Give yourself the best Summer possible with our high-end tipples and treats guide. We have included some of the must-try products out there, so you can enjoy your summer to the fullest. Whether you are looking for top notch drinks (rum, wine and 2 unique gins), chocolate (liqueurs) indulgence or even some savoury treats (from Donald Russell), we have it covered.
Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select Whisky
To begin our list is a well-renowned bourbon whisky from Woodford Reserve. Made at America’s oldest and smallest working distillery, it’s a prime choice in bars and around the world. Despite its heavy taste, Woodford Reserve is a smooth, easy-to-drink bourbon for any occasion.
With scents of vanilla and tobacco spice, the whisky isn’t harsh and is easy to enjoy for both whisky connoisseurs and casual drinkers. Although the flavours are delicious, with a real sweetness coming through with every sip, it doesn’t have a lot of ‘kick’ behind it. Again, this makes it perfect for newcomers but might put off those who are accustomed to more complex flavours. The sweetness does fade away as you finish each sip, with a slow burn that leaves you wanting more.
In the last 20 years, Woodford Reserve has remained at a very reasonable price compared to other whiskies. At £31.99, it’s fantastic value for such a consistent, well-rounded flavour palette. If you’re looking for an entry into the vast world of bourbon whisky, or for a great cocktail base, then look no further. You can pick up a bottle of Woodford Reserve at Morrisons and Waitrose, or you can find out more here.
The Lakes Distillery Gin with Gift Box (£29.95 from 31Dover)
For us, Summer is perfectly suited to enjoying a large gin & tonic. Nothing else compares when it comes to quenching thirst and indulging the soul. We love it! The Lakes Distillery Gin is one we can thoroughly recommend and offers all of the qualities of an artisan gin you would expect. Refreshing, vibrant and with hints of florality, The Lakes have created the perfect companion to Summer sun.
Carefully crafted from a selection of 15 botanicals, the flavour is complex and yet well balanced. In fact, one of the botanicals used is Cumbrian Juniper, one of the UK’s oldest plant species. Plus, 6 of the ingredients are actually local to the Lake District National Park. The combination of botanicals, therefore, giving a true taste of the area. Distilled with pure Cumbrian water and fine wheat, there is an underlying sense of Britishness which prevails and a real care for ingredients close to the distillery. This is a gin that is smooth enough to sip neat over ice or serve with a tonic of choice.
Cambria’s Tepusquet Viognier 2014 (£18 .95 available from EtonVintners.com or Hedonism.co.uk)
A simply delicious and thoroughly enjoyable Viognier. Hailing the Santa Maria Valley, this US wine is one to watch. Full of rich apricots, ripe tangerines and orange blossom, it just tastes of the season. Viognier’s can sometimes be a little hit or miss; however, this offering from Cambria is perfectly balanced. The fruitiness shines through with a well-balanced minerality. Ideal as a sipping wine for a long, hot Summer’s day – let’s just hope the Sun comes back into time for us to enjoy a few more glasses of this gorgeous wine.
Perfectly matched with shell fish or any white meat or fish in a rich, creamy sauce.
Aluna Coconut Rum (£24.95 from 31Dover)
There is something exotic about a fantastic coconut rum, it just has the power to transport you thousands of miles away in your mind and to momentarily lend a taste of sitting on a beach. Aluna Coconut Rum offers some absolutely authentic and warming coconut rum flavours. Forgot your typical high-street offering, this is a cut above the rest.
High altitude rum from Guatemala made with virgin sugar cane honey (‘miel de caña’) results in a lighter, smoother and naturally sweeter rum with significantly less sugar than competitor brands. This is married with selected Caribbean rums for a little heat and structure. The blend is cut to 35% ABV with the perfect amount of organic coconut water for an amazingly smooth and clean finish.
High in flavour, low in sugar with a smooth, coconut kick – this is the rum to be sipping this summer. Serve neat over ice, lengthened with fruit juice or as an alternative in rum cocktails (and the best Pina Colada you’ll ever mix up at home!)
Mozart Dark Chocolate Liqueur (£13.95, 50cl from 31Dover)
Why not give yourself a chocolatey treat this Summer? Mozart Dark Chocolate Liqueur is a smooth, delicious and highly sippable offering. The finest cocoa beans are combined ed with vanilla and caramel for a velvety, sumptuous flavour. You also get a bitter sweetness from the dark chocolate, which pleasantly lingers on the palate.
Delicately bitter dark chocolate and 87 cocoa pure cocoa are blended to create a unique drink that is a must-have ingredient for creative cocktail-making, as well as a sophisticated addition to certain desserts. Try it in a dark chocolate martini combined with silver tequila, triple sec and fresh lime juice.
White chocolate and milk chocolate options are also available.
Treats from Donald Russell
Donald Russell, Royal W arrant high-end butchers, have once again created a series of knock out treats for the Summer season. Based in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, they are a pioneering mail order and online butcher who use only time honoured methods to guarantee the best you’ll ever taste.
Here are two of our favourites:
BBQ Pork Shoulder Steaks
Super juicy, these pork well-marbled shoulder steaks are double marinated for maximum flavour. Rubbed with a dry seasoning and also seasoned with BBQ marinade, they have a sublime BBQ taste. Rich, full of flavour and melt in the mouth… we will certainly try these again. Take care not to overcook, and rest before serving, for the juiciest finish.
Spiced Lamb Chops
If you are a fan of lamb chops, you will be hard pushed to beat these little hand-cut beauties! Grass-fed lamb has been seasoned with paprika, cumin and garlic for some of the tastiest chops around. Simply pan griddle or BBQ for a delicious change to the usual! Find out more here.
Dà Mhìle Botanical Gin
This gin is quite unique! It has been created with seaweed as a botanical for a memorable twist!
According to the brand, this seaweed gin is made with a cut-down, hand selected variant of botanicals added to their typical small batch gin. Designed to complement seafood it is infused with handpicked seaweed from the Celtic coast for three weeks, giving it a lovely light green hue before being triple filtered and bottled.
This gin was also recognised at The Soil Association Boom awards. The UK’s only dedicated organic awards, celebrating all the businesses, producers and brands working so hard to produce food as it should be. The Soil Association is the UK’s leading membership charity campaigning for healthy, humane and sustainable food, farming and land use.
Why not try the Dà Mhìle Botanical Gin Watermelon Cooler
Enough for 3-4 glasses
- Cut up and blend ½ a watermelon (preferably remove pips beforehand),
- Add 3-4 scoops of ice and a squeeze of lime to the blender and blend until slushy,
- Pour into glasses until nearly full, leaving some space for the gin
- Pour in gin over the top and stir in (we recommend 50-75ml gin but this can be adjusted to taste)
- To garnish cut a small segment of watermelon, cutting a small notch on one side so that you can pop it on to the glass
Dà Mhìle Botanical Gin is the ideal gin for this as the spiced pepper notes work well with the watermelon
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