Quintessentially British since 2017
The Rusty Barrel Story...
Ordering gifts online can be a minefield. You shop around, find something that looks ideal, and hit buy. And wait... And when it finally arrives, you open it up, and most of the time, it's exactly what you expected. Sometimes though, you can be distinctly underwhelmed. Basic packaging. Poor quality. Disappointing. And you're stuck. With no time to get a replacement, you hastily wrap it and feel terrible about what you're handing over. The last time that happened to me, I decided to do something about it...
It all started on a trip to New Orleans... We discovered a fantastic bar, the Bombay Club, just off Bourbon Street. It was like stepping back in time to a 1920s Speakeasy mixed with a colonial Gentlemen's Club, complete with a Union Jack—not what you’d expect in Louisiana! It was all wood paneling and live music and had a cocktail menu to tempt even the most habitual drinker to try something a little exciting!
With so much to choose from, I was having a hard time deciding what to order. The barman recommended their martini, but I entirely wasn't convinced. The thought of that neat vodka usually put me off—I tended to stick with something a little gentler. But, he reassured me if I didn't like it, he'd make me anything else on the menu. Guaranteed. How could I say no?
It ended up being a mini-martini masterclass!
I discovered a martini is traditionally made with gin and not vodka, and despite Mr Bond's preference, they're better stirred and not shaken. [Fun fact - stirred martinis are crystal clear (unless you like them dirty) and not as diluted as the shaken variety.]
WARNING: They also pack a punch!
And from the first sip of the cool liquid with a subtle hint of botanicals, I was a martini convert! The rest of the night went by in a blur as we watched the bar staff shake, stir, mix, and measure cocktail after cocktail. What a night.
Arriving back in London, I wanted to surprise my boyfriend with a cocktail shaker for Valentine's Day to bring back memories of that New Orleans night. After a lot of searching, I found a set that looked the part and ordered. It showed up in a battered and torn cardboard box, and when I opened it, it looked distinctly low quality. Worse, when he made that first cocktail, it leaked and spilled all over the counter.
I. Felt. Awful.
But it sparked an idea. I knew that if I wanted to recreate our New Orleans-Cocktail-Bar- Experience-at-Home, I had to do it properly. And as I’d always had a bit of an entrepreneurial flair, I thought I’d set about making the perfect cocktail gift set myself.
And Rusty Barrel was born!
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Rusty Barrel - Returns, Railway Arch 1, Station Road, Kirkham, Lancashire, PR4 2HD, GB
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