Archive for June, 2010

Spiced Rum

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

It is impressive for anyone to not notice the mysterious glass containers crowning the bar of the Urban Beach. Standing like a behemoth and looking as if it belongs in a mad-scientists laboratory…a simple and effective sign labels one as “Old Jon’s Spiced Rum”.Vanilla Sugar - DSC_3634

To begin, Jon is the Obi-Wan Kenobi of our trade. A veritable wizard of mixology…and yes he is getting on a bit. However, his name does not adorn the vivacious vessel by default. It was by competition, intoxication and group judgement that his version of a homemade spiced Rum is now available for you to enjoy and judge for yourselves. 

Earlier this year, in a shady corner of our establishment…bartenders, chefs and some of the loveliest waiting staff from both the Urban Beach and it’s sister the Urban Reef came together for a night of experimentation. Each entrant brought an austere bottle of Pampero ‘Venezuelan’ Rum that had been imbued with a wide array of flavours, spices and herbs. A tantalising collection of inventiveness, ranging from chilli to chocolate…from nutty to smoked.

Every entrant became judge in a blind tasting that rambled on into the night. Surreptitiously thrown into the fray were a couple of commercially renowned Rums, the new look Sailor Jerry’s and a particular favourite of ours…OVD spiced. As expected through the generations of time and effort put into these two superb spiced Rums, they fared rather well in the blind tasting…emerging victorious against all of the Urban workforce’s concoctions.

Except one…Old Jon’s Spiced rum, a delicate unity of vanilla, dried apricots, raisins, cloves, nutmeg, cardamon and a big ole stick of cinnamon…sufficiently wowed its fellow Rum lovers to be crowned king of the infusions. To honour this remarkable achievement, Jon’s rum was put into a small-scale production across both Urban sites to be made available to the most prestigious and worthy judges of all…your fine selves.

Written by Adam Haines

Homemade Pomms

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Pomms board - DSC_3653Sshhh…let us speak in whispers; the summer may very well be here. As we tiptoe out into the blazing sun knowing that the slightest word out of place would be the most taboo, there are two things for sure. Firstly that the golden silence will inevitably be broken with the crank of a motor and the hum of a lawnmower…creating a chain reaction across every lawn in our fair country, resulting in vest adorned men with handkerchiefs for hats sending a grass cloud hurtling into the sky. The hayfever sufferers amongst us curse, the bees’ swoon…and the beer gardens swell.

Which brings us onto the second inevitability…a seemingly unquenchable thirst for a cocktail packed with more fruit than a Muller factory. Of recent years a most delicious foreigner has reached vogue status in our community…the Mojito has become extremely popular. But there is one drink that challenges this sparkling mint daiquiri for summer supremacy…one drink that epitomises this glorious season…the most quintessential English cocktail, our friend the Pimms and lemonade.Syrups - DSC_3705

It is impossible to stroll into the Urban Beach at any time of year without being thrust into an environment of experimentation and ‘do it yourself’ ethics. This time of year, the mad scientist of our bar has concocted something very special…and to avoid any possible lawsuit, it is named the Homemade Pomms. Our latest batch is maybe easier to imbue than it seems. 1 part Rose wine is infused with the fruits of the moment…mint, cucumber, pear, rosemary, thyme to name but a few. This is then fortified with a cognac and sweetened with sugar. The second phase is 4 parts red wine, a fruity vino infused with our super fruits tea (compliment to Tea-Pigs, a damn fine blend!) and vanilla. Both parts are then married and allowed to do their business for a few days before being fine strained and ready for consumption.

As with its well known counterpart…we build the Pomms over ice with a selection of sliced fruit and top it up with another homemade treat…the lemonade from our smoothies board. An unnecessarily large sprig of mint adorns the top of this summer sensation. All that is left is for you to indulge, keeping one eye on the sky and easy access to your brolly…just in case.

Bloody Mary Competition

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

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Of the three hundred odd people that swarmed the Urban Beach on the 25th April, it was refreshing to see so many really getting into the spirit of Dorset’s Best Bloody Mary competition. It seemed that many had even started their preparations the night before, grey faced and trying to conceal a multitude of sin…their was a thirst in many pairs of eyes that oozed a need, a hunger for the cure. The original cure for over-indulgence was being showcased like never before.

The competition itself could be described as a simple vodka and tomato juice…but the carnival style atmosphere and aesthetic design involved in the day, were as lavish and imaginative as the entries themselves. From the live rockabilly tunes of ‘Jezzabelle’ to face-painting, from a Paella stand to an Oyster bar with a smokin’ BBQ available…this was a day of rejuvenation and exuberance. The sheer number of tomatoes that adorned every nook and cranny could challenge Bunyol during August.

On the day of the London Marathon, the Urban Beach had there own 26.2 race…that is 26.2 inches of track for a selection of the speediest Snails available from the garden. The race was won in a record 30 minutes, but many spectators were glad for the generous selection of ales from the Dorset Brewing Company available during the high-octane Snail trail.

 But of course, the highlight of the day was the competition itself. Having invited over 140 bars, pubs, hotels and restaurants…the competition had a dozen entrants from the whole of Dorset meaning there would be no question as to the expectations of the buzzing crowds. There were some glorious entries bursting with colour and flavour, garnished with the most over the top bountiful vegetables and perfectly balanced with more spice than a trade ship out of India. 242

With thanks to the very special guest judge Steve Groves, who you would remember as the 2009 winner of Masterchef the Professionals, the competition was whittled down to the final four. Urban beach, 1812, Hotel du Vin, and Brambles were now left in the running for the illustrious title, which only one entrant could hold. The judges were now starting to look like tomatoes but held their own to select the winner. As it turned out, our own recipe prevailed with the finely tuned balance of blended plum tomatoes, horseradish infused vodka and a very special homemade spice mix. The Urban Beach was awarded the mantle of Best Bloody Mary in Dorset…and the party went on into the night on a highly successful day. We thank you all for attending, bringing your hangover and putting it to good use.

 

Hmmm, it is pouring with rain today

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

A lovely Urban Beach BedroomSo, it’s not the perfect start to the school holidays, but the forecast is beautiful for the rest of the week. 

We’ve decided out of the kindness of our hearts to offer a great selection of our rooms mid week for £160 inclusive of a 3 course meal for two people.  That’s a lovely little school  holiday treat.  If you’re a teacher we’ll even cuddle you and provide you with a desk to write all those wonderful reports that you have to do this time of year.  Come and play in the sun…