24 Hours In Oslo

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Yesterday I flew to Oslo for a photo shoot for World Class 50. Lucky for me, the shoot was done at No.19, one of my favourite Oslo bars, and the home of my favourite Martini – The Smoky Martini.

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I really love this drink, particularly the blue cheese stuffed olive garnish!

Long overdue, I also managed to stop by Morgenstierne, which opened earlier this year. Shame on me for not going earlier – these guys makes smashing drinks (with the funniest names).
I got to try some of the coming cocktails from their new fall menu, and lets just say – I’ll be back!

Tuesday Night Glitz

No one does hotel bars quite like London. Besides the old school glamour and indulgence, I particularly love how they seem to always bring hospitality to a whole new level.

Last night was my first visit to Rivoli Bar at The Ritz, but it will definitely not be my last.

Spritz has been my go-to-drink all summer, so it was no surprise that The Blush caught my eye on the menu. It was so delicious, the perfect start to any evening, but particularly a late summer evening.

the blush

At some point during the last couple of years, I’ve realised that I really, really love tequila. However, with a few exceptions, I haven’t been a big fan of stirred tequila drinks. More often than not, I find them flat or not packing enough tequila punch. I mean, if you’re going to make a drink with tequila – why hide it?

This drink, Lord of Jalisco, is not one of those drinks. This was amazing!

Lord of Jalisco

One of the Signatures at Rivoli is the Ritz Manhattan. It comes in a beautiful vintage shaker, made especially for the hotel in the early 1900s, with the garnish resting on the side in a small silver jewellery box.
You can choose between 3 different aged finishes, orange& vanilla, red berries or allspice, all of them made in house.

Ritz ManhattanRitz Manhattan 2

They also have a selection of vintage spirits, and I was lucky enough to taste both Martini Rosso, Campari, Maraschino and Angostura Bitters from the 1940-1960’s. Very cool.

Favourites |London Food Markets

This weekend was spent wandering around London’s many markets, not shopping, but tasting my way through the many food stalls.
I love exploring the different tastes of the city, and I’m constantly pinching my arm to make sure this is not a dream.

Since I’m lucky enough to live quite close to my favourite market, The Borough Market, I try to visit as often as possible, getting completely lost in all the wonderful smells, sounds and produce. Tomatoes

I have always been slightly obsessed with tomatoes. If I had to chose only one fruit or vegetable for the rest of my life, tomatoes would be it. Even so, I’ve found that you have tomatoes – and then you have tomatoes!  Isn’t this just the most beautiful thing ever?

What I love most about the food stalls, is how they allow you to try different cuisines and be inspired by different parts of the world, all in one place.
At the Camden Lock Market I tried my first jerk chicken, whilst at Sunday (Up) Market it was all about arepas. The latter quite possibly my new food crush. The most shocking discovery however, was how completely wrongfully I have hated turkish delight all these years!

I’ve compiled my favourite markets on the map below, and if you follow the link under the picture, I’ve also included opening hours and directions how to easily get there.

Markets London

You can find more details on my favourite markets and how to get there her

 

Essence Of A Bar – NU Lounge Bar

A couple of weeks ago I spent one night in Bologna, Italy, and finally got to visit NU Loung Bar.
I love bars with a big personality, and this bar is a tiki treasure chest!

Bittersbitterskull bitterSpiceselixirsVintage bottlestiki mugspineapplemonkeyblow fishmenumenu2

I have always loved aperitivo style drinks, but the Bolognese Americano just crushed the competition! If it was socially acceptable to have a drink as your best friend – this is my new BFF.

The Bolognese Americano
40 ml Rosso Antico
40 ml Martini Bitter
1 dash Angostura BItters or Rhubarb Bitters
40 ml Tonic Water
Orange twist
Lemon twist

Shake Rosso Antico, Martini Bitter, Angostura/Rhubarb bitters & lemon twist with ice.  Pour un-strained into old fashioned glass. Add the tonic and orange twist.

Recipe from NU Lounge Bar | Daniele Dalla Pola

americano bolognese

Final Round Challenges – Punch and Glass

There was no time to rest after the final elimination. A quick pit stop at Bob’s Ketel One bar, a few interviews and then straight into the Punch and Glass  challenge.

For this challenge, we had to make one punch and one signature cocktail. The cocktail could be any cocktail you had served throughout the competition, or it could be a “new” creation.
For my Signature, I chose to use one of my drinks from the last menu at Aqua Vitae. Holy Smokes is one of my favourite self composed drinks, both flavour wise and concept. It’s very rich and moreish, and yet so simple in it’s composition with only three ingredients.

Holy Smokes
45 ml Lagavulin 16
45 ml Dubonnet
1 dash Mozart Chocolate bitters

Stir ingredients with ice, strain into prechilled old fashioned glass with ice. (During prep, wrap the glass with tissue paper, scented with your favourite perfume)

My style has always been very much about simplicity. Straightforward flavours, harmony as opposed to cacophony,  mixed up with the occasional unusual ingredient. I try to always have a logic behind the ingredients I choose, and research time is always my favourite part of creating new drinks.

For my punch I used the old Planter’s Punch reference as an inspiration

Take two of sour
To one and a half of sweet,
Of Old Jamaica pour three strong,
And add four parts of weak.

Punch Drunk Love (1 serving)
50 ml Tanqueray no Ten
15 ml Don Julio Blanco
30 ml Citrus mix (Equal parts lemon, grapefruit & lime juice)
20 ml Eucalyptus honey & Frankincense syrup
120 ml Kombucha (Fermented Sencha tea)
1 dash Peychauds Bitter
Lemon & Sage leaves

Throw ingredients with ice, strain into highball with ice. Garnish with lemon wheel and sage leaf.

This punch starts out quite subtile and clean with the spirits and lemon/lime, before it moves on to the richer flavours of honey, frankincense and grapefruit. It finishes off with Peychauds and kombucha. I always find that “fermented flavours” adds depth and character to drinks, giving more to the flavour experience while drinking the drink.

For those who have not tried, kombucha is fermented tea. It is made by adding culture (the scoby) in a sweetened tea and letting it ferment. Mine was made with sencha tea. ( I removed the scoby during prep time, obviously you do not want to serve it to the judges by mistake)

Links I Love

1. New-opening in NY, Grace, will feature a menu entirely made by female bartenders (nytimes.com)

2. Some inspiration for making my favourite cocktails into jams and jellies (marthastewart.com)

3. This would certainly make afternoon tea more fun (yankodesign.com)

4. My favourite guilty pleasure Top Chef is going to NOLA for its 11th season. (bravotv.com)

5. Tips on how to improve my food photo skills (udemy.com)

 

Final Elimination

16 competitors was about to become 8 – and this is how it went down:

We were gathered in a room altogether waiting to talk to the judges, Spike and Dale. We were told we would face the judges one and one, but when the elimination started, they decided to bring us in pairs of two  – which obviously added a bit of tension. We didn’t know at the time, but we assumed that one person would go through and one would be sent home. It proved to be right.

The wait felt like forever. I had the “pleasure” of being in the last pair to go before the judges, and as the room emptied and the rumors started to surface, all I could think of was the things I should have done better.
I’ve always been somewhat a perfectionist when it comes to work, and it seems like no matter how well I do, I always want to do better.

I was very nervous meeting the judges. Looking back, I can’t even remember what feedback I got from the judges. I do however remember feeling extremely relieved when they told me I was through.

For me, this elimination was a big shocker! I don’t know why, but for some reason, even though you know half of the bartenders will be eliminated – you still expect everyone to stay. It might just be due to all the stress and tension, but while its all going down, you really can’t imagine competing without them. Some of the guys, Emil (Sweden), Gareth (UK), Mattia (Italy) and Ivar (Netherlands), was in my group as far back as WE Finals in Madrid earlier this year. During the competition, they were some of my best friends and support, and I was extremely sad to see Team WE split up.

The ones who made it into the final round was

Mario, Puerto Rico
Laura, Switzerland
Jeff, USA
David, Spain
Jason, New Zealand
Luke, Australia
Tsuyoshi, Japan
Monica, (me) Norway

Unfortunately, due to the filming of the World Class tv-show, there aren’t any photos from the final elimination.

Shake it up!

Let me introduce you to my new baby

titanium cobbler shaker

titanium cobbler shaker

I love this shaker!

After my accident last year, (I severed some of the nerves in my right hand while doing some ice work), I’ve been struggling a bit to get back to my old efficient self. Especially when it comes to the double shake. Tin to tin is out, since I can no longer grip it, and even my old Yukiwa Baron Cobbler Shaker is a challenge.

Then, when I tried this Titanium Cobbler Shaker a couple of months ago, I was sold!

This shaker is so light, bottom part is made from titanium, and I have no problems at all when I work with it. It is by far the best shaker I’ve had.

You can get it her

 

Links to Drinks & other thinks

1. Prof that beer is never boring in Japan (wsj.com)

2. Places to try if I’m ever in Bangkok (nytimes.com)

3. If corporate logos were honest. (trendland.com)

4. The boundaries of drinks are re-drawn (diffordsguide.com)

5. 7 types of hashtag abusers. (nymag.com)