Tag: WSET London

Local Expert: The Principles of the Perfectly Balanced Cocktail

Published on 26th October 2018

The world of mixology can seem daunting when you’re witnessing your local bartender in action, but creating a delicious cocktail isn’t rocket science. There’s a fantastic array of bars in London Bridge, but sometimes, a delicious drink from the comfort of your sofa is just the ticket… We’ve got the low-down from our local expert, Liam Scandrett at Bermondsey Street based WSET School London about the principles on the balance of cocktails, to help you along your way… The principles of the perfectly balanced cocktail Strong, Weak, Sour or Bitter + Sweet. As any experienced mixologist will tell you, these are the elements that form the vast majority of classic mixed drinks. This tried and tested format uses principles that have been perfected for over a century – and who can argue with that? Strong vs Weak Whether it’s rum in your Daiquiri, vodka in your Martini or whiskey in your Manhattan – the ‘strong’ element will form the backbone of your cocktail. These high-alcohol spirits should always be balanced by a weak element. In short drinks, this is usually chilled water (generally in the form of ice) Humble h20 can change many things about a cocktail, but its main job is to chill and dilute – softening and lengthening the alcohol. In long drinks, the weak element can be a non-alcoholic ‘mixer’ (e.g. juice, soda, tonic or tea). Sour/Bitter vs Sweet These elements go hand in hand – one without the other would be disastrous to the harmony of your concoction, as these opposites off-set each other. In classic drinks, the sour element can be citrus juice (e.g. lemon or lime – think Daiquiri or Tom Collins). Bitterness is often provided by cocktail bitters or a bitter liqueur – think an Old-fashioned or Negroni. Sweetness unsurprisingly comes from sugar; commonly in a syrup – think agave nectar in your Tommy’s or Triple sec in your Cosmopolitan. The Twist Now, what happens if you stick to these classic principles but ‘switch’ one simple sweetener for a more complex one, substitute from classic citrus to something more unusual, try out a different style of rum? You create a ‘twist. Bartenders have been ‘twisting’ for years; switching out classic ingredients, using modern technologies and methods to create unique variations of traditional recipes. These new-wave cocktails are often distant relatives of the originals, but they all have one thing in common if done right: balance. _____________________   The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) is the worlds largest provider of wine and spirits qualifications for professionals and enthusiasts. The flagship WSET School London on Bermondsey Street offers beginner to expert courses and evening tasting events throughout the year. Learn something new this autumn and join WSET School London for their first ever ‘Saturday Spirits School.’ A hands-on course including an accredited WSET Level 1 Award in Spirits course complete with a tour of two fantastic local distilleries. Visit wsetchool.com to learn more.

Saturday Spirits School at WSET London

Published on 02nd October 2018

Learn something new this autumn and join WSET School London for their first ever ‘Saturday Spirits School.’ This hands-on course includes an accredited WSET Level 1 Award in Spirits course complete with a tour of two fantastic local distilleries – The London Distillery Company (Dodd’s Gin, Kew Organic Spirits) and The Bermondsey Distillery (Jensen’s Gin). Get up close with the process of distillation, learn how to taste spirits and discover what defines the key styles including gin, whisky and rum. All topped off with a refreshing post-course gin and tonic! BOOK NOW >> Dates/Times:27thOctober and 2ndNovember, 10am-2.30pm. Location: WSET School London Price: £185   About WSET School London Based on Bermondsey Street, WSET School London offers a unique programme of tastings, events and accredited Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) qualification courses in wine, spirits and sake. Their schedule is varied and ever-changing, catering to all levels of knowledge from complete beginner to connoisseur. Every year, students from all over the world travel to London Bridge to develop their wine, spirits and sake knowledge with WSET School London.

Think Pink: Picking the perfect Rosé

Published on 25th July 2018

Nothing says ‘summer’ quite like a pink hue in an ice-cold glass on a sunny day. Amidst a very un-British stint of sunshine in the capital, Rosé is officially having a moment. We speak to our Bermondsey Street neighbours at WSET School London for expert advice on picking the perfect bottle for your palate… Pink wine with its flavours of summer berries has always been a seasonal favourite and there are a multitude of styles available. Most Rosé wine is designed to be drunk when young fresh and fruity. What is in the shops now is ready to drink and not to be kept. Rosé wine should be chilled to around 7-10?c the same as a light white wine, this makes it the perfect temperature in this summer heat, don’t forget to keep it cool with the use of an ice bucket or a sleeve that you can keep in the freezer. There are different styles of Rosé for all palates, however all show lovely red fruit flavours such as strawberry, raspberry and red cherries. There are the more medium sweet styles like White Zinfandel from California which are very easy to drink and very easily available commercially, these will also tend to taste a bit of melon and candyfloss too! For another slightly less sweet style there are Rosé wines from the Loire Valley in France such as Cabernet d’Anjou which has very expressive fruit character and extremely refreshing acidity, this wine would pair well with a summer spicy dish, such as some chili and garlic prawns. For dryer styles you can look to Southern France and Navarra and Rioja in Northern Spain. The pale pink wines from Provence in the South of France are delicate, floral and fruity and can easily be drunk as an aperitif or just to while away a summer afternoon. For a bigger food Rosé, Tavel wines in the Southern Rhone are deep pink ripe red berry delights that would pair perfectly with grilled vegetables or oily fish such as salmon or tuna. For a fun bit of Rosé fizz look no further than Cava in Spain where they produce very affordable fresh, lively red fruit sparkles from the local black grape varieties. For dry styles of Cava check for Brut on the label and Demi-Sec for sweeter styles. WSET Certified Educator, Lauren Denyer – #AtLondonBridge Recommends Whether you’re dreaming of alfresco or air conditioning, these London Bridge bars offer a great selection of wines: BOB’s Lobster Wine Bar & Kitchen Londrino Prosecco House The Rose Vivat Bacchus The Ivy Tower Bridge