Feb 11th 2019

Five Romantic Cocktails for Valentine’s Celebrations

Five Romantic Cocktails

From flirty fun to lasting passion, we’ve got five of the best love potion cocktails to get your Valentine in the mood for love. Five romantic cocktails to win over that special person….

Amour Rouge

First of our five romantic cocktails, is the Amour Rouge. The ruby red allure of this cocktail from the team at Grey Goose Vodka is both striking and elegant. Served in a chilled martini glass with a cluster of red-currants and a garnish of lemon zest, it has fruity tang that is sure to tickles the taste buds.

INGREDIENTS

25 ml GREY GOOSE VODKA

25 ml Pineau des Charentes®

10 ml Crème de Cassis®

2 tsp lemon juice

1 dash Angostura® Aromatic Bitters

1 small cluster redcurrants

Lemon twist

METHOD

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add all ingredients.

Shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass.

Garnish with lemon zest and a cluster of redcurrants.

Pink Grapefruit & Cucumber Collins

There is nothing prettier than a pink cocktail and no better time to serve one than Valentine’s Day. We love this signature mix from Hertfordshire’s Chase Distillery. Delicately coloured and flavoured with natural ingredients – pink grapefruit and cucumber – it is long, refreshing drink with a subtle but definite air of romance.

INGREDIENTS

50ml Chase Pink Grapefruit & Pomelo Gin

Splash Fresh Pink Grapefruit juice

2 slices of cucumber diced and muddled

12.5ml Sugar Syrup

12.5ml Fresh lemon Juice

Soda top

METHOD

Add all ingredients except the soda to a shaker and shake with cubed ice.

Double strain into tall glass over cubed ice.

Garnish with fresh cucumber ribbon and pink grapefruit slice.

Signed & Sealed

For a long-term love the name of this cocktail hints towards commitment, and is a must in our collection of five romantic cocktails. But familiarity doesn’t mean there is any less need for romance and this little cocktail is bursting with it. Aside from the luxurious Reserva Exclusiva Diplomatico rum on which it is based, this cocktail gains an added infusion of red-hot passion from a natural strawberry aphrodisiac, and a floral uplift from dashes of lavender bitters.

INGREDIENTS

40 ml Reserva Exclusiva

30 ml Strawberry infused Cocchi Rosa

3 dashes of Lavender bitters

METHOD

Add all to a stirring glass, fill with ice, stir and strain

Serve in a coup glass and garnish with a dehydrated slice of strawberry

Ruban Resplendent

Glenmorangie has come up with another elegant choice for those who enjoy a whiskey-based cocktail. This sophisticated choice is easy to create and brimming with warm flavours to heat the heart. The distillery’s award-winning Quinta Ruban whiskey, which this cocktail uses as a base, is a dark, intense spirit which spends 10 years maturing in white oak casks before being transferred for extra maturation into ruby port pipes. It’s aroma of dark mint chocolate is the perfect companion for a romantic evening, and a hint of pepper and nutmeg provide an added spice.

INGREDIENTS

50ml Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban

15ml sweet vermouth

10ml white crème de cacao

Garnish: orange twist

METHOD

Pour the ingredients into a mixing glass, fill with cubed ice and stir until well chilled and slightly diluted.

Double strain into a glass, and serve with an orange twist, straight up.

Boodles Royale

And last on our list of five romantic cocktails .. well. nothing says celebration and romance like champagne. Here at TLC we love a straight-up pink champagne, but if you are going to add some fizz to your cocktail, we love this simple recipe from British Gin distiller’s Boodles, which combines the subtle herbal flavours and berry colouring of its Mulberry Gin liqueur with the sparkling pizazz of champagne.

INGREDIENTS

1 oz Boodles Mulberry Gin

3 oz Champagne

Lemon Twist, garnish

METHOD

Combine ingredients in a champagne flute and garnish.

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 Feb 7th 2019

Celebrating Coral Decor

Celebrating Coral Decor

Living Coral – an “animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone” – has been announced as the Pantone Colour of the Year for 2019.  According to the panel of trends experts at the colour institute, this vibrant shade is symbolic of ‘joyful pursuits’.  So what better colour scheme for weddings and party decor?  Here are some ways to incorporate 2019’s hero shade into your next event, with our ideas for celebrating coral decor:

Coral Glassware

Coloured glassware is a huge décor trend for 2019, especially Art Deco inspired.  Arrange decorative cut glass in delicate coral tones for a table that exudes vintage glamour.  Peach floral arrangements with pops of fuchsia carry through the theme through.   Add a further glamorous edge with gold tableware and charger plates to complement coral tones.

Natural Coral Schemes

Coral in its subtler forms (terracotta and dusky peach) lends itself to natural décor – another on trend wedding theme for 2019. 

You should replace traditional white table linens with rustic coral fabrics.  Use coral as the perfect tonal backdrop for organic elements such as natural wood, pampas grasses, wicker and plenty of greenery.  This look works particularly well alfresco and for those ‘bringing the outdoors in’, fusing outdoor and indoor decor.  Finish with deep burgundy tapered candles (another trending look) in the colder months, or peach/fuchsia accents for summer.

According to Pantone Living Coral is also a nod to environmental issues – so be mindful of sustainability within this scheme.  One idea is to incorporate potted plants and shrubs that can be replanted post-event.

Coral Colour Matches

Coral is versatile colour – here are some perfect partners.

Peaches and cream is a demure colour combination, one with which you can’t go wrong. 

Team coral with pretty lavender and mint pastel shades or daring canary yellow and hot pink.

Navy and coral hints at nautical without appearing tacky, it’s a sophisticated colour combination for a winter wedding.  Make a statement with rich blue linens; coral accents providing a warm contrast to the dark background.

Coral Colour Fades

Lastly on our ideas for celebrating coral decor, is Ombre. Ombre effects are making a big comeback within wedding décor and there be a better colour than coral to create this effect.  Floral arrangments, paper decorations and banners, or a creative arrangemnt of coloured candle holders are some ways to achieve a colour fade effect.  Start off with dark pink and travel right through to baby pink with every tone inbetween.

If your wedding has been inspired by our ideas for celebrating coral decor, take a look at this wedding advice too: WEDDING CAKE TRENDS

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 Feb 7th 2019

The TLC Guide to Evaluating Corporate Events

The TLC Guide to Evaluating Corporate Events

January may have flown by, but there’s still time to make some business-related resolutions worth keeping. Start the new event year start off on the right foot with our guide to evaluating corporate events.

At the close of a successful event, when the venue is spick and span and the last guest has left with goodie bag in hand, there’s a temptation (or a need if departments are particularly time-poor) to simply pat everyone on the back and move on to the next challenge. Yet there’s an important step in the event management process that businesses overlook at their peril – event evaluation.

Done properly, this is a chance to not only celebrate the highs and mitigate the lows, but to futureproof events as integral business function.

Why Evaluate Your Events?

Before we explore the process of event evaluation in our Guide to Evaluating Corporate Events, it’s useful to consider the pros and cons of this approach.

The cons: Dealing with the issues upfront, evaluation is an added cost that needs proper time and resource allocated.  You’re also going to need senior level buy in, which can be difficult if it’s a process they’re unfamiliar with.

The pros: Event evaluation is a means to highlight achievements and of course, to thank team members for a job well done.  Giving key players their moment in the spotlight is hugely important for team morale.

It’s also a chance to constructively pinpoint areas of improvement, be that resources, skills, or streamlining processes.  Proper evaluation makes this process impartial – working with facts rather than opinions.

But evaluation goes beyond celebrating success and identifying development opportunities.

Simply saying how brilliant an event was isn’t sufficient to ensure a repeat booking, especially in the current economic climate. 

So how can evaluation give you an advantage?

Firstly, evaluation allows you to start a dialogue with your audience; it’s an opportunity to get to know them better.  Further analysing the value that this audience found in an event can present prospects for growth.                                     

Secondly, event evaluation produces data; proof that it delivered against objectives. Quantifiable research generates memorable top line statistics that, when benchmarked against the initial aims and the overarching company strategy, can be used to cement an event’s success in stakeholder’s minds.

A sponsor, for instance, would be likely to recall that 83% of attendees were ‘more likely’ to purchase one of their products post-event; just as solid proof of ROI is liable to spark the interest of financial directors and CEOs.

Against an uncertain political and economic backdrop, event evaluation can validate and quantify the need for corporate events. 

Convinced evaluation is a good idea? Good, now it’s time to start implementing it.

Start at the Beginning

In our Guide to Evaluating Corporate Events, the evaluation shouldn’t simply be ‘bolted on’ at the end of an event, the process actually begins in the planning stages. 

Start by clearly defining goals from the outset.  Ask yourself questions about how you will success will be defined, and set objectives accordingly. 

What are the measurable outcomes of the event? If it’s a customer event, how will the event meet their needs? If it’s a staff event, what is the organisation trying to achieve? Is revenue the most important outcome? Or is the focus on opportunities for growth, leads or brand awareness?

Where possible, make your objectives SMART (Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Realistic and Timely).

Not only will this keep everyone informed, enthused and on track (with the same end goal in mind), it’s also vital for deciding if an event is ‘washing its face’. 

Of course, there needs to be room for creativity and improvisation within an event, but setting goals means creativity is channelled in line with overall strategy.

Find the Right Focus

Concentrate your efforts on three main areas – data analysis, attendee feedback and stakeholder views.

Data Analysis: this refers to the facts.  Ticket sales, audience demographics and profit, anything that can reveal insight into whether the event appealed to who you thought it was going to, as well as helping to prove ROI. Remember to link back to your objectives.

Attendee Feedback: Next we move onto opinion.  Again, remembering to link back to objectives, gauge the thoughts of your audience with an incentivised survey sent to all attendees.  This should cover all aspects of your event such as ‘value for money’, ‘speaker evaluation’, venue and refreshments.  It’s also an opportunity to test if key messages about brand, sponsors etc. have got through to the audience.

You can use free tools such as Survey Monkey to create an online survey, many of these also include standard questions for event evaluation. It’s important not to leave it too long after the event to ensure it’s fresh in their minds.

If time and budget allow, qualitative data produced through focus groups or telephone conversations can also be beneficial to get a more in-depth understanding.

Stakeholder Success: Always schedule time around 7-14 days after the event for a follow up meeting with the team, where feedback and data analysis is reviewed.   Here you can discuss (with proof) if an event hit the mark (now’s the time to pull out those memorable statistics).  It’s also time to review the positives and celebrate.

Be sure to turn negatives into opportunities for improvement.  Go in to the meeting with a solution.

A Note on ROI

There are some instances where no amount of statistics will persuade senior staff of an event’s worthiness.  Where the only thing that matters is the bottom line. Here you need to prove return on investment.

Calculating the financial impact in terms of revenue / sales / profit is easier for a ticketed event – especially if there were opportunities to upsell products.

For non-monetised events, assigning perceived costs to value-added will demonstrate RO
I. Leads generated, web traffic, social audience and engagements and media coverage are some potential avenues to explore.

There is also scope to evaluate efficiencies here.  Gauge what delivered most value to the customer so you can spend more time on that in future.

Hopefully our Guide to Evaluating Corporate Events has convinced of the countless and unquestionable benefits of event evaluation.  As well as consolidating achievements there’s a compelling business-case for building evaluation into your next event.  It’s a way of defining success, sticking to shared goals, and proving an event’s worth. 

And when properly executed, evaluation can upgrade events from ‘nice to have’ to a ‘necessity’ within the business.

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