I adore London in summer. For me, it is when the city truly comes alive, when concerts happen in the parks, when open air theatre resumes, when people stream along the South Bank in the sun and when cobbled streets teem with post-work pub-goers.
Over the years that I’ve lived in this fair city, I have come to realise it is very difficult to get bored of London. Tired, sometimes, yes, but that is mostly due to the sheer intensity that it can throw on anyone living here. But bored? No.
Also over that time I’ve noticed the idea of street markets and street food have become ever more popular – something which is wonderful to indulge in on a sunny day. Having come from Canada – where in many cities there and in the US the ‘street food’ scene has been massive for years – it has been brilliant to witness this trend properly coming to lovely London over the past seven years.
Now my love of this pop-up style of eating is marrying with my love of whisky as the Singleton Night Market prepares to plant itself on London’s South Bank on the 15 May.
The event has been set up to show off the company’s two new domestic releases: Sunray and Tailfire.
While I can’t say I was entirely taken with their names – I can only think of souped-up cars when I hear them – I was excited by both the event and the new releases.
I was lucky enough to attend a preview of it recently, where Matt Crow – one of Diageo’s master blenders – spoke about how the creations had come about.
“Both of these whiskies started as a conversation about whisky and from there about flavour. Singleton is very versatile and with these we wanted to focus on vibrancy & intensity…impactful on one of side and rich on other,” he explained.
To do this, the company then focused on what flavour notes emerged from each style of cask. Matt said he found that fleshy berry notes were dominant in whisky matured in European oak, while sweet honey and floral notes came from American oak.
“Every time I talk about whisky I talk about the casks. The maturation process is what creates your single malt whisky and refines and defines what you put in a bottle,” he added.
The whiskies are meant to be “accessible but not simple; accessible to draw you in but complicated then to latch on.”
“A good whisky should make you want to discuss it and share it and I feel this is what these whiskies do. As always with whisky it is about a conversation,” he said.
So what can attendees to the Singleton Night Market expect? The ticket (which costs £10) includes a taster of both of the new releases, along with a cocktail created by Diageo’s Andrea Montague, and food from Hix’s Fish Dogs, Forza Win (an Italian Supper Club), The Marshmallowists (two women, Oonagh and Kim who created marshmallows to match the whiskies), Pong (a cheesemongers) and Cocomaya (London-based chocolatiers).
And, even better: I’m giving one lucky reader a pair of tickets to the event.
To win, all you have to do is answer the following question:
According the Matt Crow, Diageo master blender, what flavours are dominant in Singleton whisky matured in European oak casks?
Send in your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line SINGLETON NIGHT MARKET by the 7th May, along with the best email to contact you on should you win. The winner will be announced shortly after and their name (plus a guest) will be placed on the guest list for the event. The competition is open to over 18s only. The winner will also be announced on Twitter. Should you be interested in being notified that way, please include your Twitter name in your entry.
Stay tuned for an upcoming review of both Sunray and Tailfire here on the site!