Well, here’s another first… our very first Somerset cool guest blog! It’s been created by Roth Bar & Grill about their recent visit to The Somerset Cider Brandy Company, with photos by Alfie Johnson. After reading this, we definitely want a taste of all the gorgeous local produce – how about you? (And please, please pass us the ‘Orchard Mist’ :) ).
Last week, we took the Roth Bar & Grill team to visit one of our extended family members on the Somerset Levels - The Somerset Cider Brandy Company at Burrow Hill. This is part of a new 'Feed the Team' initiative, where we visit each supplier and learn about their history and story, as well as the process and skill that goes into making the delicious produce we use in our restaurant.
The farm has been pressing cider for the past 150 years and distilling it to make cider brandy since 1989, holding the first cider distilling license recorded in history. Owner Julian, talked us through each of their products, explaining all about the different flavours, ages and how they are constantly evolving them for the dinner table.
We were also joined by Chelsea Bailey, an award-winning cocktail maker from Bristol, for a cocktail masterclass using a variety of their products mixed with citrus, ginger and peach flavours. It was a beautiful thing!
With summer on our doorstep, our favourite cocktail to serve at parties and events is Julian's ‘Orchard Mist’ - a version of Somerset Pimms. This expertly mixes Kingston Black apple aperitif, lemonade, strawberries, cucumber, orange and mint - all from our Kitchen Garden (well, apart from the oranges!).
Local suppliers and promoting what Somerset has to offer is incredibly important to us – and to Julian. His neighbour at New Cross Farm supplies the blackcurrants and cherries for his liqueurs, as well as the best asparagus we’ve ever tasted. We were lucky enough to try it during lunch and after a kind introduction from Julian, we’re hoping to start serving this asparagus in our restaurant.
Julian is renowned worldwide in the cider industry, and still judges competitions globally. The family are huge supporters of us at Roth Bar & Grill and Hauser & Wirth Somerset and we’ve stocked their products from the very beginning. After our visit, we’ll now be using their Somerset Cider Vinegar in our cocktails and showcasing ‘Ice Cider’ on our drinks menu too.
Yesterday reminded us all just how cool Somerset is and how lucky we are to be surrounded by such superb supplier partners, makers and friends.
Date for the diary: Julian is hosting an event with his friend Mark Hix at Roth Bar & Grill on Saturday 23rd September. Tickets will be available soon.