Late Spring Food and Drink News – Well, summer’s finally on its way, and what a summer it promises to be! Here are a few suggestions for summer goodies, picnics, festivals, boat trips, or just enjoying anywhere in the sunshine.
Ready-made cocktails are in vogue, and I discovered a great new company called Moore House Cocktails. Based in London’s Notting Hill, it’s a small, independent maker of award-winning luxurious cocktails; ready to shake or stir… so perfect to chill and take on a picnic! They make great gifts too (Fathers’ Day next month perhaps?). Shipping is the UK nationwide (£6.75 or free for orders over £50) and next day delivery can also be arranged. A gift card can be included and personalisation’s available on all 100ml and 200ml bottles. For larger gatherings 500ml bottles are ideal. (a 500ml Negroni for example is £32.50)
On the subject of cocktails, it’s soon National Paloma Day and Cinco de Mayo (5 May). The traditional Mexican holiday is celebrated in Mexico and the US – and now here, as Brits look for reasons to celebrate. Sales of tequila, Mexico’s national drink, are growing as tequila steps away from its ‘bad-boy party image’ with premium brands being sipped or used in cocktails. Maestro Dobel’s award-winning Diamanté is now available in Waitrose (£52 for 70cl). It’s the world’s first clear, multi-aged tequila – a blend of 100% Agave Reposado, Añejo and Extra-Ańejo (aged for more than 5 years) resulting in a very smooth tequila. And lookout for the smoked one too – Maestro Dobel’s Humito – it’s fab!
To enjoy with your cocktails, or with almost any meal, Ramona’s Kitchen is a delicious range of Middle East inspired dips and snacks. The houmous is available in great value 500g pots at just £3 – perfect for a crowd. There are three flavours: Original, Jalapeno and Red Pepper. They’re vegan too, as are the company’s delicious frozen falafel (rrp £3.25 Original or Spinach & Kale) and the new chilled original or quinoa falafel. The houmous is great as a dip with the falafels! Available in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Ocado.
Another fab product for a mezze or to include in a wrap – or just devour – is Aivar. The Pelagonia brand is my favourite for this sweet pepper dip, and I’m pleased to say it is widely available (around £3.50 a jar). The company produces a host of other great products, dips, tapenades, grilled aubergine, or courgette slices, but they aren’t always as widely available. Do look out for the latest introduction, a goat’s cheese aivar – seriously fabulous and hopefully will soon be available everywhere!
For those times when you fancy avocado, but the one lurking in the fridge has gone manky, PACK’D is the perfect solution. This frozen, ripe, chopped Hass avo is a great freezer standby. Available in Ocado, Sainsbury’s, and Amazon Fresh at just over £3 for a pack containing two sachets. If you’re into smoothies, do check out the website here where there are lots of other great products available.