CAVIAR CONNECT: NETWORKING + GIN TASTING

WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT: #CAVIARCONNECT

By now you’ve probably realised that here at The Caviar Spoon, we like to indulge in work as much as we do in play and are all about interconnecting people and places. This is why we’ve created #caviarconnect (more on this below).

 The #caviarconnect crew kicked the night off in style!

The #caviarconnect crew kicked the night off in style!

For our inaugural #caviarconnect night, we partnered up with SmartYacht DubaiGlobaleye (an international wealth management group), and Cuvee3 (a sommelier/educator group that organises tastings and private events) to create the most fabulous Gin & Tonic Tasting Night on the Palm. SmartYacht provided the use of their Prestige 500, one of the most luxurious yachts on the market today, which we giddily boarded, eager to get out on the water as a respite from the balmy evening air.

 Eleonora of Cuvee3 prepared plenty of glasses and tasting mats

Eleonora of Cuvee3 prepared plenty of glasses and tasting mats

(And, by the way, SmartYacht is the perfect solution for those who’d like access to their own yacht but don’t want the hassles or expenses of owning one full-time. You can read more about them here.)

There were ten of us in attendance that night, plus a few crew members, and I have to say, the entire evening was absolutely epic! In fact, the yacht itself was a perfect venue—it was spacious, easily accommodating our group plus 50 or so glasses for the tasting. It never once felt cramped. My mind is now reeling with ideas for future events. Sunset and champagne cruises! Wine tastings! Sailing brunches!

SO WHAT’S #CAVIARCONNECT?

 Our editor Pra and Tim Searle (CEO of Globaleye and sponsor of Caviar Connect’s event with SmartYachts and Cuvee3) looking like 2 rather eager school kids!

Our editor Pra and Tim Searle (CEO of Globaleye and sponsor of Caviar Connect’s event with SmartYachts and Cuvee3) looking like 2 rather eager school kids!

Well, #caviarconnect is the latest offering from The Caviar Spoon. It’s a kind of networking event based in Dubai that brings together likeminded people who might have a stonking job during the day but still want to unwind in a fun way in the evening. It’s all about indulging in life and indulging with others who think in the same way.

The events are educational but in a totally informal setting that encourages making connections in this crazy city. Emphasis on ‘informal’—we want to keep it casual and totally approachable. This is for people like us who want to meet other people like us!

 Eleonora educating us on gin

Eleonora educating us on gin

For this event, our ever-fabulous sommelier Eleonora from Cuvee3 educated us not only on gin, but on the various tonics available to accompany the spirit!

First, let me say that I had no idea there were so many tonics available in so many flavours. But now that I do know, it’s certainly helpful knowledge to pull out when frequenting one of those high-end establishments where you can request your favourite gin and tonic water! (For those of you who dine at Zuma, they’re well-versed in this so test them the next time you’re there!)

Throughout the evening, we tasted four gins, neat, which was truly interesting, if not a little rough going down the hatch. (I prefer mine mixed, thank you!) However, I had to give myself a pat on the back when my fave ended up being my actual fave, Tanqueray 10! After getting a taste of the gins on their own, we then experimented with different gin and tonic combos, including ones with chili, grapefruit, and a homemade cucumber syrup created by none other than Eleonora herself!

 Gin with…chili??

Gin with…chili??

Of course, we didn’t do all of this on an empty stomach. Globaleye generously provided a gorgeous selection of food for us to nibble on throughout the evening as we sipped, chatted, laughed, and indulged. We had a perfect attendance record, the crowd was a fab mix of people who complemented each other, the drinks were divine, the weather was wonderful, and we had great fun perched aboard a glorious yacht whilst taking part in a gin masterclass.

 Matthew Cunliffe from Globaleye, Eleonora Caso from Cuvee3, Al Gounder, Charlotte Turner

Matthew Cunliffe from Globaleye, Eleonora Caso from Cuvee3, Al Gounder, Charlotte Turner

It was such a perfect way to finish off a crazy week and we couldn’t have asked for a better way to kick off #caviarconnect! It was truly a ‘Caviar Moment’.

Who knows? Next time we could be learning about how to mix the perfect martini or maybe we’ll have a chef teaching us about ceviche. Don’t miss out! Space will be limited for our #caviarconnect nights so be sure to follow us on Facebook to stay up-to-date and get the details for our next event!

 Charlotte Turner, Al Gounder, and Sarah Kershaw getting rosy and cosy.

Charlotte Turner, Al Gounder, and Sarah Kershaw getting rosy and cosy.

FANCY A G+T?

Here are a few gin & tonic ideas to inspire you!

 (photograph by Ted Cavanaugh)

(photograph by Ted Cavanaugh)

Cucumber-Gin Spritz
(Serves 4)

Ingredients
1 English hothouse cucumber
4 ounces gin
2 ounces simple syrup
16 ounces dry Prosecco or other sparkling white wine
Club soda

Preparation
Using a vegetable peeler, shave 12 long, thin ribbons from cucumber; set aside. Cut a 6″ piece from remaining cucumber and cut into small pieces. Muddle in a cocktail shaker, then add gin and simple syrup and fill shaker with ice. Cover and shake vigorously until outside of shaker is frosty, about 30 seconds. Strain mixture into 4 ice-filled rocks glasses or large wine glasses. Top each with 4 oz. Prosecco and a splash of club soda. Gently stir together; garnish each with 3 cucumber ribbons.

Recipe by Rick Martinez, via Bon Appetit

 (photograph by Kimberley Hasselbrink)

(photograph by Kimberley Hasselbrink)

Rubies & Thorns
(Serves 1)

Ingredients
2 ounces blood orange juice
1/2 ounce gin
1 teaspoon lemon-thyme simple syrup*
4 ounces Pellegrino

Preparation
Lemon-thyme simple syrup: bring 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water and 2 sprigs lemon-thyme to a low simmer. Stir until sugar dissolves. Allow to cool.
Pour blood orange juice, gin and simple syrup over ice in a Collins glass, top with Pellegrino and stir. Garnish with a sprig of lemon-thyme.

Recipe from Bon Appetit

 (photograph by Alex Lau)

(photograph by Alex Lau)

Summer Babe
(Serves 1)

Ingredients
2 ounces gin
¾ ounces Génépy des Alpes
¾ ounces fresh lemon juice
Lemon twist (for serving)

Preparation
Combine gin, Génépy des Alpes, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake until outside of shaker is frosty, about 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with lemon twist.

Recipe by Reynard Restaurant, Brooklyn, via Bon Appetit

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