HOXTON GIN – Unique, unusual and unprecedented

June 24, 2017 4:16 pm | Posted by Graham D

Hoxton GinHoxton Gin is a serious, but also a fun gin and very different from the rest – a gin that takes the classic juniper driven character and adds something most exotic. In making an exceptionally smooth and rounded gin, both coconut and grapefruit are a key constituent of the distilling process, thus opening up gin to a whole new world of drinking and cocktail possibilities.

Hoxton Gin is a world’s first. Not only is it versatile with the head notes of grapefruit and coconut introducing bright new avenues of what gin can be mixed with. Nor does it merely reinvigorate classic cocktails and combinations such as the Tom Collins and G&T with a stunning contemporary twist. The real brilliance lies in the fact that unlike other gins, you can drink it on its own! It’s so refreshing all you need is ice and a slice of lemon! A spirit so fine, there’s no need to dress it up.

Hoxton – A great new world of Gin & Tonic and ever so cool cocktails. Next they will be adding rhubarb to Gin “click”

 

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We Are Off Again

May 31, 2017 6:44 pm | Posted by Graham D

Graham D is back after a number of years researching the vineyards of Northern Greenland “one of my favourite wines has to be icewine”

His new schedule of Blogs will commence in early June 2017 and will feature articles on individual and often unique wines, spirits and liqueurs – of course by popular demand a whole new series of Food and Wine Pairing.

There will be a lots of info on Gins this time , since it’s UK’s most popular spirit.

Bewarned some other unpredictable events may also occur ???

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Foods for the Summer Months

July 29, 2012 6:42 pm | Posted by Graham D

FOOD and WINE PAIRING—FOODS FOR THE SUMMER MONTHS
(continuation from blog  “ Food and Wine pairing”  dated 7 July 2012)

INTRODUCTION:—--this blog and the many more following will examine the pleasurable and often complex relationship between good food and wine, with the ultimate aim to assist our many discerning customers evolve the convivial bonding of good food and wine.

FOOD BEING FEATURED:—–FOODS FOR THE SUMMER MONTHS - that can be enjoyed either hot, warm or cold.
A few examples of alfresco dishes would be : Quiche Lorraine, Onion and Tomato Flan, Stuffed Big Beef  Tomatoes, Chicken and Savoury Pies , Mushroom and Ham Tarts, Meat Loaves, Tapas style dishes and Picnic food.
(See a previous Blog for Pairing Summer Barbeque foods with Wine)

CHALLENGES:—–Another interesting and challenging bridge to cross, but if we group the foods into categories that represent similarity in strength of taste and textures, we then strike a good chance of pleasing most people :

- foods with an egg influence and creamy textures such as quiches and savoury tarts
- vegetable based dishes including green salads
- cold meat dishes with pickles and chutney
- cold seafood dishes including smoked salmon, smoked mackerel, soused herring and prawn/lobster cocktail

RECOMMENDATIONS:—–

- COLD SEAFOOD DISHES - a sparkling wine such as Saumur Brut Ackerman served as cold as possible would be a perfect match. For white wine lovers, another recommendation that would be most appealing is a crisp and dry Sauvignon Blanc from a vineyard of high standing in both hemispheres of the world.

- VEGETABLES AND SALADS - here a Pinot Grigio would work well or even a Frascati from the Lazio region of Italy. The Italians eat huge amounts of vegetables in the summer months, hence two Italian wines

- EGG BASED DISHES - try a creamy style Chardonnay from Simon Hackett Wines in McLaren Valley, Australia which matches well with this array of foods. If you prefer a wine with a little texture and body then check out a fine Viognier from Babich Vineyard in New Zealand.

- COLD MEAT DISHES - lots of scope although my preference would be light bodied reds such as Fleurie from Domaine du Penlois  or  Pinot Noir from  Hunter’s Vineyard in Marlborough, New Zealand . Either wine will stand alone for its own enjoyment and will not in any way diminish the taste and flavours of the dishes in question.

MAIN DIRECTORY:—--click on THE MARRIAGE OF FOOD AND WINE to access our quick search facility to locate hundreds of other food/wine/food pairing options, including hors-d’oeuvres, starters, soups, main courses and desserts. Also view GREAT FRIENDS – CHEESE AND WINE for cheese and wine pairing.

NEXT ARTICLE:—–SUMMER DESSERTS

HAPPY FOODS FOR THE SUMMER MONTHS PAIRING DAYS

Graham D

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Hayman’s London Dry Gin

July 8, 2012 2:50 pm | Posted by Del

HAYMAN’S LONDON DRY GIN

haymans-london-dry-ginThe original company of Haymans Distillers was founded in the 1800s by James Burrough, the great grandfather of the current Chairman, Christopher Hayman. James Burrough created the world renowned Beefeater Gin. Although Beefeater Gin and James Burrough Limited were sold to Whitbread in 1987, the Hayman family retained part of the business and continued the tradition of distilling and blending Gin and other white spirits.

BOTANICALS that make this fine gin – Christopher Hayman believes it is the careful and consistent balance of Juniper, Coriander, Orange and Lemon Peel which is vital in crafting a classic style of London Dry Gin. The Hayman’s Gin recipe consists of ten natural botanicals handpicked from around the world which creates a fresh crisp and fragrant flavour.

* The best Juniper provides the predominate flavour of Gin and is therefore the most essential ingredient.
* The finest Angelica Roots are harvested in France and give Gin its dry character.
* CorianderSeeds are imported from France which together with Liquorice gives Gin its complexity.
* Orris Root, sourced from Italy, has a scented flavour and is an essential part of the blend as it holds the other flavours together.
* Orange and Lemon Peel is sourced from Spain where the fruit is usually hand-peeled and left to dry in the Spanish sunshine to capture the oils and give Haymans London Dry Gin its crisp,balanced and unique flavour.

The important process of STEEPING and DISTILLATION

- Prior to the distillation process, the botanicals are steeped in the pot still for 24 hours which is the first part of the infusion process. After steeping, the gin undergoes the distillation process. During the distillation process, the still is heated at a gentle temperature so each botanical releases its flavour at a different stage of the process. The result is a premium London Dry Gin of consistently exceptional quality. Christopher believes Premium Gin should be created in a traditional Pot still to enable the flavours of the carefully selected botanicals to develop to their full potential and allow the Master Distiller to handcraft a uniquely flavoured premium gin with care and attention.

GIMLET- a highly recommended cocktail

* 2 shots of Hayman’s London Dry Gin
* 2 shots Roses Lime Cordial
* 1/2 shot water
Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a glass.

HAPPY HAYMAN’S LONDON DRY GIN DAYS

Graham D


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Bodegas Williams & Humbert Sherries

March 14, 2012 1:09 pm | Posted by Del

Bodegas Williams & Humbert

The history of Bodegas Williams & Humbert goes back nearly 130 years. They participated in the creation of the Jerez-Xeres-Brandy Quality Demarcation and are now considered to be one of the world’s most prestigious wine producers.

The winery was founded in 1877 by Sir Alexander Williams, a great admirer and connoisseur of sherry products and Arthur Humbert, a specialist in international relations. Since then they have preserved part of the original wines and brandies (soleras) in high quality oak casks. These soleras are the base of the development and ageing of every sherry and brandy produced at Bodegas Williams & Humbert.

The following are summaries and tasting notes of many of the Sherries that Williams & Humbert are world famous for :

DRY SAC FINO SHERRY

img_7439This is a very dry Fino Sherry produced from Palomino grapes. Bud musts from the best vineyards undergo cold, still fermentation at 22C. Then they go through early filtering and classification by quality. The best wine distillations are fortified at 15c to be racked in clean casks. They are then put into the traditional system of dynamic ageing employed in Jerez – Criaderas y Soleras- in the 6th criadera cask, where the biological ageing under a layer of yeast takes place in the traditional oak casks, preferably of American oak. The ageing is minimum five years while the wine passes from one criadera to another until it reaches the solera, from which it is drawn out for consumption.

Tasting Notes : A wine of brilliant, pale gold colours. Intense, complex aromas reminiscent of the yeast layer with a hint of almond. Delicate yet full-bodied, with character and elegance. A long aftertaste and nose.

Suggestions with Food : Ideal for aperitifs accompanied by a high quality cheese, ham and seafood dishes. Also excellent with almonds.

DRY SAC MEDIUM SHERRY

img_7437This a blended Oloroso or Medium Sherry produced from Palomino and Pedro Ximenez grapes. Bud musts undergo controlled fermentation at 28c and fortified with alcohol distilled from wine up to 19.5 degrees. Palomino and Pedro Ximenez are racked into clean casks while waiting to enter the Criaderas y Soleras system. Physical-chemical ageing through oxidation for at least six years, obtaining a slightly sweetened oloroso or medium sherry.

Tasting Notes: An amber-coloured wine of intense aromas suggesting dried nuts. Full bodied and balanced, with little acid and slightly sweet .

Suggestions with Food: It can be drunk neat or with ice. It is recommended as an aperitif or to accompany pasta and rice dishes.

CANASTA SHERRY

canasta-cream_edited-1A sweet Oloroso or Cream Sherry produced from Palomino and Pedro Ximenez grapes. The bud musts undergo controlled fermentation and fortified at 19.5 degrees. An elegant blend of Palomino and Pedro Ximenez before entering the Criaderas y Soleras system for physical-chemical ageing through oxidation in oak casks. Aged for at least six years. A unique sweet Oloroso or “Cream” Sherry.

Tasting Notes: Sweet Oloroso. Mahogany colour and aromas of dried nuts with a hint of raisins and brown sugar. Smooth, velvety palate with warm alcohol flavours and a persistent aftertaste.

Suggestions for Food : It can be consumed very cold by itself and with desserts, or on ice as a refreshing early evening drink.

WALNUT BROWN SHERRY

img_7441This is a very Sweet Oloroso or Cream Sherry produced from Palomino, Pedro Ximenez and Muscatel grapes. Bud musts undergo controlled fermentation and fortified at 19.5 degrees. Palomino, Pedro Ximenez and Muscatel are blended and racked into clean casks before entering the Criaderas y Solera system for physical-chemical ageing through oxidation in oak casks. Aged for at least four years.

Tasting Notes: Very sweet oloroso.Dark mahogany, almost ebony. On the nose, dried nuts and faint aroma of raisins, muscatel and toasted sugar. Smooth and velvety with a warm palate owing to its alcohol content. A long finish.

Suggestions for Food: It can be consumed very cold by itself and with desserts, or on ice as a refreshing long drink.

WINTER’S TALE SHERRY

img_7443This a slightly sweetened Amontillado or “Medium Sweet” Sherry produced from Palomino and Pedro Ximenez grapes. The bud must undergoes controlled fermentation and fortified with alcohol distilled from wine at 28 degrees. Palomino and Pedro Ximenez are racked before entering the Criaderas y Soleras system for physical-chemical ageing through oxidation in oak casks. Aged for at least six years. A slightly sweetened oloroso, or “medium sweet” sherry.

Tasting Notes: Brillant amber. Intense aroma of dried nuts. Full bodied and balanced, with low acidity. Sweet and persistent.

Suggestions for Food: To be drunk neat or on ice. Ideal as an aperitif or with pasta and rice dishes.

JALIFA AMONTILLADO 30 YEARS SHERRY

dos-cortados-30yrs_edited-2This a dry Amontillado Sherry produced from Palomino grapes. Bud musts from the best vineyards undergo cold, still decanting and fermentation at 22c. Early filtering, classification by quality and fortified at 15 degrees with the best distilled wines to obtain the traditional racks. Put into the classical Jerez Criaderas y Soleras system of dynamic ageing at the 15th criadera, where the biological ageing takes place under a layer of yeast. Aged in traditional oak casks , preferably American for at least 8 years, after which it is transferred to the 6th criadera for an additional 22 years of natural ageing by oxidation until it reaches the solera. It is then removed for consumption.

Tasting Notes: Bright hues of very old gold and amber. Pungent, intense and complex on the nose, with a subtle note of  fino sherry and a hint of dried nuts and filbert. Dry with excellent acidity, a long, full bodied and elegant palate. A delightfully expressive and unforgettable finish.

Suggestions with Food: An excellent aperitif served with a fine cheese, ham or seafood dishes.

DOS CORTADOS 20 YEARS SHERRY

dos-cortados-20yrs_edited-1A fortified wine, this rare and peculiar dry Pale Cortado Sherry produced from Palomino grapes is halfway between an Amontillado and an Oloroso. Bud musts from the best vineyards undergo cold, still decanting and fermentation at 22c. Early filtration, classification by quality and then the must is fortified at 15degrees with the best distilled wines to obtain the traditional racks. Put into the Criaderas y Soleras system in fino sherry casks for biological ageing. Sporadically, circumstances cause the contents of some casks to behave differently than it is expected – they will not become fino sherry. These casks are “cut” (hence the term “cortado”) with one or two jugs of alcohol to form the base of the palo cortado solera system. The wine is then aged for 20 years until it reaches the solera.

Tasting Notes : Bright hues of very old gold and amber . Pungent, intense and complex on the nose, with a subtle note of filberts and dried fruits. Dry with excellent acidity, a long, full-bodied and elegant palate. An incredibly expressive and unforgettable finish. Sherry with an amontillado nose and an oloroso palate.

Suggestions with Food: Excellent as an aperitif for those long evenings or in short drinks with tapas.

DRY OLOROSO 12 YEARS

dry-oloroso12yrs_edited-1This is a dry Oloroso produced from Palomino grapes. The bud musts undergo controlled fermentation at 28c, then fortified with distilled wine alcohol at up to 19.5degrees. The Palomino enters the racks before entering the Criaderas y Soleras system for physical-chemical ageing through oxidation in oak casks. It is aged for at least 12 years. This is a unique dry Oloroso.

Tasting Notes: Bright amber. Intense aromas characteristic of this type of wine and a hint of dried nuts and fruits. Dry, rich, with smooth tannins, it is luscious and balanced with a long finish.

Suggestions for Food: As an aperitif with mature cheese, at meals with red meats and even as an after-dinner drink.

HAPPY WILLIAMS & HUMBERT SHERRY DAYS

DEL

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Genever Gin – the original gin

May 30, 2009 8:36 am | Posted by James M

We all love a nice G’n’T, and have become accustomed to the London style gin which has been immensely popular in this country for a hundred and fifty years or so now. Dry, clean and slightly aromatic, this wonderful spirit is vastly different to the drink it historically evolved from, the Dutch drink Genever, which was named after one of the constituents of the drink, the juniper berry. It was originally perceived to be a medicine (I wish my doctor would prescribe a bottle or two) when it was first created, however in the 17th century it soon became popular with British soldiers fighting in the ‘thirty years war’, who then introduced their ‘Dutch Courage’ to these shores. It soon took off in popularity in Britain, resulting in the encouragement of home production of ‘gin’ (as the name was shortened to) during the reign of William and Mary. The style was still sweet and rich, similar to the Genever of Holland.

This, however caused something of a ‘gin epidemic’ as the drink was cheap to manufacture and therefore to sell, and it is argued was safer to drink than London water! Therefore the drink became rampant, particularly amongst the poor resulting in a constantly drunken London, day and night (what’s changed). When the government tried to tackle the problem, creating new laws to make the cost of gin much more expensive, riots broke out. Eventually in the 1870’s the drink had been modified into the dry style which we know today, and gin became respectable again.

As a consequence of this, the original Dutch Genever became an unusual and rare drink on the British market, and that remains the case today, although there are some exceptional offerings out there, made in traditional styles, with historical packaging that are great examples of the original gin style.

The A van Weiss distillery has been operating since 1872 and is said to be the last remaining authentic distillery in Amsterdam. They pride themselves on generating their Genever from traditional recipes with an attention to detail in terms of the botanicals used to create balanced spirits.

A van Weiss still create two styles of genever, old and young. These are not a reference to the age of the gin, but rather refer to the method used in the creation of the spirit. Old Genever is made using traditional methods based on recipes from before 1900. This method involves fermenting the wheat and then distilling it three times to create a ‘korenwijn’ (malt wine). Herbs (botanicals) and juniper berries are then added to this malt wine, and it is then distilled a fourth time. This product can then be released young, or can be aged in oak barrels sometimes for up to twenty years. Old Genever tends to be quite sweet and aromatic and has a straw like colour.

The Amsterdamsche Old Genever Gin , is a great example of this style, distilled twice and using a combination of 100 malt wine and herbs, it has a pale yellow hue due to being aged in oak for six months. Soft and elegant but with a voluptuous palate, this is perfect drunk chilled straight from the fridge.

For a more serious Genever, Roggenaer Special Reserve Gin 15 Years , this gin is full of herby presence with a generous rye character balanced off with soft citrus notes. Gentle and refined this is a rare, yet great example of the A van Weiss distillery’s work.

Young Genever is made using methods that are post 1900, and involve directly fermenting and distilling the wheats until they are 96% alcohol, before adding the botanicals. This style is what is commonly known as gin and is much drier and cleaner, with a lighter body. This style is more associated with the ‘London’ style gins, but a good example from Holland would be the, Jonge Wees Geneva Gin , which is a light, smooth and slightly sweet spirit with an obvious juniper berry flavour.

For a contemporary style of Genever, in both production and packaging, try from another distillery, the stylish Dutch Zuidam Genever Gin , which is sweet, full bodied and aromatic, and delicious chilled from the freezer. Produced from two generations of master distillers, this Genever oozes modernity, but maintains a nod to the historical context of the drink. This excellent producer have also developed Zuidam Dry Gin ,  which is a small batch similar to a London style gin, creating a zippy balance of citrus and herbs, with a delightful slightly aromatic harmony.

Try Genever Gin with friends and seek their opinion on the differences.

 

HAPPY GENEVER GIN DAYS

JAMES  M

 

 

 

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