mmm… and glug… is hosting a free Masons Gin tasting on Friday, 28 September (from 3pm to 6pm) so customers can taste their award-winning Yorkshire-distilled gins.
Masons wanted to create a taste that wasn’t just your run of the mill, off the shelf, generic gin.
Recipe after recipe was rejected in the search for a gin they felt deserved to be called Masons Yorkshire Gin.
Distilled in Masons’ copper alembic stills “Steve’ & “Leftie” in 200-litre batches, each 70cl bottle bears its own handwritten batch and bottle number.
With its traditional slow distillation method, pure Yorkshire water and just the right balance of juniper, citrus elements and secret botanical ratio they created a distinctly unique gin – the first gin distilled in Yorkshire.
What we will be tasting at mmm… and glug… this Friday
Yorkshire Tea Gin – available in 20cl and 70cl bottles
Lavender Gin – available in 20cl and 70cl bottles
Original Dry Yorkshire Gin – available in 20cl and 70cl bottles
Limited edition peppered pear gin – available in 70cl bottles.
We often get a whole host of questions about how to use the products and ingredients in our shop – from the extraordinary array of herbs, spices and chillies, through to the ever trendy black garlic…not forgetting the adventurous and curious flavours of cordials on hand.
So, we thought it was about time to start sharing some of our favourite hints, tips and recipes to get you going and maybe even debunk some myths along the way.
Today we’re focusing on Pomegranate Molasses, why?
Well, too many times we’ve heard you cry, ‘I used it once and then it sat in my cupboard for a billion years unused’… a travesty!
There’s so much you can do with this ancient and wondrous ingredient – it’s sweet but sour, thick, sharp, rich, deep and completely versatile.
As a native fruit of Persia, the pomegranate (and pomegranate molasses) is synonymous with Middle Eastern, African and Mediterranean cooking, which is where the ingredient really does shine.
It adds a fruity almost citric taste to any dish meaning there’s no excuse as to why you can’t get creative with the ingredient.
It can work as a super substitute for balsamic vinegar, honey, or even lemon juice – anything you want to imbue with a richness, tartness, sweetness.
Think drinks, soups, stews, dressings and desserts…no longer may this ingredient sit sorrowfully in the back of your cupboard!
Here are three recipes to get you going: – stick with it
Judges from the guild, which recognises and promotes excellence in independent retail, will visit the Newcastle store and carry out a series of mystery shopping exercises, before announcing the overall winner in September.
Owner Simone Clarkin, is delighted to be recognised for such a prestigious award, especially at a time when independent high street shops face pressure from supermarkets and out of town retailers.
She said: “When we originally opened our Grainger Market store back in 2008 we wanted to get people in the north east and beyond to think about what they eat and drink – and where it comes from.
“Over the past ten years, we have expanded twice within the Grainger Market and then in late 2017 into the city centre – all done during a climate of huge retail uncertainty.
“It is great to know that our efforts to provide great food and drink, and hopefully even greater customer service and advice to shoppers has helped us reach this stage.
“We really hope that our ethos of being there to provide easy access to good food and drink to the region can help us to bring this prestigious award back the north east.
The Guild’s panel of highly experienced judges, which includes Edward Berry of The Flying Fork, Stuart Gates, who has worked for both Harrods and Fortnum & Mason, award-winning retailer Tracey Colley and Georgina Mason from Gonalston Farm Shop, will rate, score and feedback on every aspect of mmm… and glug… before agreeing to a winner.
On Thursday, 20 September, Shop of the Year 2018 will reach an exciting finale when the world of fine food gathers at the Guild of Fine Food’s London base, to find out the winners of Shop of the Year 2018.
mmm… and glug… expanded its business with a move to larger headquarters in Newcastle city centre in late 2017 and plans to launch a ‘click and collect’ online shop during its tenth year in business.
Earlier this year mmm… and glug… came out top in North East and Cumbria in the prestigious RateBeer.com awards.
The awards to breweries, pubs and retailers, sees beer lovers from dozens of countries rate their favourite tipples and where they buy or drink them.
Local shoppers are being given the chance to meet some of the hardest workers in the region, the Hogarth Honey Bees, and taste the fruits of their labour.
Food and drink emporium mmm… and glug…, based on Grainger Street, Newcastle, will host over 10,000 local honey bees on Saturday, 26 May from 12 noon onwards.
The Hogarth Honey bees, which proved a huge hit at mmm…’s former Grainger Market store last summer (pictured right), are returning with the first of their precious local summer honey.
The free event will give youngsters (and those not so young) the chance to taste the honey and find out more about protecting the much-needed insects.
mmm… and glug… owner Simone Clarkin hopes to not only get families to taste the honey, but also to find out how to encourage bees to their own gardens and neighbourhoods.
She said: “We certainly expect the shop to be ‘buzzing’ after last year’s meet the bees event literally stopped people in their tracks outside our shop.
“Bees are pollinators and play a huge part in the UK’s food chain. One third of the food we eat would not be available, but for the hard work of our bees.
“When the Hogarth Honey bees visited us last year we found many people, particularly children, who had never tasted honey before – and they loved it!”
Michael McCartney of Hogarth Honey, based in Wolviston Grange, is looking forward to once again being asked lots of questions about his much-loved bees.
He said: “Bees fly about 55,000 miles to make just one pound of honey, that’s over twice around the world. And honey was even used as currency in Roman times.
“But, bees are in danger of disappearing from our environment. Farming practices continue to disturb the natural habitats of solitary bees and bumblebees.
“The honey bee is also under attack from the Varroa mite and it is only the care provided by myself and other local beekeepers that is keeping north east colonies alive.
“I would love to talk to as many potential beekeepers and amateur gardeners as possible when we visit mmm… and glug… so we can spread the word about protecting our local bees.”
Artisan bakers, Pink Lane Bakery will be providing hand-made Hogarth honey oat loaves to taste at the event, with Brinkburn Street Brewery also holding a tasting session of their locally brewed ales (over 18s only).
mmm… and glug… expanded its business with a move to a larger headquarters in Newcastle city centre in late 2017 and plans to launch a ‘click and collect’ online shop during its tenth year in business.