During the first lockdown, many of us turned to ‘drink o’clock’ slightly earlier than normal, sometimes enjoying the odd additional drink or two than we typically might. Now the third lockdown wave is upon us and we find the pubs and restaurants closed, online drink manufacturers are busy delivering to thirsty households.
With just a few weeks to go until Valentine’s Day, here is a roundup of the best drinks to get delivered online and some tasty cocktail recipes to try for that romantic evening at home.
The alternative beer
Binary Botanical by Good Living Brew is a trendy beer company offering zero, low, and moderate alcohol options – ideal if you’ve been cutting down this month. Some low alcohol beers taste somewhat manufactured or missing that certain something, however, Binary Botanical drinks are refreshingly different. Slightly fizzy, time is taken to infuse their beer with organic hop leaves during the fermentation process to produce a sophisticated, tangy beverage reminiscent of Prosecco. It’s known as a ‘beer to be drunk in a wine-like fashion’ and is best served in a wine glass or as a simple spritz with a slice of orange and fresh mint.
As well as launching in Sainsbury’s stores throughout the UK since November, Binary Botanical is also available to buy online at binarybotanical.com, where a 12 pack of 0.5% abv is £20.00.
For the perfect lockdown ‘outside’ drink try the Garden Spritz cocktail.
250ml Binary Botanical
5ml sugar syrup (optional)
Slice of cucumber
A sprig of rosemary to garnish
Put the ice, cucumber and rosemary into a stemmed glass, add the Binary Botanical and sugar syrup, if using, and stir. For added taste, infuse the sprig of rosemary in your bottle of Binary Botanical.
The fruity liqueur
Cranes Liqueur is handcrafted by twin brothers Ben and Dan Ritsema who have created a smooth cranberry and blood orange liqueur. What could be better for a pre-dinner tipple? The cranberries come from Wisconsin, USA, which are combined with blood orange juice and orange rind made in Cambridgeshire.
At 17% and perfectly balanced, Cranes Liqueur is the ideal spirit for creating innovative cocktails. Perfect for pimping a glass of Prosecco to produce the Cranbellini, and creating tantalisingly refreshing cocktails such as the fun Cosmopolitan. Visit drinkcranes.co.uk for their range of ciders, gin and the Cranes Liqueur. Cranes Liqueur 20 cl £9.99 and 50 cl £19.99.
For a smooth and sophisticated drink to impress your Valentine, try the Cranbellini Cocktail.
Add 1 part Cranes Liqueur and 4 parts prosecco to a champagne flute, stir and enjoy!
Growing in popularity is a naturally fizzy alternative drink. Agua de Madre water kefir, a low alcohol, 1.2% abv, fermented drink is made from the tibicos mother culture, which was discovered 2,000 years ago on the pads of the Mexican opuntia cactus.
Agua de Madre is the company at the forefront of producing this natural bottled drink having fed the culture, to make it a refreshing probiotic drink. The statistics are startling – 100ml delivers 250 billion live cultures and only 26 calories! It’s been described as ‘champagne for the gut’ so drinking this on Valentine’s Day will not only add a sparkle but will aid a healthy gut and pain free hangover.
Flavours available include Pomegranate and Hibiscus, Elderflower and Apple, Passionfruit and Raspberry and Agua de Madre Original. Try the Remedio Naturale, the fermented ginger and lemon mixture. Add to hot water, porridge of granola for an added zing and boost for your immune system. Buy a mixed pack of 8 (33cl) for £30 at aguademadre.co.uk/shop.
The warming rum
Blackwell Rum has soul. Master blender Joy Spence has created a smooth, superior ‘black gold’ rum. Taste the vanilla and caramel flavours, followed by toasted marshmallow and a natural spice, finish neat or warm or in your favourite cocktail.
Chris Blackwell – owner of Ian Fleming’s former residence, GoldenEye – is launching a special 007 Limited Edition release of his Blackwell Fine Jamaican Rum. The rum is inspired by his family’s time-honoured recipe, and the aged, rich and fragrant dark gold rum is filled with the warmth and sensuality of Jamaica. The Blackwell Rum limited edition 007, 7cl 40% abv will retail in supermarkets or online from at £35.00. Visit blackwellrum.co.uk.
Get the party started with a GoldenEye Cocktail.
1 part Blackwell Rum
1 part pineapple juice
Lime or pineapple wedge
Shake ingredients together and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with a lime or pineapple wedge.
The lavish gin
At 60 percent proof, 24 Carat Gin is not for the faint-hearted and that’s not just the strength of it, moreover the price tag of £1,200. This luxury gin is distilled in a secret location within the UK and it takes more than 120 hours of work to refine this extraordinary tipple.
Skilfully handcrafted and suspended in a pure, neutral grain spirit for 18 hours, it is made with rich botanicals and blended with real 24 carat gold liquid gold. French lavender adds to the sweetness and complements the type of honey used. The good news is, if you buy a new Rolls Royce Ghost, you get a free bottle thrown into the deal, making this drink seemingly, the Rolls Royce of gins. Visit 24caratgin.com.
The healthy alternatives
If you and your Valentine are on a health kick and would prefer to celebrate with a dose of wellness, then look no further than the range of healthy drinks from Willy’s ACV (ACV is short for Apple Cider Vinegar). Made from Willy’s orchard in Herefordshire, he aspires to be a pioneer in ‘probiotic’ farming. There are lots of fabulous drinks to choose from, however, I recommend the gut boosting wellness box which has a selection of goodies at £21 which you can subscribe to.
His impressive, tasty and healthy range of drinks include Sparking Apple Kombucha and ACV, which comes in a 25ml can, giving you your daily dose of goodness of water, real fruit juices, green tea kombucha, ACV and ginger with no refined or added sugar. For quick health Apple Cider Vinegar shots, try the Apple and Ginger, Honey and Turmeric, and Beetroot and Apple Cider Vinegar. The king product is Willy’s Apple Cider Vinegar which includes ‘the mother.’
The 500ml bottle has plenty of uses and there’s a handy recipe card on how to get the best from your ACV. To see Willy’s entire range of products, visit willysacv.com.