News & Reviews
Thursday 6th August Cambridge Food and Drink Awards. La Raza and Ta Bouche Finalists in The Best Bar category:
We are proud to confirm that La Raza has been awarded Best Bar in today’s Cambridge Evening News Food and Drink Awards.
Sponsored by: Cambridge Magazine
Independent judge: Andre Dang of Manfood
Winner: La Raza, Cambridge
Runners up: Ta Bouche, Cambridge; Cambridge Wine Merchants, Bridge Street Bar
Owner, Charles Anderson said on receiving the award “we are delighted to have been nominated in the first place but to then be chosen the winner is an honour. It is a testament to the hard work and explorative enthusiasm of our staff and Management, both past and present. We are also very lucky to have a very loyal customer base , many of whom have been coming from the day we opened 12 years ago! We now look forward to taking La Raza’s cocktail and tapas offering to the next level whilst maintaining the great lively atmosphere that La Raza has always had.”
Tom Gipson, General Manager said “La Raza has continued its tradition of combing delicious tapas, fantastic live music and exploring and developing new flavours and products for its exquisite cocktail menu. The award is a testament to all those who have made it possible, most importantly our loyal customers. It’s an honour to be involved with such an inspirational group of professionals”
Ta Bouche, Cambridge was a very worthy runner up and provided the judges with a difficult decision!
A full report of all the winners will be in the Cambridge Evening News on Friday 14th August.
World Martini Day: Tips from La Raza on making the perfect cocktail
The special event in La Raza, taking place from 6pm until 7.30pm, will showcase some Belvedere Martini cocktails. There will also be a talk from the UK Belvedere Ambassador who will announce details of a cocktail competition. The bartenders/managers that attend tonight’s event will then have to offer their specially created cocktail in their respective bars and judging will be conducted by a mystery shopper from Belvedere.
Some of the bars that will attend are Hotel Du Vin, 12a, Ta Bouche Cambridge and Ely, Lola lo’s and Vaults.
Perfect Martini Making from La Raza
Always choose good quality ingredients and pre chill as temperature is key to this drink
Quantities- 6:1 gin:vermouth for a dry martini, 3 parts gin to 1 part vermouth and upwards for wet
If you have one, combined all your ingredients in a metal cocktail tin as metal cools much quicker than glass.
Add ice, lots of it, the bigger and colder the cubes the better.
Stir, ideally with a long stemmed bar spoon for 15 seconds.
Cover top of tin with a cocktail strainer and pour contents into a chilled or frozen martini glass.
Cut a long thin piece of lemon peel and pinch to express the oils over the top of the drink.
Sit back, and enjoy the first of many!
History of the Martini
A Martini by definition is gin or vodka, dry vermouth, shaken or stirred with ice, served straight up (no ice) in that classic v-shaped glass. Anything other than this is a cocktail served in a martini glass. On the subject of “the glass” its shape existed way before the cocktail but over time it became referred to as the martini glass thanks to the popularity of the drink that it cradled.
Wet or Dry? A strange question to be asked when ordering a drink but the meaning in a martini context is quite simple. Dry means that the gin or vodka is stirred with less dry vermouth than you would use if you were mixing a wet martini.
The modern interpretation of the martini in popular culture is somewhat off the way from what is described above. Name any fruit or flavour and put the word martini after it, that is how the drink is perceived today. The manor in which this drink is made is somewhat different to how a classic martini is constructed.
La Raza triumphs in local cocktail competition
Diageo Reserve/Ketel one cocktail competition held at La Raza, Cambridge
Date: Thursday 26.03.14
Organised and Sponsored by Global Drinks firm Diageo (Baileys, Smirnoff, Pimms, Gordons, Bells, J&B, Guiness, Red Stripe to name a few….) bartenders from across Cambridge and the Surrounding areas were invited to participate in a cocktail competition at La Raza, Cambridge on Thursday 26th April.
The brief from Diageo (as sent to all bars)
There are no rules, anything goes, although Ketel One Vodka must be the main spirit used. Points will be awarded for Taste, Presentation, Aroma, Originality and faithfulness to the Ketel One Brand.
The Competition Process:
Bartenders were first asked to submit their cocktail entry to Diageo after which
6 Finalists were invited to make their cocktail in front of the Diageo judges, Richard Holland and Neil Dowie alongside local cocktail guru, Andy Clark of Syllable Design.
The finalists displayed very high levels of skill normally associated with Michelin Star chefs in the preparation of their individual drinks. Egg white was infused with coffee, Sugar syrup was infused with wheat grain. There was flaming, freezing, atomising and molecular biology all in an attempt to follow the brief and create the perfect tasting showstopper.
The top 3 places were awarded as follows:
Winner – Joseph Tivey from La Raza ltd
“My cocktail is inspired by the kettle, its symbolism for the Ketel One brand, and its vital role in the most important meal of the day- Breakfast. I infused my vodka with butter through a process called fat washing. I also infused egg white with the flavour of coffee by taking advantage of the eggs porous shell. These were accompanied by a sugar syrup that I flavoured with toasted wheat grain, the only grain type used in the production of the vodka. The final ingredient was a citrus blend of the juice and oils of both orange and lemon. These ingredients were all shaken together and served in hollowed duck eggs presented in a breakfast table scene.”
2nd place – Anthony Chan, Cambridge Wine Merchants and 12a Private Members Club
“Cocktail competitions are fun, immersive but exhaustively time consuming but receiving an invitation to the Ketel One Vodka comp hosted by our friends at La Raza, I thought why not! I used to visit Holland a lot when I was growing up, the traditional Dutch flavours, spices & food was what gave me the idea for my drink. I paired Ketel One with its own Genever, made my own Dutch appelstroop & after some distilling, flaming, freezing & atomising. I had my drink.”
“The evening was a well hosted & much enjoyed by all, not only were the drink & presentation standards high but one’s own individual creativity never ceases to amaze.”
3rd place – Sean Baylis Ta Bouche Cambridge
“I came 3rd with my fun take on a Mixo set, I created a new take on a classic the ‘Ramos fizz’ using molecular mixology. If you get time pop down to Ta Bouche and try some delicious drinks and take part in the fun cocktail classes we run.”
A few words from the judges;
Richard Holland – Diageo:
“The Diageo Reserve Ketel One Vodka ‘Cocktail5’ competition was an overriding success, a truly great platform to showcase the quality of the brand and bartender talent. The standard of the competitors was fantastic and a fitting tribute to the talent and creative skills that are available within the bars of Cambridge. The Bartenders demonstrated great affiliation to the brand and the time and care spent on their presentations was of the highest standard and a pleasure to see. A truly great day and an accolade to the passion, care and craft within Cambridge.”
Andy Clark – Syllable Design:
“La Raza, known for its great atmosphere and exquisite cocktails was the host to Cambridge’s 5th regional cocktail competition. Six of the city’s best bartenders went head to head on Thursday evening to produce a display of fantastic drinks with an unprecedented level of originality. The main drink sponsor on the day, Ketel One Vodka, was the base for each drink and in almost every case combined with infusions, reductions and homemade syrups. We saw and tasted drinks served in Eggs (Joe Tivey – La Raza), a copper pot still in action (Antony Chan – Cambridge Wine Merchants) and not forgetting a memorable performance from Matt (Ta Bouche Ely).
The winning drink by Joe Tivey was aptly named “Put the Ketel on” was an inspired journey through breakfast.
After my 14 years working in and around the drinks industry this was a real eye opener to just how far along the drinks have come. To those who thought cocktail menus were just thrown together, guess again. These guys drink, sleep and breathe cocktails and they seriously know there stuff. Move over chef, it’s the Bartender’s time to shine! Andy Clark.”
Neil Dowie – Diageo Reserve:
“Which UK city do you believe to be on top of the cocktail game”? When asked, the discerning drinker would find it a struggle to look past the ever innovative London, or perhaps the increasingly impressive Manchester. But on Wednesday during the Ketel One competition held at La Raza, Cambridge, a little piece of our beloved capitol shown through, delivering what has to be one of the closest and most intriguing competitions I have had the pleasure of judging. Many thanks to the bartender’s not only for stepping up to the plate, but for treating the competition and their peers with the respect we love to see in our trade. Particular thanks to our top 3, whose drinks were outstanding in quality and in concept”.
Cambridge Edition Restaurant Review, July 2014
“…the standard of food and service, and the chilled, relaxed atmosphere, is proof that trendy bars can do business just as well by day as they do by night.”
Read the full review here…
Hal wins first heat of Luxardo Cocktail Competition, May 2014
Given only minutes to select and prepare ingredients from a mystery box, Hal beat 11 other competitors to impress judges with his inventive Cherry Beatdown.
The cocktail combined Luxardo Sangue Morlacco, Luxardo Maraschino Originale, syrup from a jar of Luxardo Maraschino cherries, vodka, beetroot juice, muddled yellow pepper and basil, all shaken over ice and served in a chilled coupe glass.
The heat was the first in the Luxardo Campione challenge, held at The Dolls House club in London. Competitors had to use one or more products from the Luxardo cherries range: Maraschino, Sangue Morlacco and Maraschino cocktail cherries.
It is part of the brand’s new Social Shake campaign, which is an online platform for professional bartenders to share their inspired, impromptu moments and show off their original creations.
Bartenders can drop in to chat via Twitter and Facebook or participate more actively to enter regular cocktail competitions to win prizes throughout the year. It is being run with brand ambassador Mister “G” Franklin.
Watch Hal in action at https://luxardococktails.com/get-inspired/cherry-beatdown
Match.com. March 2014
“We’ve had a great experience hosting our match.com nights at La Raza, and would recommend the venue to anyone looking to host an event too.” – match.com
Tomas Estes from Ocho Tequila shares a La Raza creation. March 2014
Curado cried Wolf – Peter Rawlings
50ml Ocho Curado
7.5ml Wolfschmidt Kummel
5ml Noilly Pratt
10 Drops Bob’s Lavender Bitters
Read the article here
Cocktail Time – Seasonal Creations, Cambridge Edition. November 2013
“The master mixologists at Rose Crescent’s hippest hangout La Raza introduce us to a selection of their delicious seasonal cocktails.”
Tempting Tapas, Velvet Magazine. September 2013
“The perfect place to catch up with friends, loved ones and family, it’s easy to see why La Raza has
become the first port of call for many of the city’s socialites and food lovers.”
An Interview with Charles Anderson, owner of La Raza & Tabouche
Style Magazine, Cambridge Independant’s Day. July 2013
“…my favourite current cocktail is a La Razatini, one of our own cocktails that uses our own gin, our homemade vermouth, and one of our homemade bitters”
Food & Cocktails @ La Raza, Cambridge. CB Magazine. January 2013
“…without doubt the best daiquiris I have tasted and my sister, who has lived Stateside, claimed they beat their counterparts on the other side of the Atlantic.”
Top Table Review. 2012
“We had an excellent time at la raza in Cambridge last night. Superb good value + tasty food. Very good portion size! Our waitress Jennifer was very accommodating + made us very welcome. The whole team were friendly. Very quaint+cosy feel. Clean. Live music at 10 pm then lifted the atmosphere 1 notch higher…overall great evening. Definitely recommend!!! Big thumbs up! Thank you. Will definitely be going back there :)” – The Top Table review team, 2012