Whisky regions

  Once you understand the different distillations of whisky, you can begin to explore the character of all the whisky regions that produce them – and there’s only one place to start. SCOTLAND Scotland is divided into five official sub regions (terroirs) for the purposes of labeling whisky. Each has different geological, geographical and climatic…

Whisky galore!

Whisky or whiskey – what’s in the word? In Britain, whisky means Scotch whisky – and the word has no “e” in it. Anyone who wants Irish whiskey will ask specifically for it – and in Ireland the word usually takes an “e”. Over in North America there is no strict rule – they usually…

Vermouth and Dubonnet

Vermouth Vermouth is a fortified wine flavoured with botanicals that include roots, barks, flowers, seeds, herbs, and spices. It’s bitter (wormwood was the key original ingredient) and was originally used for medicinal purposes – bitters often being prescribed for ailments ranging from fever to worms. It became a fashionable aperitif in Turin during the late…

Whiskies – the basics

“There is no bad whisky. There are only some whiskies that aren’t as good as others.” – Raymond Chandler Traumatic memories of a toxic Tesco branded whisky bought in Brighton in the 1980s oblige me to disagree. You’re unlikely to encounter any whiskies quite that bad these days (signum crucis) but there are still a…

The Last Word coctail

After decades, if not centuries, of Puritan campaigning, alcohol was prohibited in the United States from 1920 to 1933 (although some individual states officially banned it until as late as 1966). This era of Prohibition profoundly altered American society in many ways – most of them for the worse. For organised crime, prohibition was an…

Commandaria

Commandaria is a venerable, usually fortified, wine made in Cyprus – especially up in the Troodos mountains where it can often be bought at the roadside (and hasn’t always been entirely legal). The sellers will tell you that it’s an aphrodisiac. Improbable as this may sound don’t be too quick to scoff… They tell you…

Sherry

The supply of sherry between the 1930s and 1970s was upset by the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath. As a friendly British outpost Cyprus already enjoyed a tax advantage over wine produced in unstable foreign Spain and this led to Cyprus re-organising its industry to produce “sherry” for export to the UK. It was…

Madeira and Marsala

Madeira From the Madeira Islands – a couple of hundred miles from the Portuguese coast and at one time a key stop-over port on the way to far flung Portuguese outposts around the world. Again, the point of fortifying the wines was almost certainly introduced as a way to preserve them before their long sea…

Gin – our cosmopolitan spirit

Gin is a spirit native to Britain but with strong associations to India too. The tonic water with which it’s traditionally mixed, was developed to provide protection against malaria in far-flung parts of the tropical empire. This imperial association depressed its popularity in Britain, but it’s now resurgent. Opium is the gin of the modern…

Fortified Wine

The expression “fortified wine” includes Port, Sherry, Madeira, Marsala, Commandaria and Vermouth – and quite a lot of others that hardly anyone has heard of. In the simplest terms, these are wines fortified with spirits – often a brandy made from compatible grapes – but they’re melded together in long skillful processes and acquire a…

Coctails Trends

Cocktail trends reflect aspects of the modern world – both good and bad Some people now travel across the world to visit a famous cocktail bar as indeed they do to dine at a world famous restaurant. Since the 1980s – as most of us regrettably know – society has increasingly polarised between the haves…

Coctails – a history

Like the ingredients of all good cocktails, the word is cloaked in mystery The Americans entered one claim for it, deriving it from a drink supposedly called “coquetel” served to French soldiers during the war of American independence (1775 to 1783), but “coquetel” is a French word that denotes an egg-cup sized container so it…

Cocktail Recipes – a small selection

Cocktail recipes An A to Z of some of the best and most enduring cocktails of all time. Appletini Or Apple Martini or (originally) the Adam’s Apple Martini – is meant to be a twist on the original dry martini. Vodka is used instead of gin (usually) with an apple liqueur or apple schnapps but…

New Beginings!

Shes a 1950’s Eccles Bounty …we found her and fell in love with her old vintage charm and the idea of making her as ace as she once was, so… Welcome folks to the very first blog of The Last Word Caravan Bar With any luck we’ll be on the road and serving tipple in…

Preparation Days – Social Media

Well its been a busy old time at our bar HQ. Who would have thought we would have so much to do and would learn so much along the way. Our caravan bar project has already been far more interesting than we could have imagined. A caravan bar project stretches muscles… …you didn’t know you…

Time Bandits

Somewhere deep in the Bermuda triangle lies the weeks in between collecting the van and this very second. We say it every single year and yet still it always seems to be a surprise, Christmas happened way to quick. So what news do we have about  our place? We have been so eager to get…