Yep, it’s tough when ‘Christmas’ starts in November but what are you going to do? Whinge about it or go with the flow and get excited?! I’ve decided to get with the Christmas spirit, mainly because I’ve been sent so many utterly fabulous ones recently. Wow – the spirits market is a vibrant one at the moment! Check out a few of these new entries and get into the Christmas spirit today!
I’m a sucker for a great gin (well, I am English after all!) so I was delighted to receive a bottle of the new Cruxland Gin which is flavoured with Kalahari truffles. I have no idea what one of those is (apparently it’s a truffle from the Kalahari – durrrr) but never mind – the gin itself is very good, whatever they’ve added to it! Lots of citrus top notes with flowers and blossoms, it makes a crackingy-good G&T. And I LOVE the cool, safari-look bottle with its leather strap!
Restaurant ed, Cath Shone takes it a step further and recommends mixing it with her new fave cocktail ingredient – Lanique. This is a liqueur first used centuries ago in Europe using the highly-prized Rose of Attar flavouring from the Middle East. Now revived by a rose-loving entrepreneur from Jersey in the UK, Cath reckons it makes the world’s best summer Martini, a Laniquetini – here’s the recipe.
If you prefer a sipping spirit, how about the newly-released 10 Year Old Potstill Brandy from KWV? In case you didn’t know, SA makes some of the finest brandies in the world and it’s not just me saying that – we’ve won Best Brandy at the International Wine & Spirit Challenge 11 out of the last 14 years! This is a smooth, sipping brandy to be enjoyed at the end of a long, leisurely lunch but if you want to cocktail it up, it will add lots of lovely apricot, smoke and spice to your blend.
You could try sipping the new Bulleit Bourbon which bounced onto the SA drinks market a couple of months ago, but Cath solemnly assures me that it makes THE best Mint Julep ever! This new Bourbon contains a high amount of rye on its mashbill giving you a different flavour profile from other Bourbons. And the bottle is ultra-lean, mean and cool.
And if you like a touch of sweetness in your life (don’t we all?) then I recommend you end your meal with a delicious lemon liqueur. The new Bottega Limoncino is made from Grappa which is triple-distilled to make it extra pure and mellow. They then infuse it with fresh lemons and add a touch of sugar making this a fabulous thing to pour over good quality ice cream.
That’s some of our suggestions to put the zing and the spirit into Christmas – hope you can try a few of them as well.
- Cathy Marston