Cocktails and a Chinese Meal in London’s West End

Last Saturday took us into London’s west end for a bit of shopping and more importantly a slap up feast at Wong Kei in China Town, but first we took a diversion to the old Simpsons of Piccadilly (203-205 Piccadilly) for cocktails on the 5thView cocktail lounge.

View from the Coctail Lounge at the Waterstones bookshop

View from the Cocktail Lounge at the Waterstones bookshop

The old Simpsons is now a monster huge Waterstone’s Bookshop with the 5th floor converted to a cocktail lounge. the photo above was taken back in 20011, the present view is blighted by a bunch of cranes. To be honest the cocktail lounge seems a bit blighted too, the decor is looking decidedly shabby, despite the website’s claims of refurbishment and the service is slow and unknowledgable. As to the cocktails they are I suppose average priced for London at between £7 and £11, but the snacks (£3 for a tiny bowl of nuts) are a bit of a rip. I had a gin sour, it was nothing special, but the £40 bill for the four of us left me feeling a bit sour too.

Wong Kei (41-43 Wardour Street) is a bit of a Soho legend. It’s one of the largest Chinese restaurants in the UK with seating for 500 guests and a reputation for having some of the rudest waiting staff in the UK. Oddly enough this is one of the things that drags people in and although service is shall we say a little brusque it is quick and efficient as diners are processed as quickly as possible to make way for more customers. Personally I found that most welcome, as there is nothing I hate more than having to hang around for the bill and my change. If you are dining as a couple or a small group, be warned that you may end up sharing a table with other diners, a bit like Chartier in Paris.

Wong Kei

Wong Kei

There are some odd things on the menu including deep-fried intestines and chicken with jellyfish, but I went for the vegetarian pancake rolls to start followed by the Sweet and sour chicken with rice. The pancake rolls were delicious, especially with the lethally hot chili and black bean sauce and the chicken was pretty good too. What with a bottle of Pinot Grigio I liked the bill too, when it only came to £58 for the four of us (Cash only no cards).

The building Wong Kei is situated in has an interesting history as it used to belong to theatrical wig maker and costumier Willy Clarkson (1861-1934). You can if you look up to the clock see the words costumier and perruquier on its face. Designed by the architect H M Wakeley, plaques by the restaurant’s door attest to the foundation stone being laid by  Sarah Bernhardt in 1904 and the coping stone by sir Henry Irving the following year. Clarkson occupied the premises until 1940.

Edinburgh – Sampling Deep Fried Black Pudding and the Kama Sutra

That got you going didn’t it? Read on and all will be explained.

Day two of our Edinburgh adventure and the Sun was shining as we set out from Dr Caligari’s in search of breakfast. Despite the promise of square Scottish sausage, No.1 High Street was still closed, so we decamped to the Circus Bistro (8 St Mary’s Street). This is a new venture by our friend at the Turkish restaurant Empires at No.24 St Mary’s Street, and very nice it is too. With a nice bright naturally lit interior the early morning food is fairly standard cafe fare, breakfasts, pastries, cakes and coffee etc, but of excellent quality and competitively priced. the omelettes are particularly good very light and fluffy. The evening menu is a bit more adventurous and unlike Empires it is licensed so you don’t have to bring your own booze. I suspect we might investigate further in the future.

The Dome wrapped up for Christmas

Lunch was a much grander affair as it was the daughter’s birthday. We trekked over to the neo-classical splendour of the Dome in the New Town (read more about the Dome and its history here) . Now in the lead up to Christmas you can’t make advance bookings so we got there nice and early so that we could enjoy the splendour of the Grill Room that used to be the banking hall.

The Grill Room, very seasonal

Having got there early we fell foul of Edinburgh’s prissy Sunday drinking laws and had to wait until 12.30 before we could get stuck into the celebratory cocktails, but at least it was pretty. The Christmas menu was pretty good too with some Scottish favourites like Haggis and Neeps and Mince and Tatties.

Deep fried Black Pudding

And this is where the Deep-fried Black Pudding comes in. This starter could have all gone horribly wrong,  but the pudding was crispy on the outside and soft and yielding within. On top a layer of sharp beetroot chutney, three balls of deep-fried white pudding and some weeds. The white pudding was really crisp and not at all fatty, which I had been a little worried about, but the combination was as near perfect as could possibly be. Can’t think of a better use for blood! Certainly better than letting sparkly vampires drink it

Dome Burger

I do like a good burger and my Dome Burger was just that. It was pretty substantial too! There was no way that was going into my mouth without some serious surgery to cut it down to size. Nick was forced into submission by the Mince and Tatties, ‘Good, but very rich’ was his opinion, but I can not offer an opinion on the ladies’ haggis, not my thing at all. The Dome’s cocktails are pretty good too and they have quite a kick. My Manhattan was made with white vermouth over red, hence it was a lovely graduated pink sinking towards the girly glace cherry at the bottom.

Considering we all had starters and mains, plus coffee and seven cocktails between the four of us I though the bill not unreasonable at around £150.

It was that evening we decided to try out the Kama Sutra. It wasn’t the first time either. Way back in the late 90s Mab and I had used the first generation Kama Sutra in Glasgow and found it to have a very imaginative menu. Now there is a branch in Edinburgh at 105-109 Lothian Road, about 20 minutes from Dr Caligari’s. We were soon settled inside out of the cold with a couple of ice-cold Cobras to warm us up.

Of course you can always have haggis pakora if you want to go local, but I started with pan-fried scallops with ginger and coriander, it was melt in the mouth heaven.

Pan fried scallops

Mab had the tandoori lamb chops, she let me try a bit, it was very tasty.

Tandoori Lamb Chops

For the mains I tried the Chicken Taka Tak, this was something I hadn’t tried before and I wasn’t disappointed, very tender chicken in a spicy tomato, ginger and chili sauce. Mab’s Masala Dosa was the perfect antidote to all the meat she had so far consumed over the weekend.

Masala Dosa

Just as well she hadn’t opted for the mountain of meat that was Nick’s Kebabi Khazani.

Kebabi Khazani

Just like the previous night we had over ordered a bit, forgetting that the daughter’s Biryani also came with rice, however the evening wasn’t over when the food was cleared away as our waiters snuck up with a chocolate pudding and a chorus of Happy Birthday for our birthday girl. What a nice gesture, we hadn’t told them, one of them must have just overhead us talking about it. So thank you very much boys!

Edinburgh’s Kama Sutra is every bit as good as the Glasgow parent. Our bill came to £108.45 for four including starters, mains, two lots of rice, two naans, three sides (Excellent Ajwani Bhindi it was too), four beers, two lassi and a bottle of Chilian Cabernet, but we got a walloping 20% off (£18.05) with the Kama Sutra discount card I had taken out from their website. We will certainly try it again.

Edinburgh Weekend – No Tapas, but we Sink a Gurkha

Our Edinburgh weekend didn’t get off to a good start, when the idiot genie kicked in at King’s Cross Station. Here’s a message for the management of the station’s WH Smith branch, if you don’t want people to queue on the ‘wrong’ side of the barrier thinking it’s for the till staffed by a real person, block it off – don’t employ some bossy little squirt to tell us we are in the wrong place. Once you have done that you can try making the self-service tills actually work. That’s why you lost two potential book and magazine sales to Waterstones on Saturday . On the positive side we did have some very good pasties from The Pasty Shop, which I thoroughly recommend.

After a relatively uneventful journey to Edinburgh (although I did spot some hares around the border) we arrived with about half an hour to spare before the 3.pm check in at the Travelodge of Dr Caligari (to be fair the most recent refurb took care of most of the wonky fittings that gave the interior the look of a 1920s German expressionist film). What to do? Should we fork out an extra tenner to check in early or invest it in beer? See if you can imagine what won.

And the lucky £10 winner is No.1 High Street

This boozer on the corner of the Royal Mile used to be called The Tass and did a nice line in live entertainment for people of a certain age. Despite the recent refurbishment, I couldn’t see any difference inside other than the new name printed on the menu. The menu looked pretty good though and from what I saw of the burgers coming out of the kitchen I’m sure a return visit for lunch will be in order soon.

Gear dumped at Caligari’s our plans for the evening began to unravel. We had booked a table at Alba Flamenca’s El Bar (6-8 Howden Street)  for tapas, but the restaurant had unexpectedly closed until Christmas.  As Barioja, the only other proper tapas bar we know in the city, had let us down so badly on our last visit, Spanish was off the menu, added to that Saturday afternoon was rapidly slipping away so a desperate search for table for four at a decent restaurant ensued.

Eventually we settled on The Gurkha Cafe in Cockburn Street as it had some good Tripadvisor reviews and I’m glad we did.

The Gurkha Cafe

It’s a bit shabby inside, but I was immediately sold on the knives which were shaped like Gurkha kukris. This is only the second Nepalese restaurant I have eaten in, the first was also called the Gurkha Cafe only it was in Reading. Having had a long and frustrating day we got stuck into some drinks, the ice-cold Gurkha lager was just the thing I needed while the Everest Paradise cocktails were deceptively strong and pretty good value at £4.95. I started with Piro Khukura, marinated chicken cooked with onions and green peppers and followed by Bhutteko Khasi a dish of lamb, green chili and garlic. Both were absolutely delicious as was Mab’s Lamb Choila, basically a lamb shank braised in sauce, so tender that it that just falls apart under the fork. The bhindi (okra) side was pretty good too. The portions here are pretty big and we certainly over ordered judging by what was left on the table when we had finished.

The staff are very pleasant and the manager dealt very effectively and kindly with the member of Edinburgh’s street community who let himself in for a spot of begging. Complete with a bottle of Pinot Grigio, two beers and two cocktails, rice, naans and three sides the bill came in at £129 for four, which isn’t bad value for a city centre restaurant.

Pre-Raphaelites, Spies and Vin Diesel – Saturday in London

On Saturday we took a trip into London to visit the Pre-Rhaphealites Victorian Avant-Garde exhibition at the Tate Britain. I find the Pre-Raphaelites a very interesting group of artists, who have to my mind been somewhat sidelined by art historians in favour of what was going on over the channel in France during the 19th century. What the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB) did was to reject the view that Raphael represented the pinnacle of artistic achievement, they looked back to the bright colours and truth to nature of the Italian art that preceeded him. Mind you the colourful personal lives of Ruskin, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais, Lizzie Siddall, William and Janey Morris were in many ways just as interesting as the PRB’s subversion of the Victorian art establishment.

Having studied the Pre-Raphaelites  for my undergraduate degree I really enjoyed seeing so many of their paintings together. I particularly liked William Holman-Hunt’s The Shadow of Death. This was the first time I had seen this work in person and I was surprised its sheer scale. I suppose being more familiar with Hunt’s smaller paintings like The Awakening conscience or The Light of the World I was expecting something a bit smaller. Yet the thing that struck me most forcefully in this study of Christ in his fathers’ carpentry shop was the detail of the wood shavings on the floor. I was also pleased to see that the decorative arts produced by Morris and Co. got a good showing alongside the paintings. I highly recommend this exhibition.

Having arrived in Pimlico (nearest tube to the Tate) about an hour before our show slot we decided to have a wee drink at the Morpeth Arms first.

The Morpeth Arms

This is a nice traditional boozer selling Young’s Ales right on the Thames riverbank. We carried our drinks upstairs to the Spying Room. I don’t know whether Kim Philby or Anthony Blunt used the Morpeth, (there are pictures of famous spies in the stairwell, including Mata Hari who I know didn’t sink pints of Young’s Special here) but from the upstairs window you do get a great view of the MI5 headquarters on the the opposite side of the Thames.

James Bond’s office London

After leaving the Tate we headed up the Thames embankment for Westminster tube only to discover a whole mess of overturned trucks, smoke and fire engines on Lambeth Bridge,

Mayhem on Lambeth Bridge

‘What all this?’ I wondered, it turned out to be a film set for Fast and Furious 6, not a sign of Vin (the unthinking man’s Jason Statham)  Diesel though.

‘Where’s Vin Diesel?’

Moving on we took a walk through Victoria Tower Gardens where we came upon this rather lovely piece of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture.

Buxton Memorial Fountain, Palace of Westminster in the background

This is the Buxton Memorial Fountain. It was commissioned in 1865 by the MP Charles Buxton to commemorate his father Thomas Fowell Buxton who, along with William Wilberforce and Thomas Babington Macaulay was instrumental in the emancipation of slaves throughout the British Empire in 1834. The fountain was designed by Samuel Sanders Teulon. I’d never seen the fountain before, it’s finding this sort of unexpected thing when you wander around this great city that makes living in it so interesting.

As Big Ben struck five,

Boing (five times)

We descended into the tube station. Our destination was Butler’s Wharf (nearest tube Tower Hill) on the Southbank where we had a table booked at Brown’s. Our good fortune held and we got a table outside overlooking the river as the day drew to a close. I plumped for the Brown’s Burger (about £12) which came with chips and a small dish with gherkins, fried onions and ketchup accompanied by a proper Vespa Martini made with Lillet vermouth and a twist of lime (£7.25). It was the perfect way to end the day as the Sun set over the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf.

Canary Wharf after dak

As we walked back to Tower Gateway Station and beheld Tower Bridge lit up in all its glory, I could not help but reflect on what a fantastic city London is. Despite living here for 50 odd years I am constantly discovering new things about the place.

Tower Bridge

London Baker Street -The Game is Afoot on the Sherlock Holmes Trail

Just before a bit of snow completely paralysed Olde London Town this weekend, we were off to the West End for an investigation into the realm of the great detective.

London’s most famous street

Baker Street runs from Regent’s Park in the north down to Oxford Street. The tube station was one of the first underground stations in London, opening in 1863 as part of the Metropolitan Railway. When you exit onto Marylebone Road you just can’t miss the nine foot high bronze statue of Sherlock Holmes created by John Doubleday.

You have no choice but to look up to Mr Sherlock Holmes

Unveiled in 1999, it must be one of only a few statues of fictional characters in London. The only other one I can think of is Paddington Bear at Paddington Station.

Turning north into Baker Street we headed for 221B. Now there is not a little controversy over this address, since in the late 19th century when the stories were first published Baker Street only went up to number 100. The higher numbers were allocated in the 1930s after Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s death and 221 was given to the headquarters of the Abbey National Building Society, who sensing a great PR opportunity  employed someone to answer the many letters addressed to Sherlock Holmes.

The disputed 221B Baker Street

Then in 1990 the number 221B was assigned to The Sherlock Holmes Museum when the publicity hungry Leader of Westminster Council, Shirley Porter (yes her of the gerrymandering scandal of 1996) unveiled a blue plaque at the Museum’s official opening. Only thing was that the museum was really located between numbers 237 and 241.   I make that 239, so it must have confused the poor postman. An almighty row then broke out between the Abbey National, the Sherlock Holmes Museum and Westminster Council over who should answer the mail of someone who didn’t really exist. This was only really resolved when the Spanish Bank Santander took over Abbey and closed down Abbey’s HQ in a frenzy of corporate asset stripping in 2005.

So we joined the queue outside the museum, never questioning the fact that we were waiting to get into the house of someone from the imagination of an author. Once the friendly Peeler on the door let us in (admission is £6, tickets from the ground floor shop) we climbed the 17 steps to Sherlock Holmes’s sitting room. Now the actual building had been a Victorian lodging house so the recreation of the study with its two windows looking out on Baker Street had been very well imagined, down to the VR picked out on the wall in bullet holes,

Queen Victoria’s royal cypher in bullet holes

the Persian slipper on the mantlepiece for Holmes’s pipe tobacco,  his chemistry set in the corner and of course his violin.

The Great Detective’s violin and chemistry lab

On the table were the famous hat, pipe and magnifying glass, although it’s highly unlikely the Deerstalker would have been worn around town.

The famed Deerstalker, pipe and glass

Next door to the study we found Holmes’s bedroom, and up on the second floor we found those of Dr Watson and their landlady Mrs Hudson. These rooms and those above house various bits of Holmes memorabilia including the head of the hound of the Baskervilles,

Head of the Hound

and some tatty mannequins in posed dioramas of from the stories. Right at the top of the house we found the smallest room.

Yes the Khazi of Sherlock Holmes

Having finished nosing around the house, we had a poke around the ground floor shop and discovered it to be full of old tat.

Leaving the shop we turned south passing the London Beatles Shop, on our way to the Sherlock Holmes Hotel (100 Baker Street) for cocktails. Actually it’s not so strange having s Beatles Shop on Baker street as John Lennon lived at no 96 Baker Street, for a while during the 1960s.

The Sherlock Holmes Hotel

The Sherlock Holmes Hotel is very swish, a doorkeeper even ushered us in from the cold to the warmth of the cocktail bar where we settled down for drink. Cocktails are between £7 and £8 a go, plus a service charge, so we only stayed for one. I had a Sherlock’s Manhattan, not sure if Holmes ever tried one, but it was very pleasant.

Cocktails at the Sherlock Holmes Hotel

A bit more attuned to my budget was The Barley Mow (8 Dorset Street, just off Baker Street).

Yeah I know the Y has dropped off

What a discovery, this is alleged to be the oldest pub in Marylebone and inside it still has the Victorian drinking booths that seat up to six people (at a squeeze) in secrecy. It also had a fine array of real ales including a hand drawn milk stout, just like Guinness but without the fizz. Added to that friendly bar staff and no music it goes on my list of London’s top pubs.

By the time we left it was getting quite cold, so we hotfooted it to The Royal China Club (40-42 Baker Street) for an early dinner. Here’s a confession I’d booked the wrong restaurant, there is another Royal China further down Baker Street, which was the place recommended to us by one of Mab’s friends. The Royal China Club is the sort of restaurant where the fish tanks are not just for decoration, which I’m not knocking, but it may have been a bit pricier than we expected. However we still managed a meal of Dim Sung followed by a main course with rice and a bottle of indifferent wine for about £100 for three. The prawn dim sung were nothing special, but the lamb buns and the puff pastry pork were fabulous. The Szechuan Chicken I had as a main was wonderful, as was Mab’s Golden Fried Crispy Chicken. For dessert we tried the ice cream dim sung, stretchy uncooked dim sung dough with a vanilla ice cream centre, very nice if a little strange.

It was as much as we could do to waddle down Baker Street to get the tube from Bond Street Station before the snow came down.

A Dessert Bar in London’s Soho – are they Madd?

Well, yes the Madd restaurant in Soho’s Rupert Street, certainly is in name.

Madd Dessert Bar Soho.

Madd stands for Mango and Addiction, but whether the build your own mango dessert restaurant and cocktail bar will be addictive enough for London’s grazers, remains to be seen, however the tempting morsels put out for us at the grand opening last night were absolutely delicious.

Mango, Passion Fruit and Yogurt Desserts

In common with places like Poncho No8 and El Burrito, Madd’s concept is build your own combo, only at Madd it’s sweet rather than savoury. First you choose your mango dessert core, then add whatever toppings you desire. I got to sample the Mango Cheesecake, the Mango and Passion Fruit yogurt and a Mango and Pineapple Upside Down Cake and they were all very good. Desserts start ay £4.50 with extra toppings 80p for two, £1.50 for three.

Chocolate Tart

And for anyone who doesn’t like mango there’s always the Chocolate Tart or Raspberry Panna Cotta. I thought the Chocolate Tart in particular was gorgeous. Drinks include a variety of mango based cocktails like Daiquiris, Margaritas and Mojitos  (£6.50 each) or shooters (£3.50) made with mango puree.

Mad Ceiling at Madd

Whether there is going to be sufficient demand for a mango based dessert bar to survive in Soho is open for question. Places like Patisserie Valerie in Old Comption Street have been selling delicious desserts and cakes in the area for many years, but I can’t help but think Madd may be a little too narrow in it’s product offer. On the plus side the restaurant interior is nicely designed and the desserts are quite divine.

 

How to Build the Perfect U-Boat

No not one like this.

U3 - Museum of Technology and Seafaring, Malmo Sweden

No it’s a drink made from lager and a shot of Jagermeister

Cheers

Now some people might say ‘that’s a Jager bomb’ but a U-Boat is a bit more sophisticated than just chucking a glass of Jagermeister into a pint of lager.

The first thing you need to do is place a shot glass on top of an upended highball glass and fill it with Jagermeister.

Stage 1

Next place a pint glass over the two glasses like so

stage 2

Turn the whole confection upside down and take out the highball glass.

stage 3

You should now have the Jagermeister neatly trapped inside the shot glass. Top up the glass with nice cold lager, Czech lager is especially good for one of these.

Stage 4 and ready to drink

Now as you drink it the shot glass will gradually tip over and gently disgorge its contents into the lager. The name, so I believe, is derived from the way that the Jagermeister gradually leaks out like oil from a depth-charged U-Boat.

Sinking a U-Boat at the Beer House Tallin, Estonia

I sunk my first U-Boat at the Beer House, a German style beer hall in Estonia’s capital Tallin.

Madeira – Poncha

Legend has it that Madeira’s favourite local tipple, Poncha, was brought to the island by British travelers en-route back from India. The original recipe seems to be about two parts local Agaudente de Cana (raw sugar cane spirit), two parts lemon juice and one part honey, although today it’s often made with a variety of fruit juices.

Essential Ingredients

Naturally after sampling a couple in the local bars we made sure that (purely in the interests of consumer protection of course) that we brought some of this Agauadente home and had a go at making it ourselves. Agauadente is similar to Brazilian Cahacca and you don’t mess around with it since it is 50 per cent proof, but I’m pleased to say that it had the desired effect when mixed with guava juice and orange blossom honey. When making the Poncha add the fruit juice to the honey and give it a good stir before adding the Agauadente. In Madeira you can buy Poncha sticks for this, but I have enough single use utensils cluttering the kitchen already so I used a spoon.

Venda Velha Poncha Bar, Funchal

Just opposite our hotel, on the corner of the Rua Santa Maria was the Venda Velha, a bar that specialised in Poncha. By about 8pm it was usually heaving with local people having a night out. Peanuts would be poured onto the makeshift table tops of old rum casks, while a debris of nutshells would gradually rise from the floor  Their Poncha came in traditional lemon, orange, mango, guava and passion fruit flavours. My favourites were the passion fruit and the guava.

Another house speciality was the Nikita, which consisted of centrifuged white wine, sugar, vanilla ice cream and pineapple juice topped off with beer. Apparently named after the Elton John song rather than the shoe banging Russian leader it is actually a lot nicer than it sounds, but I have yet to try making one a home.

Photos copyright QueenMab/Shipscook Photographic. contact simon.ball3@btopenworld.com for commercial reuse

Shipscook has a Brazilian – with Salto Cachaca

Well there’s nothing like a cheap laugh to draw readers in is there? However the sort of Brazilian I had in mind has nothing to do with hair removal.

No more to do with this stuff – Salto Cachaca, which the nice people at Salto asked Shipscooksstuff to sample.

Salto Cachaca, two strengths - 27% and lethal

Cachaca is the national spirit of Brazil. Like rum it is derived from sugar cane, but where rum is usually made from molasses, cachaca is made from fermented sugar cane juice which is then distilled. I have never been to Brazil, but I first sampled regular cachaca in a Caipirinha or two in Ibiza about ten years ago. Salto is different to regular cachaca as it has a citrus flavour added which means that a Caipirnha made with the spirit will have a far more intense lime flavour. Salto also comes in two strengths. The stuff in the green bottle is 24% while the clear bottle is 37%.

So what’s the stuff like?

We tried it as a shot first. The 24% was quite pleasantly lemony, while as you would expect the 37% was similar but with more of a kick. Overall opinion was that it was better on the rocks though as the lemony taste didn’t cloy so much as when drunk neat. A change from tequila or vodka, but it would not be my first choice as a shot, I think it’s more a spirit for mixing. Next up was the Brazilian classic cocktail the Caipirinha

Salto Caipirinha

So how do you make a Caipirinha? Cut a lime into wedges and place two in the bottom of a tumbler, add two teaspoons of brown sugar and muddle together. In other word give it a bit of a bashing with either a muddler or a pestle. Then top up the glass with crushed ice and add the cachaca. This was very nice with an intense lime flavour nicely offset by the sugar, just the thing for a hot summer afternoon. Overall opinion was that the 37% worked better as the ice tended to dilute the alcohol too much to get a good hit off the drink with the 24%.

So finally the Brazilian. this is a long drink usually made from cachaca and lime juice topped up with lemonade. This we agreed was quite refreshing, with an intense citrus hit, a great drink for a long hot summer afternoon in the garden so long as you are not operating any machinery. We did give it a go without the lime and it worked equally well that way too.

So overall this stuff works well drunk over ice, as the base for Brazil’s national cocktail or with a mixer. As a shot though I found the citrus flavour too cloying. So would I buy it? Well to be completely honest I don’t think I’d bother with the 24%, it’s pleasant enough, but I do like booze to have a bit of poke and in a long drink the 24%  just does not do that.  The 37% is a different matter altogether and with the added citrus flavour it’s a great cheat for making summer cocktails.