As relatives from all over the country start arriving at the family home, drinks that have remained in your cupboard for years are finally brought out into the light of day – receiving the first attention they’ve had since they were purchased. I’m not a huge drinker myself, but I do love mulled wine (especially when perusing the Christmas markets). This little round up is some of the newest festive inspired releases to stock up your drinks cupboard – ready for the arrivals!
The Lakes Gin, £32.
As the only gin produced and distilled in Cumbria, ‘The Lakes’ brand is truly a unique drink. Distilled very slowly, it has a delicious fresh flavour (a mix of the bilberry, heather and meadowsweet botanicals that can be found nearby). At £32 for 700ml, it is a mid-price point product, with a luxury feel. Mix with tonic – or my personal favourite – strawberry and vanilla fizzy water, for a fresh, refreshing drink.
Fairtrade Tropical Cocktail, £35 per case.
Although tropical drinks are commonly associated with summer, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy them over the festive season too? Made by Fairhills, one of my favourites is Fairtrade’s tropical cocktail – a mix of light wine, pineapple and lime. Upto 35% lighter in calories than typical wine or alcopops, it’s the ultimate party drink – and something different for your guests to try!
Steenbergs Organic Christmas Tea, £5.70.
If you fancy something festive, but non-alcoholic, a recent discovery of mine will certainly fit the bill nicely. Created by Steenberg (who also do fantastic drinking chocolate), this spiced black tea is a much lighter (and less sickly) version of mulled wine – without the wine, of course. It’s very Christmassy, with ingredients such as cardamom, clove, orange peel and cinnamon – and is the perfect ‘by the fire’ drink to fill your mugs with!
Created to allow wine enthusiasts to trial and test different wines, without forking out for a large (and often very expensive) bottle – Halfwine.com offers smaller bottles of quality, hand selected reds, whites and sparklings – ideal for gifts, or for yourself. A couple of ‘stand out’ products include the Vina Real Crianza Rioja (2010) which I know is a firm favourite of my mums. With raspberry, blackberry and spicy notes – it’s a really full flavoured red wine, with well balanced acidity. The Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc (2012) is a really fruity white, with gooseberry, passion fruit and lime undertones and a crisp taste while the Cabert Pinot Grigio (2013) upholds a very dry yet bitter flavour, made from the skins of the grapes. I’m no wine connoisseur but these are all delicious!
What’s in your drinks cupboard this Christmas? I’d love for you to share a couple of your favourites in the comment box below!