“OH, IT’S gor­geous,” said Eva Greenspan, tak­ing her first sip of a newly minted cock­tail. So new that a name has still to be found for the con­coc­tion of Louis Royer brandy, Moses date vodka, a few notes of Carvo choco­late-in­fused­vod­kaand­some­o­r­angebit­ters, topped with gin­ger ale and stirred not shaken.

A demonstration of cock­tail-mak­ing was one of two break­out ses­sions in­tro­duced this year into Ke­dem Europe’s an­nual Kosher Food and Wine Ex­pe­ri­ence in Pic­cadilly. The other, on how to pair food and wine, was led by food editor Vic­to­ria Pr­ever.

“It’s very re­fresh­ing,” said Mrs Greenspan, a Con­ser­va­tive coun­cil­lor in Bar­net, in­sist­ing that I try the cock­tail, served in a cut-glass tum­bler, which we were told was all the rage in fash­ion­able Lon­don bars. By now the drink had ac­quired the name “Date Night” from one of the au­di­ence.

For his cre­ative com­bi­na­tions, Andy Collinson, the demon­stra­tor from Ace Bar Events, used some of the avail­able kosher liqueurs, like Walders’ creamy but non-dairy Banof­fee, which, he said, “you can mix with fruit juices and doesn’t split”.

Im­press­ing the need not to stint on ice, Mr Collinson coun­selled: “Never use weak, wa­tery ice. Ice makes the drink. If you over-di­lute it, you are go­ing to ruin it.”

Some bar­men will even buy fist-sized high-qual­ity ice cubes at £1 a pop, he re­vealed. “When you make the drink, there’s no cloud in the ice.”

We learned about the vogue for dif­fer­ent flavours of bit­ters — “many peo­ple are mak­ing their own” — and drink dec­o­ra­tion. “Some peo­ple go over­board with their gar­nishes,” he noted. “I just came back from an ex­hi­bi­tion where a guy had lit­tle desk lamps which lit up the drinks.”

Shak­ing up a Mar­tini Espresso, his arms pumped back and forth like pis­tons on an old steam train. And as a rabbi might of­fer guid­ance on lulav use, he stressed: “There are many dif­fer­ent ways of shak­ing.”

Se­cu­rity was unusu­ally tight out­side the Sher­a­ton Grand Ho­tel this year, per­haps to pre­vent gate­crash­ers try­ing to snaf­fle a freshly made duck pan­cake, pulled beef roll or a glass of Syrah or Chardon­nay.

The num­ber of vine­yards and dis­til­leries ex­hibit­ing was up from 32 last year to 43, with a p a r - tic­u­larly s t r o n g F r e n c h pres­ence. Guests­get a taste for the­food and­wine ex­pe­ri­ence Bar­nett, a mem­ber of the Chief Rab­binate Trust, ush­ered me over to an­other table to try a Grand Cru Bordeaux, the Chateau Léoville Poy­ferre . “Now this is a proper wine,” he said. “I think it’s the star of the show.” With one pre­vi­ous vin­tage re­tail­ing in Lon­don at nearly £150 a bot­tle, this was a wine to be savoured, not swigged. Mr Bar­nett has a Léoville at home, which he said he would “prob­a­bly get round to open­ing for my re­tire­ment”. A lighter, and at £18 a bot­tle, cheaper op­tion was a Roth­schild rosé, Les Lau­ri­ers — per­fect as “an aper­i­tif or on the beach”, sug­ested sales di­rec­tor He­lene Com­babessouse. Other ex­hibitors in­cluded one of Amer­ica’s best known kosher winer­ies, Her­zog from Cal­i­for­nia. A chef with one kosher caterer was par­tic­u­larly im­pressed by the new Clone #6 Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon 2014. Also from Cal­i­for­nia was Dis­tillery No 209, which uniquely man­u­fac­tures a “kosher for Pe­sach” gin. “You can’t use grain,” ex­plained the dis­tillery’s pres­i­dent, Jeff Hod­son, “so we use cane sugar. There are only four places where you can source cane sugar of the qual­ity [re­quired]. We source ours from South Africa.” Ob­serv­ing the hun­dreds of food and drink lovers from across the com­mu­nity f l i tting from stand to stand, he said he was glad he had come. “It’s a great show.”

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