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the sexton

The Sexton Hip Flask Offer

A thrilling opportunity to acquire, along with a Chap Hip Flask, a bottle of The Sexton Irish Whiskey. Viewers of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will recall that five golden tickets were inserted into five random Wonka Bars, each one guaranteeing the finder a visit to the Chocolate Factory and a lifetime’s supply of chocolate. The Chap, in association with The Sexton Irish Whiskey, has created a grown-up version of this thrilling competition. Our new batch of 30 hip flasks has just been released. 12 of them entitle the purchaser to a free whole bottle of The Sexton. What is… Keep Reading

world-whisky
The Chap Drinks

World Whisky

Gustav Temple takes a liquid journey around the world to see whether single malt whisky can be trusted from anywhere except Scotland. To some readers (and they may be right) is is already blasphemous even to suggest that whisky can come from anywhere except Scotland. But when one discovers that whisky is also made in Germany, Japan, India, Taiwan, Finland, Australia, Canada and Ireland, one feels duty bound to inspect the goods. Of course whisky is also made in the United States but theirs is called bourbon and is an entirely different, usually blended, kettle of fish – admittedly not… Keep Reading

the-sexton-whiskey
The Chap Drinks

The Sexton

Gustav Temple assesses a new Irish Whiskey with rather ghoulish credentials. The word ‘sexton’ derives from the Mediaeval Latin word sacristanus – ‘custodian of sacred objects’. A sexton is ‘a person who looks after a church and churchyard, typically acting as bell-ringer and gravedigger’. The gravedigger in Hamlet calls himself a sexton, for example. The typical duties of the modern-day sexton, as well as digging graves, include minor repairs to the church, mopping the floor, maintaining the church grounds and replenishing stocks of lavatory paper and light bulbs. They do not, however, usually include the distillation of whiskey. That difficult process… Keep Reading

british-rum
The Chap Drinks

Great British Rum

Gustav Temple nosedives into rums that don’t come from where they used to come from, because they are either made or refined right here on these craggy shores. Over the last decade or so, rum has been slowly shaking off its old reputation as something to swill in discotheques mixed with Coca-Cola. But only recently has rum begun to be seen as a ‘serious’ drink such as single malt whisky, bearing the unique imprint of the distillery and year of production. Unfortunately, the very brands that first exported rum to Britain from countries like Cuba and Jamaica are proving rather… Keep Reading

tequila-sunrise
The Chap Drinks

Tequila Sunrise

On National Tequila Day, Gustav Temple samples a new tequila that lays to rest the drink’s association with sombrero-wearing roustabouts “Hey, Rosita, come quick/Down at the cantina they’re giving green stamps with tequila!” For some, the song Speedy Gonzalez by Pat Boone (1962) may have been one’s first introduction to Tequila, for others another song by The Champs released in 1958, Tequila!, may have shuddered from the speakers at some student shindig where 17 Tequila slammers seemed like a good idea at the time; it may even be that the very scent of this Mexican beverage still sends a Pavlovian… Keep Reading

british-pub
The Chap Drinks

An Ode To The British Pub

With the easing of lockdown on 4th July comes the great British conundrum – will our pubs still be the same? Gustav Temple and Olly Smith look back at the glory days of the British pub, at least as they were until 23rd March 2020. The gentle murmur of voices. The clink of glasses being raised. The slosh of dark ale filling a tankard. The pop of a crisp packet being opened. A round of laughter. The crackle as a log is popped on the fire. An old man in a flat cap bustling in, shutting the door on the… Keep Reading

barbadillo
The Chap Drinks

Barbadillo

Gustav Temple pays a visit to the Barbadillo Bodegas in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, to settle once and for all what the difference is between Fino and Manzanilla You can smell the bodegas before you see them; the scent of sherry in all its forms wafts about Sanlúcar de Barrameda, a small town on the coast of the Cadiz province, as you wander down from the railway station, becoming stronger as you reach the Barrio Alto. I was shown around the Barbadillo bodegas by Tim Holt, a dapper British expatriate dressed like an Andalucian señorito: blue blazer, crisp unbuttoned pink shirt… Keep Reading

gin-and-tonic
The Chap Drinks

The Story of Gin

Gustav Temple and Olly Smith on the transformation of gin from slum-dweller’s slosh to sophisticate’s tipple “Liquid Madness sold at tenpence the quarter.” Thus did Thomas Carlyle, admittedly not the world’s greatest party animal, describe gin in 1839. Back then, gin was still waiting for its launch into the High Life, and was the tipple of choice for the lower orders of London for at least a century. Gin palaces, glamorous as they sound, were disgusting dives in seedy quarters of the capital where the bottom end of society would spend the evening quaffing crude early forms of Old Tom… Keep Reading

cocktail-waiter
The Chap Drinks

Cocktails for Lockdown

Gustav Temple and Olly Smith share the ideal cocktails to make at home, while the cocktail bars are all closed during Lockdown The origin of the word ‘cocktail’ remains a mystery to historians. One minute men were swigging fermented fruit from gourds and grunting at each other, the next they were swapping witticisms while sipping Gibsons from delicate glasses adorned with daintily speared little onions. Undoubtedly pirates had something to do with this vast leap into sophistication, for there is more than a whiff of the high seas and palm fringed islands about a cocktail, and pirates would inevitably end… Keep Reading

breaky-bottom
The Chap Drinks

England Sparkles

Olly Smith pays a visit to the East Sussex vineyard of Breaky Bottom to inspect the terroir and enjoy the company of owner Peter Hall  “Aaaaah filthy!” These were the words I growled joyfully on all fours while sniffing the earth beneath the vines at Breaky Bottom. It was my first visit to Peter Hall, the enigmatic twinkling wizard who first planted vines in his East Sussex vineyard in 1974, the very same vintage as me. His vineyard and my life are contemporaneous, but more than that, I owe my career to that specific moment of filth, revelling on all fours… Keep Reading

olly smith
Features/The Chap Drinks

Whisky Galore

Olly Smith sings fulsome praises to the grandfather of all gentlemanly drinks, Whisky In John Landis’ 1983 comedy Trading Places, the villainous duo of Mortimer and Randolph Duke attempt to lure Eddie Murphy into their limousine by proffering a small bottle with the words “whisky – all you want!”. As a child, this always struck me as an intriguing gambit. Could any drink possibly be so good that one could be irresistibly drawn to it like a magnet tugging on the very metal of a robot’s brain? Some years later, I was taught never to resist the dram’s allure by… Keep Reading

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