Sober October? Your choice! – As we move into the colder months of the year, I personally think we all need something nice to cheer ourselves up, but if you have decided to be ultra good, I might have a couple of products to spice up your life …
DRYNKS, the British alcohol-free craft brewer that focuses on producing great 0% drinks, has launched the UK’s first full range of alcohol-free (0%) beers and ciders.
They are very tasty and refreshing – my favourites are the citrus beer and the apple cider.
Available in 330ml bottles and 300ml cans, at around £2, they’re available online at www.drynks.co.uk, Zeroholic.co.uk, Drydrinker. and a range of independent retailers.
That’s the Spirit
I’ve not been a fan of ‘de-alcoholised’ spirits, but at last, a new one from gin producer Warners is more than acceptable!
The Warners 0% Garden Spirits range took two years to develop and they do, indeed, actually taste like gin (but still not as good as the real thing!). Two variants – Pink Berry and Juniper Double Dry – are handcrafted using all-natural botanicals, with 90% of the ingredients sourced at the farm distillery in Northamptonshire. Warner’s 0% Juniper Double Dry Botanic Garden Spirit is herbal, aromatic and zesty, with flavours of cinnamon, rose, cardamom, lavender, juniper, wormwood, lemon verbena and lemon thyme. What’s more, it’s sensibly priced at £18 for a 50cl bottle, from warnersdistillery.com
Apothic Cab – A very smooth bottle
Colder evenings are the perfect time to indulge in a good, hefty red wine. This lovely new Cabernet Sauvignon from Apothic is a particularly smooth example with notes of blackcurrant, dark plum, chocolate and vanilla and intense, soft tannins.
It’s just the thing to accompany a hearty beef casserole, or steak and chips, Apothic Cab has an ABV of 13,5% and is available now from supermarkets at around £9.50 a bottle.
Pick up a Picpoul
If white wine is more to your liking, this will interest you. According to the Financial Times, Picpoul, the once-ragged urchin, is now a Languedoc princess: the region’s greatest recent success story. It produces well over half of AOC Languedoc’s white wine and accounts for 80 per cent of Languedoc-Roussillon’s exported white wine — and it is particularly adored in Britain, which takes 57 per cent of those exports. This example from Tesco has aromatic power, richness on the palate and complexity. It is zesty and fragrant with plenty of fresh citrus, green apple and mineral flavours. At £10 a bottle it is a fabulous accompaniment to shellfish charcuterie and rich cheeses.
Nairns has to be the most famous name associated with oatcakes, and the latest introductions are a welcome addition to its range: Peri-Peri flavour or Cheese & Smoky Chipotle Spicy Oatcakes (at £1.40 they’re widely available). Packed full of flavour, these oatcakes are delicious enough to enjoy on their own, or with any toppings of your choice.
Irish Indian Spices – yes, really!
Green Saffron, an award-winning family business based in Cork, produces spice blends, sauces and chutneys from Moradabad, India. But I’m glad to report Waitrose stocks them! The spice sachets, at just £1 each, include Indian Red Lentil Dahl; Indian Bombay Potatoes and Indian Madras. They’re 100% natural, plant-based and gluten-free blends of spices and herbs that deliver an easy to cook, full-flavoured Indian style street food experience.
Be a Mindful Chef
For busy folk, there are a number of different recipe box services available and Mindful Chef boats the largest healthy food-focused family menu. Pre-portioned ingredients are delivered straight to the door, nutritionally balanced, free from refined carbs, gluten and dairy, and contains no additives. What’s more, for every meal sold, Mindful Chef donates one school meal to a child living in poverty through One Feeds Two charity (and amazingly have donated nearly 5 million meals to date!).
The company has just announced a partnership with The British Heart Foundation, with a new range of interesting sounding recipes appearing on its weekly menu, specially devised to keep your heart healthy – that’s pretty mindful!
Persian squash, pomegranate & pistachios, or perhaps Spanish cod, chickpeas and roasted peppers – are just two of them and they sound fabulous. Flexible subscriptions available via mindfulchef.com