English Tourism Week 2014 is a week-long celebration of events running from the 29 March to 6 April 2014, showcasing the quality and vibrancy of English tourism. Why not explore England by way of a cocktail crawl…Cheers to that!
The Birmingham Cup
Birmingham is a foodie haven. It’s got more Michelin-starred restaurants than any English city outside London, an award-winning street food scene and a plethora of food markets and festivals. As the home of the Cadbury chocolate factory and the place the Balti curry was created in the 1970s, the city tickles every taste bud around. Coriander and cardamom, key flavours of the fragrant cuisine of India and Pakistan, take pride of place in The Birmingham Cup, a cocktail devised by the city’s hottest bar, The Lost & Found. The Birmingham Cup is made with Broker’s Gin, which has been produced for 200 years in the city. Try The Birmingham Cup at The Lost & Found.
The Sussex Club (Brighton)
Ever since the Victorians transformed Brighton into a sophisticated coastal retreat, the city has been the last word in chic, fun-fuelled weekend getaways. A twist on the classic Clover Club, the Sussex Club evokes Brighton’s cool, laidback vibe using ingredients sourced from the surrounding countryside. The gin, vermouth and elderberry port are from Blackdown Spirits, an artisan distillery at the foot of the Blackdown Hills, within the stunning South Downs National Park. There are few better ways to celebrate Friday night than with the beautiful people in the Victoria bar at The Grand hotel on Brighton’s seafront, the place to exclusively taste The Sussex Club.
The GMT (Greenwich)
The GMT captures the lively history of scientific discoveries and daredevil seafarers for which this vibrant corner of London is famous. Greenwich is the kind of place where you can pick up a vintage piece at Greenwich Market before visiting the point from which every place on Earth is measured – the Royal Observatory, the home of Greenwich Mean Time, after which The GMT is named. Here you can stand astride the two hemispheres of the world. The GMT cocktail uses Cutty Sark Whisky, inspired by the sight of the world’s only surviving tea clipper, located in Greenwich, and the fastest one ever built. Try The GMT at the Mercure London Greenwich hotel.
Honey-Smoked Old Fashioned (Manchester)
There are few places more exciting when the sun goes down than Manchester. The Honey-Smoked Old Fashioned is a riff on The Alchemist bar’s signature cocktail, Smokey Old Fashioned. The addition of honey, sourced locally from Heaton Park, is a nod to the worker bee, a symbol adopted by Manchester during the Industrial Revolution and still popping up across the city today. The cocktail features smoke effects evocative of Manchester’s rich industrial heritage. It is a dramatic touch, perfectly suited to this thrilling, up-for-it city. Try the Honey-Smoked Old Fashioned at The Alchemist.
The Architect (Newcastle, Gateshead)
The Architect cocktail is inspired by the visionary Georgian developer Richard Grainger, who transformed the heart of Newcastle into a ‘city of palaces’. Today Grainger Town, as the area is now known, is a thriving hub of buzzing restaurants, bars and cafes, galleries and independent shops. The Architect features Grainger Ale, bottled locally at the Hadrian Border Brewery, Alnwick rum and locally sourced mint. It’s cut with Fentimans Ginger Beer, originally created in Gateshead, and topped off with a stick of Maynard’s Wine Gums, once produced at the Toffee Factory in the Ouseburn district – now a creative hub. It sounds eccentric, tastes sensational and is poised to become a favourite tipple of the city’s discerning cocktail crowd. Try The Architect at the Hotel Indigo.
Bramley Apple Martini (Nottingham)
The Bramley Apple Martini has its roots in the 19th century – the first Bramley tree grew from pips planted by a young girl in Southwell, Nottinghamshire – and its spirit firmly in today, showcasing the gastro-revolution gripping the city. The juice and puree come from local purveyor John Starkey, whose family has grown the fruit on the Norwood Park estate for nearly 100 years. Nottingham is a city renowned for nurturing bold, creative figures including DH Lawrence, Lord Byron, fashion designer Paul Smith and world-wide music phenomenon, Jake Bugg. The Bramley Apple Martini provides the kind of witty, sweet-and-sour punch they would fully appreciate. Try the Bramley Apple Martini at The Ned Ludd.