The Idle Man headed down to Cocktails in the City to drink some beverages and chat to Chase Vodka.
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We love a good tipple at Idle HQ so when we saw Cocktails in the City was returning to London after a hugely successful first edition last summer, we couldn't resist checking out what's on offer in 2016. Held in the iconic, grade 1 listed, building of One Mayfair, the event screams decadence from the moment you arrive. As you walk through to the main hall you're presented with scores of cocktail bars surrounding a far-reaching banquet table before the towering columns reaching to the ceiling draw your eye to the extravagant alter where the DJ, quite aptly, takes residence. You then suddenly realise you're surrounded by a second floor of yet more cocktail bars all serving up their signature and limited edition cocktails.
One of the first stalls we went up to was hosted by the British born and bred, Chase Vodka. Created by William Chase, the Chase Vodka story starts with some fine potatoes grown in Herefordshire, that were originally grown to be Tyrrell's crisps. After offering an up-market snack to the public and taking the premium crisp world by storm, Chase eventually sold his beloved crisps company for a mammoth £40 million and new exactly what his next venture would be - premium vodka.
Don't be put off if you're not usually a vodka kind of guy, this is something special. At Cocktails in the City I spoke to James Chase of Chase Vodka who ran me through some of their core beliefs around creating truly enjoyable vodka. "First off, smell our original vodka, without any flavouring." Your usual reaction when you take a deep whiff of some vodka? Wincing, face screwing, retching and maybe even a little weeping. With Chase? Nothing. Not even a twitch to the eye.
James went on. "So, what we're showcasing today is our Rhubarb Radler. It's a vodka with natural rhubarb flavouring mixed with all natural ingredients (you can check the recipe at the bottom of this page). It has great flavours and really shows off just how [dangerously] drinkable this rhubarb vodka is." He isn't wrong either, we were later invited to try a shot of said vodka (a pass time I usually avoid like the plague) with the promise of actually enjoying the taste. We weren't disappointed. As soon as the shot hits the back of your throat there's an explosion of rhubarb that travels down your throat, through your mouth and even a little up your nose. It's fantastic. Dangerously fantastic.
"We're all about making sure all of our ingredients are from sustainable sources, the potatoes are grown by ourselves on our own farm in Herefordshire and every part of the process, from the potato-picking to the bottle design, is done with real care and thought. It's what makes us a great home-grown British brand". Being a small British company ourselves, we totally relate to this attitude towards building your brand with care and the same affection you'd show your child. It's your livelihood at the end of the day.
Cocktails in the City is a true experience you need to give a go. With a free drink included in your ticket price, great food on offer to line your stomach and decent tunes adding to the already-buzzing atmosphere, it's everything you're looking for all under one roof. Don't worry lads, if you get bored of the almost endless amounts of cocktails on offer (if that's possible), there's even beer available.
Make the Rhubarb Radler we tasted yourself:
- 35 ml Chase Rhubarb Vodka
- 20 ml Fresh Lemon Juice
- 15 ml Simple Syrup
- Dash Angostura Bitters
- 1 Slice Pink Grapefruit
- Top Wild Goose Chase Beer
- Shake first four ingredients with muddled fresh pink grapefruit
- Single strain over crushed ice into a chilled Julep Cup
- Top with Ginger Ale
- Garnish with fresh mint and slice of grapefruit.
Get yourself down to Cocktails in the City and get your tickets now.