It’s been a long time coming this year but the long weekend has arrived and we’re all ready for a weekend of chocolate, family meals, wine, chocolate and more chocolate! If you’re planning on stocking up to cater for a larger party than usual, head to Aldi for a side of salmon, leg of lamb and some delicious wines from The Exquisite Collection range.
A concise collection of Old and New World classics – Gavi, Limestone Coast Chardonnay, Argentinian Malbec, New Zealand Pinot Noir and more – there are some real gems for Easter sipping. I haven’t managed to work my way through the whole range just yet (give me time!) but one of my favourites to enjoy in this gorgeous weather is the Cotes de Provence Rosé.
This deliciously gluggable blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah grapes from the South of France is a gorgeous pale pink and comes in a classic curved bottle. Priced at just £5.99, this dry rosé is excellent value and perfect enjoyed alongside light salads or as a welcome drink for guests arriving for their Easter lamb.
Is it just me or is gin everywhere at the moment? Whether it’s in a quirky cocktail in a bar, a classic G & T before dinner, or matched to a tasting menu in a pop-up restaurant, it seems the ‘Gin Craze’ of the 18th century is experiencing a comeback and I for one am not complaining!
Recently I visited the Sipsmith 100 Martini bar set in Kettner’s, Soho. Brain-child of Drinks Historian and Master Distiller Jared, this 100-strong cocktail menu has something to charm both the Martini connoisseur and the gin fanatic. I enjoyed the Lone Tree Martini last Friday evening – a blend of the juniper-heavy, 57.7% V.J.O.P. (short for ‘Very Junipery Over Proof’) Sipsmith gin, salty and sweet Vermouth, and cheek-sucking orange bitters, this was the perfect tonic to a long week!
If you fancy mixing your own cocktails at home, here are three of my favourite gins…
Oliver Cromwell London Dry Gin, £9.70 for 70cl, Aldi – an absolute bargain, this gin is clear, crisp and delicious. Enjoy shaken with a measure of Vermouth and a couple of olives.
Elephant Gin, £29.45 for 50cl, The Whisky Exchange – distinctive and enticing, this gin is made using 14 botanicals and the company behind it contributes 15% of all profits to support African elephant foundations. Mix with Fever Tree tonic and a slice of orange for the perfect aperitif.
Sipsmith Sloe Gin, £23.35 for 50cl, Ocado – smooth and velvety, this gin is bursting with flavours of redcurrant and cherries. As the evenings get longer, enjoy mixed with a splash of soda water and some ice.