kentucky in the 1770s, the ‘Corn Patch and Cabin Rights’ law was passed, it encouraged settlers to plant a corn patch and build a cabin in order to lay claim to 400 acres of land. A pretty good deal. Corn is a bulky produce and due to the incentives to plant corn there was plenty of excess, excess which the Scottish, Irish and German immigrants knew they could distil into whisky. Kentucky was an ideal place to produce whisky due to its plentiful supply of both corn, and water – gallons of which is used as part of the distillation process. Kentucky was blessed with an iron-free water supply that was filtered through limestone soils. Water with a high iron content would have had the unfortunate result of turning the whisky black – worth checking if you are in a hard water area or not before you try topping up your Dad’s whisky with tap water. He will notice. The Bourbon we know today was created by a ‘little bit of smarts and a lot of luck, according to Jane. The whisky that came straight off the stills was a clear, liquid with a distinctive bite. This whisky was shipped shipped down South in barrels. These barrels had often been used to house everything from vegetables to fish, so in order to sanitise them the insides of the barrels were burned. This charring caramelised the wood, and whisky spending six months or so on the Mississippi in these freshly charred barrels came out a darker with a smokey, caramel nose by the time it reached New Orleans. The French settlers in New Orleans loved this dark tipple, the colour reminded them of Cognac. This whiskey came in barrels branded Bourbon County and soon the locals in New Orleans were asking for Bourbon. Bourbon has had a chequered past but the...

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August: Choosing Bourne & Hollingsworth’s pouring rum

Posted by on Aug 8, 2011 in Past events | 0 comments

August: Choosing Bourne & Hollingsworth’s pouring rum

This post has been written by one of our members – Billy Abbott who runs the excellent Billy’s Booze Blog. In August Billy attended our rum event at the Bourne & Hollingsworth. His thoughts on the event, the rum and the cocktails are below: One of the continuing themes of this blog is a sentence at the start vaguely conforming to a pattern of ‘One of the boozes I don’t know well is X and it was lovely when Y asked me along to try some for REASON Z’. So, assume that I’ve done that again with X=light rum, Y=The London Cocktail Society and REASON Z is basement bar Bourne & Hollingsworth choosing their house pouring rum, and we can then move on from this opening paragraph. Despite having heard a bit about it over the last year or so I’d still not made it over to Bourne & Hollingsworth and wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. The reviews seem rather polarised, with complaints about it getting packed leading to long waits at the bar (justified – it’s a small room with a small bar, with most of the space taken up by an open area for people to mill around in front of the bar) and that they charge too much for drinks which generally are distinguished by being served in teacups (unjustified – if you are going to a decent cocktail bar in London and are complaining about paying £7.50 for a cocktail no matter what type of receptacle it’s served in then you are probably in the wrong kind of bar. Bourne & Hollingsworth’s drinks quality certainly push it into the £7 a go bracket of London cocktail bars). It’s small and a great place, I suspect, on weekdays, but based on a Saturday night I can see it quickly turning into my idea of packed bar hell. But then again, I do hate people… The London Cocktail Society’s role was a simple one – find a discerning crowd of cocktail drinkers to come down to the bar on a Saturday night and then taste their way through the candidates for the new house pouring rum – Ron Barcelo, Flor de Caña and El Dorado. To add a bit more competitiveness to the evening we were also joined by brand ambassadors from two of the three rums, with bar boss Dino Koletsas taking on the role of El Dorado’s rep, who couldn’t make it along that night. Along with the three in contention we also had a glass of Mount Gay Eclipse, their current golden pouring rum. We started the evening with Dino giving us a history of rum. I’ve wittered about this before (and have at least one other post in the pipe with yet another history attached) so I won’t go into it much other than to mention a couple of specific pieces that have somehow not come up in previous tastings I’ve been to. First up is the slave trade. I’m not sure how this hadn’t appeared quite so strongly on my radar before, but it’s been part of every discussion about rum I’ve had since. The Caribbean and its sugar plantations were not only the centre of the rum trade but also of the use of slaves, and rum was connected with...

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July: Gin Mare at Saf

Posted by on Jul 8, 2011 in Past events | 0 comments

July: Gin Mare at Saf

It is no secret that we are partial to a drop or two of gin, and welcome the diversity that the category now offers drinkers.  One such gin that steps outside of the traditional botanical profile is Gin Mare. In addition to the common gin botanicals, including of course juniper, Gin Mare introduces a decidedly Mediterranean flavour with the use of rosemary, thyme, olive and basil. To check out this relatively new gin, we headed along to Saf, a vegan restaurant in Shoreditch for a bit of a tasting.  Saf kindly allowed us the use of their courtyard which was the perfect venue to check out a gin with such a summery vibe.  In amongst the seating, the courtyard plays home to a wide range of plants that are used in the cooking of the restaurant.  Of particular envy was the outdoor bar, fashioned from a greenhouse! We were treated to a tasting of the gin which, despite being far from classical in taste, won much applaud from members.  The juniper shone through sufficiently to ensure there was no doubt this was a gin, but the Mediterranean botanicals added a summery and distinctly savoury note that was generally considered a great success.  Several cocktails were offered up for tasting to demonstrate the versatility of this gin in addition to the essential G+T, but garnished with a choice of basil, rosemary or thyme.  Truly unique gins are increasingly hard to come by, and it is always a risk to go off-piste but from our members reaction, Gin Mare has succeeded on both...

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May: Balvenie Whisky Den

Posted by on May 30, 2011 in Past events | 0 comments

May: Balvenie Whisky Den

Guest post by one of our members: Mr Ryan Alexander aka @rnalexander In May, the nice people at The Balvenie set up an special treat for whisky lovers just next to Covent Garden in London. A temporary installation in the space that used to be an antiquarian bookstore, these ‘pop-ups’ are becoming a trend. In this case whisky fans would have a month’s window of opportunity to come by the Balvenie Whisky Den to get a special chance to sample some of the Balvenie line, and learn a bit more about it. Even better, the Balvenie folks arranged a special evening for the LCS to come and pay a visit. I was particularly interested as whisky is one of weaker areas of my spirits knowledge and this seemed an excellent place to try to shore that up. The old bookstore had been stripped down to the walls and the new furnishings were constructed out of long thin timbers and staves (the pieces of wood that make up barrels). The effect was to give the place a feel somewhere in-between a pirate ship and a garden shed (in a good way!). We all gathered in the upstairs where we were given a chance to try some of the Balvenie’s lines. A double-wooded 12, their signature 12 blend, and a lovely 15-year old (my personal favourite.) We got to hear a little bit more about the history of the company and the whisky, some of which was literally all around us, as it turns out the timbers they used for the décor were from old whiskey barrels. After a bit more chatting we were taken downstairs where the furnishings were even more elaborate. But the real surprise was that were were invited to participate in a blend-off. We broke into teams and each team was given three bottles of whiskey, one of the each of the three single-malt whiskeys which are blended to make the Balvenie signature 12. Our task, blend our own signature! Those who remember the great triumph of the Christmas party at Callooh Callay will know that I am not one to back down from such a challenge. My team therefore set out to create a blend to take on all challengers. It was a bit touch and go, towards the end one of my fellow team mates noticed the flat middle of the flavour curve of our blend and suggested just the thing to fix it…so feeling quite positive about the blend we passed our creation along to the judges. As it turns out, our confidence was fully justified, as we won! The LCS retired upstairs to um… further research the remains of our endeavours. My team and I got to have another dram at the bar as a victory lap reward for our performance in the mixing. Quite a great evening out, and a very good introduction to both the Balvenie and whisky in general. Many thanks to The Balvenie folks for hosting...

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March: Blind Gin Tasting

Posted by on Mar 10, 2011 in Past events | 0 comments

March: Blind Gin Tasting

At our Christmas party we surveyed our members as to what their top 3 gins were. This was in preparation for a blind gin tasting later on in the year. We decided March was the perfect time and just needed a suitable venue. We figured there was no better place to drink gin that a gin bar, and no better gin bar in London than Graphic! When we said blind we meant it, as we gave no indications as to what the gins on the menu for the night were. This was because we wanted to strip away any trace of marketing and focus on the contents of the bottle. On the night there were the 3 gins that our members had voted as their favourite and a couple of sneaky additions from Mark, Kate and I. As everyone began to arrive, the very lovely Adam from behind the bar handed out welcome G&T’s, each made using one of the 5 gins. These had been decanted into plain bottles so that there was no indication as to what they were….ooo the intrigue! On the tasting table there were a further 5 wine bottles filled with the gins and around 300 tasting glasses sat lined up side by side (yes I did stick the stickers on each of them!). We made up some tasting sheets so that people could write down their thoughts and tasting notes, and also record their top 5 in order of preference. Once everyone had arrived the tasting began, and Mark and I handed around the various samples of gin. They were colour coded so that red=1, orange=2, yellow=3, green=4 and blue=5. The task was not an easy one, as not only did we want our members to rank the gins in order of preference, but we also wanted them to have a guess as to which gin they were drinking. We realise that ranking the gins and trying to guess what they were was a particularly difficult task as we were asking people to drink the gin neat, which we realise isn’t the usual way most people drink gin!! However we were really happy to see everyone getting involved and exploring the gin category – which is what we intended the evening to do.     The scores were tallied up and the final result was: 1 – Tanquaray 10 2 – Sipsmith 3 – No 3 4 – Hendricks 5 – Bombay Sapphire Whilst this was the final result there was a lot of variety as to peoples rankings and loads of interesting comments – each gin had it’s fans and those that were less enthusiastic. The winner, Tanqueray 10 received a lot of praise for being smooth and well-balanced, although even this heavyweight received some negative comments as well. Adam then whipped us up some White ladies with each of the gins. A lovely and very unexpected twist to the evening, the preferred gin in this case seemed to be Sipsmith, but again there was a lot of variation. The night aimed to get people thinking more about their choice of gins, and giving them an opportunity to talk about and explore the category. I feel it really succeeded and I’m thrilled. We would like to say a huge thank you to graphic...

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