Tag Archives: cocktail

Fathers Day Gift Guide: 12 Days to go!

7 Jun

With 12 days to go until Father’s Day don’t be a last-minute diva, and get your gifting sorted. We all have busy lives and I think birthdays, Christmas and occasions like mothers day and fathers day is an opportunity to be truly thoughtful. As a child I loved making them breakfast in bed and carrying it up precariously – it felt very grown up! Now as an adult living far away I don’t have that luxury, so if I am going to jump on the consumer bandwagon I may as well choose products that they’ll really love!

McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes
McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes have launched a personalised range this year, where you can type in your own personalised message for on the front of the box. My parents love Jaffa cakes, so I thought that this was a really cute idea!

The McVitie’s Sweet shop can be found at www.mcvities.co.uk and delivery is free for orders over £20.

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Verdict: 8 / 10 (this would be a 10 if they were a little cheaper!)

 

Ripped up Art
I think that cards should fall into one of two categories to be genuine and heartfelt:

1) Home made – awesomeness!
2) Really unique, bespoke shop bought, something really different.

If you run out of time, and buy a standard (some may say dull) convenience store style card, just make sure that you fill it with reams of personal commentary to compensate!

Ripped up Art sent me a gorgeous card to review – they implant seeds into the card so that the card can be used afterwards in the garden to grow wildflowers! Very cute designs to and at £4 a card (with free delivery if you by three) they are not badly priced at all.

The cards are available at www.rippedupart.co.uk/cards

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Verdict: 9 / 10 (this would be a 10 if you could choose your seed type!)

 

LIC frozen cocktails
If you’re making a Father’s day lunch – add these ‘grown up’ frozen lollies to your shopping list. Using their closely guarded secret formula to create a frozen drink with the strength of a regular drink (10%ABV) and completely natural ingredients LIC (Love Iced Cocktails) have created new pina colada and mojito flavours that are absolutely delicious! You can buy them over at www.havealic.com

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Verdict: A tasty 8 / 10

 

Millie’s Cookies – Bake at Home
If you have children and want them to put a real effort into Fathers day for your partner – but don’t want all of the mess that comes with home baking – the Millie’s Cookies bake at home range will be perfect. Bake at home Millie’s Cookies are just £3 at Iceland stores you simply push them out and flatten out onto a tray, bake in the oven and enjoy warm and gooey! They can also be used to make milkshakes, cheesecakes or even ice cream cups.

A lot more cost effective than the cookies form a Millie’s stall too!

Ready to Bake Millie's Cookies - Milk Choc

Verdict: Get me some more they are addictive! 9 / 10

 

 

Aux Anysetiers Du Roy – Chocolate Fondue
For the chocolate loving dad, why not try the deliciousness that is the Aux Anysetiers Du Roy chocolate fondue pots. The chocolate comes in a stoneware pot to maintain the heat – simply remove the lid and microwave. The special stoneware jar keeps the Chocolate Fondue warm and melted on your table for 45 minutes minimum, and contain a delicious minimum of 70% cocoa.

I was sent a variety to review, and my goodness, it was heaven! Chocolate heaven! I even used half a pot to ice some cakes for a charity bake sale so versatile too. I think it would be best enjoyed as a family (or on your own!) with a platter of fruit to dip.

They are available at www.bmcglobal.com and prices start at £6.50, going up to £20 for the larger gift sets.

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Verdict: These are AMAZING. Never mind dad, can I eat them all now? 9 / 10

 

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

9 Dec

And for once I don’t mind! Never mind that the gifts were on the shelves since October, it is now a dark, cold and wet December and the perfect time to get festive. That’s because for me Christmas involves lots of booze, sumptuous food and fun times with friends and family. So whether you’re drinking it or gifting it here are some of the best for 2014:

Line up the Christmas Booze

Whether its for gifting, or drinking, t’tis the season to be jolly!

 

Oddka
This drink is a bit of Christmas fun. As the name would suggest, it is a bit odd! With it’s dusty pink colour it would certainly make a pretty stocking filler. I tried this drink as a short and found it very sweet and palatable, however I was stuck as what to mix it with for a long party drink. In the end because it reminded me so much of strawberry milkshake I tried it out with skimmed milk as a mini cocktail. It was actually very yummy, if a little different. This vodka is 20% proof and retails at around £10. At present Sainsburys do have a sale, with £2.50 off  making it even better value for money.

Oddka

Oddka

Verdict: not for everyone but a unique gift 7/10

Three Barrels Honey
French grape brandy, Three Barrels, has been blended with honey flavours to create Three Barrels Honey – perfect for a christmas gift. I created one of the Three Barrels cocktails, and thought it was very tasty! I would love to feed a christmas cake with this brandy, it would certainly add to the flavour.

THREE BARRELS HONEY FIZZ
Glass: Chilled flute
Method: Pour in order listed and stir
Ice: None
Ingredients:
25ml Three Barrels Honey
Top with Champagne or dry sparkling wine (Cava or Prosecco)
Garnish: Lemon oils sprayed and discard zest

Three Barrels Honey

Three Barrels Honey

Three Barrels Honey is available in Morrisons at around £17 per bottle.

Verdict: A very sweet 8 / 10 

Opihr Gin
While I usually see gin as my new year drink, tasty with slimline tonic while detoxing from the Christmas baileys, I do love to receive it as a gift in time for the new year celebrations. I reviewed Opihr’s Oriental Spiced gin, and a tasty treat it was indeed! There is something very luxurious about the bottle, whether it’s the little tassel or the exotic look to the bottle it’s most certainly aesthetically pleasing. Now to the drinking! This gin has a very district flavour with Cubebs from Indonesia, Black Pepper from India & Coriander from Morocco. It’s made by G&J Distillers, England’s oldest producer of high quality gin since 1761, and is priced at £23.00 in Waitrose and Sainsbury’s.

A beautiful gift bottle

A beautiful gift bottle

 

Verdict: Santa certainly wouldn’t say no to this warming tipple on Christmas Eve! 9/10

 

Rum
The Wild Geese has launched a collection of three Caribbean rums, new to the UK this winter:

– The Wild Geese Golden Rum – uses hand picked parcels of aged rum, matured for up to five years. Butterscotch tones and pronounced aromatic spice.

– The Wild Geese Premium Rum – an intense, bright gold blend, aged for up to eight years. Takes you on a journey through the Caribbean, with pronounced hints of a soft, aged Bajan heritage and honeyed aromoatic Guyanese and Jamaican pot still character.

– The Wild Geese Caribbean Spiced Rum – a golden rum with a heart of spice. Full and sweet with a layer of toffee sponge, dark chocolate and cinnamon.
First and foremost this rum makes a beautiful gift. The bottle is emblazoned with a metal and diamanté skull! I quite enjoy that this brand steps away from the tropical paradise theme that we usually see with Rum brands, and instead goes for option two – pirates!

rum

Now for the tasting. I’m not a massive rum connoisseur. But after a trip to Cuba recently I have been introduced to some lovely rums, which would put my cheap bottles of past for house party mojoto’s to shame. This rum certainly falls into the premium category, I mixed with pineapple and was surprised at the mellow yet strong flavour – with no nasty aftertaste. Definitely a thumbs up! You can buy The Wild Geese at specialist drinks suppliers.

Verdict: a ho ho ho and a bottle of rum 8/10

 

Top Tip: 
To make your Christmas booze trolley even cheaper this year sign up to Ocado as a new customer and with an £80 spend you can use a £20 voucher. At present their drinks offers are even cheaper than Asda, Tesco and Sainsburys with a litre of Bombay sapphire at £17, a litre of Baileys £12 and a litre of Smirnoff Ice red at £15.

If it is wine (including mulled and sparkling) or port that tickles your fancy Sainsburys currently have an offer where if you purchase six bottles you save a hefty 25%.

Halloween Drinkies

20 Oct

In strange tradition each year many of us try and make our Halloween party drinks a disgusting green colour! However this year I am going to opt for a decidedly more pretty purple drink (yes I know Halloween should be scary, not pretty but just a little can’t hurt can it?)

Greenall’s have launched a new wild berry gin, and it is absolutely delicious. Here is recipe to make your own cocktails, or get creative and make a spooky punch bowl by adding tonic water or diet lemonade!

Yum!

Yum!

Greenall’s Wild
50ml Greenall’s Wild Berry Gin
25ml Lemon Juice
15ml Monin Vanilla Syrup
3 Raspberries & 3 blackberries

Method: Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into a tumbler with fresh ice
Garnish: Raspberry, blackberry, lemon twist.

The sloe gin is priced at £16.00, and is available at Sainsbury’s and Tesco stores.

Verdict:

9/10 for flavour

7/10 for difficulty to make

Dry January

24 Jan

I was a little sceptical about having a ‘dry January’ given that my subconscious is always a contrary force within me – and tends to do the opposite of my actual plans. When I’m on a diet I find myself wondering what donuts dipped in Nutella would taste like, dream of greasy fries covered in melted cheese, and wander towards the snack aisle in every supermarket I walk into. In fact on a diet I crave foods that I wouldn’t even allow myself on a normal day! So understand my concern, to ban alcohol – would I just drink everything in sight?

Well…I failed at dry January, but fortunately did not become a raging alcoholic! I found nights out the trickiest – trust me the number of after work drinkers in my local indicated a big that dry January is still a foreign concept to most! However nights in were easy. Instead of my weekend wine, I treated myself to camomile tea with honey, lots of water and made sure to drink with ice so that it didn’t feel too boring. I was still missing however that little something to spoil myself with when I get back from work on a Friday. I decided to try out the new ‘mocktail’ fad. The best range that I tested was the Funkin range. I tested three very different flavours:

Funkin Funkin Brazilian, a tropical blend of mangoes, passion fruit and oranges with Amazonian Guarana, the ‘super seed’, which contains twice the energy of coffee beans, giving you a delicious natural energy kick.
Verdict: 7/10 I loved the fruity flavour, but this drink did cry out for a shot of vodka! I would certainly indulge by adding my own spirits after January is over.

Funkin Strawberry Daiquiri: Interestingly, a flavour recently voted one of the UK’s favourite cocktails
Verdict: 10/10 this mocktail does not need anything else added, it is truly delicious in itself. Imagine a better, fresher, pulpier and fruiter grown-up version of a Ribena strawberry drink. It is very moreish…

Funkin Mojito, made with Persian limes blended for a sharp, refreshing taste.
Verdict: 8/10 this drink completely captured the essence of a London cocktail bar mojito flavour. I have tried pre-made mojitos in the past that have had a nasty false mint flavour to them and did not taste like the real product at all, and this drink has restored my faith in a mojito in a bottle! This would have been a 10 except I made the mistake of looking at the calorie content on the back of the carton…My advice, top up with plenty of ice and dance those calories off!

These mocktails are available from £2.99 each nationwide at Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Co-op, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Majestic Wine, Harrods, Ocado, Amazon, DrinkShop.com and at www.funkin.co.uk

Yum! Yum!

 

For the cider lovers
Why not try Kopparberg’s Alcohol Free cider range, fruity and refreshing. Summer BBQ’s and winter dinner parties are much more fun with something sparkling to sip, and this provides a much healthier option.

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Verdict: a juicy 8/10

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