Saturday, February 2, 2013

Interview with HOT RUM COW

HOT RUM COW comes from Scotland and is about BOOZE. The second issue just came in and is mainly about cider. It's on our loved Food shelf next to The Gourmand and Fricote. It fits in with the current wave of good food mags. It's funny, beautifully designed and inspiring.
We asked editor Simon Lyle a couple of questions.

Why did you start a magazine about liquor?

The first thing is, liquor is something the whole team shares an interest in. We're not experts but we're all very enthusiastic amateurs when it comes to drinking.
There is currently a huge surge in interest in high-quality independent drinks, and while there were several very good food magazines out there, we felt the drinks market was confined largely to trade titles or self-regarding connoisseur mags.
We launched Hot Rum Cow to appeal to anyone who is curious about outstanding or unusual drinks and the stories behind them. It's about beer, wine and spirits but it's also about history, culture and people.

What inspires you while making a new issue?

Just the usual things. Reading, drinking, speaking to producers and experts, that sort of thing.
Booze is such a broad and accessible subject. Nearly everyone has an idea or an opinion about what we should be writing about when you tell them you work for a drinks magazine.   
We can call upon billions of drinkers, drinks from around the whole world and thousands of years of drinking history - so we shouldn’t struggle for material.

Your working day must start or end in a bar, how does it look like? 

It’s a nice perk of the job that the postman brings plenty of interesting bottles to the office, but of course we do need to venture out to the pub from time to time. We are based in Edinburgh, so the last major celebration was to honour Scotland’s national bard on Burns Night. We honoured him in a local beer bar by drinking a wide selection of ales, porters and stouts from some fantastic Scottish independent breweries – including one flavoured with haggis.

What are your favourite magazines?

I recently subscribed to Delayed Gratification – purveyors of slow journalism. It’s the antidote to the 24-hour news cycle, revisiting the events of the previous three months to see what happened after the dust settled. I think it’s just a brilliant idea, executed at exactly the right time. Smart writing and it looks amazing.
I also like the thinking behind Aeon  - “a digital magazine of ideas and culture”. They publish one essay every week day. Really interesting mix of stuff and a layout which makes reading several thousand words on a screen pretty painless.   

What’s your favourite drink?

I developed a love of Guinness while growing up in Ireland, a love of ale while studying in England, a love of rum while travelling in Costa Rica and a love of whisky while working in Scotland. Basically, I'll drink whatever's put in front of me.

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