While I would never encourage getting rat arsed during Lockdown, everyone needs a little libation to cheer their souls once in a while. Here are some favourites that have been whetting my whistle during isolation…
This is an interesting one – ‘pure milk vodka’. Jason Barber and Paul Archard decided to change the path laid out for them by their great grandparents who were successful cheese makers. They saw how much milk was being wasted in the process so decided to make vodka out of it. The richness here lends itself particularly well to homemade Espresso Martinis. Lush.
I know, I know. There are much cooler gins out there and while I love Sipsmith and Jensons, Salcombe and Four Pillars, Bombay Sapphire will always hold a special place in my heart as it’s my Dad’s gin of choice. The flavour is uncomplicated, smooth and perfect for a G&T. Cheers Dad!
Braybrooke Beer Co X BierCraft
Each week these beer titans team up with a different restaurant, from Naughty Piglets to Two Lights, to bring a beer selection that you might not otherwise know about. This week it’s sandwich specialists Sons + Daughters’ turns with Orbit Deadwax Porter, Gosnells Hibiscus Mead and Howling Hops Tropical Pale. NHS and key workers receive a 15% discount code by emailing biercraft.co.uk.
Love a Camden Hells but while we can’t currently sink into a pint at our favourite pub (I’m looking at you, Guinea Grill) we can order a can of Camden’s Heroes Lager where all proceeds are donated to healthcare charities. To top it off, they’re giving NHS workers a 6 pack on them. Bravo.
I got through a bottle of Campari in week one of Lockdown – easily the most essential spirit for your drinks cabinet. Stanley Tucci makes his Negroni a little strangely but I go for it this way; freeze a glass and fill it with lots of ice and a wedge of frozen orange. Stir equal parts Campari, Gin and Sweet Vermouth in a mixer, strain and enjoy.
Cotswolds Single Malt
This is a classy single malt whisky which has real oomph. It’s also the first ever whisky to be made in the Cotswolds using barley grown locally to the distillery. They use old American bourbon casks to age the whisky which offer a sweeter, and rather lovely, finish. I enjoy this one neat.
El Rayo Tequila
I’m not a big Tequila drinker (I blame a bad hangover with hazy memories of puking in an Addison Lee). This stuff, made in Mexico but thought-up in Peckham, is the nuts though with none of that crazy heartburn going on. Make a Paloma if you’re feeling fancy or, as I prefer it, serve with a sh*t tonne of ice, tonic water and a slice of grapefruit.
‘A Copenhagen flavour company and distillery’ is what they call themselves. Alongside their popular and hilariously named ‘Fuck Trump and His Stupid Fucking Wall’ habanero spirit, they have these cool-looking cans of carbonated cocktails. Can01 is flavoured with Oolong Tea and Can02 with sour cherry. At 8% ABV they’ll likely put hairs on your chest.
This is a light and fruity blended Scotch from Loch Lomond. The mix of Coffey and pot distilled whisky gives Glasshouse its distinct lightness which is best in a highball with ice and soda. Another favourite is a Whisky Mac – 3 parts whisky to one part Stones Ginger Wine, ice and a slice of lemon.
I’m a sucker for the Beckhams, it has to be said. This cheep and cheerful single grain whisky is a collaboration between the one and only David Beckham and drink giants Diageo. It’s not the most intricate of flavours and the bottle feels a touch cheap but with an ice cube and a dash of water it’s a bloody nice drink. Their recommended serve is with Coke – make of that what you will.
Lockdown Liquor & Co.
Small-batch pre-mixed cocktails with an ethical twist? Proceeds here go to NHS Charities Together, a charity which not only supports NHS staff but Covid-19 patients too. So you can guzzle this fiery Picante (Reposado tequila, lime, agave nectar and chilli) safe in the knowledge you’re doing your bit. It’s also a bloody good cocktail.
O.R.S Hydration Tablets
After all this booze you’re gonna need something to make you feel better the morning after. A bacon sarnie might help but it’s the lack of hydration that’s got you feeling really rough. With O.R.S hydration tablets it’s the balanced mix of glucose, electrolytes and essential minerals (which you add to iced water) that replenish the body’s water & electrolytes. While there’s currently no cure for a hangover, these certainly help!
This vibrant, fruity Vermouth Rosso will make for a really special Negroni, thanks to its key botanicals like rosemary and grapefruit. Alternatively, sipping this beauty with a little ice is rather lush. Founder, Dan Joines, who you may recognise from The Dairy and Sorella, is a bloody nice bloke, too.
Do drink responsibly!