Showing posts from December, 2021

2021 Cocktail Round-Up

2021 has been the year I fulfilled a dream, to work freelance supporting the hospitality industry with advice, ideas, training and front-of-house work, drawing on over 30 years of experience as a cook, host and cocktail specialist. Much this has been demonstrating cocktail-making techniques to bar staff and developing manageable cocktail lists for bars or restaurants, but my favourite part is always creating new cocktails, something unique to each bar. All of us who enjoy making cocktails love this part. It's the flash of artistry that gives us chance to show off a little, the moment we prove our credentials by pulling-off something akin to magic: spinning spirits someone thinks of as antiquated into a radically new drink they love and know will sell well with their customers. Here are the recipes for my favourite creations of this year. Avezzano I created this riff on a Manhattan for a customer's birthday and invited him to name it. He chose the name of his home town in Italy,

Festive Dinner Parties

We are advised this year to avoid large social gatherings and only mix with other people if it is “really important” to us. It’s hard to measure the importance of meeting someone, especially within families, but what we can be sure of is that big parties, even in Downing Street, are definitely out. This might be the time to consider inviting a small number of special friends or family to a festive dinner party. There is something beautiful, almost sacred, about gathering loved ones around a table. However, among all the other pressures of Christmas, we can easily lose sight of the essentials – the people – and focus on creating the perfect dinner party. Here are a few hints and tips to help you relax and enjoy time with those you love. 1 Plan for Ease Even the most confident cook can be tripped up by a previously untried recipe. Choose dishes you’ve done well before. Slow-cooked main courses are fantastic – you can put them on early in the day and forget all about them until you’re rea