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Author Archives: the Cocktail Geek

About the Cocktail Geek

Mark (aka thecocktailgeek) is an enthusiastic imbiber of spirits and mixed drinks in all their guises. Working outside the drinks industry, his experience comes firmly from the extensive time spent on the customers side of the bar. Based in London, he enjoys the quality and variety on offer to drinkers in the capital, but also regularly travels to experience cocktail culture around the world. In addition to running his own site thecocktailgeek.com reviewing spirits and bars, he is also a founding member of the London Cocktail Society, the members group for cocktail afficiandos. Mark can be contacted on mark@thecocktailgeek.com or found speaking his mind on Twitter @thecocktailgeek. ← Older posts

Cocktail Bar Review: Hide Bar, London

Oftentimes the very first impressions of a bar turn out to be reliable markers of the overall experience. Like when you walk in to be greeted by a shady-looking character behind the bar stocking the chilled Jager fridge, and your … Continue

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August New Product Roundup

Chilgrove Dry Gin Using grapes to produce the neutral spirit with which the botanicals are distilled to produce gin is nothing new, G’Vine has been around for a while for example. It is a relatively uncommon source of base spirit … Continue

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Review: Red Vermouths

Red Vermouths First produced and consumed for medicinal purposes, drinkers soon realised you needn’t be ill to enjoy red vermouths as an aperitif, the Italians being particularly enthusiastic about a glass or three of aperitif. Around the turn of the … Continue

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Review: White Vermouths

For almost as long as wine has been produced, so has something that resembles vermouth. Even the big-name Greek physician Hippocrates was known to be a producer of a wine-based digestive. Today, vermouth is required to be made from wine … Continue

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Review: Strange Flavoured Vodkas

The last decade has seen an explosion in flavoured vodkas with beverage companies coming up with increasingly inventive flavours to try and tap into a more adventurous fan base. In the last few years, we have witnessed, what can only … Continue

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Cocktail Bar Review: Rev JW Simpson, London

It is a risk of a ‘scene’ that is so often deservedly considered to be at the cutting edge of cocktail culture, that there will be occasions when it falls off the edge, cutting itself on the way down. London’s … Continue

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Cocktail Bar Review: Gillray`s, London

Fancy hotel bars are two a penny in London, and each must work to stand out from the crowd. Some go all art deco on us, others invoke a sense of American glamour, or even high end tropical tiki. Gillray’s, hidden … Continue

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Cocktail Bar Review: Revolution, Leadenhall, London

They used to be all about the rainbow of flavoured vodkas. From jelly bean, to strawberry, to chocolate and more, there was something for everyone at Revolution; as long as you were happy that your breath would smell like a … Continue

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The Margarita Cocktail

If there is one cocktail which I have been served more bad versions of than any other, it is the Margarita cocktail. The simple mix of tequila, Cointreau and lime juice just should’t be that hard to mess up, but many … Continue

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Cocktail Bar Review: Montgomery Place,London

Not to be confused with its namesake street in Slough, this little bar does in fact live on Kensington Park Rd. Which means that it’s part of the Notting Hill clan, and if you mistake that for Slough, well there’s … Continue

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Review: Parrot Bay Frozen Cocktails

The Negroni, Manhattan and Old Fashioned might be topping the cool charts right now, but your good old frozen cocktails of late 20th century fame aren’t giving up the fight that easily. Whilst we wholeheartedly approve of the increasing presence … Continue

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The Caipirinha Cocktail

To make a Caipirinha cocktail you need Cachaca, and to make Cachaca you need sugar cane juice. Which is important, because it is what makes Cachaca a Cachaca, and not a rum. After that it follows a pretty similar path to rum, … Continue

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Auchentoshan Presents “The Taste Experiments”

If only it weren’t illegal to give kids booze, for the series of masterclasses coming up to explore the concept of taste through scientific experiments from Auchentoshan look set to make being a boffin cool again.Traditional whisky tastings, with their … Continue

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Cocktail Bar Review: Powder Keg Diplomacy, London

The North South divide really is a bit of a problem. We’re not talking economics here, but the distribution of decent cocktail bars on the Capital’s drinking map. Whereas North of the river you’ll struggle to walk 50 yards without … Continue

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Cocktail Bar Review: The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog, New York City

When the last bar you ran had a reputation for taking home almost every award going, including World’s Best Hotel Bar and World’s Best Cocktail Menu, the expectations for your next place are pretty high. The former was the Bar … Continue

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Cocktail Bar Review: Bar Social, London

London might have one of the most vibrant and cutting-edge cocktail scenes of any international city, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t space for the occasional bar that is so outstandingly terrible it makes a McDonald’s milkshake look like the epitome of sophistication. Shining … Continue

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“Maker`s Mark” Make a Mistake, and then Another One

Maker’s Mark bourbon was one of the first ‘premium’ spirits I came across in the early days of my cocktail discovery. Whilst it has since been superseded several times in the ‘best bourbon I’ve ever tasted’ stakes, a bottle has remained a … Continue

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Cocktail Bar Review: Oskar`s Bar at Dabbous, London

I’ve heard that it is easier to get elected to leader of the free world than it is a reservation at Dabbous restaurant. Fortunately, it is a whole lot more straightforward to find a space to perch in the industrial-chic … Continue

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Food and Cocktail Pairing

Food and booze have enjoyed a happy marriage for pretty much as long as the two have been been around. Whether it be a beer with your curry, or a glass of Champagne with your caviar, a good meal can … Continue

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Shhh, Speakeasy

Prohibition was hardly the greatest moment for the spirit industry,and yet the number of bars such as the Evans and Peel Detective Agency that model themselves on the period’s speakeasies shows no sign of abating.  For the unimaginative marketeer, the apparent … Continue

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Cocktail Bar Review: Galvin at Windows, London

They might often be cosy affairs, perfect for hunkering down on a cold winters night, but London’s penchant for subterranean cocktail bars does mean that you are left relying on the aesthetic appeal of your compatriots, or the skills of … Continue

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Cocktail Bar Review: Pollen Street Social, London

London has a lot of great restaurants, and London has a lot of great cocktail bars. London does not have a lot of them located in the same building as each other.  Whilst most restaurants will offer you a drink … Continue

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Cocktail Bar Review: El Camion, London

There is a time and a place for groundbreaking, elaborate and innovative cocktails but that time and place most definitely isn’t at El Camion.  The original of this two-site ‘chain’ is tucked away over in Portobello but fortunately a newer incarnation is … Continue

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Innovation

It is a great shame that in recent years vodka has often been hijacked by PR and marketing departments whose contribution has only been to encourage the production of products with less and less character in the name of purity. … Continue

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