The Spirit Ambassador Virtual Bar
If you’ve ever seen English Spirit at a festival, market, fair, show or any other event, you’ll have met one of our Spirit Ambassadors. A diverse but lovely bunch, spread across the country from east to west: united in their passion for drinking and sharing English Spirit. Undeterred by a lockdown and keen to catch up with each other, we decided to host a virtual bar, where everyone could catch up with each other and show off what we were drinking.
The topics ranged from introducing various pets, to discussing unusual spirits from around the world such as Marmite vodka and peanut butter whisky, to Sam’s majestic beard, carefully cultivated as a lockdown activity. There was also a brief tour of the distillery site under construction at Treguddick - and much besides.
There were a range of drinks on the ‘menu’ with some novel inventions that had the rest of us salivating!
John, our distiller, matched some English Spiced Rum with carrot juice, lemon zest, and fine ginger shavings. It was said to be very tasty: creamy, a bit like a daiquiri, with a touch of heat. We were treated to John demonstrating that the leftover ginger shavings were curiously spicy like chilli, as evidenced by his puffing and red face.
Esther from Tavistock was up next. She’d crafted a Rhubarb Mojito: St Piran’s Cornish Rum mixed with rhubarb syrup made from fresh rhubarb in her garden, and a splash of Rhubarb Gin Liqueur for good measure (alongside the usual Mojito bits). Top marks for presentation too - according to Esther it tasted as good as it looked.
A tough act to follow, but Jill from Milton Abbot rose to the occasion with a pair of Mangelwurzel Mashups. Apparently a mangelwurzel is a kind of root vegetable that grows all around her area, suitable only for farm animals to graze on but distantly related to sugar beet, the base for our vodka...tenuous but fortunately no mangelwurzel was used in the drink! Instead it was a tantalising blend of mashed mango puree, Limongino and Raspberry Gin Liqueur - with frozen blackberries and a dandelion to garnish. Top marks for originality and presentation, and judging by the speed at which they went down it’s fair to say they tasted good too!
Jill from Kelvedon went next - her drink of choice was an English Spirit Espresso Martini. One part Seax Vodka, one part Coffee Liqueur, one part espresso. We know that’s a winning combo and Jill seemed to agree.
Sarah from Sudbury enjoyed an English Spirit classic of Limongino over crushed ice: simple but extremely effective, and perfect for the beaming sunshine that taunted us all as we sat inside.
Rosie from Exeter came up with an envious blend of English Spiced Rum and chilled green tea, with a squeeze of lime, a slice of ginger and a mint sprig to garnish. She named it the Mad Hatter to reflect the spare time found during lockdown.
Charlie from Great Notley, one of our newest Ambassadors, had unfortunately not been able to work with much since the shelves at his local Tesco were looking bare: so was making do with a cold can of Fosters. Needless to say there was much talk of tasting notes.
Sam from St Columb Major in Cornwall had health and hygiene foremost on his mind. He was tucking into a cask strength Glengoyne whisky at 58.9% ABV - to sterilise the back of his throat.
James brought out a classic from the vaults: Orange Spirit, an old English Spirit favourite, mixed with Limongino and slimline tonic water. I can assure you that went down a treat too.
Mike from Epping was drinking Smokey Cokey - an Islay single malt whisky from Smokehead with a rum cask finish, with a dash of cola. Most of us had not heard of Smokehead before but our resident whisky buff Sam agreed with Mike that it was a cracking sip.
Hayley, having polished off all her English Spirit lockdown reserves, was content with a nice glass of red wine.
Rosie by this point had made up another concoction: elderflower pressé and Dr J’s Gin mixed with three fresh blended lychees, served in a martini glass. This provoked much discussion over the love/hate opinion toward lychees, but overall it was agreed that the recipe was a cracking one and Rosie agreed.
Donna and Sandy, who had arrived late to the party due to taking their horses Boston and Socks out for a ride in the sunshine, assembled two large Dr J’s Gin and tonics, in time for a communal toast to good health and good times.
At the close of the virtual bar, it was agreed by all that Jill’s Mangelwurzel Mashups were the best cocktail of all. It was great for all of us to catch up, even in such strange circumstances and we’re all looking forward to doing it again!