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Sunday, 10 November 2013

Mullen Bartending Cocktail League Round 5, in which an excited Didsbury Girl runs amok at Walrus...

Now, being a cocktail judge is amazing. You get to go to great places with lovely people and try interesting cocktails for free, and I would never wish to sound ungrateful about this fact. Trouble is, whilst free cocktails are all well and good, I've been having trouble convincing the mortgage company that a cheeky little gin number might serve as an acceptable equivalent for this month's installment - turns out that, in thoroughly antiquated fashion, they are still looking for actual cash money payments. So, while I was at work last Wednesday, the ever selfless Didsbury Girl was drafted in to replace me for Round 5 of the MLeague - here's how she got on...

Round 5 of the Mullen Bartending MLeague: Remy Martin at Walrus

When Liz (owner of this blog and famous for her bird-like appetite and very restrained attitude to alcohol consumption) asked me to step into her sling-backs and take her place at a cocktail judging, I was honoured. The more I thought about it, I realised it was a role I was born for and had long been in training for.

The cocktail du jour was Remy Martin. This cheered (and warmed) me up no end as I'd arrived soaked and shivering, desperately in need of a brandy to fortify me against the typically seasonal Mancunian weather.

During the next hour, five very different cocktails were placed before us for scrutiny. Some were magnificent, some were innovative, some were pretty, but they all without exception contained delightfully generous quantities of Remy Martin.

Kicking off the evening in style was The Centaur made by Ollie from Walrus. A deliciously puddingy drink, served with shards of dark chocolate which when eaten with the cocktail, were joyfully reminiscent of a chocolate orange.

This was followed by the Loic Remy from Cord. This is apparently the name of a footballer (see I knew this cocktail judging would be an education) and was for me one of the prettiest drinks of the evening. Cheekily fruity, it was definitely a cocktail you could drink any number of in an evening without being sick (I think you're beginning to sense my level now).

Next up was Eaux-de-vie made by Adam from Tusk Bar, this was another pretty little number. It felt almost like a boozy health drink. I love pomegranate juice so this was right up my Champs-Élysées. I do prefer a more bitter cocktail rather than sweet, but I'd have happily polished this off without complaint.

The next cocktail drew appreciative gasps from the judges when it was brought to the table. The Remy Martina made by Veronika from Apotheca was just beautiful. My picture could not do it justice (damn you crappy Samsung camera phone), but served in a tall glass with pretty pink rosebuds on it, with a little stack of Turkish delight to nibble on, we agreed that it was perfection. The Turkish delight perfectly complimented the flavours in the cocktail. Amazing.

Lastly we sampled the East from Simple, this was a fuzzy orange concoction. Prettily, but simply presented, looking like a big foamy orange sherbet. It was good too, but the orange swamped the Remy Martin a touch too much for my tastes.

So, cocktails judged we retired to consider our (unanimous) verdict. And the winner was.... The Remy Martina made by Veronika from Apotheca. It was very pretty and pretty prefect, not to mention probably the best cocktail I'd had in a very, very long time.

It is with regret that I hand my cocktail judging hat back to Liz, I did have a thoroughly enjoyable evening, tried and loved some cocktails I probably would never normally have ordered and I've made some new friends. Until the next time then, santé!

Jane normally blogs at Hodge Podge Days - go visit her there, or simply go into any pub in Didsbury and you're likely to come across her at some point.

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