Sunday, 16 September 2012

Presenting…For One Night Only: Monkey Shoulder

I was delighted to attend the second event of the series that Monkey Shoulder are currently running in secret locations across London to the end of the year – this one was Whisky Punch. The invitation gave very little away with this tantalizing message:

We’re hosting a rumble in the jungle! …Indulge in some ringside rivalry as you get in touch with your macho side. Train to get your speed (pouring) up to scratch, learn how to make a knockout punch…All the boxing puns you’d expect, none of the fighting.”

On arrival we had our names ticked off and when a little group had formed we were led into an East London warehouse and given our first brief along with drinks tokens and a boxing glove (I wish I could say each but they had run out!) First, a drink, a whisky drink, obviously. It was a Cold Whisky Punch by a 300 year old recipe made to the old mantra:

One part sour, two parts sweet, three parts strong, four parts weak

In other words lemon juice, sugar, whisky, water and some spice. David Wondrich would have been proud, it was delicious. We took a turn round the room, got pictures with the batman style “KAPOW” signs and then headed to the back room for some training for the tasks ahead.

(1)     Pare an orange: not too challenging, pare a nice piece of orange peel with as little pith as possible to earn the right to a Cut & Jab (with pineapple juice)
(2)     Flair: now we’re talking! Impress the bartender with your flair skills, either go
      for the straight up single rotation of the cocktail shaker or if you want to be fancy, try the sideways wrap around the wrist. This earned you an Uppercut  
      but it seems there was so much trouble getting it right here that they gave up 
      an hour in and just took your token!
(3)     Lastly, the one I found the hardest – speed pouring! Pour an exact 50ml serve for your Haymaker with the smokey Lagavulin. So the trick is counting but it seems that I am rather stingier than I thought and I am so glad that I have this skill now – yes, I think it is a skill to free pour 50ml!

And whilst all this was going on, besides having a really good chat with nice people and playing with this (go mental like with table football is the only way to win):

There was also…BOXING! Get up in pairs, pull on the sumo suits and have a go at your friend in 3 rounds. It looked great fun (although with some scary sounding thumps too!) but frankly after several people has braved the ring I was not prepared to brave the sweaty suits so just enjoyed the show. It all wrapped up just after 11pm but we had so much fun it seemed like it had lasted longer.

Great night, great drinks, great hosts (Thanks Olivier) and I cannot wait to sign up for further events before the year is out. The fireworks looks especially fun…

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