Cocktails

MicroBarBox - Chocoholic's Chocolate Cocktail Box

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It might only be Wednesday, but that doesn’t stop us dreaming of Friday at The Amazing Blog! We were thrilled to discover British company, MicroBarBox, as their novel cocktail boxes allowed us to indulge in a cocktail (or two) from the comfort of our own homes. The concept of a ‘bar in a box’ is a great one, the liqueurs and spirits you need to create delicious after dinner drinks are delivered straight to your door, and with several different versions, you can choose your box dependant on whether you’re a gin, vodka, whisky, or prosecco lover.

We decided to give the Chocoholic’s Chocolate Cocktail Box a whirl. This decadent delight contains a plethora of alcoholic and chocolatey treats, including Coole Swan White Chocolate Liqueur, Kendal Mint Cake Liqueur, Sweet Potato Chocolate Moonshine with Chilli, Bramley and Gage Cherry Brandy, Baileys Orange Truffle Irish Cream Liqueur and Wild Chocolate Vodka - all of which come in 50ml measures. In addition to that, you get 35g of Fudge Kitchen Classic Chocolate, as well as 40g Divine White Chocolate. What more could you ask for? They have created our liquid ‘chocolate heaven’! Although completely acceptable as a way to treat yourself, this box would also make a perfect Christmas present for your loved ones. The boxes are elegant, encasing the chocolatey goodies in black packaging, with pink and white lettering. If you have the willpower to save these treats, then they will also be great additions to your beverage collection.

These can either be mixed in your own experimental way, or you can follow the cocktail serving suggestions to create some fabulous chocolate cocktails. Our favourite was definitely the Winter Wonderland cocktail, which contains the Coole Swan White Chocolate Liqueur mixed with 1/3 of Kendal Mint Cake Liqueur. Perfect for a cosy catch up on wintery days! Everything you need is combined in the box, just add some ice for a refreshing bonus. For £35 you can order the Chocoholic’s Chocolate Cocktail box here or browse the selection of other boxes here. NB: the box contents are regularly updated so your contents may be different (although equally delicious!)

In order to always keep your selection updated, you can even become a Cocktail Club member, and get your monthly Cocktail box delivered straight to your door. The lovely MicroBarBoxTeam have also created a discount code for you, our readers, which you can use when purchasing their Chocoholic’s Chocolate Cocktail Box. Simply use the code “AMAZING10” when placing your order. Enjoy!

Botanicals for Cocktails

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With the explosion of microbreweries and distilleries forging their way ahead in the production of uniquely artisan beverage options, we began to wonder just how feasible it would be to create our own bottle of mellow magic. This sent all of us at The Amazing Blog into a tailspin at the water cooler, as we all came up with appropriate cocktails. How about The Amazing Daiquiri or even The Amazing White Russian perhaps …?

Once the germination of an idea starts, of course, there’s always someone who takes it to the next level - and we may well have found the perfect solution to what has become a challenge for everyone in the office. Originally created by The Old Hamlet Wine & Spice Co. the Botanicals For Cocktails range gives us three options for turning a run of the mill bottle of gin or vodka into something far more interesting. - It has been quite the conversation piece for the Christmas shindig at The Amazing Blog Towers … if we are permitted to mention the festivities yet?

All of the required ingredients are handily packaged in signature calico pouches, so you need only to add a bottle of your spirit of choice. The Orange Gin sounds quite a straight forward affair, but actually once you start mixing those spices, it is quite clear just how many different flavours are there to tempt us. Let us warn you, the aroma can be quite intoxicating, especially in a cramped kitchenette, so make sure there is plenty of ventilation. As with all the best things in life, a little bit of patience is required in the production process here, and so we have to wait at least 8 weeks until we can properly taste the fruits of our labours - but for the REAL magic to happen, we have to ideally wait 2 years.

However, the first signs are good, and are as enticing as the offerings we might get from a bar’s cocktail list. The Gingerbread Vodka is a heady mix and planned for consumption at the above festive party in a couple of month’s time, with the Gin version being kept as a possible tasting option. In fact, there is a wide and comprehensive range available primarily through the Steenburgs website, an organic spice merchants based in Yorkshire, who bought The Old Hamlet Wine & Spice Co in 2017. These pouches of perfection can additionally be sourced with a price of around £3.80 for a single bag - trust us, it’s well worth the effort!

Friday Favourites - Cookbooks

After a busy workday, cooking can be put on the back burner of our to-do list. We gravitate toward meals that are most easy and convenient, often eating the same foods over again. That’s why we have made it our mission to revitalize the way we perceive cooking by searching for cookbooks that are equally as unique as they are healthy. Say goodbye to monotonous cooking with the help of these four books, handpicked by The Amazing Blog.

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Plant-based cooking has gained its popularity, but have you ever thought of incorporating flowers into your recipes? The Fragrant Pantry by Frances Bissell uses flowers as its main ingredient. While flowers are commonly featured as decoration in cookery, Bissell shows how its delicate scent and flavour can take the place of herbs or spices. Although this seems like an unconventional approach, don’t mistake it as a fad or fashion. Instead, Bissell pays homage to English culinary traditions through her use of flowers. Her recipes include jams, spreads and pickled foods with easy-to-follow instructions. You can purchase The Fragrant Pantry here for £11.99. To get a 20% discount use the discount code FRAGRANTP at purchase on the Serif Books website. 

Interested in more of Bissell’s recipes? Check out the other two volumes in her acclaimed trilogy: The Scented Kitchen and The Floral Baker.

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Calling all Mediterranean lovers! Get prepared to transport yourself to Greece with Mazi Modern Greek Food’s vivid imagery and authentic dishes. Co-authors, Christina Mouratoglou and Adrien Carré’s goal are to revolutionise Greek cuisine by combining genuine flavours with a modern twist. The recipes are ingrained with a trendy tapas vibe and cover cocktails, hot plates, signature dishes and desserts. You can purchase the book here for £17.99.

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The Herball’s Guide to Botanical Drinks by Michael Isted offers non-alcoholic plant-based drinks. Isted offers careful alchemy with each recipe that acts as cleansers, restorers, energisers, brain boosters and more.  The cookbook includes step-by-step directions in processes like hot & cold brewing, fermentation, distillation, juicing and tincturing. The first section provides a brief informational introduction to the plants used throughout the book and the second section includes 58 different recipes serving different functions for the body.   Isted uses ancient practices as the foundation of his creations. This guide brings purpose and intention to the kitchen by uniting intuitive and healthy eating. You can purchase The Herball’s Guide to Botanical Drinks here for £12.90.

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Whenever starting a new diet, snacking is an inevitable part of the process. Gracie and Sophie Tyrrell, founders of Squirrel Sisters, have created a range of all-natural bars that will satisfy your cravings. In their book, Naturally Snacks & Treats: Over 100 Healthy Recipes, the sister duo has formed over 70 recipes using ingredients found at your local supermarket. The on-the-go snack is easy, convenient, and accessible. The Tyrrell sisters reassure their readers that eating healthily can be fun! Recipes range from sweet roasted almond and cinnamon butter to sushi rolls.The beautifully illustrated book is separated into four chapters where you will find breakfast recipes, snacks and lunches for on-the-go, sharing plates and, our favourite, sweet treats. Cocktail-lovers will even find low-calorie options. We can’t wait to try more recipes. You can purchase your own book here for £9.99.  

 

Let us know what your favourite recipes are!

 

Valentine's Day Events - Friday Favourites

Here at the Amazing Blog,

we know that the routineness of Valentine’s Day can really drain the romance from what should be an exciting and different experience. Afterall, it's a day to tell and show someone what they mean to you! So with that in mind, we gathered some of the most interesting and unusual Valentine’s Day events in London to help you create some long-lasting and treasured memories with your loved one.

First of all we have a twist on the typical, and dare we say dated, dinner date at the same old restaurant. For a truly unique evening, swimming in romance, why not try switching up the location to beautiful evening on the thames. Bateaux London Cruises are offering some remarkable dinner packages that we instantly fell in love with!

Bateaux's Valentine's Day Symphony Tower Suite  package pulls out every stop, giving you an intimate dining experience as you enjoy the London sights. Spend time with your partner in a quiet suite, where a four-course dinner is served with drinks throughout the evening. To top off your romantic meal you can go and enjoy the live band that will be playing throughout the night. The City at night is, arguably, when it’s at its most beautiful and romantic, and with this cruise you are certain to get unparalleled views, and an unparalleled experience.

Bateaux London Cruises combine high quality dining, entertainment, and the beautiful London skyline to give you a wonderful evening whether you are celebrating a special occasion or simply treating yourself. They daily offer cruises that create unforgettable experiences for their guests, so you know that their Valentine’s day will be even more spectacular than usual! So go and book your night here from £145 a person!

For a more cultural and regal Valentine's Day, visit Queen's House in Greenwich, part of the Royal Museums of Greenwich. The museum, which is an architectural masterpiece boasting 400 years of royal history, is putting on a Valentine's Day special called 'Making Love in the Queen's House.' The day will be full of talks and courses both inside the Queen's House and in it's elegant surroundings.

You and your valentine can enjoy a Prosecco afternoon tea while hearing from experts who will be discussing love stories of the royals who lived in the celebrated 'House of Delight.' Learn more about the house's beginnings as a 'pleasure palace' and gift from King James I to his wife Anne of Denmark, while soaking up the regal environment.

For a historical and romance-filled day out, visit 'Making Love in the Queens House.' You can purchase tickets for the event here for £25.00.

If you are looking for something a little different, try surprising your loved one by visiting Sea Life London Aquarium for their 'Sea Life After Dark' evening. Home to one of Europe's largest collections of global marine life, Sea Life London Aquarium has some amazing creatures to see, from rare sea turtles to penguins. After picking up your complimentary glass of prosecco, you and your valentine can experience the Shark Walk - a glass walkway with sharks and other marine life swimming just inches away from you!

This after-hours event is adult-only and allows you to explore the aquarium at your own pace, while enjoying the pop up bars scattered throughout. Guest Experience Advisors will additionally be on hand so you can learn all about the creatures and conservation work that Sea Life Aquarium does.

It's certainly not every day that you get to spend your evening with friends surrounded by marine life, so buy tickets for Sea Life After Dark here from £29.00.

Finally on our list is a twist on the classic night of drinks. The Charming Christabel's completely drew us in with their exciting and vibrant cocktail workshops. This Valentines Day, the company are hosting a Bejewelled Cocktail Masterclass. For a fun and flirty evening with your valentine, or even just a group of friends, join Christabel's to create your own cocktail creations.

The vibrant sessions will include a masterclass on mixing and shaking their classic 'Flirt' and 'Zinger' cocktails, we personally love their 'Flirt' cocktail which sends us back to those sultry summer evenings! If that doesn't sway you though, there is also a chance to get creative and transform your drinks by jazzing them up with glitter, sequins, rose petals and much more. We think it might be fun at this stage to create a drink that reflects your partner's personality! Your evening will also be accompanied by canapes that you can construct yourself. This is a really hands on DIY evening that has the potential to be wholly unique to you and your loved one, leaving you with memories of an experience that no one else will have.

The event is in a secret location in N1, so keep your eyes peeled and buy tickets here for £45 per person.

 

New Year's Eve - Alcoholic Treats

Who’s ready to ring in The New Year? We at The Amazing Blog have had a fantastic year, and we are prepared to celebrate. Thanks to Amsterdam Vodka, Kold Cocktails, Make Mine A Martini, Shatler’s Cocktails and Two Finger’s Brewing Co, we are ready to drink and be merry.

If you are a vodka drinker, we’ve got some exciting news for you. E & J Gallo sent us a sample of their New Amsterdam Vodka and needless to say, it has become our go-to choice of liquor. Recently added into the UK spirits portfolio, Amsterdam Vodka was created to target a young and lively consumer. The liquor is made by being distilled five times, using only the best grains from Nebraska and Missouri. The vodka is chic, smooth and affordable…party people, rejoice! New Amsterdam Vodka is available in 20cl bottles for £5.49 and in 70cl bottles for £15.99.

 

Looking for something quick, simple and irresistibly delicious? With the samples Kold Cocktails and Shatler’s Cocktails sent us, we believe we have found just that. Instead of pacing around and stressing about creating the perfect cocktail, these “ready made” products have made our party plans so much simpler. Shatler’s Cocktails sent us samples of their classic Mojito and Pina Colada cocktails-in-a-can. Unlike most pre-made products, you do not have to add anything to make this drink. Just open, pour, and enjoy! Shatler’s Cocktails offer a wide range of drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Take a look at their website and browse around their diverse menu of drinks.

The brand KOLD Cocktails provides the same party time essentials, however this company gave us a nice frozen alternative to our favourite drinks. Thanks to KOLD Cocktails, we were able to sip on well-made frozen Mojitos, Cosmopolitans, and Lychee Martinis for under 200 calories each. All KOLD cocktails are 8% ABV and are available in multipacks of 2 for £6.99 here.

 

Finally, though a delicious cocktail is always nice, sometimes you just want to sit back, relax, and sip on a cold beer. The unique company Two Fingers Brewing Co. allows you to enjoy your beer and give to charity at the same time. Being the only beer of its kind, all of their profits are donated to Prostate Cancer, UK. It is safe to say that this beer is giving back to the men who drink it. Brewed with 100% British ingredients, enjoy this crisp golden, award winning ale and know that you made a difference. Visit their website and read more about the cause here.

Now that you have a collection of key ingredients, it's time to start thinking about cocktail making. Make Mine a Martini  by Kay Plunkett-Hogge is a fabulous compendium of delicious drinks, perfect for getting the party started. With everything from a simple Martini to more complicated concoctions like The Avocado Project, a delicious mixture of rum, agave nectar and, you guessed it, avocado, there's something for every taste and skill group. Our favourite is The Formosa's Mai Tai, which adds a dash of amaretto to the original recipe, making for a delicious twist on an already great drink. The book even has a selection of nibbles and non-alcoholic drink recipes, making it the perfect companion for any host. Buy the book here for £12.50 and get shaking!