Monin rooibos tea concentrate
Coffee and cocktail syrup brand Monin is helping bartenders expand their drinks repertoire with the released of a rooibos tea concentrate. Designed for both hot and cold beverages, the low sugar concentrate is described as being ‘delicate and woody with a slight sweetness’ and can be served as an iced tea or tea latte and also pairs well with flavours such as vanilla, blackberry, blood orange and rhubarb as an addition to summer and winter cocktails, says Monin. It comes in 70cl bottles with a price tag of £7.49
Left-Field Australian whisky
Australian Whisky brand Starward has launched what it describes as an approachable single malt made specifically with the European palate in mind. Called Left-Field it is produced using red wine barrel maturation - it is matured in 100% French oak casks - to give it a rich and spicy mouthfeel and also uses some charred French oak red wine barrels to add further complexity. Barrels are sourced from two of Australia’s premier wine regions, the Barossa Valley and the Yarra Valley and have held red wines including shiraz, cabernet and pinot noir. “We felt it was important for us to create a flavourful but easy drinking and approachable whisky that talks to the place it is made,” says founder David Vitale. “With our red wine barrel aging, our whiskies also offer something very different to most.” The company recommends serving Left-Field with tonic and a wedge of grapefruit as a highball.
The Gerard Basset Travel Scholarship now open
Founded in 2020 in honour and memory of the multi-award winning sommelier, the annual Gerard Basset Travel Scholarship 2021 bursary is now open to UK-based sommeliers. The scheme is the creation of Nina and Romané Basset, along with Ronan Sayburn and Tim Atkin. “Education, mentoring and inspiring young sommeliers was something very dear to Gerard, as anyone who met him will know,” says Nina. “He always maintained that travelling to the wine regions of the world broadened his mind, his knowledge and wine experiences better than any other form of study ever could.” Entrants for this year’s bursary are invited to submit a written statement of up to 500 words detailing why they are applying for the scholarship, how they plan to spend the money, and how they see it benefiting their future careers. A judging panel, including Nina, Romané, Sayburn, Atkin and Laura Rhys, will then select a short-list of three candidates for interview in order to decide on an eventual winner. The panel will help with contacts and suggestions to ensure the winner’s eventual trip is as rich and comprehensive in content and experiences as possible. The deadline for submissions is 8 May. [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Wildpress ‘naturally inconsistent’ apple juice
A grown up apple juice brand of ‘naturally inconsistent’ juices has been launched that champions lesser-known British heritage apple varieties and biodiversity (main image). Called Wildpress, the brand has been designed to challenge the perception of ‘commercial, homogenous juices’, according to founders Nadeem Lalani Nanjuwany and Adam Grout, with a range of distinctly flavoured juices. some of which are clean, crisp and aperitif in style and others that are deep, rich and fragrant. The pair have pressed and blended more than 38 varieties of apple including Tydeman’s Late Orange, May Queen, William Crump, Carlisle Codlin and Orleans Reinette, with four juices initially created: Rebel Harvest, Vivienne 30 Days, The Crab from Kent, and Adam’s Pearmain. Rebel Harvest is a crisp and sharp juice made with heritage varieties from Lincolnshire; Vivienne 30 Days is an experiment to see how flavours mature after ripening apples for 30 days prior to pressing; The Crab from Kent is a blend with crab apples that happened to be on the Kent orchard; and Adam’s Pearmain is made from a single heritage variety and is described as having a ‘lemon-meringue-pie tang’. “We wanted to get right to the root of our food system and set out to create a company ‘in balance with nature’ where we could collaborate with growers, support biodiversity and sustainable agriculture and ultimately, transport us all back to nature,” say the pair. “When we learnt about the decline of heritage apple varieties in Britain, their amazing variations in flavour, rich historical and cultural significance and even their peculiar names we leaped straight in. We knew we had to find a solution where everyone benefited – the grower, the orchard, the customer and nature.” The juices come in glass 750ml bottles and launch online on 23 February, priced between £4.50 and £6.50.
Hi Spirts launches trio of luxury rums
Hi Spirits has launched a limited edition range of luxury rums that pay homage to L.E. Jung and Frederick Wulff, who imported top quality spirits from around the world into New Orleans. Jung & Wulff offers three rums all aged for up to 15 years and bottled at 43% with no added sugar. Trinidad No.1 is billed as a medium bodied rum and silky rum with highlights of fruit, spice vegetation and earthiness while Guyana No.2 has a rich and creamy texture with a smokey, grassy finish. Finally Barbados No.3 is full bodied and buttery with dark chocolate, dried fruits and burnt sugar on the palate. The vibrant labels depict colourful scenes from the each rum’s country of origin. Each rum has been rated 5/5 by US spirits expert Paul Pacult.
First carbon-negative gins
Yorkshire-based Cooper King Distillery says it is the first distillery in England to produce carbon-negative gins. The eco-distillery’s Dry and Herb Gins are now classed as carbon-negative meaning that for every bottle of spirit created, Cooper King removes more carbon from the atmosphere than is emitted. To achieve this status, the carbon footprint of the two gins was reduced as far as possible, before offsetting the remainder with verified carbon credits. A further 1kg of CO₂e is then offset per bottle beyond neutral to reach carbon negative status. In addition to carbon offsetting, each bottle of gin plants one square metre of native UK woodland in charitable partnership with the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.
Five Rivers white spiced rum
Indian-based distiller The Sanghera Rum Company has debuted what it says is the world’s first Indian white spiced rum in the UK. Called Five Rivers, it is made with sugarcane traditionally grown on the Sanghera family’s farm in Jalandhar in Northern Punjab with the liquid then re-distilled with Indian spices to create a drink best served over ice, with tonic, it says. Spices include cardamom, cassia, cloves, coriander and ginger. The spirit is bottled at 40% abv.
MOTH canned cocktails
New cocktail in a can brand MOTH is looking to challenge what it says is the snobbery surrounding canned cocktails with a range of four premium serves. MOTH Old Fashioned, Margarita, Negroni and Espresso Martini cocktails come in single-serve 125ml cans. “We launched MOTH because we wanted to make bar-quality cocktails that can be served as easily as a can of beer,” says co-founder Rob Wallis. “We’re picky with provenance and every ingredient is chosen with precision. At the same time - we’re not snobbish. We don’t talk in master mixologist lingo. We believe in fair prices for great drinks. We’re not for the theatre of cocktails, but the art of deliciousness.”
Tanqueray gin gets fruity
Gin brand Tanqueray is expanding its portfolio with a series of drinks innovations for this spring and summer, including Tanqueray Blackcurrant Royale; and Tanqueray Rangpur Lime Distilled gin. Blackcurrant Royale comprises the four botanicals of Tanqueray London dry gin as well as French blackcurrants, vanilla and floral notes of black orchid. Tanqueray Rangpur Lime contains bay leaves and ginger alongside the lime and London dry gin botanicals. Both have an abv of 41.3%.
Artisan Drinks Company's new pair
The Artisan Drinks Company has expanded its portfolio of mixers with an Amalfi Lime Tonic and a Bubbly Soda Water. The new tonic is made with natural quinine and combines the flavours of lime, lemon verbena and rosemary with an additional note of bergamot. Artisan’s range includes Violet Blossom Tonic, Agave Lemon Tonic, Skinny London Tonic, Classic London Tonic and Pink Citrus Tonic as well as a Barrel Smoked Cola and a Fiery Ginger Beer.
Butcombe Gold gluten-free beer
Butcombe Brewing Co has launched a gluten free variant of its popular golden ale Butcombe Gold. Gold Gluten Free is brewed using the same ingredients and hops used in original Butcombe Gold with the gluten removed at the fermentation stage of the process using state of the art brewing techniques to give it the same as the classic ale. “It’s a well-balanced, full-bodied gluten free golden beer with a subtle floral and herby aroma. Gold Gluten Free is also the perfect ingredient to use when catering for those who are gluten intolerant,” says Butcombe’s head brewer Mike Jordan.
Two new ciders under the Umbrella
Independent London-based cider producer Umbrella London has launched two flavoured ciders with a third to be added to its portfolio this spring. The new arrivals are an apple cider and a rhubarb cider, with a gooseberry flavour coming soon. Umbrella’s apple cider is made with British Dabinett and Cox apples, sourced directly from British farmers, that are chosen for their tannic astringency and orange notes.
Coconut rum joins Union's range
Amsterdam-based botanical rum company The Union Distillery in Amsterdam has released an organic coconut expression in the UK following on from its success in the Netherlands. Rolling out from this month the 38% abv spirit blends Belizean rum with sun-dried organic coconut flakes and is also infused with Madagascan vanilla and Peruvian cacao to give it a sweet, nutty and creamy flavour. The rum is then brought down to mixing strength with organic coconut water. It joins recently launched flavours, Queen Pineapple & Spice, Sweet Orange & Ginger and Pink Grapefruit & Rose and is priced at £27.50 for a 70cl bottle.
Pornstar Martini creator's DIY kit
The creator of the Pornstar Martini - the UK’s best-selling cocktail - has made his creation available in a cocktail kit. Drinks and bar consultant Douglas Ankrah has helped create the kit, which is designed to serve two people, includes: 100ml of Douglas Ankrah passion fruit syrup, 100ml of Grey Goose La Vanille, 50ml of Passoa passion fruit liqueur, and 25ml homemade vanilla syrup. Each kit comes with a QR that can be scanned to show a step-by-step guide on how to make the cocktail by Ankrah, as well as details on its history.
New distributor for Vega Sicilia
Berkmann Wine Cellars and famed Ribera del Duero winery Vega Sicilia have entered a new distribution partnership. The agreement, which covers Great Britain and the Channel Islands, sees the wholesaler take on exclusive distribution of Tempos Vega Sicilia’s wines to all trade channels, with immediate effect. Berry Bros. and Rudd, as parent of Vega Sicilia’s former agent Fields, Morris and Verdin, will continue to import the wines directly for sales to their private clients. Bodegas Vega Sicilia was founded in 1864 at the western end of what is now the Ribera del Duero DO. The three wines produced on the estate – Único, Único Reserva Especial and Valbuena 5º have long occupied the very top tier of Spanish fine wine, and remain among the most recognised and sought-after wines in the world. The latest vintages from Vega Sicilia, including Unico 2011 and Valbuena 5º 2016, will be released simultaneously by Berkmann and Berry Bros. in February.