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Short version: I was given a bottle of La Hechicera the other month, am enjoying it greatly and thought it worth a few words.

Longer version: Produced in Colombia by La Hechicera, this appears to be the only commonly-available rum under their own name. They don’t distill their own rum, sourcing the base spirits from across South America and the Caribbean to get the desired characteristics. What they do, though, is take great pride in the blending and ageing of the rum into the final product.

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After the pity party in Interregnum, here’s a bit of actual recipe doings. Cocktails were the part I’d had a particular eye on for the other Saturday’s entertainment. I’d been reading about tiki cocktails and saw this as an excuse to try a few, as well as to make up a batch of Falernum, a spiced syrup/liqueur integral to quite a few classics. What I created was based on perusing a whole bunch of online info (I’ve not shelled out for the rather fine-looking Beachbum Berry Remixed yet, but hope to soon). While there was a wealth of good stuff to be found, I narrowed it down to variations on Paul Clarke’s Cocktail Chronicles version, courtesy of Post-Prohibition, Chowhound and Punch.

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Lee at The Beer Shop London organised an informal bottle share last week, which was an excellent excuse to try some fine, fine beers, contributed by those who attended. While I’m sure you’d like to listen to me go on about how wonderful a load of beers we had that you couldn’t possibly obtain were, I’ll try to keep that to a minimum.

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So, we’d planned to have a long evening of cocktails with some friends last weekend. I’d intended mixing up some gin fizzes for everyone, maybe a jug of sherry cobbler, and depending on how the rugby went, play around with some meatier numbers sooner rather than later. The Six Nations would get watched, good foods would be eaten and a congenial time would be had. All very nice.

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As per the last post, I was intrigued by the Neroli Gin neat, but not won over by its perfumed whack when tried neat. In a G&T there was more room to breathe, but I still wasn’t sure that was the best use for it, so I thought I’d give it another shot – this time in a Negroni. My justification being that Campari and red vermouth would have enough oomph to stand alongside this gin’s perfumed smack in the face.

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spritz

I was casting about for a quick spritz-ish recipe in a pre-prandial vein and my eyes alighted on a bottle of Amaro Montenegro. Given it has a bit more oomph than Aperol (23%, as opposed to 11%), I thought it would carry a long drink better sans bubbly. It’s also more complex, with a hint of rose at the end that’s rather fun. So as to pretend I was creating something out of whole cloth, rather than just adding soda, I also grabbed some Créme De Pêches, orange bitters and a lemon.

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