Toast the summer with these new beverages; from fruity gins, to craft vodka, to alcohol-free spritz. These new spirits, cocktails and beers are the perfect addition to a picnic in the park or a socially distanced barbeque.
Aluna Coconut Rum, £24.95 (70cl)
Aluna Coconut is a moreish blend of rums from Guatemala and the Caribbean. It’s made using natural toasted coconut and pure coconut water, so it’s lower in sugar than traditional rums, though is still really rich in flavour. It’s delicious sipped neat over ice, served with a decent mixer or as an ‘Aluna Colada’ – a lighter take on the famous rum cocktail. To make the cocktail, mix 50ml Aluna Coconut, with 50ml Vita Coco Coconut Water, 100ml pineapple juice and half a lime.
Warner’s Lemon Balm Gin, £40 (70cl)
This award-winning gin has been lovingly crafted using hand-picked ingredients from Warner’s own five acres of gardens at their Falls Farm distillery in Northamptonshire. It’s zesty, fresh and fragrant, and includes honey from the farm’s beehives, water from its spring, and botanicals and fruit from their five acres of gardens.
VITA Vodka, £27 (70cl)
Say goodbye to overly sugary drinks and hello to the world’s first vodka designed to be mixed with still or sparkling water. This citrus-infused vodka is made using natural ingredients sourced from the Mediterranean. It took 18 months of research to create – and over 30 different recipes. There’s no sugar, additives or artificial nasties in this flavoursome gin. It’s available online at Amazon, 31 Dover and Master Of Malt.
The Hotel Starlino range of Vermouths and Aperitivos, £23 (75cl)
New brand, The Hotel Starlino, have released two gorgeous spirits made with ingredients that hail from North-Eastern Italy. There are two drinks in the range – Rosé and Rosso. Rosé is made by blending rose wine with grapefruit peel and eight botanicals, while Rosso is a classic vermouth, made blending white wine, Sicilian Ansonca and Cataratoo and Masala wines.
You can make a delicious summer spritz with the Rosé, just add 1 part Rosé to 3 parts prosecco, 1 Part soda or tonic water and a slice of grapefruit.
The Rosso is perfect used in a classic Negroni. The striking apothecary-style bottles are inspired by 20th-century Italian architecture and finished with a vintage luggage label and door knob-style stopper. Both spirits are available on amazon and Proof drinks. The brand has also recently released premium Maraschino cocktail Cherries (£10 for 400g) which have been matured for 15 days in their natural Marasaca juice.
Lyre’s Italian Spritz – alcohol-free, £23.50 (70cl)
Low or no alcohol drinks are the latest trend in the spirits category. With Lyre’s non-alcohol spritz, you can enjoy the refreshing flavours of Aperol without suffering the morning after. Just mix Lyre’s Italian Spritz with prosecco, soda water, ice and an orange wedge to garnish.
It really does taste like the real thing which isn’t surprising, considering the brand worked with some of the world’s most recognised sommeliers to create their drinks, with over 6,000 ingredients at their disposal.
BeauFort 57 Smoked Gin, £39.95 (50cl)
This newly launched gin has been infused with smoked oak and hickory to give a unique flavour, unlike any other spirit on the market. The inventive smoking process adds a “gunpowder” effect to the gin. It’s tastiest when served over ice or with a dash of tonic.
Its founder – who also runs a fragrance company – uses oak-smoked water to create the gin, an ingredient originally created by Heston Blumenthal. You can buy the gin online through the brand’s website or on Master of Malt.
Limited edition cocktails created by Buck and Birch, £8 per cocktail
Buck and Birch have launched a new selection of hand-crafted bottled cocktails. These limited-edition summer flavours include the Thornstar Martini – a wild twist on the classic Pornstar martini, the rich, dark and fruity, Aelder Sour and the Amarosa Old Fashioned with aromatic rosehip rum liqueur, dark rum and wild bitters. They’re ready to drink from the bottle and available now for nationwide delivery.
Empirical Spirits canned cocktails, £11 for a pair
Empirical Spirits are well known for their kooky creations that don’t fit into the traditional spirit categories, like vodka or whiskey. Their fun new canned cocktails have been created in collaboration with London based artist, Toby Evans. The mysteriously named “CAN 01” combines whole milk oolong tea, toasted Birch and green gooseberry, while “CAN 02” is a mix of cherry, black currant bus, young pine cone and walnut wood. They’re available to purchase online at Rita’s Dining in South London and online at the Empirical Spirits online shop.
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