Orpen’s Cider & Jameson Shot Tails!

Posted on: 29 June 2012 No comments

1. Create a Jameson based shot-tail (de-constructed cocktail) recipe of your choice, either based on a classic cocktail recipe or a recipe of your own creation.
2. The shot-tail should be made up of two shots, one of Jameson Irish Whiskey and the other of the remaining ingredients of the de-constructed cocktail.
3. Any additional alcohol ingredients should be from the Pernod Ricard portfolio.
4. Your shot-tail should be completed in no more than 3 minutes
5. Our expert jury panel will decide the winner
6. Judging will be based on taste, appearance, aroma & bartenders personality!
7. Equipment will be provided.
8. Specific requests must be made in advance of your trip!
This has been a good auld week for the Irish gargoyle industry. To begin with, my mate Chris Hill and his business partner Matthew Tindal have created a brand new, all Irish and all natural Cider. It’s called Orpen’s and they did a friend’s launch down in Bagots Hutton Wine Bar last night. The Cider tastes wicked! Just the right amount of sweet and sharp and none of the chemical overkill gickness that you get from Bulmer’s.  The packaging and the design is also trés deadly. Great colouring, slick but inviting font that smacks of contemporary Ireland.
Orpens.1
The brand new – Orpen’s Irish Cider. Get it inta ya!

Much respect to Chris and Matthew for bringing out Orpen’s! Irish Craft beers are already kicking ass on the marketplace, the same needs to happen with the craft ciders.  I wish them a geansaí load of success!
On the spirits side of  Irish drinks,  Jameson Whiskey pulled off a mad one on Tuesday. They ran a GARGANTUAN international campaign for cocktail mixing, that involved trying to find the world’s best combos for shot tails. These wee bad boys are a type of drink that was made popular by the bartender Reggie Cunningham with a drink he called The Pickle Back. What happens is this, you fill one shot glass with Jameson and the other shot glass with whatever else you can get into it. It’s supposed to be about de-constructing a cocktail but it ends up more like wild gastronomy as there were some far out ingredients.
These were the rules as given to the contestants that came from a total of 21 different countries. They had to lash them out on a specially designed and fitted stage that was put into The Tivoli Theatre:
1. Create a Jameson based shot-tail (de-constructed cocktail) recipe of your choice, either based on a classic cocktail recipe or a recipe of your own creation.
2. The shot-tail should be made up of two shots, one of Jameson Irish Whiskey and the other of the remaining ingredients of the de-constructed cocktail.
3. Any additional alcohol ingredients should be from the Pernod Ricard portfolio.
4. Your shot-tail should be completed in no more than 3 minutes
5. Our expert jury panel will decide the winner
6. Judging will be based on taste, appearance, aroma & bartenders personality!
7. Equipment will be provided.
8. Specific requests must be made in advance of your trip!
And here’s just a small selection of what they came up with:
FRANCE – LOUIS MARBERT FROM THE SILENCIO – SHOT-TAIL NAME ~ BLOODY YOSHI

INGREDIENTS:
1 SHOT OF JAMESON
EQUAL AMOUNTS OF SOY SAUCE, YUSU JUICE, TOMATO INFUSED SAKE AND YOSU KOSHU (A JAPANESE CITRUS & SPICE SUACE)
FINELY CHOPPED CORIANDER LEAF
The crew that were with the French entry were loud and plentiful. I entered a similar contest last year and they were just as intense. Great craic actually and great drinkers. And like last year, they didn’t take the whole thing too seriously.
Unlike the Russian entry, who entered the stage wearing some kind of mad fur and with a face that would crack a stone. Check him out:
Here’s his recipe:

J.shot1

RUSSIA – VITALIY SCHTLAEV FROM THE BARBERRY BAR – SHOT TAIL ~ (HE ACTUALLY DIDN’T GIVE HIS DRINK A NAME SO LET’S JUST NAME IT AFTER HIS FUR) – PIMP DADDY FURBALLS
INGREDIENTS:
1 SHOT OF JAMESON
EQUAL AMOUNTS OF BUCKTHORN JUICE, HONEY SYRUP, FRESH LEMON JUICE & CHAMOMILE TEA
If I’m being totally honest, I have no idea what the Danish fella looked like, as I was somewhat transfixed with the only female entry in the entire competition. She represented Holland and she was hot as bejaysus. Not only did she hit the stage wearing a burlesque mask but she slowly strutted on to it with a cane. When she threw away her mask, she received a rapturous applause and then started free pouring Jameson into her own mouth. There wasn’t a hetero man in the house that didn’t fall in love right there and then. I know I did.
J.shot2
Unluckily for this lovely lady, I was not on the judging panel. As I would have insisted she win on looks and sheer insanity alone.
Having said that, the Danish lad did one seriously wacky shot tail. Check this fucker out:
DENMARK – JONAS B ANDERSON FROM  NORREBRONX  BAR – SHOT TAIL ~ BRONX BABY
INGREDIENTS:
1 SHOT OF JAMESON
PICKLED BEET JUICE
THE WATER FROM MOZZARELLA CHEESE
DASH OF TABASCO
A QUAIL EGG
Everybody in the audience was chatting about this one, to such a point that peeps thought he was gonna win. But he didn’t. The Turkish fella did. And if we thought they were a rowdy crew before then, they were off the charts with their volume when they won. Fair play to them, they tore the arse out of the place.
J.3
Fatih Adiguzel from Turkey when he was brought to the stage to accept his trophy.
TURKEY – FATIH ADIGUZEL FROM THE KIKI BAR – SHOT TAIL ~ THE JAMESON SULTAN (BY FAR THE BEST NAME)
INGREDIENTS:
1 SHOT OF JAMESON
DRIED FRUITS FROM THE GRAND BAZAAR
MASTIC ( A MEDITERRANEAN INGREDIENT SIMILAR TO XANTHUM GUM)
TAHINI
ABSOLUT VANILLIA
MILK
J5
Big shout out to Masaki Yamada from Japan. Dude looked well sharp!

Jameson's Shot-tails_mintjulep AW
I remember years ago during the height of the boom, hearing about how Sean Quinn was picking up mad properties and businesses all over the world and how deadly he was for it. Well guess what? He’s fucked and could well be sharing a prison cell with a smackhead scrote.  If we really want to boast about how well we’re doing as a nation, then we should pay more attention to the food and drink sector. Not only is it kicking ass but it elevates the national identity and helps to keep up traditions that we’ve been rocking out for centuries. It was amazing seeing people from countries as far flung as Mexico and Ukraine mixing up a product that’s been made here since 1780. Give us more of that kind of carry on please. Lots more!
P.S.
Absolutely massive respect for the wonderful crew at Body & Soul. It sold out, everybody had a superb amount of craic and we all got sunburnt on the Sunday. What’s not to like??? The fresh Irish mint seemed to go down well in the mojitos that were being thrown down everywhere I looked. And I certainly washed back quite a few myself, as can be seen in this photo with me and these sweet babes who kidnapped me and chucked me into a hot tub. Are you beginning to see why it’s my favourite festival?
J.6
Seriously lads. Why would you bring kids to a festival when you can do this?

Body & Soul – Food Preview II

Posted on: 20 June 2012 2 comments

When are we going to call bullshit on Taste of Dublin? Can everybody please stop going to this ridiculous pageant of nonsense. If the bingo winged auld wans from the suburbs really want to see what a local restaurant is like,  tell them to check out some professional reviews (ie, ignore Menupages) for somewhere they fancy  and just go. By the time they’ve dropped a load of dosh at Taste they could have easily had a wicked 3 course meal at most places, instead of the specially made bits of finger food crap they ate at Iveagh Gardens at the weekend.

And if all the participating restaurant owners and publicans at Taste wanted to win over new customers or remind old ones how great they are, they could do a lot more by running a good ad online and then donating some food to their nearest participating Street Feast.  On Sunday just gone, while droves of punters attended the British owned, blandly homogenized Taste of Dublin, I was just around the corner getting stuck into a locally organized Street Feast on Synge Street.  To be an actively involved in Street Feast, all one had to do was bring some food along to your nearest participating gathering and  share it with everyone else at whatever tables, chairs, stoops or footpaths were at your disposal and just have the craic. At Synge Street’s feast there was a large donation of bagels and other breads that were given to everyone by the Bretzel Bakery on Lennox Street. This was a nice act of goodwill that was well appreciated and talked about at the event, yet cost very little. They also didn’t need to line the pockets of an internationally franchised festival to appeal to their fanbase. Nor will they also be drowned out by whatever celeb telly chef is on hand doing a lame ass demo.

So where did that rant come from I hear you murmur? And what in the bejaysus has that got to do with Body & Soul? Well if I didn’t get that one off my chest, then I simply would have not been able to relax this weekend. And needless to say, if I’m not having the craic down at Ballinlough, then nobody else can. Basically, my enjoyment is of paramount importance for that very reason.

So here’s my final round up of the eats and drinks at my favourite festival. Let’s get stuck in lads, can’t bloody wait!

STEAMY TEA

steamy vendor 4

Should you find yourself stuck in a tent, hungover to fuck, trying to lick your own balls for re-hydration - then help will be at hand. The trusty team at Steamy Tea will be floating round the campsites complete with back pack dispensary units of fresh fairtrade tea, hot chocolate and coffee. Irregardless of weather or walking conditions, this jolly bunch will be on patrol, ready to lash out a sobering hot beverage, just the kind that will bring you back down on to Planet Earth. Founders Dermot Quinn and Tina Hawkins have been doing this since 2007. Fuck me, if they were on duty back in Feile they could have saved years off my life. Just sayin.

Steamy Vendor 3

A mobile army of life savers –  may the holy Lord bless everyone of them.

CREPES & PAELLA

The great thing about this crowd is the whole Ronseal thing they’ve got going on.  In one stall, they’ve got a nice bright stand where they’re selling Crepes. And the stand is called, Crepes.

Crepes

Then over in another stall, they’re flogging a geansaí loads of Paella. No prizes for what that one is called then.

Paella.1

These are people who obviously understand the reduced brain capacity of the average festival goer and they’re dead bloody right. There is a strong argument for not trying to confuse somebody who’s lost their voice and hasn’t slept in 36 hours.  I have had the great delight in dining at both of these outlets at various events and I can safely say that they serve wicked food. The seafood paella is especially good and is always a deadly dinner option, the owner operator Aleksandra Jasinka is most certainly an excellent, well dedicated caterer. Be sure to give it a try this weekend.

MANGO CATERING

I love the story behind this crew. So chef Paul Catterson had spent the best part of two decades working in top restaurants, giving it absolute socks. But the 17 hour days and seeing other service industry pals have actual heart attacks made him stop, not to smell the roses as such. But to stop and smell the majestic aroma of burgers being grilled al fresco at markets and festivals. He packed it all in to establish Mango Catering, whose specialty is the humble beef patty made sublime.  Served out of a wicked looking vintage Airstream trailer, his burgers contain only 100% Irish bred Hereford and Angus beef and come with a range of home made sauces.

Mango.Catering1

I caught up with Paul on the blower the other day and he kindly agreed to share a recipe with me that reflects his culinary passions. So he lashed together a superb wee dish of Duck Spring Rolls with Mango Salsa. Much respect to him for taking out the time to do so. And best of luck to all the food and drink providers this year – I for one will be keeping them most busy.

Duck Spring Rolls & Mango Salsa – by Paul Catterson

Paul. Catterson

INGREDIENTS:
For the spring rolls
55g/2oz shredded cooked duck leg
2 tbsp hoi sin sauce
1 spring onion, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 spring roll wrappers
½ free-range egg, beaten
vegetable oil, for deep frying
For the salsa
1 mango, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 small bunch mint leaves, finely chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD:
1. For the spring rolls, in a bowl, mix together the duck, hoi sin and spring onion until well combined. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
2. Spoon a little of the duck mixture in a line across the centre of each of the spring roll wrappers, leaving 1cm/½in free at the edge of each wrapper.
3. Roll the spring roll wrappers up into cigar shapes, tucking in the ends, then seal the ends and edges of each spring roll with beaten egg.
4. Heat the oil in a deep heavy-based frying pan until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into it. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.) Lower the spring rolls into the hot oil and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until crisp and golden-brown. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.
5. For the salsa, in a separate bowl, mix together all of the salsa ingredients until well combined.
6. To serve, spoon a little salsa into the centre of a serving plate and arrange the spring rolls on top.

Body & Soul is going to be the mutt’s nuts this year. Just check out the line up, fucking brilliant. But if I may, allow me please to leave with a Jerry Springeresque “Final Thought.” You know all that carry on of punters tweeting every single thing that they see at a gig or a  festival, to such an extent that they are so preoccupied trying to document the moment, that they are no longer in the moment. Let’s all make an effort to keep all that shit to an absolute minimum. The digital pioneer Jaron Lanier gave a talk at South By Southwest two years ago and before he started,  he asked his audience not to blog, text or tweet while he was speaking. His message to the crowd had been,

“If you listen first and write later, then whatever you write will have had time to filter through your brain, and you’ll be in what you say. This is what makes you exist. If you are only a reflector of information, are you really there?”

I love that vibe. Bear it in mind down in Ballinlough this weekend. No need to go round photographing and tweeting everything you see. Especially if you see me naked in a hot tub with a pair of conjoined albino midgets. Nobody and I mean NOBODY needs to see that shit.

B&S.2

Django Django’s Baghdad Eggs

Posted on: 15 June 2012 3 comments

As the general behaviour of Rockstars becomes increasingly less wild these days, it’s reassuring to hear recent tales of music led debauchery. Like the last time Django Django played Glastonbury. They were on stage late at night in The Bimble Inn and bore witness to Keith Allen parading around the tent on all fours, wearing nothing but a Nazi general’s hat. Interesting to see that Lilly’s dad and Prince Harry have the same stylist then. The topic of festivals came up between myself and Django Django’s singer and guitarist Vinny Neff, as they are all geared to be one of the headliners at this year’s Body & Soul in Ballinlough Castle next week. Not bad going, considering they only gave up the day jobs barely two years ago.

Django.1

And while they are growing more used to bigger venues and public displays of celebs getting naked, the band are still firmly rooted in the same routines as us fully clothed mortals. For instance, Vinny still uses BBC’s Saturday Kitchen as an incentive to get out of bed on the weekends. When he hits his local London delis, it’s usually in search of  renowned chef Yotam Ottolenghi inspired salad creations. Well that and the fact that his missus is a vegetarian. She’s the one that got him cooking this wicked Arabic influenced brunch dish. It’s particularly tasty I must say and I’d highly recommend it as a post festival treat!

DJANGO DJANGO’S BAGHDAD EGGS

Turkish.1

SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS:

2 free range eggs

2 pitta breads

8 fresh mint leaves

250 ml of Greek yoghurt with a pinch of salt added in

The juice and zest of 1 lemon

1.5 tablespoons of butter

1 teaspoon of paprika

1 teaspoon of white malt vinegar

METHOD:

Roll up the mint leaves and finely chop them. Using a citrus peeler, remove the yellow zest of the lemon, taking care not to include the white pith. Mix the chopped mint leaves and lemon zest into the yoghurt. Leave to rest.

Toast the pitta breads and put them aside. To poach the eggs, place a medium sized pot on a high heat, ¾ way full with water. Get it to boiling point and then bring it down slightly and drop in the vinegar. One by one, crack an egg into a small cup, then place the cup near the surface of the hot water and gently drop the egg into the water. With a spoon, nudge the egg whites closer to their yolks. Turn off the heat, cover the pot and let it sit for 5 minutes until the egg whites are cooked. While they’re cooking, melt the butter in a small pan on low heat, then drop the lemon juice into it. When it starts to bubble, stir in the paprika until it has all combined.

To serve, coat each pitta bread in the yoghurt mix, remove the eggs with a slotted spoon from the pot, place an egg on each bread and then drizzle with the butter sauce.

Django Django play the main stage of Body & Soul on Saturday on June 23rd.If you haven’t got your tickets yet, stop fucking around – hit this link. This recipe is also available to read, in the far more respectable, Irish Times.

In other Body & Soul related news, I promised you that I’d be sharing with you other bits and bobs  from the weekender’s food and drink offerings. Well here’s something cool. The good folk running the festival have agreed to my request to Hibernicize their mojitos.  In my ongoing mission to use more local and fresh produce in cocktails, I discovered that a farm in North County Dublin is now rolling out, really nice fresh mint all year round with poly tunnels.   This means that those who can access this mint can dramatically improve the taste of their mojitos by giving them the undeniable extra freshness that only a local product can bring.  And where do a shitload of mojitos get consumed? At festivals like Body & Soul! So along with the good folk from Evergreen on Wexford Street, we have now arranged for a large delivery of this beautifully fresh Dublin mint to be used at Ballinlough. And that means when you sip on a mojito in the Casa Habana Bar at Body & Soul this year, the mint will have been picked just a couple of days before it was muddled into your cocktail. As opposed to mint that was picked in Israel or Spain and has been lying around for weeks and has lost all punch and vibrancy.

Think about those strawberries that come from somewhere far afield in Peru and taste of nothing. Not because Peruvian strawberries are shite, but because by the time they reach your plate they have gone from a farm, to a packager, then to a distributor, then shipped or flown out by a freight company, then shipped out again to a European distributor and then sent to an Irish distributor who may repackage them again, etc. The same rules apply for mint and indeed for cocktails.  Think about that when you have your first Mojito down in Ballinlough. And then think about the Irish jobs you’re helping to create and sustain by simply carrying out one of life’s finest pleasures – imbibing cocktails.

Havana.Mojito

The Havana Club Mojito ~ made with proper Cuban Rum & Irish Mint. A beautiful combo. Much respect to the top brass in Body & Soul and Havana Club for making that one happen.  Here’s me making a mojito if you need help lashing them out at home.


LATEST

15 August 2014

KEVIN THORNTON’S ELECTRIC PICNIC COUS COUS

21 July 2014

THE HAIRY BOWSIES’ DUBLIN CODDLE

30 May 2014

Little J’s Slow Cooked Ribs

25 April 2014

Jason & Brenda Byrne’s Veggie Chilli

21 March 2014

Omar’s Jamaican Stew Chicken

21 February 2014

HERMITAGE GREEN’S SWEET POTATO CURRY

RECIPES RSS FEED

RECIPE ARCHIVES

BLOGROLL