Tia Maria at London Cocktail Week to celebrate their new look. It’s a bottle that I know well, always in my Mum’s ‘drinks cabinet’. Never touched. My Brother and I did. Topped up with whatever we could find. She never suspected a thing. This was one of my first forays into drinking. I think you should be aware that age 12, I didn’t take to it. Thirty years on things have changed for me and the brand has had something of a makeover. New look, new bottle, still the same great taste, if you like coffee liqueur.
a bottle always in my Mum’s ‘drinks cabinet’. And, because she never drank it, or any of the contents bulging from it, my Brother and I did. Topped up with whatever we could find, and she never suspected a thing. This was one of my first forays into drinking. I think you should be aware that age 12, I didn’t take to it. Thirty years on and it’s had something of a makeover. New look, new bottle, still the same great taste, if you like coffee liqueur.
London Cocktail Week Tia Maria
With the advent of Espresso Martini some 33 years ago, Tia Maria was an essential ingredient. During the daytime sessions at this week’s London Cocktail week (3-9 October) the brand is offering coffee masterclasses with Square Mile Coffee Roasters with Anette Moldvaer and Tia Maria Ambassador, Rod Eslamieh.
By night, visitors can sample a newly crafted menu of coffee cocktails, created by expert baristas and renowned mixologists, at the Tia Maria + Coffee Project bar. I tried three Tia Maria Martinis; Salted Caramel, Black Cherry and the regular. If you’ve not had the pleasure, TM is 100% Arabica coffee with a hint of vanilla and Jamaican Rum.
The legend of Tia Maria dates back to the mid-17th century when a Spanish aristocrat fled colonial war brought to the island of Jamaica. One family treasure was saved. A small jewellery box with black pearl earrings also contained a manuscript with the recipe for a mysterious liqueur. The recipe is named after the woman, Tia Maria. Rediscovered in the 1950’s by Dr Kenneth Leigh Evans who began to produce and market it. It’s made to the original Caribbean recipe and distributed to over 60 countries worldwide.
London Cocktail Week: Tickets
Plenty is going on during the week, and there are two main venues the Cocktail Village in Old Spitalfields Market and The World Class House in Piccadilly. It’s one of those things you have to plan carefully to avoid missing out. Two hundred bars across the capital take part and cocktails are £5 with a pre-purchased London Cocktail Week wristband (£10 online or at the venue). The village is open until 9.30pm every night except Sunday when it closes at 7.30pm.
Morgan Rum has a pirate ship on site, and they’re serving up cocktails, in coconuts, of course.
It’s not all about alcohol, well it is, and Monkey Shoulder are involved each year and always deliver. This year at Spitalfields they’ve brought Dave ‘Flat’ White, from the Dead Parrot Bar in Horsham. He’s the winner of the Ultimate Bartender Championships and will be serving up coffee cocktails and tea-tinged tinctures. Bring on the ‘Coffee & Doughnuts’, conceived from whisky, cold brew coffee, caramel with a doughnut infusion.
Sipsmith rocks up with their Gin Shop and some impressive serves including a hot G& T, for me, not one to miss. Try their Lemon Drizzle Gin, long with tonic. Superb.
The Departure Lounge (With Angostura and Luxardo) is where the London Cocktail Club and Brand Ambassadors are serving up The Aviation, with a twist. One hundred-year-old celebration continues in full swing here at London Cocktail Week. You may even bump into Brand Ambassador G Franklin or Matteo Luxardo, Export Director and face of Luxardo Maraschino the key ingredient to The Aviation cocktail.
Make sure to grab yourself a guidebook to London’s best bars highlighting where you can enjoy discounted drinks during the festival. Alternatively, jump on the website where you’ll be able to plan your week without missing a beat.