Masons Gin Yorkshire craft gin at mmm…

Masons Gin Yorkshire tea, original and lavender gins at mmm...

Masons Gin wanted to create a taste that wasn’t just your run of the mill, off the shelf, generic gin.

Masons Gin dry Yorkshire gin logoRecipe after recipe was rejected in the search for a gin they felt deserved to be called Masons Yorkshire Gin, a gin they (and we) would choose to drink.

Distilled in Masons’ copper alembic stills “Steve’ & “Leftie” in 200 litre batches, each 70cl bottle bears its own hand written 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 they are proud to call Masons Yorkshire Gin – the first gin distilled in Yorkshire.

What we sell at mmm…

  • Mason’s Yorkshire Tea Gin – 20cl and 70cl bottles
  • Lavender Gin – 20cl and 70cl bottles
  • The original Masons Dry Yorkshire Gin – 20cl and 70cl bottles.

Serving Masons Gin

Masons Gin want you to enjoy their gin to the full, whether that just being a simple gin and tonic, or one of the many gin cocktails that are so popular right now.

So they have put together some of their very favourite serves for you to try.

Mason Smash
Take 1.5 measures of Masons Yorkshire Gin, half a measure of Lillet Blanc, and 1 measure each of Lime Juice and Blackberry Syrup.

Add 3 blackberries, 3 basil leaves and 3 mint leaves, along with a couple of twists of black pepper. Shake and strain, and then garnish with blackberry and basil leaf.

Bloody Masons!
2 measures of Masons Yorkshire Gin, a dash each of Tabasco and Yorkshire Sauce, the juice of a whole lemon, and then top off with Spicy Tomato Juice.

Masons Moors Martini
Make a standard dry Martini with Vermouth but then also add a few drops of lavender syrup and garnish with lavender. Of course, the lavender has to be from Yorkshire!

Gin Yorkshire Rose
Take 1 measure each of Masons Yorkshire Gin and Cointreau, add a wedge of fresh orange and a little sugar syrup. Garnish with a white rose petal.

Want to know more about Masons Gin?

Meet the Hogarth Honey bees at mmm…

Honey bees - Hogarth Honey

Food and drink emporium mmm… and glug…, currently based in the Grainger Arcade, will host over 10,000 local Hogarth Honey bees on Saturday, 24 June from 12 noon onwards.

Hogarth Honey bees at mmm and glugThe Hogarth Honey bees, which proved a huge hit at the store last summer, 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 Grainger Arcade 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 (see photo below) we found many people, particularly children, who had never tasted honey before – and they loved it!”

Hogarth Honey bees visit mmm in 2016Michael 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… so we can spread the word about protecting our local bees.”

The Hogarth Honey bees will be at mmm… and glug… 10-13 Grainger Arcade, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5QF from 12 noon on Saturday, 24 June.

Grainger Arcade-based Pet Lamb Patisserie will also be providing hand-made Hogarth Honey bee flapjacks to taste at the event.

mmm… and glug… recently announced plans to expand its business with a move to a larger headquarters in Newcastle city centre and the launch of a ‘click and collect’ online shop.

Want to know more before the Hogarth Honey bees visit?

Other events at at mmm… and glug… (all from 1pm)

  • Patagonian wine tasting (date tbc)
  • Summer fruit beer tasting (date tbc)
  • Ooft! meet the maker – come and taste hot Scotch Bonnet pepper and smoky chipotle sauces (date tbc).

Coming soon …

  • We are moving to a bigger shop on Grainger Street – watch this space!
  • Click and collect at mmm… and glug… To find out more sign up for news below.

Expansion to Grainger Street is our recipe for success

Sintons Solicitors at mmm... and glug...

A North East artisan food and drink retailer, which sources products from around the world and has amassed a following across the UK and beyond, is targeting expansion through a move to Grainger Street and the launch of its online shop.

mmm glug stamp logo Grainger Streetmmm…and glug…was established in Newcastle in 2008 and has grown into one of the most highly-esteemed independent food and drink brands of its kind.

It attracts customers from across the country and earning name-checks in books by celebrity chefs, including Thomasina Miers

The business, based in the city’s Grainger Market, has earned fame in foodie circles for its commitment to sourcing the highest quality produce from suppliers around the world.

It is now known for being the go-to place for the most unusual of ingredients, and has a loyal and sizeable following both among its customer base and on social media.

Run by Simone and Ian Clarkin, mmm…and glug… – which started out in 2008, is now moving to a two-floor 1,500 sq ft retail unit on nearby Grainger Street.

This will allow it to have its own shop front on one of Newcastle’s busiest streets and dictate its own opening hours.

The move comes at a time of development for the business, as it introduces a ‘click and collect’ service for customers and online mail order to allow it to look at international trade.

Spanish paprika at mmm... Grainger Streetmmm…and glug…have also launched a range of its own-label spice mixes and cooking ingredients.

mmm…and glug…has been built by passionate foodies Simone and Ian, who have assembled a five-strong team who share their love of quality food and drink.

Simone’s background in sourcing fine food and wines from continental suppliers, coupled with Ian’s expertise in marketing – which has seen mmm…glug…named as one of the most influential independent businesses on Twitter – has proved a recipe for success.

Simone said: “This is a very exciting time for us, moving into our own shop on Grainger Street and having the freedom that comes with that is something we have wanted for some time.

“The Grainger Market has been a fantastic place to be, but we are delighted with the start of our new chapter.

“Our ethos is we source high-quality food and drink from independent producers wherever they are in the world, and strive to build long-term relationships with both our customers and suppliers.

“We do stock products from the North East and we source from Spain, Italy, France, America, we look across the whole world to get the quality we know our customers will want.”

Ian, who initially was ‘Saturday boy’ with mmm…glug…before joining his wife full time, said: “We have customers who come to us from as far afield as Liverpool and Manchester and even afield.

“Through the launch of online ordering in the near future we hope we will become accessible to people across the UK and even internationally.

Thomasina Miers at mmm... Grainger Street“Our customers are fantastic and are the biggest advocates of what we do.

Thomasina Miers first became aware of us when she remarked how difficult it was to find some cooking ingredients; one of our customers got in touch with her to tell her about us.

“Since then, she has mentioned us in her cookbooks and even held a book launch here.”

mmm…and glug…have been supported in its expansion by law firm Sintons, with Head of Licensing Sarah Smith and Laura Peace, Partner in the Real Estate team, both acting in the transaction.

Sarah Smith said: “Newcastle enjoys a reputation as a vibrant and diverse leisure venue which attracts people from across the whole UK.

“mmm…and glug…is another example of something special we have here which again puts the North East on a national scale.

“Its reputation for its quality and variety of produce is well known far beyond this region.

“And the platform it has created on social media has also helped it to stand out in the very competitive culinary marketplace.

“We wish Simone and Ian luck in their new home for mmm…and glug…on Grainger Street and every success as they continue to grow and develop the business.”

Pictured (courtesy of Sintons Law and David Wood Photographer above: left to right –  Simone Clarkin; Sarah Smith and Laura Peace, Sintons and Ian Clarkin.

Want to know more before we move to Grainger Street?

Free events at mmm… and glug… (all from 1pm)

  • Saturday, 3 June: Flashhouse Brewing meet the brewer – come and taste Jack O’Keefe’s latest North Shields-brewed ales, including his new chocolate coffee stout
  • Saturday, 16 June: Firebrick Brewery meet the brewer – looking for a Father’s Day gift? Our Blaydon-based brewery will help you find the perfect bottles for him to enjoy.
  • Patagonian wine tasting (date tbc)
  • Summer fruit beer tasting (date tbc)
  • Ooft! meet the maker – come and taste hot Scotch Bonnet pepper and smoky chipotle sauces (date tbc)
  • Meet the Hogarth honey bees – come and meet 10,000 of our honey making bees and taste this year’s summer honey (date tbc)
  • Click and collect at mmm… and glug… To find out more sign up for news below.

Lilliard Gin craft gin now available at mmm…

We are delighted that mmm… and glug… is the first stockist of Lilliard Gin small batch gin in England.

To celebrate this, we are hosting a free meet the distiller event with Kate, Head Distiller at LIlliard on Saturday, 27 May from 1pm onwards.

About Lilliard Gin

Lilliard small batch gin is handcrafted in their tiny copper still, using ingredients found and foraged in the Scottish Borders.

Lilliard gin botanicals at mmmLight and with a complex floral palette, it reflects Lilliard’s landscape and the abundant natural resources of the Southern Scottish Valleys.

Lilliard Gin is a light, elegant gin with a complex floral palette. Its botanicals reflect the four seasons of the beautiful Borders landscape.

The distillery sits in the Teviot valley and uses local spring water in its distilling process.

Borders history, and a Borders legend

Lilliard legend of the BordersLilliard made Borders history, and they were inspired by a Borders legend. Local heroine, Lilliard, who gave her name to their gin.

Lilliard was the heroine of the Battle of Ancrum Moor, fought between the Scots and English in 1545, just North of where Lilliard Gin was conceived.

She fought to the death to avenge the murder of her lover at the hands of the English, and the landscape that inspired the gin bears her name, so it was only fitting that the gin should too.

Want to know more about Lilliard Gin?

Other events at mmm… and glug… (all from 1pm)

  • Saturday, 3 June: Flashhouse Brewing meet the brewer – come and taste Jack O’Keefe’s latest North Shields-brewed ales, including his new chocolate coffee stout
  • Saturday, 16 June: Firebrick Brewery meet the brewer – looking for a Father’s Day gift? Our Blaydon-based brewery will help you find the perfect bottles for him to enjoy.
  • Patagonian wine tasting (date tbc)
  • Summer fruit beer tasting (date tbc)
  • Ooft! meet the maker – come and taste hot Scotch Bonnet pepper and smoky chipotle sauces (date tbc)
  • Meet the Hogarth honey bees – come and meet 10,000 of our honey making bees and taste this year’s summer honey (date tbc)
  • Click and collect at mmm… and glug… To find out more sign up for news below.

Help offered for Father’s Day beer buyers

A Newcastle shop is hoping to help Father’s Day shoppers who don’t know their bitters from their IPAs to find the perfect pint.

mmm… and glug… has enlisted the help of Blaydon-based Firebrick Brewery to host a beer tasting for non-beer lovers on Saturday, 17 June.

mmm glug Father's DayThe free event, being held in the Grainger Arcade from 12 noon onwards, will hopefully make it easy for local mums, sons and daughters (aged 18 and over) to pick the perfect local beers.

Firebrick will be tasting some of their most popular beers, including ‘Wey-Aye PA’ pale ale and ‘Toon Broon’ brown ale.

mmm… and glug… owner Simone Clarkin is hoping to not only help out non-beer lovers find the right Father’s Day gift, but also to see new converts to local beers.

She said: “We regularly hold meet the brewer events, but this one will be slightly different as we are aiming it at family members who might not really know what they should buy.

“We will be helping out lots of local shoppers to pick the right beers – and hopefully try a few out themselves.

“Craft beers are becoming more and more popular and great local breweries like Firebrick are helping to spread the word of just how good north east beers can be.”

The free Father’s Day tasting (for over 18s only) is being held at mmm… and glug… 10-13 Grainger Arcade, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5QF from 12 noon on Saturday, 17 June.

About Firebrick Brewery

Firebrick is the epitome of a good craft brewery and currently produces twelve beer brands.

Four of these brands are linked to the seasons and make its Mystical Range; the other eight belong to its Heritage Range, which is inspired by the history of Blaydon and the North East of England.

Want to know more before Father’s Day?

Other events at mmm… and glug… (all from 1pm)

  • Saturday, 27 May: Lilliard Gin tasting – meet Kate the distiller and  taste her award-winning Jedburgh small batch craft gin
  • Saturday, 3 June: Flashhouse Brewing meet the brewer – come and taste Jack O’Keefe’s latest North Shields-brewed ales, including his new chocolate coffee stout
  • Patagonian wine tasting (date tbc)
  • Summer fruit beer tasting (date tbc)
  • Ooft! meet the maker – come and taste hot Scotch Bonnet pepper and smoky chipotle sauces (date tbc)
  • Meet the Hogarth honey bees – come and meet 10,000 of our honey making bees and taste this year’s summer honey (date tbc)
  • Click and collect at mmm… and glug… To find out more sign up for news below.

Brinkburn St Brewery ‘Groovy Juice’ at mmm…

Brinkburn St Brewery Groovy Juice at glug...

Say hello to (and of course taste) Brinkburn St Brewery’s Groovy Juice at mmm… and glug… this Saturday (8 April) from 1pm.

This ‘New England’-style IPA comes in at 6.0% ABV and is made with seven different hop varieties – Azacca, Cascade, Simcoe (US), Olicana (UK) & Sticklebract, Wai-iti, Waimea (New Zealand).

Rolled flaked oats included in the mash give an enhanced mouth feel, together with an “orangey” appearance and a very juicy character!

It begs the question ‘CAN YOU DIG IT??’ 

About Brinkburn St Brewery

Brinkburn St Brewery was formed in January 2015 by founder Lee Renforth and started brewing in September 2015, after a nine month period of set-up and trial brewing.

Since then, Brinkburn has brewed over 20 different beers that they have tested in over one hundred pubs and clubs in Tyneside and further afield in an attempt to try to identify what real/craft ale drinkers like.

Their core range (all stocked at mmm… and glug… when available) are:

  • Session beers (ABV 3.6 – 4.2%) – Canny Sculler (ABV 3.6%), Byker Blonde (ABV 4.0%) and Byker Hill Bitter (ABV 4.2%)
  • Mid-strength ales (ABV 4.3 – 4.8%) – Byker Brown Ale (ABV 4.8%), Tino (ABV 4.8%) and Geordie Pagoda (ABV 4.8%)
  • Hop-head ales (ABV 5.0%+) – Fools Gold – Remastered (ABV 5.0%), The Pursuit of Hoppiness 2016 (ABV 5.2%) and Hop Gremlin (ABV 5.6%).

Want to know more?

Taste Northumberland-distilled Hepple Gin at mmm…

Hepple Gin at mmm... and glug...

Chris Garden – Head Distiller at Hepple Gin will be at mmm… and glug… this Saturday (1 April) from 1pm for a free tasting of his award-winning Northumberland gin.

Hepple are rooted in the Northumbrian Moors, one of the most botanically vibrant environments in England, where they pick their green juniper and other wild aromatic plants that money cannot buy.

Hepple uses three techniques to capture the full range of flavour from their botanicals bringing them as alive in the bottle as they were in the hills!

They are a copper pot still. a Co2 extraction system and a rotary evaporator.

But enough of that, what does it taste like …

Hepple Gin – tasting notes

Hepple Gin at mmm and glugOn the nose…
There is an immediate fresh scent of green apple, bright grapefruit and spicy juniper.

This then opens up to reveal underlying notes of Douglas Fir, and fragrant blackcurrant.

On sipping …
The initial fresh citrus flavours evolve into unexpected ripe cantaloupe melon, the spicy fragrant juniper continues to coat the palate.

There is a luscious sweet mouthfeel, which is both juicy and quenching.

The finish …
Extremely long and this is where the juniper reveals itself further with flavours alternating between sandalwood and cedar with a notable savoury presence that complements the sweet blackcurrant and liquorice.

The sweet juiciness is maintained throughout the finish.

Cocktail ideas from Hepple Gin.

Chris Garden - Hepple GinMeet the distiller at mmm… and glug…

Chris Garden – Master Distiller at Hepple.

Chris originally worked as head distiller at London-based Sipsmith for over five years before moving to the wilds of Northumberland with his young family.

Chris is a graduate from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling at Heriot-Watt, Edinburgh.

Want to know more?

Pirate Life Brewing Australian ales now at mmm…

Pirate Life Brewing at mmm...

Pirate Life Brewingmmm… and glug… has become the first north east retailer to stock ales from award-winning Australian brewery Pirate Life Brewing.

The brewery, founded in Adelaide, South Australia in 2014, is the brainchild of brewers Jared Proudfoot and Jack Cameron.

Pirate Life specialises in modern, hop-forward beers that include a 5.4% Pale Ale, its 6.8% IPA and a 3.5% Throwback IPA.

The company has also experienced acclaim, winning the “best new brewery in Australia” prize from Ratebeer in 2014.

It also saw four of its beers appear in the top 20 of the GABS Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers from over 1,600 beers nominated by Australian craft beer drinkers.

What we sell at mmm… and glug…

Pirate Life Brewing Throwback IPA (3.5% ABV)
Pouring a hazy golden colour the first thing that hits you is the aroma of fresh hops pouring out of the glass.

Light bodied with a lovely carbonation, this mid strength IPA certainly holds nothing back on flavour.

Look for a citrus/piney hit of fresh hops on the palate with a light.

Ideal for that Sunday BBQ.

Pirate Life Brewing Pale (5.4% ABV) 
While hops are central again here… they’re deeper and darker than those found in the Throwback or IIPA.

Add to that some of that pine forest floor character you expect from old school West Coast hops alongside the citrus elements.

They are joined by prominent sharp caramel malts to create a creamy lushness on the palette.

There’s something herbal there too and a hearty bitterness to wrap things up.

Pirate Life Golden AlePirate Life Brewing and Hilltop Hoods’ record label Golden Ale (4.7% ABV) 

Picture this. BrewDog brewery in Scotland, freezing cold and Jack and Red are arriving for one of their 12hr+ night shifts.

They get a message from home. Friends having beers at the beach. It almost breaks them.

‘What music do you want Redman?’ asks Jack. ‘Better make it The Hoods, Skip’ replies Red.

Five years later they are launching in Adelaide: The Hilltop Hoods’ home town. Pirate Life receive an email from the manager of their Record Label asking if we’d brew a beer with them. So here it is. The Golden Era Golden Ale.

Hopped up golden ale with plenty of body to it. Looks good in the glass with a vibrant orange colour and a big fluffy white head.

Citrus hops in the flavour leads to a long satisfying finish

Pirate Life IPAPirate Life Brewing IPA (6.8%) 
So Pirate Life has decided to make another hoppy American-style ale.

Seems a bit counter intuitive.

However, this is quite an important beer as it fills in a pretty big gap.

They have a smashable mid, a well-balanced Pale Ale and a big broody, dank hop-bomb of a Double IPA.

So what’s this IPA like? Bright, fruity and full of liquid fun.

Pirate Life Brewing Imperial IPA (8.8% ABV)
Pirate Life Imperial IPAPirate Life’s Imperial India Pale Ale comes in a 500ml can.

It comes on like a freight train, bursting with citrus aromas and belting you on the back palate with hop bitterness.

Fortunately all of that hop action is balanced by a strong hop base and what the Aussies call ‘fun juice’; that is alcohol.

This Imperial IPA is 8.8% ABV.

It is a lot – but it adds an important rounding quality to the beer. 

Want to know more about Pirate Life Brewing?

North east drinkers get secret ‘in-cider’ information

Acre 637 - secret acre

Acre 637 cider logommm… and glug… are giving north east drinkers the chance to taste a unique cider produced in a secret location.

It will be tasting ‘Acre 637’ apple cider this Saturday (18 March) from 1pm onwards.

On their Herefordshire estate, Farmcare Trading Ltd uses a special, rare selection of apples from an unmarked area of land, known only as Acre 637, to produce their ‘secret’ cider.

Farmcare rescued the rare apple trees in 2008 –and is one of only three farms in the world to hold such a wide variety of heritage apples.

mmm… and glug… owner Simone Clarkin is hoping to use the free event to highlight the importance of preserving rare varieties of UK apples.

She said: “We regularly hold meet the brewer events, but this one will be slightly different as cider fans are literally going to be tasting a bit of British history.

“As well as tasting the Acre 637 cider, our customers will also get the chance to meet Farmcare Trading Ltd and hear more about their business ethos.”

Alison White, Business Development Executive for Farmcare Trading Ltd, said: “We are delighted to be giving North East cider fans their first chance to try this unique cider and say ‘cheers’ to the future of UK apple farming.

“We’re all about producing high quality food in an environmentally responsible way for our customers.”

The free tasting (for over 18s only) is being held at mmm… and glug… 10-13 Grainger Arcade, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5QF from 1pm this Saturday (18 March).

Want to know more ?

Little Turban curry sauces at mmm…

Little Turban sauces at mmm

‘Little Turban’ (aka Harj) is an artisan producer of modern regional Indian cooking sauces available at mmm…

Their vision is to introduce real authentic, regional flavours and aromas from around India to your dining table.

Little Turban’s products reflect the diverse flavours, aromas, spices and tastes India has to offer.

Each of their cooking sauces is inspired by a regional classic steeped in tradition and influenced from past generations and rulers.

Little Turban at mmm…

Rich and aromatic Lababdar Curry

A meal fit for Royalty!

A rich sauce made with a cashew nut paste, cream and butter for that decadent experience.

This dish originates from the Mughal era and has stood the test of time as a truly rich royal dish from Hyderabad.

Rustic and hearty Kashmiri Rogan Josh

The famous Rogan Josh created in the way it was orginally created with freshly ground Kashmiri chillies.

These chillies give this sauce a deep red colour.

Combined with a blend of aromatic spices and tomatoes this sauce is a umami hit, which gives it an amazing meaty taste.

Creamy and aromatic Makhani Masala

Creamy, rich and well spiced is the only description for my version of the famous Butter Chicken made famous in Old Delhi

Little Turban was inspired to recreate it with his special blend of tandoori spices.

A real must for lovers of Butter Chicken and for those that enjoy a little spicy kick.

Hot and spicy Naga and Mango Curry

Little Turban’s take on the classic chicken curry but with a bit of kick.

This smooth sauce is combined with a special garam masala blend, naga chilli and mango pulp.

This combination gives the sauce a great balance of heat and sweetness.

A must for chilli lovers.

Creamy coconut Goan Fish Curry

Inspired by Harj’s (aka Little Turban) trip to Goa.

This creamy coconut based sauce brings together a blend of complex spices together which embodies the coastal flavours of Goa.

It’s great with with fish and seafood, as well as chicken, lamb, beef and pork.

Meet the producer – Little Turban’s sauces are already hugely popular with our customers at mmm… so come and try one yourself from 1pm on Saturday, 11 March with Harj himself.

Want to know more?