Monthly Archives: August 2012

Shaken not stirred

Sorry, sorry – I just couldn’t resist wheeling that line out at least three times on my way around the 007 Exhibition at the Barbican centre recently, and I’m quite sure the mixologist in the Martini Bar was sick of it long before I tipped up.

Nonetheless, you can’t beat a classic martini and after perusing the stunning costumes and props from the James Bond movies, that’s exactly what my friend and I went for.

Despite being served a little on the large side (at 4pm on a Saturday afternoon, we left with a serious case of the beer munchies), it provided perfect liquid refreshment on a muggy London afternoon.

While the classic Bond (Vesper) martini is a blend of 3 parts Gordon’s gin, 1 part vodka, ½ part Kina Lillet, and a twist of lemon peel, my favourite version of this simple cocktail is as follows…

3 parts Gordon’s gin
1 part dry vermouth
3 pitted green olives
½ tsp olive brine (if you hear someone refer to a ‘dirty martini’, this is what they mean)

Shake the gin and vermouth in an ice-filled shaker until cold. Strain into a large cocktail glass. Add the brine and the olives on a cocktail stick. Serve immediately.


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Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Douro 2009

Since attending Sainsbury’s spring/summer tasting earlier this year, I’ve kept a bottle of their Taste the Difference Douro 2009 in the wine rack as my go-to red.

Produced by well-known Portuguese producer Quinta do Crasto, this award-winning red is juicy, perfectly balanced, and full of ripe plum and blackcurrant flavours. At £7.49 its amazing value and an ideal match to fresh lamb leg steaks on a late summer barbeque, so make the most of this weekend’s good weather with friends and a bottle or two!

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Another bargain!

I recently reviewed the incredibly good value Gran Familia Las Primas Tempranillo Rosado 2011 and, never one to miss out on a good bargain, I thought I’d try the white version too.

As with the rosado, I picked up a bottle of Gran Familia Las Primas Airen Verdejo 2011 for just £3.99 from Tesco. Pale in colour, with fresh citrus flavours and a crisp finish, this Spanish white was perfect well chilled alongside a light lunch of quiche and a selection of summer salads. While it won’t knock your socks off, you can’t ask for more at that price!

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Post holiday blues

Just four days after landing at Gatwick airport, I’m already wishing away the months until I can return to Spain. With a relaxing holiday filled with good food, drink, sunshine, and half a dozen books behind me, there was only one thing for it this evening (after a long run to compensate for said indulgences) – a cool glass of Spanish rosé.

Priced at just £3.99 for a limited time in Tesco (I know!), Gran Familia Las Primas Tempranillo Rosado 2011 from La Mancha is dry, fresh, and jam-packed with strawberries.

While not full of complex aromas and flavours, it would be ideal enjoyed with friends, a large quantity of chocolate, and a DVD ladies!

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