GSN Alert: October 20th – World Calvados Day

Avallen Calvados has partnered with UK-based Difford’s Guide and premium drinks distributor Mangrove UK to launch World Calvados Day. Taking place on Tuesday 20 October, the inaugural celebration of the French apple brandy will see the UK trade celebrate with special offers and specially created cocktails being served in bars around this date.

Registered as an AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) in 1942, calvados is one of three world-renowed French brandies alongside cognac and armagnac. It must be produced using a choice of 300 apple varieties exclusively grown in the biodiverse orchards of Normandy. The apples are naturally fermented to make cider, then distilled and aged for a legal minimum of two years in French oak.

Avallen Calvados founders Stephanie Jordan and Tim Etherington-Judge entered the world of calvados in 2019 determined to revitalise the category. Since launching, their ‘planet-positive’ caldavos has been recognised with numerous accolades. They have also made it their mission to help bee populations, donating to the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust with each bottle sold and planting wildflowers.

Stephanie said: “Calvados is an important historical category and one which is gaining renewed interest, so it’s right it should have its own day. And what better time of year to celebrate French apple brandy than the busy harvest time, when the process of making delicious calvados kicks off with thanks to the bees for pollinating all the lovely blossoms in spring.

“Made using apples (and a few pears), water and time, this spirit celebrates biodiversity, regenerative agriculture and tastes amazing which is why at Avallen we want to champion the category and put care at the core of what we do.”

Simon Difford said: “One of the key base spirits, calvados appears in hundreds of cocktail recipes but until Avallen has not had a brand that champions its mixability. Indeed, most consumers would be hard-prressed to name a brand of calvados or a calvados cocktail. Hence, we’re delighted to be working with Stephanie and Tim to promote delicious calvados cocktails.”

Avallen is distributed in the UK by Mangrove UK. The company’s managing director, Nick Gillet, added: “It’s been impressive to see the determination with which the team at Avallen has worked to promote this category, which was previously looking a bit tired and jaded. They have sparked new interest in calvados and are leading the way in our industry in adopting and championing sustainable practices.”

20 October 2020 – Bethany Whymark

GSN Alert: Coming Soon – 2015 Cocktail Books (July-September)

51aCEC3fzPL._AA160_Food & Wine Cocktails 2015 by Food & Wine  (Oxmoor House) The editors of Food & Wine have the inside scoop on contemporary cocktail culture. In Food & Wine Cocktails 2015, they’ve featured over 150 sensational recipes, including: innovative drinks from 25 of the most exciting up-and-coming stars of the cocktail world, plus specially crafted mocktails inspired by them; party-friendly punches, stellar nightcaps, and over 40 simple and essential classics. These incredible creations use every type of spirit and come in an array of styles and flavors that will please any fan of fine drinking.

51aCEC3fzPL._AA160_The Cocktail Chronicles: Navigating the Cocktail Renaissance with Jigger, Shaker & Glass by Paul Clarke  (Spring House Press)  From Paul Clarke, the 2014 Best Cocktail & Spirits Writer and founder of the groundbreaking spirits blog, The Cocktail Chronicles, comes an approachable guide to the cocktail renaissance thus far and―as the name implies―a chronicle of the cocktails that have come along the way. The Cocktail Chronicles is not a lab manual for taking the cocktail experience to a molecular level; nor is it an historical monograph tracing the details of our forebears as they developed and mixed the drinks we enjoy today. Instead, The Cocktail Chronicles is a collection of approachable, and easily replicable drinks that all share the same thing: a common deliciousness and a role — both big and small — in the ongoing and thriving cocktail renaissance. This collection of expertly curated recipes represent a photo album of sorts―snapshots of people encountered over the years, with some close friends and family members depicted alongside a few dimly remembered strangers.

51aCEC3fzPL._AA160_The Manhattan Cocktail: A Modern Guide to the Whiskey Classic by Albert Schmid and Bridget Albert (University Press of Kentucky)  This essential guide covers everything that the aficionado needs to know about the classic cocktail through an examination of its history and ingredients. Author Albert W. A. Schmid dispels several persistent myths, including the tale that the Manhattan was created in 1874 by bartenders at New York City’s Manhattan Club to honor the newly elected Governor Samuel Jones Tilden at Lady Randolph Churchill’s request. Schmid also explores the places and people that have contributed to the popularity of the drink and inspired its lore, including J. P. Morgan, who enjoyed a Manhattan every day at the end of trading on Wall Street. The Manhattan Cocktail also examines the effects of various bourbons and whiskeys on the aroma and flavor, even answering the age-old question of “shaken or stirred?” Featuring more than fifty recipes as well as notes and anecdotes from personalities as diverse as bartender and mixologist Dale DeGroff and writer Sir Kingsley Amis, this entertaining read will delight both the cocktail novice and the seasoned connoisseur.
51aCEC3fzPL._AA160_365 Days of Cocktails: The Perfect Drink for Every Day of the Year by Difford’s Guide (Harper Design) From one of the world’s most renowned cocktail authorities comes this inventive guide that includes uniquely tailored mixed drinks to celebrate every day of the year. Celebrate every day of the year—whether an anniversary, a birthday, a holiday, or a quirky happening—with a specially created cocktail. Toast Bikini Day with a bikini martini, kick off the Tour de France with La Bicyclette, and honor Ernest Hemingway with a twist on his own concoction, Death in the Afternoon. These distinctive, delectable drinks for everyone, and for every occasion, are all in 365 Days of Cocktails. Complete with a name, recipe, color photo, and short, entertaining entry about the day in history and its significance, 365 Days of Cocktails is a clever, innovative, and stunning collection of recipes every host, aspiring bartender, and mixology fan must have.
51aCEC3fzPL._AA160_Gin & Tonic: The Complete Guide for the Perfect Mix 2nd Revised edition by Frédéric Du Bois & Isabel Boons (Lannoo Publishers) By means of a very practical layout, you’ll never make the wrong choice again. Over 400 gins and 60 tonics are described in detail. A unique ‘gincyclopedia’ gives you a comprehensive and updated list of all available types and brands available on the market. The authors also went to visit the best gin bars. Finally, this book contains original dishes and recipes combined with gin and tonic.
51aCEC3fzPL._AA160_Drinking the Devil’s Acre: A Love Letter from San Francisco and her Cocktails by Duggan McDonnell & Luke Abiol (Chronicle Books) During the 1870s and ’80s, a single bar-filled block in San Francisco called the Devil’s Acre threw what may have been the most enduring party the world has ever seen. Duggan McDonnell is in love with the city of his forefathers and its ever-flowing cocktails, and it shows in this history-packed drinking tour through one of the most beloved cities in the world. Twenty-five iconic cocktail recipes made famous by the City by the Bay—from the legendary Pisco Punch, Mai Tai, and Irish Coffee to the Gold Rush–era Sazerac and more modern-day Lemon Drop—are accompanied by an additional 45 recipes that show the evolution of these classic elixirs, resulting in such contemporary favorites as the Revolver and the Last Word, guaranteeing to keep the party going and the liquor flowing.