Three Low-Cal Cocktails for the New Year

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For those who decided to lose some weight this year or who simply want fewer calories in their diets, here is a list of delicious fresh and light cocktails to enjoy this January (or the whole year round).

First one on the list is the Black Cow Vodka ‘Skinny Cow’ and it only contains 55 calories. It will give you the super smooth taste of Black Cow Vodka, while keeping the calorie number low – only 55 per cocktail. The ingredients for one cocktail are: 25 ml of Black Cow Vodka, the juice of half a lime, soda water, and cayenne pepper. Add all of them, minus the soda into an ice filled glass, still until chilled and then top it with soda. For design you could add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and fresh lime slices.

The ‘Aluna Coconut – Grapefruit Soda’ mix is clean, fresh, and delicious. It offers a good combination of natural and sustainably sourced coconut rum with the refreshing taste of grapefruit. To make it at home you will need 50 ml of Aluna Coconut, 50 ml of fresh grapefruit juice, and some cloudy lemonade. All you have to do is pour all the ingredients over ice, stir, and at the end garnish with a grapefruit wedge.

“Aluna Coconut is all-natural, cut with coconut water and has a fraction of the sugar in other coconut rums so is a good option for drinking better in the New Year,” said Guy Ritchie, the founder of Aluna.
The last one is The Dubliner Irish Whiskey and Soda. It is a super low-calorie whiskey cocktail with only 35 Kcal per serving. First step is to fill a hi-ball glass with ice, add 25 ml of The Dublin Irish Whiskey in it, top it with soda water, and garnish with a wedge of lime or lemon.

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How to Make Your Restaurant Thrive in 2018

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2017 was a difficult year for the hospitality industry as many restaurants closed down or suffered because of difficult trading conditions. To help the businesses adapt to their customers’ needs and hopefully make them succeed, Jon Butler, the founder of Outsauced Hospitality Consultancy and award-winning chef, has shared the key aspects that every restaurant should improve on.

The first one is investing in your employees. Jon thinks that the employees represent a business’ number one asset and are even more important than the customers. Many hospitality-based enterprises struggle with retaining their employees and face ‘short-staffed’ situations. Having said that, it is time for a change in how the industry treats its workers, starting with paying higher salaries and hourly wages.

The employees are the ones that look after the customers and if they are not happy then the customers won’t be either. Offer them an in-depth training and development scheme and make them feel like they are part of the brand. How could they deliver the brand values, quality, and service if they don’t get treated with respect? Think outside the box and show appreciation to the team by rewarding them with a meal out, tickets to the cinema or a voucher; and don’t forget to mention when they do a good job.

Focus on improving the customer experience by paying attention to how customers interact with your business at every stage of their journey. Your restaurant exists online and you have to check every website that displays your company and make sure it delivers the right message, it conforms to your brand, and it has up-to-date information.

The most important thing that could change your customers’ experience in your restaurant is to act on the feedback they give you. Don’t just read the positive reviews and ignore the negatives. Engage with these comments and deliver the change needed.

This year, think about advertising on social media. It is an excellent platform for restaurant and the opportunities presented by this medium is phenomenal, providing businesses with a way to connect with their target market and customers. It can be very cheap to advertise and it will bring returns on your investment. However, it still needs to be used cautiously.

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Luxury Tequila Brand Launched in Time for Burns Night

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UWA Tequila, Scotland’s first and only luxury tequila brand, was launched to the UK market in December. It offers something different and it is the first company in the world to have solely aged its tequilas in Speyside whisky casks. So why not try something unusual this Burns Night and toast a dram of tequila with a Scottish twist?

Headquartered in Aberdeen, the company boasts two interpretations – the triple distilled platinum blanco and the seven-month aged reposado. Its focus is on showcasing the cultural partnership it has with the whisky industry and with Mexico by mixing cultural traditions with modernity.

“In Scotland, traditionally we’re associated with making whisky, and in Mexico its tequila, but what people don’t know is how similar both are and how ageing plays a huge part in the creation of both spirits,” says the founder and CEO of UWA Tequila, Michael Ballantyne.

Both tequila and whisky abound in a rich history which dates back hundreds of years ago, and with the Burns Night coming on the 25th of January, UWA took the opportunity to re-educate consumers on how to best enjoy the Mexican spirit by drinking it out of a special tequila flute.

“I wanted to produce something completely niche to the market and bring innovation into traditional practices whilst showcasing two incredible countries,” says Michael. He adds that he never intended to take the tradition of toasting with whisky away. Instead, his plan was to offer a different option for the dinner table to initiate conversation: “just as Robert Burns would have done with his poetry.”

A bottle of UWA Tequila costs around £55 and both of its expressions are now available at various independent bottle shops and in some bars across the UK. A new 14-month aged añejo will be released this spring.

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D&D London launches Mindful City

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D&D created the MindfulCity campaign as a wellbeing initiative to raise awareness on group waste across all of its restaurants. It will become the first restaurant group to enforce a ban on plastic in their bars, while promoting wellness and fitness for body and soul. They will be hosting mindful menus, fitness classes, as well as a speaker’s series in partnership with The World’s First Distilled Non-alcoholic Spirits brand, Seedlip.

The symbol of the campaign will be a sculpture installed outside Fiume restaurant at Battersea power Station. It was created in collaboration between Creative Debuts, D&D London, and Belu Water. “Made entirely out of glass water bottles, this installation aims to connect audiences, and bring attention to global water issues. Essential to all, water is life – and is at the core of all humanity,” said Callum Hall, Co-Founder of Creative Debuts.

The sculpture is made out of recycled Belu glass bottles which are composed of at least 45% recycled materials. Belu will donate all of its profits to WaterAid, a charity that fights to provide clean water, decent toilets, and hygiene to the world’s poorest communities. D&D will also support the charity by adding an optional £1 on every bill to customers throughout January until the 13th of February.

The menus served across the D&D sites will be sustainable and healthy, with the fish restaurants Kensington Place and Fish Market serving ‘Blue Planet’ Menus and Plateau in Canary Wharf showcasing its first botanical brunch. New Street Grill will offer a special Paleo menu that focuses on quality over quantity.

“As restaurateurs, sustainability and caring for the environment have been central to how we run our business for years. We are also now focusing on giving more choice to customers who want to eat more healthily by choosing vegetarian and vegan options. Last year one of D&D’s most successful initiatives was the launch of a weekly Vegan Brunch at Alcazar, our restaurant in Paris,” said Des Gunewardena, the CEO and Chairman of D&D.

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‘Food Meets Fashion’ at Sartoria

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A new series of events will take place at Sartoria on Savile Row in Mayfair, coming under the name of ‘Food Meets Fashion’. The prestigious location is the world’s most famous tailoring street and these events aim to highlight exactly this synergy between tailoring and cooking. They are part of D&D’s latest campaign, ‘Mindful City’, which promotes a slow-down-type of lifestyle, where people show more appreciation to their own bodies, minds, and the environment.

Some exciting guest speakers will join chef patron Francesco Mazzei and together they will bring forward the overlap between fashion design and cooking. Promising to be an enlightening experience, the event will also offer a three-course meal developed by Chef Francesco in the restaurant’s glamorous private dining room.

The first event will take place on the 2nd of February and the special guest will be the the fashion designer Ozwald Boateng OBE. The exclusive lunch will start with a talk from Ozwald, followed by Francesco Mazzei discussing his passion for cooking and introducing the meal to the customers.

The three-course meal consists of a Burrata, blood orange, radicchio and pickled black truffle salad followed by a Crustaceous lasagnetta with Marsala zabaglione and a dessert of Lemon tiramisu. A glass of Moet & Chandon will be offered on arrival and a glass of wine with the meal. Guests will also be able to participate in a Q&A with Francesco and Ozwald during their dining experience.

Some of the confirmed names for the future events include the designers behind the womenswear label RIXO London, Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey. They will join Francesco on the 16th of February and will discuss food and fashion trends for 2018.

‘Food Meets Fashion’ will unfold between 12pm and 4pm and a ticket costs £60.

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