So, there used to be a time when your maid of honour or bridesmaids would plan meticulously the hen event in full. From the fake veil, the learner plates and potty, to the larger items like limo hire and meal booked for 25 guests and then some! It was a headache actually and the fall outs from planning these events must have been huge and I can imagine lots of unhappy and dare I say it, bridezillas out there not at all happy with the plans made for them, they don’t just want a packet of pork scratching in the local pub with sticky carpets and luke warm spirit with a dash of mixer.
After all this, I’m not at all surprised that I now see a huge trend of hens booking their own cocktail parties and hen events, our ladies know what they like so I’m sure they just want to get what they enjoy, freshly prepared cocktails, decent labels, and most of all banter with their closest friends and family members but also their Cocktail Queen, we never say we’re there to make the party, but we’ll certainly enhance it, as my own hen party (back in 2002) was a bit (lot) of a disaster, I know how important this is to a hen, it’s her ‘last official girls night out’, or nowadays weekend away, with her ladies, her last ditch of freedom and a chance to create a really special occasion that not only she will remember but everyone else will too!
2 years ago I hosted a hen’s party that the hen has since died, and although it’s still a very sad time, having video and photo’s of this to treasure makes it nice rest for the rest of the group to look back on, the laughter, smiles, and dancing in the kitchen made for a great night I’m sure will be looked on fondly now.
As a bridesmaid or guest what can you do?
Okay maybe the ‘bride to be’ has organised everything, but there’s still nothing to stop you all chipping in and buying a special gift or something she will love, or even just asking if something needs anything taken charge of, it’s stressful being a hen nowadays, with wedding planning, keeping check of the to do lists and added headaches of people falling out or complaining about aspects of everything and trying to keep everyone happy, the best thing you can do is just be there for her.
Owning two business is hard work, so I certainly don’t get to blog as much as I used to, but everything is ticking over nicely here, we just kicked off our party season with a fantastic party on Saturday night and a lot of dates are already away in our calendar for next summer already.
If you’re planning any type of hen party for next year, please book this as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
I’ve kicked off a NEW package for the Christmas season that’s right up everyone’s street, our Gin and Rum tasting experiences with include a cocktail, some comparison neat spirit drinking, and of course you can even make your own perfect G&T or Daiquiri, As always our sessions will include all glassware, garnishes and of course banter!
I have been running parties in people’s homes for a few years now, whilst most thing are covered by the homeowner / party goer’s sometimes collecting bits and pieces is a hassle, we know this stress all too well as we often get someone advising they’ve forgotten something vital, it’s a stressful business!
This is why I have decided to now offer our wonderful ‘Bubble Bar Box’ which is crammed with drink, treats and goodies to start off any party.
We have Full bottles of Vodka, Gin and Prosecco to kick things off in style, we supply a table cover to ensure your own furniture is protected and our party table confetti and some battery operated fairy lights will ensure this looks like the perfect party table, but we’re not finished yet... we need to add some nice bits and pieces to our drink so we’ll supply a bottle of Chambord and some mixers & of course we won’t leave you hanging as there will be recipe’s given for your perfect cocktails, plus a box of Popaballs to make the party pop!
Fancy taking a snap or two whilst holding your drinks? why not, and with the party props you’re almost complete.
Getting peckish? fear not! We also supply some savoury and sweet nibbles AND some edible chocolate shot glasses and lollies too, and no party is complete without a party game to play.
All this is delivered to your door with no staff member required simply pop along to our purchase page to order yours
Times change fast in the world of cocktails, and we like most companies like to keep ourselves up to date with the newest hippest trends, we’ve got ourselves some Popaballs! These cute little pearls of popping juice are a fantastic fun new way of adding a little injection of fun-ness to your party!
Why not ‘pop’ us an email over requesting these at your next party?
So we’ve now rolled out chocolate making with cocktails or Prosecco afternoons, these seem to be very popular for our summer season already with 9 reservations so far for the month of July!
We have recently hosted a few ladies afternoons and they’re proving to be pretty successful as not all the ladies in a group will drink but still enjoy having fun with the crowd and of course making some tasty treats to take home.
If you’re planning a hen night around the lothian area, certainly have a think about this as an option, not only do you get 3 delicious cocktails or 2 glasses of Prosecco, but you get to create your own chocolate masterpieces and all made of course with the finest Belgian chocolate and ingredients.
Our workshop price for a 2 hour session is only £35 per person
When I was sent Wild Drinks and Cocktails from a friend of mine (yes I get a lot of books as my friends know I LOVE a decent drinks book) I was certainly thrilled when I spotted a few make at home easy recipe’s, coming from the hippy era of the 1970’s I was super delighted to see a rose hip syrup page and also the rose hip whiskey smash sounded excellent.
As I’m in Scotland some of the ingredients is harder to get at this time of year but it didn’t (and won’t) stop me making future drinks from it in the different seasons to come. The book is a little more for the U.S market but most ingredients you can pick up here in the UK.
I’m currently watching the snow falling outside my office window and it’s put me in a feeling of making myself a cheeky little Fire Cider Hot Toddy, made up of honey, Rye Whisky and plenty of heat from fresh chilli’s and horseradish, it may not sound up your street but just wait till you try it, it’s perfect for a winters day just like today.
There’s a few other recipe’s I quite fancy trying :
Apple and Mint Syrup
Rhubarb and Rose Syrup
Cherry Balsamic Shrub
Pomegranate Molasses Switchel
Fig and Vanilla Rum
Peach and Pecan Bourbon
Anise Hyssop and Peach Wine
I can’t wait till the warmer weather comes back, not wishing my life away or anything but spring and summer always have so many more options for fresher foods like melon and cherries, the lemon verbena liqueur is going to be my
go-to drink this summer, similar to limoncello but without the creaminess, it’s fresh and zingy and will be perfect over ice on a summer day in my garden
I may even make some to bring to parties as you all know I sometimes do, My Christmas Liqueur is still going strong, I’ve just sent my husband out to purchase some mandarin’s for making some home made mandarincello, but my customers might be struggling to get a sample of that one!
Wild Drinks and Cocktails by Emily Han is available from Fair Winds Press for £14.99 and is available at most good book shops and stores
GOOD THINGS TO DRINK WITH MR LYAN AND FRIENDS
I’m often sent new books and items for promotion, when I was offered it I said of course I’d review it,I though it would be very much the same as most other books, full of recipe’s, how wrong was I?
It’s crammed with tidbits, knowledge, the tools and basics of cocktail making, recipe’s, stunning photography and even science bits to ensure you too can make delicious and successful cocktails at home.
I can’t actually decide on a favourite recipe, there’s just too many lovely one’s, but the Rhubarb Leaf is certainly very pretty and sounds delicious. Published by Frances Lincoln and release date 1st of October 2015.
Check out our Facebook page to see how you could win a copy!
Name - Alison
Position in the company - Owner and Queen
Length of time at the Cocktail Queen - almost 5 years
Favourite cocktail - Caipirinha (lime)
Favourite type of party or event - all of them!
Superpower you wish you had - To be in about 7 places at once
Always wanted to - help children in some way to make a better life for them
Name - Jeni
Position in the company - Queen
Length of time at The Cocktail Queen - 4 years
Favourite cocktail - Pineapple and coconut Daiquiri
Favourite type of Party or Event - Any as they’re all different
Superpower you wish you had - Invisibility
Always wanted to - Work With Panda’s in China
Was having a little chat with friends last night, I was talking about how difficult the last four years have been, starting up a business and becoming self employed is hard work, tiring and not always very rewarding, most new businesses find it difficult, and I get it. Especially starting up one in a recession, and with ZERO help from the government.
Most companies start on an already tried and tested style or genre, like a builders company, a new bank, or a cake company even, I'm not saying it's easy to start any new business, I know it's not, but all these TYPES of businesses are already trusted, however I have started a niche, a new type of business, one never done before. (Cocktails, party games, mobile) and actually, I have to pat myself on the back, I've survived almost 5 years in business, with help from family and friends, and of course an incredibly supportive husband. I've managed to keep going, to ignore the copycats, to push through, to learn new skills (website building, photography, editing, cocktail making, networking and many many new skills along the journey)
And then I start a SECOND niche business and I wonder why I knackered! Getting Gooey is almost two years young, what's around the corner I don't know, but I'm hoping some more job security, a bit more cash and some energy to do it all!
Alison, owner of TWO successful businesses.
from not speaking to strangers to getting hugs and kisses from them
from being unconfident to being able to stand in front of hundreds and talk publicly
from being shy to being able to talk with people openly
from being quiet to shouting above the music to let myself be heard
from being scared to becoming a confident strong woman
from being bullied to standing up for myself
from being tearful to smiling
from being terrified to standing on my own 2 feet
from being a wallflower to party QUEEN
It’s not an easy journey, but it’s one I will cherish forever
When I say be a queen, I mean it #BeAQueen
Only you can change your path, start today
As many of you know, we also run a chocolate workshop, we’ve now rolled out a package with drinks and chocolate making, We actually have two packages available for those that may want to add a little sophistication to their event, we’ve had a lot of bookings through this already and have quite a few in the coming months ahead, the ladies love chocolate and a lot gets demolished whilst making but thats the fun of it I guess!
We are currently renovating a new chocolate workshop and this (we hope) should be open by Summer/Autumn 2015. This Workshop will also contain a dedicated cafe and chocolate making room so our customers can enjoy their private parties still. This dedicated space will also lend itself to private events and room booking too.
We’re all super excited here at The Cocktail Queen and Getting Gooey as we have lots to look forward too over the next few months!
The last few months have seen us travel across the length and breadth of Scotland, from Fife, Perth, Dundee and the Borders to Aberdeen and of course Edinburgh and Glasgow!
Word has been spreading that we’re happy to travel, and we only charge a smaller amount per person for this.
We’ve recently teamed up with a few other businesses, watch the website for updates and new news.
We have a couple of new staff members, the team is growing, hopefully you have all been happy with your queen.
We have A LOT of bookings over the summer, some really big parties and some smaller ones, hopefully all will go well without any issues, we have a few charity nights, a large 50th and lots of hen nights all planned in the next few weeks.
If you missed it, we have a new spring menu, but you don’t have to stick to it, it’s just a guide of what’s on offer for the new season, we’ve always advised we’ll make any of your favourite cocktails, and often do! Remember to book your party for Spring/summer 2015, it’s already a bumper year ahead.
As many already know we also run a chocolate workshop, this has now been reflected in our packages and you can now opt for a cocktail or prosecco package to have whilst you make some delicious Belgian chocolate treats and goodies. We can of course have chocolate only and BYOB events too!
Any questions, I’m ALWAYS happy when someone emails me a question that’s been niggling them for a while, if you have any questions please drop me an email and I’ll email you back... promise!
Our OWN butlers with our cheeky package are VERY popular for hen and ladies parties
On such a cold day what better way to get into some Christmas spirit?
40ml Haig Club
1 x Clove
10ml Sugar Syrup
5ml Creme de Cassis
20ml Tawny Port
Method: Build all ingredients in a tankard (vessel), then top up with 100ml boiling water and garnish with a cinnamon quill and/or dehydrated orange zest.
I had the pleasure of doing my Scottish drinks licence training and having lunch with these two gentlemen as they were starting their Edinburgh Festival tour The Thinking Drinkers Guide to alcohol, the same year as I started my business, now, inspired by their show Tom Sandham and Ben Mcfarland bring us Thinking Drinkers: The Enlightened Imbibers Guide to Alcohol which delves into the history and development of alcohol, from early Sumerian beer brewers to famous imbibers such as Van Gogh, Ernest Hemingway, Norm from ‘Cheers’ and John Wayne to Blackbeard and Dorothy Parker, to name but a few.
I found the book to be both factual and fun, with quirky pictures, stories from the past and recommendations on all the various types of drink. My favourite line “There’s two things highlanders love naked, one is whisky”
The book is published by www.jacquismallpub.com (@JacquiSmallPub)
This would make a fantastic ‘coffee table’ book for Christmas for that someone that has everything (except this book!) and at only £16 it’s a bargain too!
For anyone looking for offers : Funkin has a great Halloween Party Pack available for all your cocktail needs: http://www.funkincocktails.co.uk/shop/party-packs
Funkin has just launched their Funkin Party Hub for party tips and tricks: http://www.funkincocktails.co.uk/news/cat/blog/
@funkincocktails #funkincocktails #funkinhalloween
About the Funkin Party Hub - In October the Funkin website relaunched and as well as being an e-commerce site it has become a hub of party inspiration, recipes and ideas. Funkin is working with a panel of party girls to showcase their top party secrets across music, style, food and cocktails. Goldierocks is fronting this campaign.
Funkin have teamed up with celebrity DJ Goldierocks and a panel of expert bloggers to help you host the ultimate party by bringing you their top tips and tricks. For more party ideas and inspirations visit the Funkin Party Hub: http://www.funkincocktails.co.uk/news/cat/blog/
Artisan Drinks has now been published by Jacqui Small (www.jacquismallpub.com / @jacquismallpub)
The book celebrates the pleasure to be had from making your own drinks. With over 100 recipes for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, Lindy Wildsmith takes you from the freshly harvested ingredients to the finished product in your glass. Along the way, she rediscovers artisanal techniques and takes a wholesome approach to sourcing natural ingredients for infusing.
(we especially like the sound of ‘Spiced walnut and chocolate cream liqueur’ mmmmm ! )
To order Artisan Drinks at the discounted price of £20.00 including p&p* (RRP: £25.00), telephone 01903 828503 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and quote the offer code APG236.
*UK ONLY - Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.
Book release date is the 16th of October 2014
To order Drink London at the discounted price of £7.99 including p&p* (RRP: £9.99), telephone 01903 828503 or email email@example.com and quote the offer code APG219.
*UK ONLY - Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.
We have created this Polish inspired cocktail for www.match.com Watermelon is fantastic at this time of year, get shaking up this little cutie, perfect for a 1st date, or even a 2nd!
30mls Watermelon Vodka
15mls Bison Grass Vodka
20mls Creme De Cassis
A Good Squeeze of Lime
Add a splash of watermelon Juice
Shake Over Ice
Serve with a wedge of watermelon in any cute glassware!
You must must MUST enter this competition to win a holiday to the BVI http://www.bvitourism.co.uk/bviparty
All you need to do is create a new cocktail !
5 crowns - worthy of a royal warrant
Cocktails Sampled 24/05/14
Fish House Punch
@TheLiarsClubMCR - My friend (and colleague) and I travelled down for business from Scotland and as I’ve been in here before I decided it’s a must on my list of places to visit again. Staff were friendly, helpful and happy, service was great, they just don’t stop behind that bar! (I think they’re machines!)
The door staff were lovely, we told them we’d travelled down from Scotland and the female bar staff advised us to tell the bar staff this fact and he offered us some rum shots with Ting, just to warm the cockles, then we went onto order our cocktails, as he seemed efficient I made a beeline for the same bar staff member each time after that and he never failed, he worked tirelessly to get what I wanted, then I sprung on a ‘surprise me’ with my last cocktail, he made the Fish House Punch, WOW!
Each cocktail was sampled by him and each one was both garnished and made with fun in mind.
Each of the drinks were superb, and the vibe was awesome, you could feel the fun in the room when you walked in.
So many places forget about the fun element of drinking cocktails, this place certainly doesn’t!
Keep up the good work Liars, and we WILL be back again!
Well Easter has certainly been a hectic season, in fact the whole year has so far, I’ve been changing the way my team and I work, BIG changes ahead for the better.
Our new menu comes out soon, new cute glassware, new uniforms and most importantly more new staff members!
We did some product testing for Coole Swan, Thunder Toffee Vodka and Whipped Lightning alcoholic cream, more will be coming over the next few weeks from them.
I took some time out myself for a few days and ventured to France for a few days for a family gathering, it was great to get some away from work time and the sunshine and warmth was a welcome change to the dark March days in Livingston.
I also popped to Crieff for a few days gathering some more family time and even managed to venture into the Glenturret Distillery and the home of the Famous Grouse Experience, it was fun and I was surprised how much I remembered from my whisky training last year.
A little Scottish dancing at the hotel and plenty of fresh air and I’m ready to let battle commence again. I say battle as some aspects of this job has become more challenging and I’ve also started a new project.
Recently I’ve been helping out a few people starting up their own companies, I’ve been taking time to look into things for others and helping with research and idea’s, this for a short while will have to stop, I’m too busy and I’ve got my own career path to follow, I don’t mind helping people but I think for a while I’ll point them to some of the businesses that are there to assist them instead of me doing it for them, I have a ‘to do’ list longer than my arm!
The summer is looking great for us, LOTS of hen night’s, penthouse parties, self catering cottage parties and a few ladies nights and fund raisers too, bring it on :-)