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  • Whether you’re, teetotal, pregnant, having a go at Sober October, trying to lose weight or just cutting down, most of us will want a break from alcohol at some point. And an alcohol-free period is a brilliant opportunity to go wild with adventurous and delicious drinks. More ingredients than ever before are available to experiment […]

    5 Best Virgin Cocktails for Sober October

    Whether you’re, teetotal, pregnant, having a go at Sober October, trying to lose weight or just cutting down, most of us will want a break from alcohol at some point. And an alcohol-free period is a brilliant opportunity to go wild with adventurous and delicious drinks. More ingredients than ever before are available to experiment with: there are alcohol-free brewers around every corner, non-alcoholic spirits, and even new varieties of many classics like tonic water.  Finally, I’ve used dashes of Angostura bitters (which contains alcohol) in two of these recipes. If you’d concerned about small amounts of alcohol, it’s best to avoid the ginger fizz and the pomegranate negroni, or to omit the bitters from the cocktails.

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  • Nature’s remedies are finding their way into exotic new drinks, enhancing flavour, adding colour and giving mixologists something new to think about.For mixologists, herbs have become an essential ingredient. While an alcoholic cocktail could probably never be considered a “healthy option”, one made with a few herbs might provide some health benefits. Besides which, they […]

    Macau’s best cocktails blend Macanese, Portuguese & Chinese herbs & spices

    Nature’s remedies are finding their way into exotic new drinks, enhancing flavour, adding colour and giving mixologists something new to think about.For mixologists, herbs have become an essential ingredient. While an alcoholic cocktail could probably never be considered a “healthy option”, one made with a few herbs might provide some health benefits. Besides which, they can taste delicious.

    “Herbs play a very big role in cocktails because not only do they influence the taste and scent, but also the look of a cocktail,” says Nikita Matveev, resident mixologist at Mandarin Oriental, Macau. “We either use a herb-based spirit and/or fresh or dry herbs.”

    Matveev, who believes that “less is more” when it comes to adding herbs to cocktails, says herbs can be used as a garnish for an extra touch of colour and, more importantly, as an additive to create an extra depth of flavour. Among the variety of herbs available, mint, basil, thyme, rosemary, cinnamon and lemongrass are a few of the bartenders’ favourites that are commonly used to make classic cocktails such as the Mojito, Old Fashioned and Last Word.

    However, with the advances in mixology techniques and the diverse palates of customers to please, bars and their tenders are exploring every possible herb to create signature drinks of their own.

    Among them is Bar Azul at Four Seasons Hotel Macao, which has launched an interesting new menu. Depicting journeys to the old Portuguese colony – which was an important trade node – the menu draws its inspiration from Macau’s historical background and influence.

    To better interpret the local flavours, Matveev observes that the trend in cocktail bars is to include local ingredients.

    China Rouge at the Galaxy Macau, for example,offers an exquisite list of award-winning and signature cocktails. The old Shanghai-style entertainment lounge uses traditional local herbs from mainland China and around the region in its creations, such as dried longan, cinnamon, goji berry, cloves and ginseng in its Winter cocktail, and dried tangerine peel in its Eastern Fashioned.

    While herbs from around the world can help give a cocktail a more exotic, “foreign” flavour, “local herbs in cocktails provide a very special local taste for cocktail lovers”, says Billy Xie, acting bar supervisor at China Rouge. “My favourite … herb is our local coriander. It has a special smell and taste to it.”

    Maxim Johannes Schulte, bar manager at The Ritz-Carlton Macau, has also been putting local herbs to good use in many of his creations.

    Hong Kong mixologists serve up Insta-worthy summer cocktails in style

    “I made a drink that tasted a little bit like the Chinese medicine my grandma used to use,” he says. “There are some particular things in there that my grandma used to cook a soup [with]. I twisted it in a different way, as I wanted [to make it] a little bit local.”

    Schulte says that by infusing Macanese, Portuguese and Chinese influences in a cocktail, something very unique and special is created.

    For a mixologist, it is useful to have some knowledge of herbs – of their flavours and possible benefits – before deciding which ones to use in a cocktail.[/vc_column_text]

    Having learned about herbalism and Chinese medicine when living in Saudi Arabia, Schulte has a keen interest in how certain herbs can be used as remedies for minor illnesses.

    “Nature can heal,” he says. “Nature also does amazing flavours, so the liquor is absolutely delicious. If you have an internal infection because you [have] bitten your tongue, then you’ll need an anti-inflammatory. The best [cure] in nature is turmeric,” he explains.

    HERBS PLAY A VERY BIG ROLE IN COCKTAILS BECAUSE NOT ONLY [DO THEY] INFLUENCE THE TASTE AND SCENT BUT ALSO THE LOOK OF A COCKTAIL – NIKITA MATVEEV, RESIDENT MIXOLOGIST, MANDARIN ORIENTAL, MACAU

    Other common medicinal herbs include peppermint, which cools the body from the inside, and chamomile, which acts as a natural nervine to calm nerves and ease insomnia.

    The benefits of herbs have, of course, long been understood by the Chinese. Xie points out that “many of these herbs are used in boiling soup for the purpose of health”

    As far as using herbs in cocktails is concerned, though, Xie reminds us that “the smell and taste of herbs are complicated and sometimes a bit too strong”.

    He recommends avoiding using herbs that need to be cooked or boiled, as they don’t go well with alcohol, and that other herbs should be matched with spirits that are above 100 proof (50 per cent alcohol by volume) in order to kill the germs.

    Speakeasy bars of Buenos Aires serve cocktails with a native twist

    Gil Maia Santos, assistant director of food and beverage at Four Seasons Hotel Macao, is cautious about the use of herbs in cocktails.

    “You have to know how to use them, so that [they] enhance the drink but [do] not overpower or ruin the combination,” he says.

    The rule of thumb is to use herbs with the right technique and in the right proportions, Santos says.

    “Herbs are now used to infuse spirits, to flavour foams and syrups, in soda siphons, smoked or burned.”

    Getting the proportions right is of paramount importance, he adds. “What … never goes out of fashion is to make a drink with good ingredients: fresh herbs, fresh seasonal fruits and good quality spirits.

    “It is very important to keep flavours authentic and mix the drink with balance and the right proportions.”

    BY KRIS CHAN 30 SEP 2017

    http://www.scmp.com/magazines/style/travel-food/article/2112850/

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  • Returning for its eighth year, the biggest drinks festival in the UK, London Cocktail Week (LCW), is joining forces with World Class to celebrate the best and booziest of our capital’s cocktail scene from Sunday 1 to 8 October. For just £10, your DrinkUp.London LCW digital pass entitles you to unlimited £6 cocktails in more […]

    London Cocktail Week: This is your ultimate Cocktail Week diary.

    Returning for its eighth year, the biggest drinks festival in the UK, London Cocktail Week (LCW), is joining forces with World Class to celebrate the best and booziest of our capital’s cocktail scene from Sunday 1 to 8 October. For just £10, your DrinkUp.London LCW digital pass entitles you to unlimited £6 cocktails in more than 250 venues across the week; exclusive discount in bars, restaurants and ticketed events; and advance tickets for only £5 to The Cocktail Village 2017. Below, we pick the two best events for each day of the week, so you don’t have to.

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  • Despite sitting in the low-key setting in the quiet soi Thonglor 1, Just A Drink (Maybe) is a serious player in Bangkok’s bar scene when it comes to its vast gin collection. Now, the small juniper haven is stepping up the game — big time — with the launching of the new signature drink menu. […]

    Thonglor’s new gin bar is stepping up the game with the new Asian-inspired cocktail menu

    Despite sitting in the low-key setting in the quiet soi Thonglor 1, Just A Drink (Maybe) is a serious player in Bangkok’s bar scene when it comes to its vast gin collection. Now, the small juniper haven is stepping up the game — big time — with the launching of the new signature drink menu.

    Have you ever walked into a bar and — as you open the cocktail menu — become baffled by the unfamiliar spirit labels and weird-sounding ingredients which left you to wonder what your order will end up like. Just A Drink (Maybe) makes your nightlife easier by categorizing each of their drinks into the flavor-profile chart (sweet, sour, smooth and earthy) so you won’t end up with a head-turning spirit-forward mixture when you’re actually into daiquiri-ish cocktails.

    For the new creations, Just A Drink (Maybe) puts a fun Asian spin into the tipples like the bakkwa-infused gin which becomes the base spirit for BBQ Maybe (B350), combining Taiwanese black tea syrup, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, egg white and barbeque-flavored chip for garnishing. The Singaporean chicken with rice inspires Lion (B350), which aims to remind you of the accompanying soup of the go-to dish seeing the savory mix of gin, green onion-infused olive oil, lemon juice, and syrup.

    The gin bar also plays with other spirits like rum as in Legoland (Diplomatico rum, Amaro Nonino, Pineapple juice, lemon, homemade grenadine, B350), served in a bright yellow Lego mug. If you’re into simple G&T, the gin haven comes up with eight fizzy variations, of which our favorite goes to Every Tear Drop is Shiraz Fall that mizes bold-flavored Four Pillar Bloody Shiraz gin with a dash of absinthe (B450).

    Article Source: https://www.timeout.com/bangkok/blog/thonglors-new-gin-bar-is-stepping-up-the-game-with-the-new-asian-inspired-cocktail-menu-090717

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