Pilgrimage to the Whiskey Exchange: London Bridge, Borough Market and Cocchi Americano
I travelled to London bridge on the weekend to buy some spirits and stuff including cocchi americano!
You can read about that and the rest of my travels in the area in the rest of the post! 🙂
More details after the break —>
It was of course market day, so we couldn’t help but take in the fresh food stalls and amazing aromas.. And maybe a bratwurst or two.
The whole place brings back memories of being a kid, every sunday without fail me and my family used to trek up in the freezing cold to the racecourse where a massive car boot sale was held. Most of the time was spent begging my parents for those hot donuts that they dip in sugar right in front of you, but it was more than that.. There is a real community here, these people are here every weekend peddling their wares and every single one of them is exceptionally proud of their product.
There are huge food stalls brewing up massive cauldrons of broths and stews of every type of cuisine imaginable and as you walk past they hand you little plastic sporks with a tiny sample, every stall is crowded with people clamouring to try, and the smells, oh man the smell is amazing every few steps is a new sensory explosion.
We took a little bit of time to sit by the church thing and take in the sights and it was just cool to see these people on their weekend forays to Borough Market.
This place is all about freshness, I saw some amazing jams and cider stalls so I will be back here definitely. We may have to do a pilgrimage part 2 where I buy some local produce from Borough Market.
The market itself was PACKED, but down the side streets next to the market was a different attitude, sure you had your tourists aimlessly wandering around in a little boy lost in the city way but what I was most suprised to notice was loads of people drinking outside, drinking gin and tonics from plastic cups and wearing oversized sunglasses. I didn’t realise this area was so cool!
In order to set the scene for this pilgrimage I made on the weekend I first need to tell you a little about a product called kina lillet. This is a quinquina (contains quinine, same stuff that makes tonic bitter) that is the nessacary ingredient in two tasty drinks, the vesper and the corpse reviver no. 2 (and many more I’m sure)
However in the 1980s they changed the recipe to have less quinine for the modern pallette and renamed it to lillet blanc, whilst this is fine for most people, I find the vesper and the CR2 lost a certain.. Je ne sais quoi. Whilst you could do what some bars do and infuse lillet with quinine bark *cough* @barnightjar *cough* I was excited to learn that a new product, relatively unheard of until a big name in the online bartending community, erik ellestad, talked about it in his savoy stomp. I am talking about Cocchi Americano. Apparently a very close approximation to the old school lillet.
I must find it! I heard a rumour that the whiskey exchange had some in stock. So off we went!
However, we were on our mission and so we headed to vinopolis, and through to the whiskey exchange. We made it.
This place has an amazing selection.
On every table there were different things to smell and taste and experience. On this table was the peat used to get the smoky flavour into ardbeg.
Woodford reserve is, by the way, my go to bourbon for the price.
Bumped into a nice lady from koniks tail, I’ve already got a bottle of the stuff, so didn’t have a taste or anything but we had a quick chat about cocktails.
Tried to convince them for a taster of this stuff. No dice 😉
Here is the final haul!
Here is the cocchi, the white wine and orange shines through, just like with the lillet blanc but with more bitterness and spiciness, especially on the finish.
So I had to of course make a Vesper (Recipe below.)
60ml Juniper Forward Gin (Like Beefeater or Junipero)
“Three measures of [Gin], one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel.”
Got it? Good.
See you around society 😉