So, what do we now call February off the back of Dry January? ‘Flooded Feb’ maybe? While ours has been more damp than dry, many of you across the nation have been very well behaved this last month, although your nerves are probably hanging out as a result. It’s always a long month regardless but certainly made more so through a period of abstinence. Well, fear not, your time on the wagon is done and rather than head into town and get messed up on an all-day pub crawl, why not take a more considered approach and try out one of these delightful little tipples we ourselves have had the pleasure of tasting.
Let’s start with a couple of rather lovely new gins. First up is Mermaid Pink Gin (70cl, 38% abv – RRP £35.89), a spirit handcrafted on the windswept Isle of Wight. This delightful pink gin is a refreshing mix of lemon zest, grains of paradise (a peppery spice) and fragrant rock samphire. It boasts a refreshing flavour from locally sourced strawberries which are blended to create this seriously drinkable drop. KWV Cruxland Gin (7ocl, 43% abv – RRP £27) is pretty special too with it’s unique infusion of Kalahari Truffles with 8 signature botanicals including South African Rooibos and Heunigbos. It has a distinct, earthy flavour for mixing a killer G&T.
If a warming whiskey is more your thing, we can heartily recommend Westward Whiskey (70cl, 45% abv – RRP £69.99). This award-winning whiskey lives up to its epic surroundings, the Westward is a single malt (yes, an American single malt!) brewed and distilled using locally malted Pacific Northwest barley and ale yeast. Essentially it’s a single malt fermented like beer then aged like a bourbon. Westward isn’t cheap, but the old adage of you get what you pay for holds true with this excellent spirit. Another amber beauty is Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon (70cl, 47%abv – RRP £44.45). The brand has long been a favourite bourbon of whiskey lovers – and this expression from them unsurprisingly doesn’t disappoint. Flavour-wise think cooked apple, honey and a spicy sharpness from the rye. Two San Francisco World Spirits Competition Double Gold medals prove its pedigree.
If vino is your tipple of choice then we’ve got a couple of belters for you right here. Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot Noir 2018 (75cl, 13% abv – RRP £13.95) is a savoury Pinot Noir, with a lively personality (not unlike ourselves). It boasts an aroma of red cherries and cinnamon spices with a flavour hit of berries and roasted coffee beans. Pair it with some mature cheese and enjoy a bonsoir. Another wine you can’t go wrong with a good Beaujolais, which is exactly what this tipple is. Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages 2018 (75cl 13.5% abv – RRP £11.90) has fruity cherry and raspberry aromas and a freshness as delicate as a millennial. Serve it cold and buy more than one bottle, as it goes down very easily.
Last but not least are a couple of rather unique brews. This isn’t the first time we’ve championed Gosnell’s of London Draft mead (330ml, 4.0% abv – RRP £12 for 4), and for good reason. These Peckham based brews are all very drinkable 4% meads created from a blend of European and other exotic honeys. They represent a welcome alternative to the ocean of interchangeable beers out there. Another choice from slightly left of field is Hawkshead X Crooked Stave Key Lime Tau (330ml, 6.3% abv – RRP £4.49). A kettle-soured, lactose infused Golden Ale, brewed with fresh lime zest and lemon grass which tastes like tucking into a key lime pie. Zesty, refreshing, with a kick like a mule. Cheers everyone!
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