The Dorchester exclusive Old Tom Gin

dorchester old tom ginDorchester Collection’s iconic British London hotel, The Dorchester, has revived the historical recipe for ‘Old Tom’ gin to create a new blend. Perfected by the hotel’s legendary bar manager and expert alchemist Giuliano Morandin, the gin has been distilled exclusively for The Bar at The Dorchester by The City of London Distillery, and will be available about now.

This is the second time Giuliano has re-introduced Old Tom Gin to the UK drinks market, the first being in 2006 after a 30 year absence.

Each bottle of The Dorchester Old Tom gin features a black wax seal and a hand signed label with its bespoke batch number authenticating it as an original. The gin, which will be available in 220 litre batches to ensure that the quality of the flavour is maintained, is available to purchase by the glass or 700ml/500ml/25ml bottles at The Bar at The Dorchester. Giuliano and his team have been closely involved in tailoring the blend, enhancing its taste with a special balance of botanicals such as juniper, coriander, angelica root, orris root, cassia bark, cardamom and fresh lemon and orange peel.

There are many tales which recount how Old Tom Gin purportedly got its name, many of which revolve around the unusual and secret dispensing methods used by London gin houses in the 18th century, all of which involved the imagery of a tom cat.

To celebrate the launch, Giuliano has created the Old Tom Cobbler cocktail, the perfect summer drink including ingredients such as coriander, fresh lemongrass, elderflower and Old Tom Gin. This cocktail will be on offer alongside the Ramos Fizz and iconic Martinez which inspired Giuliano to revive the production of the gin.

Giuliano has been leading the team at The Bar at The Dorchester for 30 years and is highly regarded amongst leading drink connoisseurs. Throughout his career Giuliano has achieved a number of accolades within the industry and named amongst the world’s best bartenders. Commenting on the introduction of The Dorchester Old Tom gin, Giuliano said;

“This is an extremely exciting time for my team, the hotel and I. We have been working hard to make this new take on the original 18th century recipe stand next to other leading gins, and we welcome London’s bar cognoscenti to come and experience the result. The Dorchester Old Tom gin reflects the style and history of the hotel whilst encompassing a modern fusion of flavours.”

Giuliano and his team will also offer private and bespoke Cocktail Master Classes showcasing the techniques and flavours used to compliment The Dorchester Old Tom Gin within the new signature cocktails. Cocktail Master Classes can be booked for individuals or private parties of up to ten guests, subject to availability. For more information or to make a reservation, please contact +44 (0) 20 7629 8888 or email restaurants.tdl@dorchestercollection.com

A 700ml bottle of The Dorchester Old Tom Gin is priced at £65 and is available at The Bar at The Dorchester or by visiting shop.dorchestercollection.com .Signature cocktails including the Old Tom Cobbler start from £16.


NATURAL WINE: An introduction to organic and biodynamic wines made naturally

NATURAL WINE: An introduction to organic and biodynamic wines made naturallyNATURAL WINE: An introduction to organic and biodynamic wines made naturally published in July

“A really inspiring book. Isabelle writes beautifully
and it’s given me a lot to think about” – Olly Smith

Over the last 50 years, winemaking has become ever-more processed, controlled and unnatural, from the use of blanket crop-spraying in vineyards to the over-use of sulphites and other additives in winemaking. This over-manipulation and lack of transparency has lead more and more people to turn to what is known as natural wine – wine made as nature intended with grapes that are farmed organically or biodynamically and with minimum intervention in the winery. Wine that is basically good old-fashioned fermented grape juice.

And there’s no one that knows them better than their standard bearer, Isabelle Legeron MW, who is at the forefront of this growth in awareness.

As crusader for the natural wine movement, she has presented her own show on the Travel Channel, acts as adviser to several leading restaurants and has set-up the hugely successful annual natural wine fair – RAW. Just as the craft beer movement has taken off across the globe, the demand for natural wine has exploded over the last couple of years, and looks set to go from strength to strength.

Isabelle says ‘I’m incredibly excited about releasing a book on natural wine. I’ve dedicated my life to raising awareness about them, since it is the only wine I drink now. I want people to know about the rubbish that goes into making so many of the wines on our shelves, but even more than that I want them to know that it doesn’t have to be that way. There are amazing wines out there that are so, so much better in every way.’

The book is split into three parts. Part one examines the definition of natural wine, looking at The Vineyard, The Cellar, Taste, Misconceptions and Health. Part two explores the Who, Where and When, providing details of the Artisans, the Origins of the Movement and where you can find and buy natural wine. Finally, part three is about discovering natural wine for yourself, with information and tasting notes on a large variety of natural wines divided into Bubbles, Whites, Oranges, Pinks, Reds and Off-dry and sweets.

Isabelle Legeron, who lives in London, was the first French woman to become a Master of Wine, and was named Wine Woman of the Year 2009 in Paris. She runs the highly successful RAW fair in May in London, and advises various restaurants on their wine lists, including the Michelin 2* Hibiscus. She contributes to Decanter magazine, and organises conferences and tastings to spread the word about proper, natural wine.

Natural Wine: An introduction to organic and biodynamic wines made naturally will be available from July priced at £16.99.

Rioja Tapas Fantasticas

rioja-tapas-fantasticas

Rioja Tapas Fantasticas is a free two day London based festival celebrating Rioja wine, Spanish food and lifestyle, taking place Saturday 14th – Sunday 15th June at Potters Field Park adjacent to Tower Bridge. Now in its seventh year, Rioja Tapas Fantastic is the place to experience and taste a sensational range of red, white and rosé wines from some of Rioja’s most famous vineyards and sample authentic Spanish cuisine from some of London’s best Spanish restaurants and street food venders (including Bar Tozino, Jose, Bravas Tapas, Bar Esteban, Camino, Donastia Social Club ). On arrival visitors can purchase a tasting glass for £3.50 and receive four tokens to exchange for Rioja wines (wine is served by the glass).

There will be live Spanish music, cookery demonstrations from chef José Pizarro plus wine tasting workshops and 30 minute wine walks from wine experts Olly Smith and Susy Atkins (tickets for workshops and tours can be purchased online) plus a brand new interactive food and wine matching dining experience to entertain visitors over the weekend. www.riojatapasfantasticas.co.uk

Now in its seventh year, the ever popular festival takes inspiration from Calle Laurel, the renowned tapas crawl in the heart of Rioja; Spain’s best loved wine region and gastronomic capital. Every weekend, Calle Laurel sees people wandering from bar to bar, enjoying a different tapa accompanied by a glass of Rioja. At Rioja Tapas Fantasticas you can recreate this experience on London’s Southbank; why not try your own Spanish-style tapas crawl with seared scallops with Spanish ratatouille and green chilli sauce from Donostia Social Club, deliciously matched with a glass of oaked white Rioja, then move onto a tapas dish of chiccarones de candiz (slow cooked pork belly with cumin and lemon) from Morito with an intense and spicy Rioja Reserva or lamp chops with rosemary alioli from Bravas Tapas, equally well matched with an intense and silky Gran Reserva.

Ocados Paleo shop

ocado paleoOcado, the online supermarket, has noticed a rise in Brits adopting the Paleo or ‘caveman’ diet, with sales of grass-fed meat up 73% YOY. Searches for unadulterated fish like organic salmon are up 58%; even the humble onion is in demand if it’s organic, with searches up 86% the last four weeks. To cater for demand, Ocado created a one-stop Paleo shop making it convenient for enthusiasts to get clean living essentials delivered to their kitchen table in handy one-hour slots.

Followed by celebrities and athletes such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Jason Statham, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston and Freddie Flintoff, the Paleo diet is a modern nutritional plan based on the diet of Palaeolithic humans (cavemen). It’s ‘eating clean’ or consuming unprocessed foods and consists mainly of fish, grass-fed meat, organic eggs, vegetables, fruit, and nuts.

More than just weight-loss, the premise of Paleo is that human genetics have barely changed since the end of the Paleolithic era, when cereals and grains first appeared in our diets. By consuming foods we’re more adept at digesting, experts and enthusiasts report higher energy levels, increased defences against chronic illness and improved organ and heart health.

Ocado has partnered with Paleo expert Joy Skipper, author of new book The Paleo Diet Made Easy, to create the aisle so shoppers can browse for inspiring new recipe ideas and rest assured that all of their choices adhered to Paleo nutritional guidelines.

Joy Skipper said:

“Switching to the Paleo way of eating is very simple and once you start to cut out the foods your body finds hard to recognise, you will hopefully feel vitality and energy so you won’t want to go back to the way you were eating before. Ocado’s Paleo aisle is the perfect place to shop – all your Paleo essentials all in one place. With one-hour delivery slots, there’s no need to wait in all day to have your Paleo foods delivered – enjoy your day and know that great food is on its way to you, when you choose.”

Browse the new aisle now: www.ocado.com/Paleo

Yutaka Yuzu Citrus Seasoning

yuzuYutaka’s Yuzu Citrus Seasoning is the perfect way to access the flavour of the elusive Japanese fruit, the yuzu. Deliciously tart with floral aromas, the tangy citrus seasoning tastes like a hybrid of a lemon, mandarin and grapefruit and has won two Great Taste Award stars.

A favourite of Nigel Slater and Jamie Oliver, yuzu juice has the versatility of a lemon (and 3 times the vitamin C) and adds an exotic splash of flavour to savoury and sweet dishes alike, including salads, noodles, marinades for meat and fish, desserts and even cocktails.

The Yutaka brand was first launched in 1995 and is the leading Japanese range in 16 countries across the globe. The exciting range includes sauces, sushi ingredients, soups, rice, noodles and “easy to use” meal kits – allowing the ardent foodie to create healthy, flavoursome and attractive Japanese cuisine at home.

The Yutaka Yuzu Citrus Seasoning is available in Sainsbury’s priced at £2.99 for a 100ml bottle.