Feeling Bright or Heavy? Holyrood Distillery has you covered
Holyrood Distillery has built on the success of its stripped back, juniper-led Height of Arrows gin brand with two new expressions (pictured above). Made with a whisky maker mindset, Height of Arrows rejects the use of numerous botanicals and instead contains just three ingredients - juniper, Isle of Skye sea salt and natural beeswax - to celebrate the complexities of juniper alone. Its new additions, Bright and Heavy, continue in this vein with juniper the hero ingredient. Heavy, which is a more robust expression, is made using roasted juniper and is sweetened with a small amount of sugar in the Old Tom gin style. Bright, meanwhile, is distilled with more than three times the juniper of the original Height of Arrows using a multi-shot process that further concentrates the flavours of the botanical and which retains the complex oils it produces. When water is added the oils create a cloudy effect in the gin and tonic called louche. Both expressions are sold in a 70cl bottles priced at £34.95.
Grown drinks for grown-up palates
A range of low-calorie apple-based sparkling alcoholic drinks have been launched for drinkers looking for a lighter option this summer. Made in Kent, Grown is an English sparkling white with an apple base that is made in a similar way to wine. The drinks mix grape must - a sustainable byproduct of the wine making process - with a blend of Kentish culinary and dessert apples and botanicals, which impart a crisp mouthfeel designed to be a lighter alternative to prosecco or wine. The 4.5% abv drinks contain 45 calories per 330ml can and are available in two summery flavours; Rhubarb & Ginger, and Elderflower & Fresh Basil.
Hattingley releases 2019 sparkling rose
Hampshire winery Hattingley Valley has released its new sparkling Rosé 2019. Made in the traditional method, the sparkling rosé is a blend of Pinot Noir (58%) and Pinot Meunier (38%) grapes. Part of the blend was fermented in old burgundy barrels, to add richness and a slight earthy texture to the wine, before it was placed in tank and barrel for seven months. From here, Pinot Noir Précoce is added to enhance the colour, body and flavour, before the wine undergoes second fermentation in bottle, ageing on its lees for 24 months. The result is a wine with ‘a gentle sweetness and indulgent creamy finish’ that pairs well with prosciutto, Eton Mess and clotted cream and raspberry jam.
Monkey Shoulder's new make spirit mixes a mean daiquiri
Monkey Shoulder has launched a blended range of unaged spirits designed for mixing in cocktails, including a daiquiri. Called Fresh Monkey, it is a mix of three new make spirits - two grain spirits and one Speyside malt spirit - specifically selected to deliver a ‘fresh and balanced’ flavour. The spirit is described as having ‘the freshness and versatility of a light rum but with depth and a delicate malty finish’ with aromas of pear drops and an estery bubble gum note on the palate and a hint of bonfire embers to finish and has been developed to add character to cocktails including mojitos and piña coladas or used in a classic daiquiri. “When discussing Monkey Shoulder’s future liquid innovation, we asked ourselves ‘what if the next Monkey Shoulder wasn’t aged?’ After discussing bartenders’ favourite cocktails, the daiquiri was obviously mentioned. Here at Monkey we love a great daiquiri, but we don’t make rum – therefore we had to get very creative,” says Joe Petch, global brand ambassador for Monkey Shoulder.
Scottish gin with elderflower, blackberry leaves and... asparagus
A gin made in the whisky making area of Speyside has crossed the border. Taking its name from Tulchan Estate in Scotland, Tulchan Gin is a small batch gin with its flavours inspired by the terroir of the estate, which is located on the banks of the River Spey. Botanicals in the gin include sloe berries, elderflower and blackberry leaves which are found on Tulchan Estate as well as asparagus, which the distiller says gives the spirit a bitter edge and long finish. the 45% abv gin is described as having a prominent taste of candied citrus peel, resin, cardamom, liquorice and coriander with a medium length finish of kumquat and lemon curd tones.
Luscombe's Strawberry Bubbly
Artisan soft drinks producer Luscombe has added a Strawberry Bubbly to its adult range of drinks. The new variant is a blend of organic strawberries, organic Sicilian lemons, Madagascan vanilla and soft Dartmoor spring water and joins the other bubblies in the Devon-based producer’s portfolio, Damascene Rose Bubbly and Wild Elderflower Bubbly.
Journey’s End explores alternative packaging formats
Stellenbosch winery Journey’s End Vineyards and new wine brand Interpunkt have teamed up to launch a range of wines in paperboard bottles. Made from 100% recyclable paperboard outers, the bottles are five times lighter than a regular glass bottle and have a carbon footprint that’s six times lower. As well as the sustainability benefits, Interpunkt also aims to make wine more engaging, accessible and inclusive, particularly for new and occasional wine drinkers, by removing the specialist and potentially intimidating language often used on labels. The South African Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz varietals, both IPW certified, are described simply as ‘fresh and zesty’ and ‘juicy and easy drinking’ respectively.
Boris' tenure bottled
A whisky marking the end of Boris Johnson’s tenure as Prime Minster has been released by online cask spirits retailer Caskshare. Called The Big Lie, the whisky is from an unknown location and aged from an unknown amount of time, mirroring the ambiguity of Boris’ time in office, according to Caskshare, with Boris named as the master distiller. What is revealed is that the limited-edition release packs a cask-strength punch of 57% abv.
Brazilian gin fit for a queen
Organic Brazilian gin producer Vitoria Regia’s four-strong range has landed in the UK. Named in honour of Queen Victoria’s Amazonian lily pad and the Brazilian symbol of botany, Vitoria Regia uses natural ingredients and sustainable techniques ‘to produce gin fit for a queen’. Located in Cruzeiro Do Sul, the producer has attracted a string of awards including winning Gold in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and Gold in the World Gin Awards. The four strong gin range comprises Organic Dry; Organic Rose; Organic Citrus; and Organic Tropical.
Sandford's take of a 16th century cider recipe
Cider maker Sandford Orchards has launched a cherry-flavoured cider in time for the summer months. Its 4% abv Wilde Cherry Cider has been inspired by a sixteenth century recipe and is described as is described as having a cherry fruit flavour with a hint of Bakewell tart. “We wanted to expand our range of fruit flavoured ciders and we were looking for an English fruit to complement our English cider apples,” says chief cidermaker Barny Butterfield. “I was reading up about the history of cider and came across a mention of Mazzard cherries being added to cider in the sixteenth century. Inspired by this, we created our own version and it seems those old cider makers knew what they were doing.”
Amarula enters gin category
The maker of Amarula Cream Liqueur has entered the gin category with what it says is the only gin to be made from the marula fruit. Amarula African Gin is made using marula fruit spirit, which us made from the plum-like fruit indigenous to sub-Saharan Africa, before being distilled with botanicals including juniper berries, orange peel and blossom, and grains of paradise. The 43% abv gin is said to have a ‘light, sweet orange flourish and spicy backbone’ as well as the tart flavours of the marula fruit.
Banks Brothers heads to France
Tommy and James Banks have headed to France for their latest range of canned Banks Brothers wines. Available exclusively in 250ml cans, the five-strong range comprises a Muscadet, a Pinot Gris, a Pineau d’Aunis Rosé, a Late Harvest Chenin and a Gamay/Pinot Noir blend. The pair serve the wines at their highly-rated North Yorkshire restaurants The Black Swan at Oldstead and Roots and sell them to the public directly via their website. Canning the wines allows the brothers to release limited edition batches, working with and supporting independent growers, who ‘share the same passion for quality and responsibility’.