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Down in five: Jack Adair Bevan

Categories: Expert guidance

Jack Adair Bevan, co-founder of The Ethicurean and co-author of The Collector Vermouth, describes the long, cool drinks he searches out at this time of year

What’s your favourite every day thirst-quencher?
I think for a drink to truly have thirst-quenching properties, it must have an element of bitterness. A favourite drink of mine is one that lends itself to being made in a large jug—Pimms, step aside.

The recipe is a simple one: two-parts Indian tonic water, one-part Regal Rogue Lively white vermouth from East London Liquor Company, a large rosemary sprig, sliced lemon and grapefruit. Serve in highball glasses filled with ice. It is wonderfully herbaceous and pretty light on the alcohol content. I’m sure that means you can make another jug immediately?

What’s your latest discovery?
I’m going to reframe this question to ‘latest re-discovery’, which is without doubt a cool swig of The Cider House’s traditional cider, with a slice of Gorwydd Caerphilly from Trethowan’s Dairy. It is a top notch dairy and it has recently moved its production to the West Country, a few miles from my home. I challenge anyone to suggest a finer British pairing.

What drink would you save for a special occasion?
I am a big fan of a negroni sbagliato. I have seen it referred to on one cocktail menu as the “mistaken negroni”.  A direct translation from Italian would be ‘wrong’. The classic negroni is a sum of its equal parts and is a heady affair with a terrifically boozy finish—I think this offers a lighter, more fitting alternative for summertime.

Try taking 25ml Vya Sweet vermouth, 25ml Stellacello from Borough Wines and top with 25ml of sparkling red wine. Stellacello is in the place of Campari and offers a wonderful British blend of herbs, spices and fruits. Garnish with a slice of orange and a sage leaf. Borough Wines also stocks a superb sparkling red from Piedmont, Bonarda Frizzante produced by Silvio Morando. This natural wine is truly excellent served chilled on its own, but do try making this cocktail. 

Who would you share it with?
My partner in booze crime, Mark Gurney. He is an expert on Italian food and drink, partly due to heading up Angela Hartnett’s lovely restaurant Cafe Murano in St James. I have shared a number of these with Mark already. If we ever venture to Borough Market together, we would most certainly dive into Market Porter for a swift half.

What’s your favourite food match?
I love pairing cider with food and I am unapologetic in mentioning two in this interview. I would buy some ‘nduja from De Calabria—let’s call it a spreadable salami for argument's sake. This spicy cured meat is a true representation of the nose-to-tail approach, since it often contains a good deal of meat from the pig’s head.

I would crumble the ‘nduja and mix it with a little olive oil, then fry until it begins to brown. Next I would spread this on a thick slice of sourdough from Bread Ahead Bakery and top it with a layer of fresh and bright flavoured Perroche goat’s cheese from Neal’s Yard Dairy. A little grate of lemon zest seals the deal.

It should be devoured with a glass of Borough Wines’ L’Atypique cidre, dry in its finish and fermented with the champagne method. Are you following?