One thing Lockdown certainly taught us is our home bars need a little love – a 12 year old bottle of Sangria just won’t cut it anymore. Here are some fun tipples to keep your drinks cabinet looking tantalising.
Aluna Coconut Rum
Throw out your Malibu, this blend of rums from Guatemala and the Caribbean has heaps of toasted coconut flavour. It’s low in sugar, too, so when you shake it up with a little pineapple juice and coconut water you get the perfect Pina Colada. It’s like being on holiday without leaving your front door.
Wrapped in brown paper this is a gin which both looks good on your bar and tastes great in your G&T. The gin goes through two processes: copper pot distillation with juniper and coriander followed by an infusion of a further six more botanicals. That extra effort gives this gin a premium feel while the cost is wholly reasonable.
The Berkeley Blue Bar bottled cocktails
The Blue Bar at The Berkeley is serving pre-mixed bottles of their lush cocktails which you can collect in person or have delivered complimentary to an SW1X postcode. There’s the classics: Negroni and Old Fashioned alongside their pretty-in-pink take on a G&T: Bombay Sapphire, peach, cherry, chinotto and tonic water. Orders are placed via the phone on 02072011653.
You won’t find Billecart-Salmon in your local Tesco Metro that’s for sure but if you can get your hands on a bottle then you really won’t regret it – their Brut RosÃ© is one of the best around. Even better – it’s one of the few Champagne houses to remain fully family owned.
Bloody Drinks Bloody Mary
Pre-mixed Bloody Mary in a can, perfectly formed and generously seasoned with Tabasco sauce . They’ve done all the hard work so you just need to add a shed load of ice and a stick of celery. Rather nice for breakfast after a heavy night.
If you’ve never tried Fernet Branca then you haven’t lived! It certainly isn’t for everyone (think “an aggressive melange of spices”) but after a three course face stuffing, this bitter, herbaceous digestif is just the ticket.
Hicce Mkt pre-mixed cocktails
Pip Lacey’s restaurant Hicce in Coal Drop’s Yard now has a produce market in the ground floor of lifestyle store Wolf & Badger. You can pick up cured meats, interesting wines and these great pre-mixed, bagged cocktails. If you’re feeling particularly wild, there’s a car outside serving Espresso Martini on tap from the boot.
Hippy Fizz cocktails in a can
Quite whacky is this one – ingredients include Porter’s Gin, pineapple shrub, malted passionfruit, patchouli leaf & hop soda. The bubbles make for a light, refreshing and most unusual cocktail in a can. Serve straight from the fridge, nice and simple.
Mr Black coffee liqueur
If you’re making Espresso Martinis (who isn’t?!) then Mr Black is the only coffee liqueur you’ll want to use. It’s made in Australia using the cold brew method and contains half the sugar but ten times more coffee than other liqueurs. The result is a chocolate/caramel/coffee flavour bomb.
The Venetian Spritz: 3 parts Prosecco, 2 parts Select, dash of soda water, lots of ice and a green olive. This taste-of-Summer will transport you to St. Mark’s Square, Venice to a time long before lockdowns and travel bans. Sweet, fruity, fizzy and totally refreshing.
The clever people at Porter’s Gin have came up with SendaNegroni.com which does exactly what it says on the tin. You pay a tenner to a send sealed pouch of Negroni in the post complete with personalised postcard. The recipient simply pours over ice and loves you forever.
The Wine List
If you want to learn more about what’s in your bottle, The Wine List is a subscription service that sends you two bottles a month talking you through first impressions, the winemaker’s story, details on the grape and the region along with food pairing suggestions. Readers of this blog post (anyone there?!) can receive 30% off with the code SAMPHIRE30 to try it for yourself.
Yard Sale Pizza bottled Negroni
Yard Sale has long been pleasing residents of Hackney Road, Leytonstone, Walthamstow, Finsbury Park and Clapton with their 20 inches of pure pizza heaven. They’re serving pre-mixed bottles of Negroni to go with them and they’re ruddy delicious. And strong. At Â£9.50 (that serves two), they’re a must with your pizza.
If there’s a drink you think I’m missing, do let me know @SamphireSalsify
And don’t forget to drink responsibly!