Angostura Bitters are in the pink!

After years in the wilderness at the back of the drinks cupboard, Angostura Bitters are making a comeback. Largely driven by interest in Fever Tree’s pink aromatic tonic, made  using the bark of the angostura tree, the most bitter of bitters are back in vogue.

angostura-bitters-bottle.jpg

But all is not quite as it seems…..

Angostura is a place in Venezuela – or rather, it used to be a place in Venezuela – it is now known as Ciudad Bolivar and it sits at the mouth of the Orinoco River.

In the early 19th century, a German surgeon, Johann Siegert developed a health tonic for the troops under his care and it was so successful that he left the army and set up a distillery to produce his new invention. In 1875, the whole operation was moved to Trinidad and the House of Angostura company now makes rum as well as the bitters throughout the region.

INTERESTING FACT ONE: Angostura Bitters contain not one single strand of Angostura bark – they stopped using bark very early on in their history and the main flavouring is Gentian root.

We’ve been using the Fever Tree aromatic tonic (the one with the Angostura bark in it!) with our raspberry, nutmeg and vanilla Myristica Gin and it complements the fruit flavours very nicely, particularly with a raspberry garnish and a rub of lime around the rim of the glass…..but you can also add the Angostura Bitters (drop by drop until you reach the right amount for your taste buds) to the Myristica to make a grown up sipping gin cocktail over ice.

Angostura Bitters are a vital component in Old Fashioned and Manhattan cocktails and, of course, Pink Gin (saves a fortune on tonic) and, whilst we can’t vouch for the health benefits of Angostura Bitters or Fever Tree aromatic tonic, both Gentian root and Angostura bark have been used by tribespeople for centuries to treat all sorts of ailments including flatulence and baldness…..so I live in hope!

INTERESTING FACT TWO: Pink Gin has the distinction of being ordered on-screen by James Bond in The Man with the Golden Gun…..and Captain Peacock in Are You Being Served…..

 

Mad Cow August

There’s lots going on in August for Dancing Cows:

Cowes Week – 29th July – 5th August – Lymington Gin making a debut at the Gin Bar at the splendid Northwood House in Cowes. Every Week is Dancing Cows Week but there is only one Dancing Cowes Week each year 😉

Lymington Seafood Festival – 12th/13th August – this will be a big event and the organisers are planning to make it an annual extravaganza of all things fishy….we will be running a G&T and cocktail bar at the heart of the festival – for more details, please visit..www.lymingtonseafoodfestival.co.uk

Gin and Beer Fest at The Cliff House, Barton-on-Sea – 24th – 28th August with a Dancing Cows gin tasting at 3pm on Monday 28th…..there’s live music, stunning views and great BBQ food….more info at: http://www.thecliffhouse.co.uk/events/index.html

Lymington Market: Saturday 26th August.

We also have a programme of Wednesday and Friday evening tours available for booking – visit https://dancingcows.co.uk/tours/ for more details.

Fathers’ Day – June 18th 2017 – the facts!

Did you know that we should really celebrate Fathers’ day on March 19th?

St Joseph’s Day has been used to celebrate Fatherhood since medieval times but the modern ‘tradition’ of Fathers’ day on the third Sunday of June started in the US  in 1908 when Grace Clayton suggested to her local pastor that it was time that men got a special day as well.

It is not known who was the first Father to receive socks as a gift on Fathers’ Day….

Happy World Gin Day with the French 75

French 75

Gin is so much more than G&T – celebrate World Gin Day with a French 75 cocktail…..

25ml Dancing Cows Lymington Gin

12.5ml lemon juice

12.5ml simple syrup (sugar dissolved in water)

Top up with prosecco, cava or champagne in a flute glass

garnish with a slice of lemon

 

Simple, sophisticated and a beautifully refreshing cocktail on a bright summer’s day

 

 

Dancing Cows on television on the 6th April 2017 with Sarah Parish and Pig the Dog!

TV crew

On MORE4 this week at 8pm, we make a cameo appearance on the Walks with my Dog programme as actress Sarah Parish walks along the coastal path between Lymington and Keyhaven with her dog called Pig.

The filming took place last August – we picked some angelica on Lower Pennington Lane, tasted the botanicals going into my new foraged rowan berry and oat gin and then sampled a few measures of different spirits….and all before 10am!

The programme features several celebrities with their assorted hounds meeting local people along the way around beautiful areas of the UK. One of the slightly weird initiatives is a ‘dog-cam’ to show the walk from the pooch’s perspective.

Here’s a video of Sarah walking up the road towards Sadlers Farm Workshops with the producer having to clean up after Pig who decided to show what he thought of the film crew!

Mother’s Day Madness – free tours when you buy gin this week

MotherGin SunDayDon’t forget that Sunday 26th March is Mother’s Day and you have just eight days to find a gift that shows how much you care.

Imagine the joy on her face when she unwraps her gift this year to find a bottle of Lymington Gin instead of the usual flowers, chocolates or (in desperate cases) assorted cleaning products…

Now we are offering you double brownie points! Spend £25 or more at our online shop this week and we’ll email you a voucher for two free Dancing Cows Distillery tours worth £9.50 each. The tours can be booked via Eventbrite at any scheduled date you choose (and we won’t tell a soul if you decide to keep the gin for yourself…..)

On the tour, you’ll be welcomed with a gin and tonic as Richard explains how beers and various spirits are made and how alcohol production has shaped our culture through 8,000 years of history.

Witbier Launched

WitbierThe Winchester Beer Festival starts on Friday this week (17th March) and we are launching our new Witbier to celebrate.

Brewed with Torrefied wheat, oats and local Keyhaven barley, it is a refreshing, naturally hazy, beer with a good wheat base overlaid with cloves and orange notes from the late additions of coriander seeds and orange peels.

We find that a wedge of orange really brings out the botanical notes in the beer…..and you can then claim it as one of your five-a-day….

To order some, please email Richard