Bring the Style to the Party with Haig Club

One of the greatest things I look forward to around the festive period is proudly and immodestly showing off my mixology skills to friends and family. It coincides with my theory that every family should have someone that is capable of making their own cranberry sauce for the Christmas Dinner.

I have elected myself as the man with the elixir, arriving at parties with a bottle Haig Club Clubman providing the ultimate stylish ingredient for the cocktail recipe.

I did promise myself that this year I'd create a special menu, have it laminated and issue them out via an email circular. On reflection that would take a lot of work, be borderline narcissistic and remove the element of surprise.

My favourite part of playing host or barman, is introducing people to Haig Club. It's an incredibly accessible expression for those that don't typically drink whisky. Conversely, and perhaps one could say surprisingly for a single grain, has been widely lauded by aficionados.

The Haig Club bottle is designed in such a way as to not disappear amongst the plethora of 'bring a bottle' gift. For that reason it works perfectly as a gift for that special stylish someone in your life.

The best cocktail to impress my friends

It's not just the job of a barman to serve drinks. It's to tell the story of the brand and why they coincide with your style and life choices.

When preparing my party special the Principal Lowball, a light Clubman serve with coconut water and sherry, I'll be characterising the blend by eulogising it's perfect proportions.

This cocktail has a wonderful myriad of tasting notes that will stimulate your palate.

As an aside, I've been dabbling in a bit of self-development of late, preparing for my meditative retreat to Bali in January. For that reason I've been noticing the importance of things like balance, harmony and symmetry. 

These subliminal references are a perfect description of Haig Club and encapsulate my thoughts on this expression. As someone that likes to bring a stylish differential to any occasion, being able to express my individualism through the prism of Haig Club is an added bonus.

Treat your friends, educate your patrons, surprise yourself.


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INGREDIENTS

40ml Haig Club Clubman
25ml Medium Amontillado sherry
80ml coconut water
5ml single malt whisky
A pinch of salt
A strip of barley to garnish (optional)

METHOD

Step 1 – Combine all ingredients and refrigerate

Step 2 – Pour into a chilled rocks glass with no ice

Step 3 – Garnish with a strip of barley

*This Sponsored post was created in collaboration with Haig Club.

HAIG CLUB Awards Jeff Goldblum Icon of The Year at the GQ MOTY Awards 2018

If any day was to be my Groundhog Day, then this was the one. I was cordially invited to the GQ Man of the Year Awards at Tate Modern by the good people at HAIG CLUB, the Single Grain Scotch Whisky from the House of Haig. The awards will honour the iconoclasts who shape the world's cultural landscapes in style, politics, entertainment and sport. From the best of film, music, sport, TV, books, politics and this year, even Royalty.

This year, HAIG CLUB was the official spirit sponsor of the awards and after-party. As a sponsor, HAIG CLUB also awarded Jeff Goldblum Icon of The Year – for his long service to awesomeness. 

He wore a two tone gold and silver jacket that looked to made of a silk-viscose blend. Twin jetted skirt pockets and a skinny grey tie. His silver shirt really complemented his grey stubble, accentuated by further grey tones on the side arms of his glasses. 

Is silver going to be the colour of the year for 2019? Pantone, I'm calling it now. The voguish silver-grey movement is coming through the field like Seabiscuit. 

 

So what did I wear to party?

The agony of choice. Of course the de rigueur of such an esteemed show demanded black tie. My weapon of choice, the AW18 grey Ebury velvet blazer from the Chester Barrie ready to wear collection. As Tommy Nutter once said 'the only company you could have quality clothes (ready to wear) made by in this country is Chester Barrie.' (He also cited that they were too expensive, but you get what you pay for).

The jacket has no vents (black tie means black tie) and is crafted in a cotton velvet with silk Mogador facings. The waist is suppressed and the lapels are peaked. I'm also combing a few pieces from a previous season to hammer the point home, these pieces are investments. I don't need a brand new everything, every time I'm on the red carpet.

With the wardrobe nailed down I was shipped off to Barber & Parlour. A salon connected to Soho House with beautiful vintage decor, with reupholstered tanned leather seats and faded chestnut panelling.

To appreciate this escape from the humdrum, this quiet before the storm, I indulged in a Haig Club Clubman Espresso martini. This was to be one of four serves presented to the 850 guests during the awards dinner and at the HAIG CLUB Bar at the after-party.

 

The other three:

  • Haig Club Clubman Boulevardier - Haig Clubman, Belsazar Rose Vermouth, Italian bitter aperitif, orange twist.
  • Haig Club Clubman & Cola - Haig Clubman, Fever-Tree Madagascan Cola, fresh lime.
  • Haig Club X GQ Cooler - Haig Club, elderflower, Fever-Tree Ginger ale, fresh cucumber.

After pressing the flesh on the red carpet for a spell, hanging with the irrepressible Timothy James and Toby Huntington-Whiteley, sampling some HAIG CLUB X GQ MOTY cocktails, it was time for the 3-course meal prepared by Paul Ainsworth.

Then it came time for the awards. Prince Charles picked Prince Charles won Lifetime Achievement for Philanthropy. On stage he jokes: “I thought it might be some sort of fashion award. I’m like a stopped clock - fashionable once every 25 years.” He also quipped “I didn’t want to show you all up with my very snazzy dinner jacket.” (Referring to his double breasted Navy lounge suit). 

Other standouts for me in the style department were Paul Weller who won song writer of the year. His 3-piece chalk line jacket and waistcoat looked fantastic. The roped shoulders and broad lapels didn't scream black tie, but nonetheless followed the lines of his body intensely. I'm curious as to why he wasn't wearing the tuxedo issued in the GQ press release that looked very much like a Hugo Boss suit, the official partners of the event. He styled the jacket and waistcoat with flat front grey flannel trousers with a turn up over his eye catching white and brown penny loafers. 

The award for the most stylish man went to John Legend won also serenaded us during the event. He wore a shimmering cobalt blue velvet tux with black facing peak lapels and a nice barchetta breast pocket, reminiscent of Tom Ford. (I want to say it is Tom Ford, but am mindful that most of the celebrities would have had their wardrobe catered to by the event sponsor). 

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The after-party was buoyant with some well-heeled souls, everyone looked like they had pulled out all the stops. The HAIG CLUB cocktails were going down well with all attendees, a testament to its unique smooth versatility. There is no better single grain whisky on the market that caters to both the whisky aficionado or dram novice. 

HAIG CLUB CLUBMAN (70cl) is available from Waitrose, Tesco, ASDA, Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s and Co-op, Drink Supermarket. RRP £25.

Responsible drinking is at the heart of HAIG CLUB. 

Here is a full list of the GQ Men of The Year 2018 Winners.

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*This sponsored post was created in collaboration with Haig Club.

 

David Beckham Launches House 99 Exclusive at Harvey Nichols

On the 31st January 2018 the day after announcing his Miami MLS Soccer team venture (football to us Brits), he flew into London to launch the men's grooming brand House 99 which is currently exclusive to Harvey Nichols. Attending the event was an extremely well groomed guest list. Alongside HOUSE 99 founder David Beckham, a multitude of celebrities, models and the best men's fashion, lifestyle and grooming Influencers and YouTubers attended the star-studded event. Including some of my friends including Gwilym Pugh, Craig McGinley, Rowan Row, Darren Kennedy, Ali Gordon, Ben Heath, Carl Cunard and many more of the ever expanding House 99 influencer community.

Guest made full use of a bar serving the best Haig Club Clubman cocktails including my personal favourites, the Haig Club Espresso Martini, Haig Club & Coke and Haig Club Whiskey Sour. On top of that their were skilled barbers on hand to offer expert advice while encouraging guests to step out of their comfort zone and try a new look.

Among the new products, guests discovered House 99 Seriously Groomed Hair & Beard Balm, Soft Touch Beard Oil and the already famous Bold Statement tattoo moisturiser. Taking over Project 109 within the Harvey Nichols menswear department, the event space was transformed to create a modern grooming parlour with specific references to London’s barbershop culture.

To celebrate the launch, Harvey Nichols has transformed its windows along Sloane Street as well as the corner windows on Knightsbridge for the House 99 brand. House 99 will also be available at all Harvey Nichols stores regionally in the UK and Ireland as well as on harveynichols.com.

Earlier this month David Beckham announced the launch of his first global grooming brand, HOUSE 99, a complete collection of 21 innovative products to conquer every style ambition. The launch was created by David Beckham in partnership with L’Oréal Luxe to provide all the tools men need to experiment with their look in order to express their own evolving style and unique identity. HOUSE 99 takes a holistic approach to grooming, merging British barbershop culture and style with hair, skin beard to build a home for every man’s next look. The brand is available in the UK and Ireland, exclusively at Harvey Nichols, from February 1st 2018.

Shop my top picks from the collection below:

Take the Christmas Cocktail Generator & Discover Your Perfect Christmas Drink

I love cocktails but there's one thing I love more, and that's cocktails at Christmas or cocktails with a Christmas twist like a Spiced Haig Club Espresso Martini or Gingerbread White Russian. Christmas Eve has traditionally been my favourite nights of the year to go out, much better than New Years Eve in my eyes. It's a day where everyone that moved away from where they grew up, go back to visit their families, so the evening is full of old school friends and old girlfriends, which can get quite awkward if you had as many as I did! 

But this year, I'm doing something different and not frequenting this annual tradition of mine but instead just staying in with my mum, dad, brother, sister and her family. I'm actually really looking forward to it and now I have found this fun Christmas Cocktail Generator I think we'll be taking it in turns to create our favourite cocktails. 

The Christmas Cocktail Generator will take into consideration your personality by putting your answers to their questions into an algorithm which will then calculate the perfect cocktail for you from around 60 recipes. When I first took the test, I got my favourite cocktail the 'Espresso Martini' although being Christmas I created my own favourite take on the classic. For example, I replace the vodka with Haig Club Clubman Whiskey because it gives an incredible vanilla taste which combined with the coffee gives a smoother consistency to your cocktail. Once shaken and poured, I then sprinkle a mixture of ground brown sugar, chocolate and cinnamon to the top. Then of course the traditional 3 coffee beans to decorate as well as a stick of cinnamon. Each mouthful will combine the flavours of the vanilla in the whiskey, coffee, cinnamon and chocolate, for a perfect combination.

If you love the Espresso Martini, you'll also love a White Russian due to using similar ingredients and it's another one of my favourites. It's said to look like a cup full of snow-capped deliciousness, so make the flavour match it's festive appearance with a touch of gingerbread, for a drink that looks, tastes and smells oh so Christmassy.

Ingredients & Method

100ml milk, 100ml vodka, 100ml Kahlua, 2 tsp sugar, half teaspoon ground ginger, cinnamon stick garnish

In a ice-filled class, pour in your vodka and Kahlua. In a jar, mix the milk, sugar and ginger and pour over the back of a spoon onto your booze for a pretty layered effect.

The Ultimate Stylish Gift for Christmas | Haig Club

Haig Club Clubman is one of the more decorative bottles of whisky on the market currently. If we're going by first impressions, aesthetically it would be remiss of me to not highlight the distinctive elongated square bottle. When within arm’s reach, not only does your eye gravitate towards it, but the unique composition of the bottle gives it a certain tangibility. You want to pick up, almost weigh it in your palm as you imagine what kind of future the two of you will have together. Your thoughts might take a flight of fancy. You see yourself running barefoot along a white sand beach, a bottle of Haig Club Clubman in one hand, the other is in the delicate basket weave-grip of David Beckham as the pair of you compare forearm tattoos. (Vinyl needle scratch). Apologies, I digress.

This stunning Single Grain Scotch Whisky from the House of Haig, created in partnership with David Beckham, brings a contemporary twist to Scotch and is a flawlessly stylish Christmas gift for both whisky lovers and newcomers to the Scotch scene. Single Grain Whisky is often used in blended whisky to mollify the more exotic bitters of Single Malt and Pot Still spice. In absence of those floral overtones is a more measured, clean flavour with sweet notes of butterscotch and toffee for a deliciously smooth taste.

The Haig Club brand has worked wonders to create the definitive entry level whisky aimed at persuading non-whisky drinkers that there is life beyond the custodial Gin and Vodka perimeters. I'm lucky - I've got some Christmas parties to attend next month and I'm excited to up the style stakes, introducing my colleagues and friends to the HAIG CLUB. I'm more than happy to play barman at Christmas parties because you're never isolated from conversation or feel out of place. People will want to come to you! Here below are some of the cocktails I've been practicing ahead of time, I hope they inspire you to try the HAIG CLUB, and experiment with mixing cocktails to suit your palette. Let me know in the comment box below, what you think. 

 

Haig Club Clubman Winter Spiced Espresso Martini

Dick Bradsell’s classic cocktail is given a decadent and delightful festive twist.

  • 50ml Haig Club Clubman
  • 50ml Crème de Cacao
  • 50ml Espresso
  • 1 x Cinnamon

Haig Club & Cola Old Fashioned

A modern take on a classic whisky drink which enhances the caramel flavours of the cola and the vanilla flavours of Clubman.

  • 50 ml Haig Club
  • 1 x Brown Sugar
  • 25ml Cola
  • 25ml Sweet Vermouth
  • 1 twist of Cherry & Orange Peel

Clubman & Cola

The sweet, vanilla flavour of Clubman combines perfectly with the smooth caramel of cola to create a refreshing drink with a vibrant, smooth finish.

  • 50 ml Haig Club Clubman
  • 250ml Cola
  • Slice of lime

HAIG CLUB 70cl: RRP £45 Available from Amazon

HAIG CLUB CLUBMAN 70cl: RRP £25 Available from Amazon