Posted on

6 surprising Pina Colada facts and the definitive recipe

If you like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain (and even if you don’t) then you’ll love our 6 lesser known facts about this wonderfully uplifting drink. Join us as we celebrate National Pina Colada Day!

Pina Colada
Classic Pina Colada served in Cumbria Crystal Lyre Highball

1. It is thought the Pina Colada was being drunk as far back as the 1800’s, and by pirates no less. Puerto Rican pirate Roberto Cofresí used the pineapple, coconut and rum cocktail to lift the spirits of his crew. Sadly this original version of the recipe was lost after Roberto’s death in 1825 but we’re guessing it was pretty rum heavy.

2. It wasn’t until 1954 that the drink was brought back to life, Bartender Ramon “Monchito” Marrero is now cited as the drinks official inventor. Ramon worked on the definitive recipe for months in an attempt to encapsulate the essence of Puerto Rico before settling on the Pina Colada.

3. Ramon served the drink for 35 years at the Caribe Hilton before The Pina Colada was officially made the national drink of Puerto Rico in 1978.

4. Rupert Holmes who penned the famous song Escape (The Pina Colada Song) doesn’t like the cocktail, saying it tastes medicinal. He’s wrong. It’s delicious!

5. The famous line originally said ‘if you like Humphrey Bogart’ but was replaced with the “first exotic drink” Rupert could think of.

6. Originally titled ‘Escape’ initial sales of the record were slow as despite its popularity people called it by the name of the cocktail. Reluctantly Rupert Holmes agreed to change the name to Escape (The Pina Colada Song) and the record went straight to number 1.

It wouldn’t be fair to whet your appetite for the drink without giving you the recipe. The below is the official Caribe Hilton recipe. We’ve served it in our Lyre range which was especially created for the modern cocktail drinker and maker.

Pina Colada Recipe

60ml rum

30ml coconut cream

30ml double cream

175ml fresh pineapple juice

¼ pint of crushed ice

Method

Mix rum, cream of coconut, double cream and pineapple juice in a blender. Add ice and stir for 15 seconds. Serve in a 12oz glass and garnish with fresh pineapple and a cherry.

The very fact the Pina Colada warrants a ‘national day’ highlights the resurgence of the cocktail in recent years. Mixologists are constantly driving forward new recipes and adding increasingly dramatic effects to their drinks. Despite this innovation some cocktails are still included on menus around the globe and the Pina Colada remains a tropical favourite. Enjoy yours!

Posted on

Our 3 favourite unexpected martini facts, and the best way to drink it!

Grasmere Martini Glass, Sipsmith Gin, Martini Extra Dry

It’s #nationalmartiniday and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate this wonderful drink than by drinking it!

Before we share our classic recipe here are our three favourite facts about one of the worlds best loved boozy drinks:

Grasmere Cocktail Glass, Martini, Sipsmith Gin, Gin, Cocktail Shaker, Martini1. The martini glass pre-dates the drink itself. Previously known simply as a cocktail glass, the prerequisites for any good cocktail glass are to have a long stem to avoid affecting the temperature of the aromatic elixir within and to have a inverted conical bowl. Originally cocktail glasses were made from high-quality lead crystal and held around 13 cl of liquid. With the rise of mechanical glass-making the cocktail glass can now be bought in a variety of sizes and shapes. Luxury lead hand-blown crystal is still made today, but is sadly a dying art. We are in fact the last manufacturers of hand-blown, hand-cut luxury lead crystal in Britain, so thankfully you can still observe the tradition. You can bring your collection up to date with our Boogie Woogie range, which was created with mixology in mind!

2. Famous martini lovers have included Ernest Hemingway, Humphrey Bogart and of course…Cumbria Crystal’s number one fan…James Bond. This celebrity endorsement helped cement the cocktail’s reputation and it has never left the cocktail menu since. Variations on the classic gin and vermouth cocktail include a dirty martini, where olive brine is introduced, but no variations have the same gravitas as James Bond’s ubiquitous ‘shaken not stirred’ instructions. However you like yours is fine by us though as we aren’t quite so strict as 007!

3. Vermouth the undisputed alchemist in the martini is the gin of the wine world. Flavoured with botanicals such as bark, herbs, seeds and spices additional alcohol (often grape brandy) is added to the neutral wine before the fermentation process begins, it is then sweetened afterwards to varying degrees. Each vermouth has its own closely guarded secret recipe of botanicals to be included. At one stage vermouth was thought to be medicinal and was prescribed liberally as a tonic to cure a variety of ailments, perhaps not so surprising given its aromatic herby flavour.

Here is our favourite take on 007s favourite tipple, which simply must be served in a Grasmere martini glass (also 007’s favourite range judging by his partiality to them in Casino Royale)  – a fool proof (with a very high % proof!) cocktail recipe for you to enjoy.

You will need

A quality martini glass (see our range here!)

5 parts Sipsmith gin

1 part Vermouth (we love Martini – Extra Dry)

Green olive (in brine not oil) – Or Lemon rind

1. Chill your Grasmere martini glass. Our lead crystal glasses can be chilled in the fridge or if you just can’t wait fill it and gently swill it full of ice

2. Generously fill a shaker or tall separate glass with large ice cubes

3. Pour over the Vermouth

4. Pour in the gin…hurrah! Gin!

5. Shake it or stir it with a tall spoon, contrary to Mr Bond’s instructions we don’t think it matters too much

6. Pour it into your empty chilled Grasmere martini glass

7. Garnish with an olive or twist your lemon slice in to release the oils

8. Drink it. Actually – sip it. It’s strong!

9. Enjoy the slightly warm giggly feeling

10. Make another

Sadly the history of the martini’s invention has been claimed by so many people that it’s unclear who invented this delightfully uplifting drink but we thank whoever they were from the bottom of our glass! Can’t wait until next year!

Posted on

Current Vacancy – Finance & Administration Manager

Finance & Administration Manager

2-3 days per week – negotiable

£28-35k pro rata, company workplace pension scheme available

Cumbria Crystal is the last producer of completely hand-blown and hand-cut luxury lead crystal in the United Kingdom. Using only traditional glassmaking processes, the team of 21 highly skilled artisans are committed to making superb crystal of the highest quality, using techniques and processes that have hardly changed since the Roman era. Cumbria Crystal epitomises the best of British glass manufacture. Our glassmaking heritage and use of traditional techniques mean that every aspect of the creative process is done by hand in the factory.

As the Company’s Finance and Administration Manager you will:

  • Agree Annual Budget with Chief Executive and Senior Managers.
  • Budget modelling & implementation of business and financial plans.
  • Produce timely monthly management accounts and monitor against budgets.
  • Analysis of KPI’s.
  • Report to Board every month on Financial Performance against Business Plan.
  • Discuss with Chief Executive and Senior Managers any variances to budget and agree appropriate corrective action.
  • Support Chief Executive on development of Company strategy and assist in identifying appropriate funding applications/business opportunities.
  • Monitor cash levels and initiate any corrective actions.
  • Agree and submit monthly payroll information to local accountants.
  • Prepare & submit financial information for quarterly VAT returns.
  • Liaise with company’s Bank on its Performance and Cash needs.
  • Submit monthly management accounts to company’s Bank.
  • Agree year-end audit plan with Auditors and be available to discuss audit queries.
  • Complete statutory year end requirements.
  • Ensure draft accounts are issued to the Board prior to AGM.
  • Ensure company is working on latest Sage Accounts Line 50 package.
  • Liaise with Company Auditors on Workplace Pension scheme.
  • Line Manager for 1 member of staff and include training and staff appraisal.
  • Provide advisory support for Web/Shop sales.
  • Responsibility for of Company’s IT systems, database & general administrative functions.
  • Negotiate with contractors e.g. energy and insurance at renewals.
  • Manage and supervise the Accounts Assistant/PA to Managing Director, including performance review and training.

Desirable

Experience in the field of manufacturing or engineering. Willingness to play an integral role within the Management Team.

Person Specification:

    • Experience in the fields of manufacturing or engineering.
    • Excellent managerial skills with the ability to delegate and supervise.
    • Demonstrable strong time-management and organisational skills with the ability to prioritise busy work loads.
    • Ability to communicate clearly, openly and effectively with customers, suppliers and colleagues.
    • Ability to work independently on own initiative and to play an integral role within the management team.
    • Respect for the craftsmanship of our products.
    • Reliable, trustworthy and a good time keeper.
    • Respect and consideration towards colleagues.

For an informal discussion about this post please contact Chris Blade at chris.blade@cumbriacrystal.com or call 01229 584 400.

Posted on

Steve Cummings Celebrates Tour of Britain Victory with Cumbria Crystal Trophy

We are delighted to share images of Steve Cummings receiving the winner’s trophy for the Tour of Britain this week. The overall winner’s award was sponsored by Cumbria Crystal and was blown by Dave Sharp and Steve Brettle and engraved by apprentice Charlotte Hudson.

@Theo Southee photography
@Theo Southee photography

Continue reading Steve Cummings Celebrates Tour of Britain Victory with Cumbria Crystal Trophy

Posted on

Cumbria Crystal Supports the Tour of Britain 2016

tour of briatina

The most famous cyclists from across the world will gather in Glasgow to kick-off the Tour of Britain this Sunday. Mark Cavendish, André Griepel, Rohan Dennis and many more cyclists across twenty teams, will embark upon the eight stage race. The tour will end with a thrilling climax in the heart of central London.

Cumbrian Connection

This years’ race has more than just a hint of Cumbrian tradition attached to it. Not only will the county host the second stage of the race, from Carlisle to Kendal but Cumbria Crystal has been chosen to supply the winner’s trophy. The hand-crafted glass bowl will be awarded to the winner after the final stage on Sunday the 11th of September.

Continue reading Cumbria Crystal Supports the Tour of Britain 2016