Friday, 24 July 2015

it's a social thing part two

please click on these selected links for TMC (The Most Cake), a gorgeous queer lady social site, which have supported all my projects, from queen Bees, to Bitters & RYE and beyond. 

many thanks to anna and holly and sophie for the photographs.  x

 Cake Snaps at Slammer Bar, October 1st
 Cake snaps at Slammer Bar, October 29th
 Cake Snaps at Stav B’s Pie n’ mash Liquor Bar, December 30th
 Cake snaps at Stav B’s pie n’ mash liquor bar STORY magazine fundraiser issue 1

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Thursday, 23 July 2015

it's a social thing part one

being a brand ambassador, has it s perks and fun, as well as pressures. but i always like a challenge; it keeps me alert and sharp. 
working with manifest, the PR company for Wild Geese, was exactly that; deadlines, new drinks, for new spirits and seasons and the result was rewarding and unique... 
my drinks were appreciated and so were my views... 
below, you'll see a small sample of the fruits of my labour spread out via the media of the business... metro, gayuk, irish examiner and i'll dig the bar magazine out, as well. 

good stuff and a lot of work; trip advisor agrees, too! which means, you agree, as my visitors and precious customers and that is always a good thing. 
the review below, is written lovingly and objectively by a dear customer, who enjoys her cake and whiskey and all good things in life. thank you so much Sandra. x


There are very few places that make me smile from ear to ear every single time I visit.Bitters & Rye is one of them.
We first visited on Valentine’s Day, and the love story has been going on since then. And just like it is always difficult to find the words to tell people about a fairly-new-but-definitely-here-to-stay love story, I’ve been looking for the words to tell you about this little gem.
The first time we visited, it was because we saw the sign advertising brilliant cocktails. We had a bit of time before heading to dinner (at another one of those London gems I could talk about for hours), so we thought we might as well check it out. We were really early, so the bar was entirely empty. The team was putting the finishing touches to their Valentine’s decoration. We sat at the bar and ordered two cocktails from the Valentine’s menu. And nobody raised an eyebrow when I asked for the St Clement’s Sour. First good sign; I usually get a lot of “are you sure that’s what you want, wouldn’t you rather have *insert any flower-flavoured drink here*?”.
We got our drinks and they were really really good indeed. Perfectly balanced, and both with this little touch that keeps things interesting. We chatted for a little while over our empty glasses when Stav came and introduced herself with a simple “Talk to me“. So that’s what we did. The discussion was fairly simple tough as we were just asked “Which spirit?“. And after a bit of stirring and shacking, another glass appeared in front of us. And that secret cocktail was perfectly designed to match both of our tastes. That was it, we were hooked.
As we left for our dinner reservation, we were hugged like old friends and told to come back very soon. And that’s what we’ve been doing since then.
Cake + Whisky | Bitters & Rye | London's best cocktailsWe usually order our first drinks from the menu. Take the time to read the descriptions; it’ll give you an idea of what this place is about: really good cocktails, but most importantly, creativity, memories and people. And making sure everyone meets their perfect drink.Cake + Whisky | Bitters & Rye | London's best cocktailsCake + Whisky | Bitters & Rye | London's best cocktailsI doubt I’ll ever run out of things to discover. The bar is far too well stocked for that. Cake + Whisky | Bitters & Rye | London's best cocktailsI fell in love with the Whisky Sour the first time I tried it and haven’ changed my mind since then (also, *THOSE* amaretto cherries!!).
Cake + Whisky | Bitters & Rye | London's best cocktailsA little caramel and whisky number (as with all of Stav’s mystery creations, we weren’t quite sure what we were drinking, but that’s part of the fun!)Cake + Whisky | Bitters & Rye | London's best cocktailsMy favourite of that night (another surprise cocktail, with vodka, lemon and violet). Cake + Whisky | Bitters & Rye | London's best cocktailsStav truly is the heart and soul of this place, in her own words her “baby”. She makes every one of her customers feel like they’re the most important person in the bar. Also, I’m pretty sure she reads minds. How else would she always get it right when she whips up something for you without you even saying a word?Cake + Whisky | Bitters & Rye | London's best cocktailsCake + Whisky | Bitters & Rye | London's best cocktailsCake + Whisky | Bitters & Rye | London's best cocktailsOld fashioned (?) and Grapefruit Daiquiri. 
There was a third round, and also some limoncello shots as well, but by that time, I was obviously smilling a lot too much to click pictures. I went back home with that fuzzy feeling in my stomach that only a handful of places gave me. And the need to tell the world about Bitters & Rye. Just say hi! for me when you go!
What: London’s best cocktails. And most definitely London’s niccest bar team. They make you feel like family and you’ll never want to go anywhere else.
How much: around £8 per cocktail. Plus things money can’t buy.
WhereBitters & Rye, Paesan’s basement, 2 Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4PX

The Apothecary

prior to launching and developing, Bitters & RYE, i expressed the desire to start making my own liquids, for mixing and blending, pushing the recipes further, varying the flavours and also trying something new and fun and different. i had made syrups before, but i wanted to expand. 

food ingredients were always featuring in my drinks, fresh , seasonal and unusual, to compliment and/ or complicate the flavours positively. 

i started rummaging the kitchen for what i could find, which was neglected and put aside (naturally still in date).

i found marvels in the shape of flowers and spices and so the apothecary begun. 

with syrups:
marigold, rosemary, sage, elderberry, hibiscus, jasmine, cardamom and lavender, rhubarb...  

inspired by the italian products and the italian food, that was served upstairs, i relished the fact of the limoncello and i started perfecting my own recipe, secret to me and made with love and healthy sugars. 

i pushed it and hungry for more, i made my first batch of sambuca, which is still very popular and delicious and not for the faint hearted. 

i moved on to the cordials, with camomile and elderflower. 

and then... the bitters... i own a small bible, which is informative and inspiring and my research and studies begun, travelling to new york, to fetch sugars, not available here and bittering agents restricted in this country, which fuelled my determination and excitement further. 

and after the bitters, there came the shrubs: vinegar full concoctions with fruits and veggies, as basis for the drinks, classics and/ or contemporary...

lavender, charred cinnamon, cardamom and saffron

orange, fig and cinnamon

making oleo saccharum is pure joy, full of gorgeous oils. 

setting up an online shop, for further distributing, so watch this space. 

embracing nature, the seasons, via a performative and ethical activity, putting a different integrity and respect in the drink making and subsequently drinking. 
lemon drawing for labels by anka dabrowska ©2015


*sazerac made with cardamom and saffron bitters

the vermouths and the boutique bar show 2014

bassoon bar at the corinthia hotel, near trafalgar square
for an exquisite tasting of some wonderful vermouths, including a favourite, introduced and poured by himself; giancarlo mancino. gorgeous liquors, stupendous bar and like minded folk into some quality and fun in a weekday afternoon. i got a little sample and made my own negroni at the bar later to my perfect satisfaction. that good. 
organised and curated by andrew scutts @ boutique bar show. 
©march 2014

followed the same year, in september, by the boutique bar show, where a small and concise selection of spirits, wines and snacks, gets showcased in various halls around london... this year, it was useful and exciting to participate to a byrrh competition, check out what is going on out there, exchange, meet and network. dominic from the savoy, who rightfully won it, wanted my knife! go figure... fun, nonetheless! ©2014