Good uses for a Lay Z Spa - Hot tub Cinema!
“Hot tubs and cinemas together?” I hear you say. Well that’s the order of the day at London’s Hot Tub Cinema, a funky new endeavour that has popped up in various venues in London over the last year. Why queue up to sit in a dark cramped cinema, having your seat kicked constantly by the toddlers behind you when you can enjoy some of the coolest films on the planet from the comfort of a rooftop hot tub? And even if you don’t like the films, enjoy your drink and the company as you gaze out across the stunning views of London’s night-time skyline.
Hot Tub Cinema began privately about seven years ago. Since then it has grown in increments, reaching the stage of a handful of hot tubs in a garden in Stoke Newington about 18 months ago, at which point they realised it was time to find some new & exciting venues for their expanding endeavours.
They’re currently running from the rooftop of Netil360 in East London and parties regularly sell out very quickly so we recommend keeping a close eye on their future events if you would like to book tickets. For regular updates go to http://hottubcinema.com/ or find them on Facebook. General Entry tickets start from £22. Private tubs are from £25 per head (£200 per tub split between up to 8 attendees). Tickets include access to the rooftop, hot tubs, waiter service and film screening. Some events are B.Y.O. but soft drinks are often included.
We’re very pleased to see that Hot Tub Cinema are proud supporters of the Lay Z Spa inflatable Hot Tub. Although we’re not sure 8 to a tub is recommended! If you want to create your own Hot Tub Cinema night, the Lay Z Spa Premium Series 4 is currently available for under £400 from drinkstuff.com and includes a free bonus filter pack.
Bank Holiday BBQ Ideas
Summer is in full swing, the forecast is red-hot sun (with scattered showers!), the garden is green and the smell of the neighbour’s barbeque is wafting over your fence. It’s that time of year again; time to dust off the old barbeque for its annual airing. What better time than Bank Holiday Monday? With the roads and airports chock-a-block with red-faced motorists and holiday makers, get away from it all and take the time out to relax in the garden, throw a party and sizzle-up some bangers with friends.
Here at drinkstuff we have a mind-boggling array of barbeques and summer party accessories . Whether you’re looking for bbq accessories, disposable drinkware, party plates or napkins right up to cocktail sets and Inflatable Hot-tubs! We’ve also included a few recipes and Ideas but if you need a comprehensive collection of cocktail recipes then check out our cocktail books which are jam-packed with ideas for creating your own concoctions!
Food is quite rightly the star guest at any barbeque. Nothing can beat the smell of char-grilled meat filling the summer air. With so many choices available at the supermarket it can be easy to settle for pre-made burgers and sausages but if you fancy trying your hand at making your own burgers, it couldn’t be simpler with the Swift Burger Press . Mix up your mince and chosen ingredients in a bowl and spoon into the mould and press down to create your own authentic professional-looking home-made burgers!
Of course, barbeques aren’t limited to burgers and sausages. Be adventurous, try Lamb, Pork Chops or Steak and marinade your meat the night before. Also fish and shellfish are delicious barbequed and don’t forget old favourites like corn-on-the-cob, salads and nibbles like olives and nuts.
If you’re looking for inspiration; here’s a tried and tested marinade recipe from the drinkstuff team. It’s very simple to put together, using some basic food cupboard ingredients:
Smokey BBQ Marinade
300ml Barbeque Sauce
1 Onion, chopped
3 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
2 Tsps Smoked Paprika
1 Tsp Chilli Powder
4 Tbsps of Dark Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Worcester Sauce
2 Tbsps Tomato Puree
1 Tsp White Wine Vinegar
This tasty and easy marinade is great for white meats such as chicken and pork, although it works just as well with Beef Steak and Fish. Simply mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and add your chosen meat. Ensure that the marinade is covering the meat, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate overnight before cooking as normal on your barbeque. Once your meat is cooked, serve it up with a bowl of fresh salad, cous-cous or even more meat!
For the presentation conscious our Royal Genware Square Plates are ideal for presenting a plate of food a chef would be proud of! For a whole range of tableware and presentation ideas check out our ever-expanding selection of tableware and crockery for more inspiration.
Drinks all round!
Drink selection is a vital part to any gathering of friends, why not throw a BBQ party with a twist and greet your guests with a tray of refreshing Mojitos or a bowl of homemade punch?
Children and designated drivers should never be left out so don’t forget to include a non-alcoholic punch or have a blender on-hand to wizz-up some ice-cream smoothies or fruit-based cocktails. Make sure you have the right glass for the job though; cocktails aren’t just about mixing drinks together it’s about the presentation too!
Another party essential which is a firm favourite here at drinkstuff towers are the Stack Cups . These ingenious lightweight cups have a hollow handle which allows them to be stacked together for easy carrying. They’re perfect for dishing out a round of cold beers when your free-hands are limited!
If you want to save on washing-up we now have a range of bio-degradable plastic cups and recycled napkins to minimise any harmful fallout from your party. Because let’s face it; who wants to be washing up after a few Sangrias!?
We’ve included a couple of our favourite summer cocktail recipes for you. For non-alcoholic ice-cream shakes just swap the Vodka, Baileys and Kahlua for flavoured Crusha or Nesquick, the kids will love it!
Summer Ice Cream Alco-Shakes (Makes 4)
4 Scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream
100ml Bailey’s irish Cream
In a blender or food-processor add all of the ingredients and simply wiz them together until they are blended into a smooth drink. Serve in iced hurricane cocktail glasses with a straw. For extra decadence top with a generous helping of whipped cream!
Sangria (courtesy of the ultimate bar book )
2 Lemons, sliced
2 Peaches, pitted and sliced
120ml Fresh lemon juice
90ml Licor 43 (If available)
75g Superfine sugar
75cl of red wine (Rioja is ideal)
Soda to top up
Combine the lemon and peach slices in a large glass pitcher . Add the lemon juice, Licor 43 and sugar, stirring to combine. Gently stir in the wine. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. When ready to serve, add the soda, stirring gently. Slowly pour into ice-filled wine goblets allowing some of the fruit to fall into the glasses.
Licor 43 is an ancient Spanish liqueur which has a distinctive vanilla and citrus twang. It’s not readily available in the supermarket and unless you spend a lot of time hopping over to Spain you’ll rarely see it. However several online stockists do supply to the UK for a reasonable price.
If you want to, you can replace the Licor 43 with another fruity liqueur such as Cointreau, Pimms or Flavoured Vodka.
We hope you take the time to relax and enjoy your summer barbeque. After all it’s the last Bank Holiday until Christmas! One last point to note is of course to drink safely and be careful handling your barbeque, don’t over-stock your coals or go mad with the lighter fluid, nobody wants to eat burnt sausages or worse; spend bank holiday in A&E!
This summer the new social phenomenon seems to be pop-up bars which are springing up in the capital and beyond. These temporary fixtures are proving popular with drinkers and party-goers who are seeking something fresh and original from their experience.
From Richmond Park to the Olympic village there is a vast selection of exclusive and open-house events taking place if you require some quirk for your day in London. There are bars popping up all over the country offering anything from a generic selection of bar fare to drink–specific installations with Vodka and Gin bars tucked-away in not-so-secret locations.
Our favourite so far has to be Ed Godden and Joe Lewis’s Travelling Gin Company who dispense high quality Gin and tonic refreshment from their converted vintage butcher’s delivery bicycle. Since their inception during a trip to Amsterdam and launch last year they have seen their company expand to festival and exhibition appearances to jaunts across the water to Germany for a pop-up tour.
Using only the best Gins from Sipsmiths, Sacred and Bloom and tonics such as Fentiman’s Botanically Brewed as well as a selection of their own cocktail recipes, their philosophy is only to use the best ingredients to create the perfect G&T experience and what could be more refreshing on a hot day in London!
They are also licensed to cater for events, parties and even weddings – as long as you like Gin!
They are popping up all over London during the summer and their schedule looks like it will only get busier as the good weather continues and bookings are already rolling in for 2013. Catch them if you can!
Sunday 19th August - ‘Out Of Hours’ / Garden Of Reason. At the National Trust’s Ham House & Garden, Richmond. 5pm - 9.30pm
Saturday 15th September: GAIL’s Garden Party at Oriel Place, Hampstead.http://www.gailsbread.co.uk/
Sunday 16th September. Labour & Wait. Store Sample Sale. Redchurch Street E2.
More dates tba.
For more information on Ed and Joe’s Travelling Gin Company visit http://thetravellingginco.tumblr.com/ or find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thetravellingginco or Twitter @TravellingGinCo.
The Great British Beer Festival - http://gbbf.org.uk/
Today is the launch of CAMRA’s Great British Beer Festival at London’s Olympia. The Olympia is transformed this week into a giant pub offering over 800 different Beers, Ales, Ciders and traditional Perries to over 50,000 attending pub fanatics.
This arena gives credit to Individual and established brewers from all over the world who continue to brew exciting and original beverages that keep the fans of traditional brewing coming back for more. It’s not only the real ale veterans who keep coming back, more and more younger drinkers are turning to real ale despite a downfall in pub sales. Also CAMRA has recorded a doubling of female ale drinkers ensuring the scene continues to be fresh and lively.
It’s not all about the drink though, supporting the event this week are food stalls from around the world and daily entertainment from bands such as Mad Dog McRea and the Deborah Bonham Band and more.
Tickets are on sale now from http://gbbf.org.uk/
Fight the Tax Hike!
During the festival CAMRA will be taking the opportunity to gain support for its campaign to abolish the above inflation tax increase which has seen the price of a pint in the UK rise by 42% in 4 years. This hike is stifling the pub industry and as a result 8,000 pubs have closed in the last 5 years and the increase in price has meant that over 50% of adults prefer to drink at home instead of supporting their local. Needless to say CAMRA is driving the petition towards parliamentary debate with over 72,000 signatures already they are a whisker away from securing the 100,000 signatures needed to force the issue in parliament.
To sign CAMRA’s petition; follow this link and support your local pub! http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/29664/
We’re very excited this week at the Drinkstuff office with the arrival of our new Irish Coffee Gift Set from Bar@drinkstuff (to be sure!). This stylish set comes with 4 tall and slim coffee glasses in an elegant contemporary styled striped stainless steel handle and surround, to keep those fingers from burning. They also come with their own matching stainless steel coasters and stirring spoons that double as straws - genius! (Slurp!)
This funky little Irish Coffee Set is perfect for a round of after-dinner party drinks and we’ve had lots of fun here in the office coming up with our own after-dinner drink and liqueur combinations! Gin and coffee anyone? ...hmmm maybe not.
For those of you who like their liqueur on the side, try combining these with our Chocolate Shot Cups for the most decadent post-dessert buzz!
The Original Irish Coffee
Are you wondering how to make Irish Coffee? Just for your pleasure, here’s a handy Irish coffee recipe courtesy of www.foodnetwork.com
Ingredients (per glass)
- 200ml freshly brewed hot coffee
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 jigger Irish whiskey (15ml or 3 tablespoons)
- Heavy cream, slightly whipped
Fill your coffee glasses with hot water to preheat it, then empty. Pour piping hot coffee into warmed glass until it is about 3/4 full. Add the brown sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Blend in Irish whiskey. Top with a collar of the whipped heavy cream by pouring gently over back of spoon. Serve hot.
Swap the Whiskey for your favourite spirit. Try Tia Maria, Amaretto or Baileys Irish Cream for a sumptuous after-dinner experience!
Taking the world of preserve making by storm, Kilner jars are flying off our shelves like hot cakes! Having stood the test of time for over 100 years, the essential staple of your Grandmother's kitchen are now the height of fashion. But Kilner jars (also known as mason jars) aren't just for filling with strawberry jam and onion chutney, here we present 10 alternative uses for your Kilner jars:
1. Cocktail Glass
2. Candle Holder
3. Sweet Jar
Everyone loves sweets, so why not make a personal gift for someone you love by filling up a jar of their favourite sweets? And maybe one for yourself of course... If you're feeling lazy website A Quarter of The Best Sweets Ever have a range of sweet filled Kilner Clip Top Jars 3ltr!
4. Bath Salts
5. Sewing Kit
For those craft lovers out there the Kilner Preserve Jar 1ltr makes a unique sewing kit to impress your friends! Full instructions on how to make a Kilner sewing kit can be found on the Kilner website.
6. Photo Frame
Probably not your first thought when using a Kilner jar, but a DIY photo frame in a Kilner Preserve Jar 1ltr will certainly make a unique piece for your mantlepiece. Simply get a copy of your favourite photo and submerge it in oil. Full instructions can be found at Funky Bear Decor blog.
Create something homemade (in more ways than one) and unique by filling your Kilner jars with soil and planting your favourite herbs or plants. Not Just a Housewife have full instructions on how to make your very own Mason Jar Wall Planter using Kilner Preserving Jars 1ltr.
9. Recipe Jar
Create an instant recipe mix for just about any food with a Kilner Preserving Jar or Kilner Clip Top Jar. Choose from ready made bread mixes to DIY pot noodles. Our favourite idea has to be a cookie mix which allows the recipent to simply mix in a bowl and add the wet ingredients. Why not try the Cowgirl Cookie mix from bakerella.com and use a Kilner Preserving Jar 0.5ltr?
10. Cocktail Shaker
Okay, so this one might not be so practical to make yourself, but we love the ideal of a mason jar being transformed into a cocktail shaker! Currently being created in America by two blokes, we hope to be seeing the Mason Jar Cocktail Shaker over here soon.
Introducting Glazed Donut Vodka, a product that only American's could invent. The perfect alternative to that Krispy Kreme dipped in hard liquor, this 35% proof offers all the yummy donut taste with less of the calories. Created by American company 360 Vodka, they have produced the earth's first eco-friendly range of vodkas which includes flavours such as Sorrento Lemon, Madagascan Vanilla and more unusual flavours such as cola, double chocolate and bing cherry. For the perfect breakfast drink, why not try a Glazed Donut Vodka, Bakon Vodka and Maple Syrup Vodka cocktail? We think we'll call it the Glazed Maplebakontini...no we didn't think it was a good idea either.
This unique vodka needs a unique cocktail, such as the Boston Creme Donut, courtesy of 360 Vodka:
• 1 1/2 ounce 360 Vodka Glazed Donut
• 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
• 1 scoop of ice
• Whipped cream
• Chocolate sprinkles
Add all ingredients, with the scoop of ice, into a blender and blend until desired consistency. Pour into a rocks glass and top with whipped cream. Garnish with chocolate sprinkles.
If you've ever felt ripped off after being handed your change at the bar then think again as the most expensive beer in the world costs $800 for a bottle! Here we compile a list of some of the world's most expensive beers:
Antarctic Nail Ale
You need to be a keen animal lover to purchase this beer at $800 (£514) a bottle as all the profits go to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which opposes whaling in the Antarctic region. This beer is made using water from an actual Antarctic iceberg, melted it in Tasmania and flown to Perth for brewing. Only 30 bottles were made and sold at auction, hence the hefty price tag.
Brewdog’s “The End of History”
Scottish brewery Brewdog are quite well known for their expensive range of beers, but they certainly hit the headlines with their "The End of History" beer at $765 (£492) per bottle. At 110 proof, it's also the third strongest beer ever made as well as the current second most expensive with only 12 bottles made. However the real eye-catching aspect of this beer is the fact that each bottle is encased in roadkill and stuffed by a taxidermist. Not one for the fainthearted.
Carlsberg Vintage 3
Usually better known for their exported lager, Carlsberg produced the "vintage trilogy" in 2008, 2009 and 2010 in an attempt the challenge the luxury wine market with each bottle costing $348 (£223). Only 600 bottles were made, however, this vintage beer offers excellent value for money with an expiry date of 2059.
Schorschbräu’s Schorschbock 57
Made in Germany in 2011, only 36 bottles of this $275 (£176) were made and the brewery claims it's the strongest beer in the world at 115 proof. Any higher and this beer would violate Germany's 500-year-old Beer Purity Law.
Samuel Adams’ Utopias
Samuel Adams’ Utopias boasts a $100 (£64) per bottle price tag and at 24-27 proof is banned in 13 American states. This beer is released every 2 years after being uniquely brewed for 18 years with a touch of maple syrup and comes in an ornate copper-plated brew kettle.
Other expensive beers include Brewdog’s Sink the Bismarck at $80 (£51) which has been freeze-distilled four times, Tutankhamun Ale at $75 (£48) which was brewed in a Cambridge laboratory after a recipe was discovered in the Queen Nefertiti’s Temple of the Sun in Egypt, Crown Ambassador Reserve $90 (£57) which an Australian beer packaged in a champagne bottle and Sapporo’s Space Barley $110 (£70) for a 6 pack which has been brewed in space by scientists!
It's not often we're blessed with fine weather in the British Isles so we always love an excuse to bring out the BBQ! This week so far has been a scorcher, good thing too as it's National BBQ Week! Running from 26th May till 3rd June, it's time to don that novelty apron, fire up the BBQ and get grilling those steak burgers! This week is the perfect practice for hosting a barbecue for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, which is set to beat last year's Royal Wedding's 7.5million BBQs as Britain's biggest BBQ day of all time. To help you host the perfect barbeque, we've got a great range of barbeque's and BBQ accessories for a sizzling summer.
There's always been a big debate about using charcoal or gas for barbecues, with charcoal being a cheaper option, while gas is often considered an easier option. Whichever option you prefer, drinkstuff has you covered for a range of gas BBQs and charcoal BBQs. Our consistently popular Son of Hibachi Barbecue is an ideal option for families, camping, festivals and holidays as it lights quickly and comes with a snuff out pouch so you can pack up and go. If you're catering for a family or event, we've got a great range of charcoal and gas Landmann BBQs.
Obviously no BBQ is complete without some tasty food, and the National BBQ Week website features recipes with some gourmet twists on the classic burger, sausages, chicken and kebabs! We're loving the look of Gorgeous Gastro-grilled Chilli & Pineapple Spare Ribs!
Ensure you're well prepared for al-fresco dining with our range of barbeque accessories. Don't forget all the essentials; disposable plates, disposable cutlery, foil platters, napkins and plastic glasses. Also new to drinkstuff, we've got a range of squeezy sauce bottles for ketchup and mustard, ideal for family BBQs as well as larger events. We've also got a whole range of British themed Queen's Jubilee party accessories if you're planning a Diamond Jubilee street party.
It's 2012 and there's never been a better time to be British; we've got the London Olympic Games, Euro 2012 and of course the Queen's Diamond Jubilee! With celebrations happening up and down the country from 2nd to 5th June, you'd better don your party hat and get ready for a good old fashioned British street party. We've got the ultimate guide to making your Jubilee street party one to remember and a great range of Jubilee street party accessories.
Step One - Location, Location, Location
This might be quite an obvious one, but ensure you have the appropriate permission to close or part close your road if you're planning a street party. Alternatively, hosting a Jubilee party in your home or garden is also a great option.
Step Two - What to Eat?
Of course no Jubilee street party is complete without plenty of food, and what's more British than sausage rolls, cucumber sandwiches and Victoria Sponge cake? If you're stuck for inspiration then the BBC Good Food website is packed full of ideas.
Step Three - What to Drink?
In the Great British climate you have to be prepared for all weather, from rain or shine. Hopefully the sun will be shining on the Jubilee weekend, and you'll be able to serve up a selection of refreshing drinks. Our British Street Party Cups Set is ideal for serving up lemonade and squash for the kids, and beer and cocktails for the adults. Pimm's and lemonade is also a great choice for the adults and we've got a great selection of Pimm's Jugs and Pimm's Glasses. If you're serving afternoon tea, our Union Jack Party Cups are ideal for both hot and cold drinks.
Step Four - Stock Up on Party Essentials
Our great range of Jubilee party decorations will ensure your Jubilee party is appropriately themed with a selection of red, blue and white colours and Union Jack flags. Keep drinks cold with our Inflatable Union Jack Beer Mug Cooler or Husky Union Jack Refrigerator! Add some Union Jack decoration to your food and drinks with our Union Jack Cascade Picks and Cello Frill Cocktail Picks. Ensure all mess is cleared away with our Union Jack Luncheon Napkins or British Street Party Napkin Set.
Step Five - Invitations
Invite your friends and neighbours of course! You can always invite the Queen and Prince Phillip if you wish, but we can't guarantee they'll turn up.
Don't forget to visit us for all your Jubilee party equipment! We hope your 2012 Queen's Diamond Jubilee Street Party is a roaring success!