Anise Cocktail Masterclass

Anise - in far corner of Devonshire Square

Anise – in far corner of Devonshire Square

Beautiful Anise bar

Beautiful Anise bar

We went to Anise for a cocktail masterclass (£25). Anise is the bar attached to Cinnamon Kitchen tucked away in hidden Devonshire Square. As you would expect then the Indian bar snacks are great, we tried the fiery chicken wings (£5.00) and the stir fried pork belly (£5.00). The spices perfectly cut through the fatty richness of the pork.

Stir-fried pork belly (on left) and Fiery Chicken Wings (on right)

Stir-fried pork belly (on left) and Fiery Chicken Wings (on right)

Ben is the new manager and has totally revamped the cocktail menu at Anise using premium high quality spirits. He said that he didn’t want this class to just demonstrate recipes which we could read for ourselves but to teach us more about the spirits themselves so if we wanted to create our own cocktails we would feel confident to do that. I found this approach refreshingly different to other cocktail classes I’ve been too. First Ben talked us through rum. White rum has grassy, fresh notes whereas aged rum has a deeper more complex flavour reminiscent of Christmas cake. Rum is aged in wooden casks in hot countries and as the rum gets warms it flows into the wood in the day and then back out during the night. Every time this process is repeated it leaves behind some of the impurities making for a smoother drink and the rum takes on some of the characteristics of the wood such as vanilla notes. We tried the Polo Club Daiquiri (£7.50), a white rum based drink with fresh lime, peppermint tea and celery. I normally can’t stand celery but in this drink it perfectly complemented the grassy notes of the rum.

Polo Club Diaquiri

Polo Club Diaquiri

Then we moved onto tequila. If you’ve had a bad experience with tequila, please give it another chance. Tequila called and it wants to make it up to you! Much like rum tequila benefits from the ageing process and aged tequila is a very sippable drink, no slamming or shooting here! We made an espresso based cocktail with Sauza resposado tequila (£8.50) and although there is no dairy in this as you can see there was a perfect “crema” on top. Resposado mean rested and indicates aged for a minimum of 2 months but less than a year.

Ben (bar manager) making espresso based cocktail

Ben (bar manager) making espresso based cocktail

The last spirit we looked at was gin. The Gee and Tea cocktail (£7.50) was probably my favourite one of the night using Broker’s gin, fresh lemon and earl grey tea (actual tea not an infusion). The perfect summery drink, I can just see myself drinking this on Anise’s terrace when summer finally deigns to return.

Cinnamon Kitchen & Anise, 9 Devonshire Square, London EC2M 4YL  |  Tel  +44 (0) 20 7626 5000

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About goantolondon

International food and travel blog by London based British Goan duo: Jason and Chiara Pinto. Twitter: @goantolondon @jasonpinto100 @chiarapinto About Goa: Goa is a small state on the western coast of India. Though the smallest Indian state, Goa has played an influential role in Indian history. Goa was one of the major trade centers in India, thus it had always been attracting the influential dynasties, seafarers, merchants, traders, monks and missionaries since its earliest known history. Throughout its history Goa has undergone continual transformation, leaving an indelible impression on various aspects of its cultural and socio-economic development. History of Goa: The East-West symbiosis of Goa makes it different from other parts of India, more than the historical and social niche. The history of Goa is a sweet and sour story of colonial heritage, oppressive rulers, a glorious culture, and uneventful immediate past. As a land with the identity of its own, Goa was brought into focus when it was liberated of Portugal from its oppressive rule of around 450 hundred years in 1961. Goa was captured and annexed to the Portuguese in 1510 following the urges of trade and demand of spices and also cottons and indigo. But, Goa has a history that starts much before Portugal even thought of Goa being where it is. Goa was coveted and ruled by a great number of Indian kingdoms and dynasties from the 4th century onwards. The first kingdom to rule Goa and Konkan were Bhojas, who were the feudatories of Ashoka in 4th and 5th centuries AD. The city of Chandrapur (present Chandor) was founded by Prince Chandraditya, son of Chalukya King Pulakesin from 566 to 597 A.D. after this, Goa was ruled consecutively by Silahara Dynasty, Kadamba Danasty, and finally Hoysalas from 1022 to 1342 A.D. From the 14th century onwards, Goa became a great trading center on the west coast, especially in the vast trade of horses imported from the Middle East. This was the time for bigger empires to move in and Vijayanagar Empire conquered it in 1344. But there empire was not going to last too long and in 1347, Bahmani Sultans defeated Vijayanagara forces in 1347 and controlled Goa. Afterwards, it was a time of great prosperity and peace for Gpa, especially during the rules of Yusuf Adil Shah and Ismail Adil Shah. They created beautiful houses, fortified Goa, and encouraged local craftsmen. Their liberal and progressive rule was not going to last too long and situation changed in 1510 A.D. Goa for all purposes was not on the Portuguese Radar even after a long time of their presence in India. When the Portuguese nobleman Alfonso de Albuquerque and his cousin Francisco de Albuquerque were sent with a powerful fleet in 1503 on the orders of King Dom Manuel I, the purpose was to defend the cargoes of spices, mostly pepper, against Arab Muslim raiders. The center of spice trade was Calicut at that time and Portuguese had built forts in Cochin and Cannanore. It was in 1506-08 that an opportunistic pirate, Timoja, persuaded Albuquerque to attack Goa and acquire a better land base. This made Goa, Portugal's first real territorial acquisition in Asia. After a brief period of recapturing by the Muslims, Goa Albuquerque finally captured Goa in 1510. The inquisition of Goa in 1540 reversed the previous liberal policy of Albuquerque and imposed strict censorship of literature and new laws to forbade non-Christians from professions. Forced conversions took place continuously, censorship was established on literature, the temples were destroyed, and non-Christian priests, holy men, and teachers were evicted. This led to continuous fleeing of Hindus from Goa to other parts of India. It is not that the relationship with Portugal brought only destruction for the Goans. Portuguese also built great churches like the church of St. Cajetan and Bom Jesus basilica in Old Goa, which is a pilgrimage site for the Christians from around the world. But it is also true that pre-1961; Goa was a highly impoverished region very backward and primitive. It is after the liberation that Goa of today has emerged and it has surprised even the locals many of whom had left their homeland before its liberation. Portugal and India are today friends and Goa continues to be a fascinating blend of Latin and Oriental. Information sourced from:
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