Halloween and Day of the Dead Cocktails

It’s Halloween tomorrow, and it’s also Day of the Dead, obviously there’s only one way we’d celebrate and that’s to make some cocktails.

Mexican Day of the Dead is surely a good excuse to whip out the Tequila and Mezcal. Being a big Tequila lover I think it gets a bit of a tough time, thought of only for shots that have to be paired with salt and lime to be bearable. However a good Tequila makes for a fine sipping short or a lovely cocktail. I recently found out about www.dontshoottequila.net whose aim is to show people the beauty of a good Tequila, check them out.

Here’s a Mexican inspired tequila cocktail from our menu for you to celebrate El Día de Muertos, The Mexican Garden Party is a tasty refreshing cocktail with cucumber offsetting the heat of the chilli 

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We use chilli in a couple of our cocktails, it’s a great ingredient and gives a nice warming aftertaste. Obviously the heat varies from chilli to chilli, so try it out, start with a little and you can always add more.

If you’re doing some pumpkin carving over Halloween don’t throw away the insides, we made a pumpkin reduction for our cocktails. It’s super easy to make, just pop all the pumpkin guts (minus seeds) in a pan, and add equal parts of Demerara sugar and water, a few cups full, dependent on how much pumpkin you have. Then add a generous amount of cinnamon and some nutmeg and boil it up, keep it boiling until the mixture reduces and most of the water has gone. Then blend it up and you’ve got a great cocktail ingredient.

This inspired us to our delicious hot Halloween cocktail, it’s a Pumpkin Hot Buttered Rum, and it’s perfect if you’re looking for something to warm you up as the nights draw in.

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If you’re looking for more Halloween cocktails Difford’s guide have chosen a good selection http://www.diffordsguide.com/en/magazine/2013-10-29/2/halloween 

We hope you enjoy trying them, have a lovely week.

Thanks,

The Cocktail Caravan team

www.thecocktailcaravan.co.uk

Our new cocktail list and London Cocktail Week

So last week was London Cocktail Week, an excellent excuse to go and try as many new drinks and bars as you can fit in. Unfortunately we at the caravan were stuck down in Exeter, working hard to get everything ready for our relaunch and our next season. We definitely won’t miss it next year.

Thankfully as we put together the new menu we managed to get a fair amount of tasting and experimenting in; most of the drinks have gone on our menu, but some of them just went to our heads. 

We’ve had great fun putting together our new menu, we’ve got some oldies, some twists on the classics and some brand new ones. We’ve balanced short and long, sipping drinks and party drinks, and a fantastic mix of hand picked spirits. If however there is something you would particularly like on your list, as long as we can get our hands on the ingredients we will make it for your event.

We’ll be keeping the blog up to date with whatever wonderful cocktails we find on our travels, and how to make the cocktails on our list.

First off we have the Moscow Disco, a recipe borrowed from our favourite cocktail bar, The Bike Shed Theatre, a great refreshing party drink.

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And here’s an article we enjoyed from London Cocktail Week about stirring Martinis, as much as we agree, we’d personally always prefer a gin Martini over vodka.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinknews/10374021/London-Cocktail-Week-mixologists-wage-Cold-War-against-shaken-Martini.html

Exeter Ignite Festival - Any space can be a theatre, any one can tell a story
Last week Exeter was buzzing with live performances taking place across the whole city, in pubs, basements, open spaces, post vans and theatres! We dashed between venues with friends to catch back to back shows that had us belly laughing one minute and holding back the tears the next.  Mornings were spent at The Plant Café, dissecting what we had all seen the night before over breakfast and afternoons in the beer gardens sharing recommendations and timetables for the following day. Our festival highlights were The Last Post (staged in a converted post van! ) Under the Albion Sky, Static, A Little Nonsense, Rain and James Tapp tries to make his life slightly better – if you ever get a chance to see any of these it’ll  be an evening well spent -  promise! 
Norman being the attention seeking little caravan that he is, also made an appearance on the Friday. He spent the day in Exeter Guildhall sporting the festival banner whilst we chatted to people about the festival and ate snacks from the street food market.  The week was rounded off with Arts on the Move festival at the rather beautiful Poltimore House with cocktails (courtesy of Norm), music, even more theatre and a big old splash of sunshine.
Blooming marvellous! - We can’t wait for next year!  High-res

Exeter Ignite Festival - Any space can be a theatre, any one can tell a story

Last week Exeter was buzzing with live performances taking place across the whole city, in pubs, basements, open spaces, post vans and theatres! We dashed between venues with friends to catch back to back shows that had us belly laughing one minute and holding back the tears the next.  Mornings were spent at The Plant Café, dissecting what we had all seen the night before over breakfast and afternoons in the beer gardens sharing recommendations and timetables for the following day. Our festival highlights were The Last Post (staged in a converted post van! ) Under the Albion Sky, Static, A Little Nonsense, Rain and James Tapp tries to make his life slightly better – if you ever get a chance to see any of these it’ll  be an evening well spent -  promise! 

Norman being the attention seeking little caravan that he is, also made an appearance on the Friday. He spent the day in Exeter Guildhall sporting the festival banner whilst we chatted to people about the festival and ate snacks from the street food market.  The week was rounded off with Arts on the Move festival at the rather beautiful Poltimore House with cocktails (courtesy of Norm), music, even more theatre and a big old splash of sunshine.

Blooming marvellous! - We can’t wait for next year! 

Cocktail of the week: Love In The Mud
We created this cocktail for the lovely Laura whose wedding we served drinks at this weekend - her whole wedding day was in the form of a beautiful festival entitled ‘Love In The Mud’ and she wanted a signature  cocktail for her day. The Baileys or Amarula as the ‘mud’ and a heart shaped strawberry as the ‘love’ were the groom’s idea, and whatever your thoughts are about Baileys there’s no denying how delicious or pretty this drink is! 
50ml Baileys (or Amarula)
20ml Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
10ml Stolynicha vanilla vodka 
Shake all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, pour everything (including the ice) into a vintage cocktail glass and garnish with a halved strawberry. We think this would also make a great boozy alternative to a dessert after dinner!

High-res

Cocktail of the week: Love In The Mud

We created this cocktail for the lovely Laura whose wedding we served drinks at this weekend - her whole wedding day was in the form of a beautiful festival entitled ‘Love In The Mud’ and she wanted a signature  cocktail for her day. The Baileys or Amarula as the ‘mud’ and a heart shaped strawberry as the ‘love’ were the groom’s idea, and whatever your thoughts are about Baileys there’s no denying how delicious or pretty this drink is! 

50ml Baileys (or Amarula)

20ml Frangelico hazelnut liqueur

10ml Stolynicha vanilla vodka 

Shake all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, pour everything (including the ice) into a vintage cocktail glass and garnish with a halved strawberry. We think this would also make a great boozy alternative to a dessert after dinner!

There are over 400 vineyards in England! Who knew?!  Nestled away, less than ten miles from Cocktail Caravan HQ, you will find Yearlstone Vineyard. We took a trip out there at the weekend. 

For a moment it felt as though we had been spirited away to the continent; what with the rolling hills and glorious sunshine! Roger and Juliet, who own this beautiful site,  gave us the full tour. We said hello to the vines, stood and watched the bottle machine in awe and ran around the yard with their daft dogs before returning to the terrace to quite literally sample the fruits of their labour!

I have to say we were super impressed! Our cool British climate creates the perfect growing conditions to produce dry whites, delicate roses and remarkably light reds and they were yum - to use the technical term!

What more it’s all made on our doorstep - incredible! Think we will be looking into what other locally fermented beauties our great region has to offer and sharing the love with the rest of the country via Norman this summer. We are converts!

Long live English Wine! 

Cocktail of the week: Trash Russian 


40 vodka

20 kahlua 

a shot of espresso or about 50ml of strong caffetiere coffee

milk 

Pour all the ingredients over ice and stir or shake to combine. We had a go at making some coffee ice cubes too (prepare a load of coffee as you normally would, wait for it to cool and pour it into ice cube trays or bags…simple as that!)