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.
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.
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.
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 | firstname.lastname@example.org Tel +44 (0) 20 7626 5000
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