Archive | July 2020

Halo Drinks: Cool Cocktails on the Go for happy summer days at work and home

Halo Drinks is a hospitality company in London created by Ben Hodges and Christina Kimeze, providing a specialist bar service and mobile cocktail van for a range of bespoke drinks and cocktails for private parties, weddings and corporate events.  It’s an innovative and time saving concept, supplying premium batched cocktails in smartly designed bottles.  Just open, pour and serve.

During lockdown, Halo Drinks had the bright idea to adapt their business by offering a cocktail delivery service.  With pubs temporarily shut, how enticing to be able to sip a professionally shaken, ice cold Margarita in the isolated comfort of your home.

We would never have thought about ordering cocktails at home before this.”, says Ben, “We knew that if we were going to launch a business tailor made for the current situation, we needed to do it fast… that focus helped us.”

They found a kitchen in West Kensington to experiment, craft and create a menu of colourful cocktails, including Tommy’s Margarita, Rosé all Day, Negroni, White Port Paloma, Old Fashioned and Lemon Drop with the choice of 50cl and 70 cl bottles.

Summer cocktails from Halo Drinks

The motto is “Expertly prepared and perfectly balanced cocktails. Exceptional ingredients, uncompromising quality.”

In order to test this out, I was kindly sent a chunky bottle of Rosé all Day, which is a soft shade of pink blush with a Tiffany turquoise wrapper around the cork.

Ingredients: Provence Rosé wine, Rum, Rosé Liqueur, Cointreau, Pama Pomegranite Liqueur, Rhubarb Bitters, Lemon.

The serving measure given on the website says “Pour out 100ml and stir well over ice. Garnish with an orange twist”.  However, on the bottle, it suggests a 70ml measure, which seems a large enough shot, so I poured this into a champagne coupe with ice and a slice.

On the nose, there is a fragrant aroma which is also detected in the first taste, mellow, a touch of honey sweetness, with a rather nice after taste of ginger.   All the ingredients have certainly been well blended together, so much so that you don’t actually distinguish the individual flavours of the Rum and Cointreau, more of a jazzed up glass of Rosé wine.

Refreshing and fruity, this is a very light, gluggable summer drink as the ABV is just 17% – more of a  Rum punch than a cocktail with a hard kick.

 “Rosé all Day” a mellow, fruity rum punch.

The fragrance is certainly like a delicious perfume.  A best seller from Jo Malone is “Lime Basil and Mandarin” which is a superb, subtle blend of herbs and citrus fruit.   Likewise, “Rosé all Day” could also be produced as a candle and a cologne!

As these cocktails are made from “exceptional ingredients,” it would be most interesting to know the name of the Provencal vineyard, and the brands of Rum and liqueurs.   And just an idea – a warning note that it must be kept refrigerated is in tiny print on the back label, easily missed – a tag around the neck of the bottle would be better.

Now that we can invite friends to our homes in restricted numbers, a selection of refreshing summer cocktails, all ready muddled, shaken and ready to serve and sip can be ordered on line.

The very popular, White Port Paloma

The new normal for many people is still very much WFH so that after-office drinks are off limits and business currently conducted via Zoom, GoToMeeting and audio conferencing. Why not organise Team Drinks for colleagues and clients.  With customised bottle design and personal messages to showcase a brand or product, Halo can supply drinks for a virtual corporate hospitality event.

The wittily entitled, “Working from Home” is a heady concoction of bourbon, gin, bitter lime, and ginger ale.

“Working from Home” cocktail for Zoom events – after office hours

“Add some va va voom to your Zoom”

“Thanks so much for all your help with getting the drinks to everyone, the feedback was amazing. Everyone enjoyed it and we all had a drink over Zoom together ” Lucy – Marshmallow.

The cocktails were so well received – thank you! The Working From Home cocktail was absolutely delicious. And thank you for turning it around so quickly.” Lisa – BrandOpus

With large social gatherings postponed for birthday and family celebrations, you can also organise a virtual cocktail party for your friends and family.  Cheers!

Halo Drinks is partnered with The Duke of Hamilton pub, Hampstead, London.  If you live nearby, why not call in to sample these specialist cocktails.  This popular tavern opened in 1721 – so next year will be a fabulous celebration on its 300th birthday!  With rich cultural heritage, it’s the hub of the local community.

Halo Drinks are served at the Duke of Hamilton Pub, Hampstead

Celebrated for for their extraordinary ability to consume copious amounts of alcohol, as much as their acting skills, Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole and Oliver Reed were regulars here. I think these serious drinkers would have approved of Halo Cocktails.

Oliver Reed, Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole – boozing buddies

To find out more about the range of cocktails and bar service, delivering drinks for parties at home and hospitality events at work, take a look at the website.

https://www.halo-drinks.co.uk

And to entice you, the good news is that £1 per bottle sold is donated to a charitable cause. This month Halo Drinks has selected to support Black Lives Matter.

Tommy’s Margarita from Halo Drinks – get the party started!

Quedubon – (just good things) by Michael G. Clark @ Doubtfire Gallery: a bon vivant tour from Paris to Provence

Doubtfire Gallery, NW Circus Place

Doubtfire Gallery was established in 2010 by design partnership Frame Creative and it’s most exciting that it has recently moved to the bustling heart of Stockbridge.  With light flooding in the front window, this is a contemporary, accessible and spacious venue with high white walls and polished wood floor.

The new freshly designed, spacious gallery in Stockbridge

To launch the new gallery, the summer exhibition is Quedubon by Michael G. Clark. The title roughly translates as “just good things” to reflect the French sense of  joie de vivre and observe the pursuit of pleasure and leisure in their daily routine.

Clark visited Paris for the first time in 1980 while studying at he Edinburgh College of Art: the city of light, culture and romance, must have been an exciting, enriching experience for a young artist.  Café society, the timeless French art of living, is captured with cool, charismatic style.

There is a certain je ne sais quoi about the inimitable ankle-grazing apron, style and stature of the traditional waiter, as seen standing here on duty with military precision.

Parisian Waiter, Michael G. Clark, PAI, RSW

This is more than a simple sketch but a charming, impressionistic Lowry-esque figurative study.  Through the window, it seems there is a shadowy glimpse of a couple sitting inside the café, all part of a hidden narrative like a paused frame in an animation movie.

If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”  From A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway (memoir)

Drinking wine is the decorative theme in several artworks to take you on a virtual journey around the vineyards of the Bordeaux, Rhone, Loire and Champagne regions.

Mostly Bordeaux, Michael G. Clark, PAI, RSW

Mostly Bordeaux  – the half full (or half empty) glass of wine is a bright and bold Pop Art image set against a splash of Cabernet Sauvingon/Merlot red.

From oil paintings to unframed works, here are champagne flutes, clinking glasses and a fine array of bottles of all shapes and sizes.  White Wine is a most pleasing compostion like a Still life, with corkscrew, grapes and bottles within an abstract fertile green landscape of the vineyard.

White Wine, Michaell G. Clark, PAI, RSW

With an imaginative use of media, Wine Bibbing, is sketched in ink and a splosh of red wine, with a jolly, jaunty angle of the glasses.  Santé !

Wine Bibbing, Michael G. Clark, PAI, RSW

As well as fine wines and cuisine, France is also renowned for haute couture.  Michael G. Clark has the expert eye of a leading fashion designer, specialising with such skill in drawing the most fabulous frocks and the ever fashionable LBD, of Coco Chanel fame.  This unframed illustration is delicately crafted in Conté crayon and oil on a gesso panel.

LBD, Michael G. Clark, PAI, RSW

The Dressmaker depicts an elegant cocktail gown – perhaps cream chiffon – and a soft pink sundress, with such subtle shading to denote a light linen texture.

The Dressmaker, Michael G. Clark, PAI, RSW

Paris in the Rain, reflects the damp chill in the air, the girl in her cloche hat hunched under her parapluie, trying to keep dry and warm.

Paris in the Rain, Michael G. Clark, PAI, RSW

Here are many other quirky, quintessential snapshots of traditional French life and times – shopping in the market, a game of Petanque in the park, taking the dog for a walk, and the iconic, close embrace of two lovers in a city street.

Together, Michael G. Clark, PAI, RSW

Again, like an animation movie, these are delightful, romantic vignettes, ‘caricature’ figures but with a depth of painterly expression to evoke a real sense of place and atmosphere – the use of light, leafy shade and dappled sunlight is most effective.

Early Evening Provence, Michael G. Clark, PAI, RSW

The beauty of the natural landscape too, such as Sunflowers, (see image below), with thick brush strokes and smudges of golden yellow oil paint like a slick of mustard: one blooming flower stands tall and erect to face the sun.

Quedubon – Just Good Things by Michael G Clark is the perfect exhibition to bring sunshine into our lives this summer.  Do visit the new Doubtfire Gallery soon.

Quedubon – Just Good Things, by Michael G Clark PAI, RSW

 Doubtfire Gallery, 20th June to 1st August, 2020

 28 North West Circus Place,, Edinburgh EH3 6TP

 www.doubtfiregallery.co.uk     email: art@doubtfiregallery.co.uk

Sunflowers, Michael G. Clark, PAI, RSW