Is this the best pub in Ipswich? An astonishing range of craft beers from around the world, a beer sommelier, gorgeous gins, street food on a Friday and the friendliest staff.
Landing on the doormat at SuffolkFoodie HQ last week were a couple of sample cartons of the new limited edition Apple, Mint & Lime juice drink from The Cracker Drinks Co. Forever sceptical about anything labelled as low calorie, with no added sugar and ready made in a carton, we got stuck in. We are happy to say that we were more than impressed. With deliciously sharp lime and true flavours of mint and apple, this is a brilliantly blended ready made virgin mojito, and a perfect base for a quick, easy peasy rum cocktail ... now you're talking!
From 8th - 22nd May visit Ipswich and take part in the Food and Drink Forknight, celebrating all that’s good and great in the local food scene. There should be something to tickle your tastebuds. Try the very special Afternoon Tea at The Salthouse Harbour Hotel. Read all about our visit on the Ipswich Central website and check out the special offer during the Forknight.
I wheeled out my cocktail trolley last night and had a little go at a molecular mixology. For those of you that are non the wiser I mean chemistry with my cocktails. Cheeky Monkey had sent me a Cosmopolitan R-Evolution kit to try out and the neatly packed box had all the tools and mysterious substances to create "cranberry foam", "citrus caviar" and an "encapsulated cosmo".Instructions were easy to follow and really good illustrations and tips made sure that the finished cocktail looked like it did in the book. It was a little messy and took a little time to create the cocktails (citrus caviar needs to sit for 30 mins to let air bubbles escape) It all worked really well except for the encapsulated cosmo which I really couldn't get to work, but then I had just drunk three Cosmopolitans.
If you enjoy a glass of wine and want to learn more about the fascinating subject whilst enjoying a sip or two then try a Laithwaite's Wine Evening. I was excited to be invited to the Ipswich event last week and to hear that there were going to be 36 wines to taste. 11 tables showcased a range of wines from the across the world and the evening proved to be a fun and really good entry level wine tasting, with helpful notes on how to taste wine and even some producers and wine buyers to chat to. My highlight of the night was chatting to Christine Weingut, Laithwaite's German wine buyer. Obviously passionate about her job, each wine on her German and Austrian table had an interesting story behind it. So I came away with an order for Moselgold Riesling aus Steillagen Trocken 2012 from the steep, slate slopes of the Mosel and produced by a chap called Achim. Achim follows the family tradition started by his grandparents of creating the wine entirely himself from the grape to the bottle, in his garage.
Fancy a drop of camel milk in your coffee? Well head down to Taylor Street Barista's at 125 Old Broad Street, London this week and 28 Queens Street, Brighton next week and you will find the United Arab Emirates produced camel milk "Camelicious" on the menu.
We are not ones for advocating produce that has travelled half way around the world, but this is in aid of Farm Africa, with customers encouraged to give a £1 donation for each coffee purchased.
Camel milk is very popular in the Middle East and North Africa and has five times the Vitamin C and half the fat content of cows milk. New rural enterprise anyone?
I've just had a Fab Colchester Adventure!
After throwing myself on the train with one minute to spare (without the luxury of a coffee to enjoy; which while we're on the subject is called a Palamino at Liverpool Street station, ie, what used to be my Bloody Awkward - espresso with a bit of hot milk) I sat feeling pleased with myself for making it, until I realised I was on the wrong train. So in order to avoid a hefty surcharge I had to get off at Colchester and wait for the right train. Luckily it was nearly lunch-time so although I wasn't optimistic I decided to try harder than the baked potato shop and found, to my delight, a kiosk selling hot salt-beef sandwiches (on really nice bread stuffed with pickles and mustard) and fresh watermelon and ginger juice, for under a tenner! Highly recommended. Don't know if he has a website but it's called Culver St Baristas. If I didn't live near Brick Lane where we get salt beef 24/7 I would deliberately get the wrong train just for this.
Inspector X has been busy judging the entries for the Customer Service Award for the 2012 EADT Suffolk Food and Drink Awards. Tomorrow the winners will be announced at an Awards Ceremony to be held at Wherstead Park. Good luck to everyone who has been shortlisted - there are some real food and drink superstars out there.
This hot weather has proved to be the perfect moment to crack open the new bottle of Rhubarbe Liqueur. We were offered this at the recent Thos Peatling summer wine tasting, along with a Barbados Rum Sixty Six and Taylor's Velvet Falernum... more of that later! The liqueur is quite simply like drinking sweet, liquid rhubarb. It's made by macerating (in alcohol) both green and pink rhubarb for two months. Delicate, light pink colour and with the smell of freshly cut rhubarb, it's sweet and sherberty and reminiscent of those childhood rhubarb and custard boiled sweets. Delicious over cracked ice, or try one of these cocktails below - all measures used are 1 oz, or use your own friendly measures, but remember, drink responsibly!
Gin and Rhubarbe
1 measure Rhubarbe Liqueur
1/2 measure lime juice
1 1/2 measures gin
1 measure soda water
lime slices, for garnish
Combine rhubarb syrup, lime juice, and gin in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake for 10 seconds and strain into a glass. Top with the soda water. Serve with lime slice.
Rhubarb n’ Rye
1 1/2 measures Rye Whiskey
1/4 measure Rhubarb Liqueur
1/4 measure Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 measure Sweet Vermouth
Stir, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a curl of orange rind.
2 measures Cachaca Cane Spirit
1 measure Rhubarb Liqueur
½ measure Gomme syrup
1 full lime ( quartered, squeezed and muddled into the liquid)
Shake vigorously with ice and strain into glass.
4 measures Rhubarb Liqueur
3 measures Tequila
1 measure Lemon Juice
half measure of Gomme syrup
Muddle the strawberries in a cocktail shaker, add ice followed by all the other ingredients. Shake, filter and pour and serve.