Discovery of the Week
We have chosen some of our favourite alcoholic drinks from The International Food & Drink Event and have some pairing advice from Beer Sommelier, Annabel Smith…
Gin by Elephant Gin
All of Elephant Gin’s bottles are custom-made, adorned with hand-written labels, embossed with a crest and sealed with natural cork. Additionally, each Maasai sloe gin bottle will also be wrapped in a charming set of colourful beads that can be unfurled to use as a necklace, or as a bracelet, whatever your prefer-ence. With the vibrant jewellery, wearers can sport with pride their support of the African elephant, whilst adding an attractive pop of colour to any outfit.
Founders Tessa and Robin Gerlach were keen to work close to the communities that safeguard the elephants they are on a mission to protect. As such they enlisted the beautiful craftsmanship of the Kenyan Maasai tribe, famed the world over for their colourful jewellery, to create these beaded bottles, and ultimately bringing the focus and giving back to the country that in-spired Elephant Gin.
Cocktails by Ice and Easy
Ice and Easy frozen alcoholic slushies are cocktail style drinks, available in 4 popular flavours – Strawberry Daiquiri, Margarita, Mojito and Pina Colada. Ready to drink and easy to serve, they are available in single serve pouches which can be sold ambient or frozen, or in larger volumes for slushy machines. Made with natural flavours and colours. Simply take the handy 250ml pouch from the freezer, squish between your hands for around 30 seconds and pour into your favourite cocktail glass. It’s as Ice and Easy as that!
Beer by Annabel Smith
Beer is not all brown and bitter, warm and flat. There are a wealth of flavours, colours and styles to choose from and we’re going through exciting times in the brewing industry as more brewers experiment with new and unusual recipes, hop varieties and recreating long forgotten historical styles.
One of the joys of my job as a Beer Sommelier is finding a beer style to suit everyone’s palate, especially if they say they don’t like beer, full stop. This is like saying to me “I don’t like food”. Of course you do, you just haven’t found what suits you yet. A good starting point is to identify what you usually enjoy drinking, and then replicating those flavours with a style of beer.
Prosecco and Champagne fans will love spritzy, lively, delicate wheat beers, like St Austell Clouded Yellow, Hitchachino White Nest Ale, or Erdinger. Low on bitterness, high on refreshment, serve them super cold in a champagne flute with smoked salmon canapes or a crayfish cocktail. The carbonation cuts through the oiliness of the fish and cleanses the palate ready for the next mouthful.
If your tipple is usually a crisp, dry Sauvignon Blanc with your fish course, swap if for a citrusy blonde ale, packed full of New World Hops. Oakham Citra and Adnams Ghostship tick the box here. The lemony flavours pair perfectly with white fish. If you prefer your white wine bone dry, go for a traditional pale ale like Timothy Taylors Landlord or the dangerously drinkable Duvel which has a dry finish.
Big and bold red wines can be substituted with a classic strong English ale. These are rich, fruity, malty and well balanced but still pack a punch. Fullers ESB, Shepherd Neame Bishop’s Finger and Bateman’s XXXB served in a red wine goblet all complement the roast turkey and trimmings main event at the dinner table.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth and like your fruit ciders and sweeter spirits, the choice of beer is almost endless. Robinson’s Old Tom has been described as ‘Christmas pudding in a glass’: it’s a strong, barley wine style ale which goes equally well with chocolate. Charles Wells Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale and Saltaire Triple Chocoholic Stout match up to many desserts, from Pavlovas to Tiramisu. Belle Vue Kriek is a tart cherry beer (fermented with real cherries, not syrup) and when combined with chocolate pudding creates a Black Forest Gateau combination on your tongue. It’s a showstopper.
For those who enjoy a warming glass of port with their cheeseboard, crack open the fine wines of the beer world: strong old ales, like Theakston Old Peculier bring out the salty tanginess of Stilton cheese. Belgian Abbey Ales, like St Stefanus Blonde and Affligem Triple have sweet honeyed flavours which contrast superbly with fruity mature cheddars.