Do you feel shiny or heavy? Holyrood Distillery has you covered
Holyrood Distillery has built on the success of its juniper-based gin brand Height of Arrows with two new expressions (pictured above). Made with a whiskey maker’s mindset, Height of Arrows rejects the use of many botanicals and instead contains just three ingredients – juniper, sea salt from the Isle of Skye 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 from roasted juniper and is sweetened with a small amount of sugar in the style of Old Tom gin. 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 botanical flavors and retains the complex oils it produces. When water is added, the oils create a cloudy effect in gin and tonic called ladle. Both expressions are sold in 70cl bottles for £34.95.
Cultured drinks for adult 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 apple-based English sparkling white that is made in the same way as wine. The drinks blend grape must – a sustainable byproduct of the winemaking 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% alcohol drinks contain 45 calories per 330ml can and are available in two summer flavors; Rhubarb & Ginger, and Elderflower & Fresh Basil.
Hattingley launches 2019 Sparkling Rose
The Hampshire Hattingley Valley winery has released its new 2019 Sparkling Rosé. Made using the traditional method, the sparkling rosé is a blend of Pinot Noir (58%) and Pinot Meunier (38%) grape varieties. Part of the blend was fermented in old Burgundian casks, to add richness and a slight earthy texture to the wine, before it was placed in vats and barrels for seven months. From there, Pinot Noir Précoce is added to enhance color, body and flavor, before the wine undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle, aging on its lees for 24 months. The result is a wine with “sweet sweetness and an indulgent creamy finish” that pairs well with prosciutto, Eton Mess, clotted cream and raspberry jam.
Monkey Shoulder’s new make spirit mixes up a wicked daiquiri
Monkey Shoulder has launched a line of unaged spirits designed to be mixed in cocktails, including a daiquiri. Called Fresh Monkey, it is a blend of three new spirits – two grain spirits and one Speyside malt spirit – specially selected to deliver a “fresh and balanced” flavor. 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 a note of ester chewing gum on the palate and a hint of embers of fire to finish and was developed to add character to cocktails like mojitos and piña coladas or in a classic daiquiri. “When we discussed Monkey Shoulder’s future liquid innovation, we asked ourselves ‘what if the next Monkey Shoulder isn’t aged?’ After talking about bartenders’ favorite cocktails, the daiquiri obviously came up. At Monkey, we like a good daiquiri, but we don’t make rum, so we had to get a lot creative,” says Joe Petch, Ambassador world of the Monkey Shoulder brand.
Scottish gin with elderflower, blackberry leaves and… asparagus
A gin made in the whiskey-making region of Speyside has crossed the border. Taking its name from the Tulchan Estate in Scotland, Tulchan Gin is a small-batch gin whose flavors are inspired by the estate’s terroir, located on the banks of the River Spey. The botanicals in the gin include sloe berries, elderflower and blackberry leaves found on the Tulchan estate as well as asparagus, which the distiller says gives the spirit a bitter edge and a long finish. the 45% abv gin is described as having a strong flavor of candied citrus peel, resin, cardamom, licorice and coriander with a medium-length finish of kumquat and lemon curd tones.
Luscombe strawberry mousse
Craft soft drink producer Luscombe has added a Strawberry Bubbly to its line of adult beverages. The new variant is a blend of organic strawberries, organic Sicilian lemons, Malagasy vanilla and sweet Dartmoor spring water and joins the other bubbles 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 cardboard bottles. Made from 100% recyclable cardboard, the bottles are five times lighter than a regular glass bottle and have a carbon footprint six times lower. Along with sustainability benefits, Interpunkt also aims to make wine more engaging, accessible and inclusive, especially for new and casual wine drinkers, by removing the specialized and potentially intimidating language often used on labels. South African varietals of Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz, both IPW-certified, are described simply as “fresh and zesty” and “juicy and easy-drinking”, respectively.
Bottled Boris’ tenure
A whiskey marking the end of Boris Johnson’s tenure as Prime Minister has been released by online cask spirits retailer Caskshare. Called The Big Lie, the whiskey comes from an unknown location and has aged for an unknown length of time, reflecting the ambiguity of Boris’ tenure, according to Caskshare, with Boris named master distiller. What is revealed is that the limited edition version contains a cask strength of 57% abv.
Brazilian gin fit for a queen
Brazilian organic gin producer Vitoria Regia’s four-product range has landed in the UK. Named after Queen Victoria’s Amazonian water lily and Brazilian symbol of botany, Vitoria Regia uses natural ingredients and sustainable techniques “to produce a gin fit for a queen”. Located in Cruzeiro Do Sul, the producer has won a series of accolades, including Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and Gold at the World Gin Awards. The range of four strong gins includes Organic Dry; Organic rose; Organic citrus; and organic tropical.
Sandford’s take on a 16th century cider recipe
Cider maker Sandford Orchards has launched a cherry flavored cider in time for the summer months. Its 4% abv Wilde Cherry Cider was inspired by a 16th century recipe and is described as having a cherry flavor with a hint of Bakewell tart. “We wanted to expand our range of fruit flavored ciders and were looking for an English fruit to complement our English cider apples,” says head cider maker Barny Butterfield. “I was reading about the history of cider and came across a mention of Mazzard cherries being added to cider in the 16th century. Inspired by that, we created our own version and it seems those old cider makers knew what they were doing.
Amarula falls into the 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 from marula fruit spirit, which we have made from plum-like fruits native to sub-Saharan Africa, before being distilled with botanicals such as juniper berries, bark and orange blossoms and grains of paradise. The 43% abv gin is said to have a “light, sweet bloom of orange and a spicy spine” along with the tart flavors of marula fruit.
Banks Brothers arrives in France
Tommy and James Banks have headed to France for their latest range of Banks Brothers canned wines. Available exclusively in 250ml cans, the five-wine range consists of a Muscadet, a Pinot Gris, a Pineau d’Aunis Rosé, a Chenin Vendanges Tardives and a Gamay/Pinot Noir blend . The couple serve the wines at their popular North Yorkshire restaurants, The Black Swan in Oldstead and Roots, and sell them directly to the public through their website. Canning the wines allows the brothers to release limited-edition batches, working with and supporting independent winemakers, who “share the same passion for quality and responsibility”.