Posted by Tristan on 16th Feb 2023

You say you want a resolution. Resolutions, goal setting, Mojitos and Georgian wine..

Happy New Year everyone: never too late for that!

2022 – what a year it was! I’m not sure about you, but it was a constant roller coaster of ups and downs, for us. Mostly ups; and as for the downs they straightened themselves out into something positive. Now that we have reached 2023 we are all reflecting, pondering, and creating resolutions.

Fun Fact: the idea of New Year's festivities and celebrations can be traced back to the Babylonians who celebrated it over a 12-day festival called Akitu. It was at the start of their farming season; was used to crown new monarchs, clear debts, make promises and generally just be a better person. Eventually, the Ancient Romans adopted the idea and declared January the 1st the start of the new year. January was named after the two-faced roman god Janus, who looks forward to new beginnings and to the past for reflection and resolution. The Romans would offer sacrifices to him and make promises to be good little humans for the forthcoming year.

Today some folks bemoan the concept of the new year's resolution – maybe that’s because the type of resolutions we make today can seem superficial. But, I like to see them more as goals, whether it's improving myself, my career, or my life in general. What matters is that your resolution makes you happy, and satisfies you. So, what are your resolutions and goals for the year ahead?

For Cahn’s, obviously, it is to continue to cultivate a community of wine and spirit enthusiasts whilst at the same time, creating a great in-store vibe for you. Easily said, now for the doing.

Georgia on My Mind.

Anyone who knows about natural wine will surely know of the influence Georgia has had – and we are talking about the country in Eastern Europe not the state in the U.S.A.

Generally, Georgia is considered “The Cradle of Wine,” its wine-making roots can be traced back to 6000 BC – THAT’S 8000 YEARS!
The Georgians are proud of their rich wine history; in fact: The Qvevri - an earthenware vessel used in wine production has become a symbol of the country. Georgian wine is truly unique and you won’t ever experience anything like it anywhere else in the world.

But why?

Georgia as a country has produced thousands of vintages without many drastic changes to their viticulture and wine-making practices. Sure, there have been slight advancements in technology, but the tradition and practices have remained very much the same. Winemaking is so integral to the Georgian culture that you will find paraphernalia incorporated into art and sculpture; many artefacts have also been found in ancient ruins and burial sites around this small and land-locked, but passionate country.

Georgian wines are amongst the purest expression of their many autochthonous varietals. The grapes are fermented in whole bunches and on the skins with the use of indigenous yeast and no filtration or fining. They are the most natural and minimally intervened wines there are on the face of the earth and a somewhat holistic approach to winemaking, without even really trying.
So, where to start?

Drinking Georgian wine is an experience, and we recommend starting with Chinuri from the Kartli region as a white wine option. And Saperavi from Kakheti as a red option. While this varietal is the most planted and can be found all over Georgia, Kakheti is very much the holy grail of Saperavi.
At Cahn’s, we are very lucky to be one of the few retailers who stock Georgian wines. Start your Georgian wine journey with us.
Pheasants Tears Chinuri 2018 $45
The exception to Georgia's long history of skin-fermented and orange wines. Chinuri is an indigenous varietal to the country and works well to produce – a more conventional dry white with refreshing and fruit-forward intensity, ample acidity, and a unique silky finish.
"Elegant. Lime flowers, daisies, lemon sherbet, and a touch of white nectarines. On the palate, there is a crisp green apple flavour with more of that lemon than lime aspect. A great entry into the Georgian wine realm.
Pheasants Tears Chinuri – Amber Wine 2018 $45
Now we step into the ethereal plane of orange wine.
"The wine has spent two weeks on its skins in Qvevri (clay amphora). As a result, the flavour profile is substantially different; the wine has reduced fruit freshness but has a distinctive nuttiness and herbaceous character with notes of white spice, imbued with a beautiful silky texture and soft tannins on the mouthfeel. Food is a must with this wine."

Why not grab a two-pack of these two wines for just $80 and commence your Georgian adventure? (Link Below)
Try our Special Georgian TWIN PACK
View Our Other Georgian Gems

Eating Georgia

As a final note on Georgia: we would love to give a special mention to Janice and Sue from @eatingadventuretours who kindly promote the fact that we offer Georgian wines.
If you are intrigued by Georgia's rich food and wine culture and want to learn and indulge more, we suggest checking out their extremely interesting and well-organized food tours of Georgia (and other countries too) via the link below.
Eating Adventures
For any further queries on Georgian wine, please feel free to fire your thoughts and questions at Martin or myself. or call us on 021 202 5613.
Start your Georgian Food Adventure Right Here.

Cocktail of The Month

In our first email I mentioned my bartending background – quite extensive it is. For just over a decade I mixed and shook cocktails until I stumbled across the wonderful world that is wine. I worked with many great bartenders and learnt many tricks of the trade but the biggest lesson was understanding flavour and getting the balance right. It was only in my latter cocktail-slinging days that I grasped this.

Anyone can follow a recipe and mix a drink but not everyone can explain to you or understand why the ingredients ‘go together’. When I finally grasped the concept of flavour balance, making and crafting cocktails became a pleasure and I would jump at the chance when a customer approached the bar and said something along the lines of. “I feel like a cocktail, but I don’t know what…can you surprise me and make me something- rum-based would be good”.
“Absolutely!” I would reply enthusiastically.

Speaking of rum, I would love to share with you the recipe of one of my favourite classic cocktails: The Mojito – very straightforward on paper, but I have witnessed so much butchery of this classic, not to mention different methods of making the drink, which did not align with the method I was initially taught and the method I now use.
It was the year 2015 and I was working alongside a wise bartender whom I will name “The Cocktail Gato” it was The Cocktail Gato’s method to the Mojito that changed everything for me, on that busy night…

Tristan’s Mojito Recipe

This recipe may contain methods that are unconventional and not ‘by the book’. But in all honesty, since using this recipe and method, I have not had a Mojito sent back. Over time I experimented with various methods of making this cocktail and the following seems to attune with my taste and mixology philosophy.

Right, let’s get started…

4 lime wedges
10-15 ml (or 2-3 teaspoons) of simple syrup. Simple enough to make but if time is precious, I suggest buying a bottle of Crawley's Simple Syrup from Cahn's.
Interested in the homemade approach? Give Tristan a buzz at the shop for his recipe.

A sprig of fresh mint containing 8-10 leaves
60 mls of white rum or a light gold rum if you prefer. I recommend Diplomatico Planas from Cahn’s.
Soda water (Schweppes is fine)
A smaller sprig of mint, 2-3 leaves for garnish.

A Mojito is a built drink and shouldn’t be shaken. I have read numerous methods and seen many bartenders shake their Mojitos. They are not wrong to do so but, it does change the taste and presentation of the drink. If shaken – and too vigorously, you bruise and break the mint causing it to become the dominant flavour i.e., mint soup. The broken mint also floats in the drink and looks terrible from a presentation point of view.

In a chilled Collins or highball-glass, muddle your simple syrup and lime wedges until most of the juice from the limes is gone.

Now the potentially controversial part...

Add the larger mint sprig – the one with 8-10 leaves and lightly muddle breaking the stem but being careful not to over-muddle the leaves.
Yes, the whole sprig.
Believe it or not but the stem of the mint contains oils that will impact and enhance the flavour quality when broken slightly.
I know, but it tastes so good! Thank you, Cocktail Gato, for your wisdom.

So, add your rum and mix it with the simple syrup, limes and mint.
Fill your glass with crushed ice or evenly-sized ice cubes (like the ones from one of those plastic trays). If you have a commercial ice machine then that’s even better.

Grab your bar spoon and stir, trying to pull up the liquid, fruit, and herbs so they are layered through the drink and not just clumped on the bottom.

Top with soda water and stir again, briefly, if all your solids are still stuck at the bottom of the glass.

To finish lightly clasp the garnish softly in your hands to release those lovely mint aromas and place it on top.

Enjoy and let me know what you think.
We look forward to seeing you at Cahn’s again soon.
Happy New Year from Martin and Tristan.