Pages: 'How To Drink Gin: Make It, Mix It, Master It' by Sue Telford | Gifted

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

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How To Drink Gin: Make It, Mix It, Master It' by Sue Telford flatlay

You may or may not know that I have a little bit of a love for gin, I think it might be hereditary but it also comes down to a couple of years in marketing at True North Brew Co, makers of Sheffield Dry Gin. 

Before I worked there I enjoyed gin but in the surge of the gin boom not only did I learn a lot but I loved a lot! So when I was offered a copy of Sue Telford's 'How To Drink Gin: Make It, Mix It, Master It' I couldn't resist. 

gin botanicals

With the gin boom came an onslaught of gin and gin themed books mostly filled with cocktails and the odd fact. 

What is brilliant about Sue's 'How To Drink Gin' is that her passion for the spirit really comes out. The book takes you through what gin really is and all the unique styles available before touching on its history.

How To Drink Gin: Make It, Mix It, Master It' by Sue Telford flatlay

Chapter 2 then takes you into the botanicals, a section I love! Sue Telford not only takes you through the key gin botanicals but also explains how they pair with each other and sit within our tastes. 

How To Drink Gin: Make It, Mix It, Master It' by Sue Telford flatlay

This helpful insight doesn't end here, Sue then goes on to debunk all those terms you hear that can make you feel a little out of touch from 'mouthfeel', 'thin legs' and 'the finish' so now you actually know what these words relate to.  With this simple chapter you can feel more confident when tasting gin and secure in your own taste palate. 

gin botanicals


On this ginthusiast's adventure in 'How To Drink Gin' Sue also covers bar tools and glass ware with stunning illustrations before heading into the who's who of mixers and how to garnish like a pro! I loved this section, the steps make them look so simple and I cannot wait to have a go at making some myself. 

How To Drink Gin: Make It, Mix It, Master It' by Sue Telford flatlay

Ending on a high 'How To Drink Gin' finishes with a collection of cocktails with beautiful photographs that will have you whipping out your bar cart and thinking about a lunch time negroni! 

How To Drink Gin: Make It, Mix It, Master It' by Sue Telford flatlay

Pick up 'How To Drink Gin: Make It, Mix It, Master It' here and take your gin drinking to the next level! 

*gifted book from Red Door Books but all words, opinions and gin drinking are my own
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Sticky Chai Tea Workshop at Birdhouse Tea Bar & Kitchen | Gifted

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

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Birdhouse Tea Company Spices Sticky Chai Tea Workshop

There are cupboards in my flat dedicated to tea, if you fancy it - I probably have it or have just finished it! So when Birdhouse Tea Bar & Kitchen invited us down to try their Sticky Chai Tea workshop I couldn't wait to have a go at making my own blend and learning more about the brew I love so much.  

Birdhouse Tea Company Spices Sticky Chai Tea Workshop

Birdhouse Tea Company Spices Sticky Chai Tea Workshop image of bowls of tea

We were welcomed into their ever beautiful tea bar on Sidney Street in Sheffield to bowls of chai tea and spices perfectly laid out and filling the air and our senses. 

After we were all seated the lovely Rebecca began the session by telling us all about the origins and history of tea and how the differences were reflected in the taste as we tried the pairing teas. I'm not going to dive any deeper with what she told us as i'd love you to find out for yourself but it was so interesting I came out with so many notes and a new found appreciation for my tea collection.

Birdhouse Tea Company Spices Sticky Chai Tea Workshop

Birdhouse Tea Company Spices Sticky Chai Tea Workshop

After dipping our toes in tea history Rebecca then went on to describe the origins of spiced chai tea and the differences between the dry and sticky blends before taking us through what we would be doing to create our own. 

Birdhouse Tea Company Spices Sticky Chai Tea Workshop

Using the Birdhouse Chai blend of Assam tea, cinnamon and ginger as a base to build upon we added as much ginger, peppercorn, nutmeg, turmeric, star anise etc to our hearts content whilst trying our brews to make sure we'd got them right.

It was so interesting to see how every person in the workshop came out with different teas just from the colours of brews to the smells changing around the room. 

Birdhouse Tea Company Spices Sticky Chai Tea Workshop

Birdhouse Tea Company Spices Sticky Chai Tea Workshop

After we nailed our own blends we transferred these to sealable bags and remade our blend in our jars ready to make our chai tea sticky! 

The beauty of sticky chai is that it helps all the different sized tea and spices blend together better. Typically when tea settles it separates by size, the 'sticky' part helps them come together as they infuse and prevents the tea levelling out this way.  

Birdhouse Tea Company Spices Sticky Chai Tea Workshop

Birdhouse Tea Company Spices Sticky Chai Tea Workshop

I used agave syrup to make my brew sticky but honey was the go to of the group! A sticky chai makes for a richer flavour and an absolute treat! Just add a spoonful to simmering milk for the perfect winter pick me up! And the syrup! Oh my gosh, drizzle that bad boy on a cake!

You can keep your sticky chai in the fridge and just top it up with your dry mix as you use it up, so we came away from Birdhouse Tea Company with chai for months!

Birdhouse Tea Company Spices Sticky Chai Tea Workshop

My nickname is Bam so I had to name mine 'Bam's Brew' but there were some hilarious names within the group. We had such a laugh whilst learning about tea and creating something unique - I am desperate to do it again maybe for a Hen Party or Baby Shower with a cosy keepsake. 

If you'd like to try your own Sticky Chai Tea Workshop go get in touch with Birdhouse Tea Bar & Kitchen on 0114 327 3695 or drop them an email on hello@birdhouseteacompany.com or just pop in and see them on Sidney Street for food and drink, they're lovely!

*gifted press event from Birdhouse Tea Bar but all words, opinions and chai tea are my own

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