Mark Ridgwell on a flavoursome future

Why not a Taste the Spirit Movement to encourage more recognition for spirits, like wines, as products of nature and more, as products of history and legend, with tastes, flavours and colours to reflect an immense diversity of local custom and ingredients capable of generating drinks for every occasion?

I’m prompted to ask the question by Café Pacifico’s recent closure, surely a bar to represent a benchmark for expressing a team’s passion for a spirit and a bar that demonstrated everyone’s right to enjoy spirits beyond brand statements but as memorable drinking experiences particularly those who arrive at a bar full of prejudice or just ill-informed.

Tonic! Bitters & vermouth to fix what ails you

Easing the ills of mankind with booze and herbs has a long history. It goes back at least to the days of Hippocrates, the ancient Greek known as the father of western medicine, who proffered a recipe for vermouth to cure jaundice, rheumatism and menstrual pain, among other things. He died in 370 BC but the idea of a herbal potion would kick on.

Punch – the granddaddy of all bartendery drinks

In those dark times, before the Old Fashioneds and Sazeracs and Fizzes, there was Punch. It’s the idea of the pub — an occasion in which people gather at a place in a shared (drinking) experience — where they gathered around the flowing bowl. Punch is for sharing en masse.

Are you being served?

At the start of each year you come across articles in industry magazines or websites focusing on trends for the next 12 months that lay ahead. They normally ask some well known bartenders what they think will be “the big thing” and in the past we have seen molecular mixology, barrel aging, bottled cocktails, bourbon, rye, gin, rye again…. and so on.

The birth of the big brands

Give a man a fish, and he will eat for one day; but teach him to fish, and sell that fish on and he’ll start making some money. Should he flake the fish up, adulterate it with something of a fish-like texture and then sell it on, he’ll make loads more.