In The Drink with Paul Antrobus

Festive Tipple

LEADdrink

Perk up the Christmas party with fiery ginger beer, iced tea and even rhubarb. A couple of years ago I held a small panel session tasting ginger beers, as reported in All At Sea in January 2013. Fentimans non-alcoholic version came out top for ginger flavour and Crabbies Original was the favourite alcoholic brew we sampled. “We liked the idea ...

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Micro brew monopoly

Micro brew monopoly

According to CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale now in its 43rd year, new independent ‘micro’ breweries are opening apace while pubs continue to close down at 31 per week. CAMRA organises the annual Great British Beer Festival at Olympia, West London. This year’s show in featured 350 brewers and over 900 beers, lagers and ciders from across the globe.   ...

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Something for the ladies

Something for the ladies

Considering how simple and enjoyable the standard London dry gin recipe is, the number of boutique distilleries opening up around the country and the expanding range of gins now available is quite remarkable. The new arrivals are mostly the result of enthusiasts dreaming up a better London dry gin mousetrap, like Sipsmith or Adnams. In retaliation, mainstream distillers are resurrecting ...

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First of the summer wines

First of the summer wines

June is the first month of the summer quarter-year and the month when the JP Morgan Round the Isle of Wight race kicks off the summer regatta scene afloat and ashore. Time then to consider summer wines… What makes a wine a summer wine? A practical benchmark is what goes with barbecues, cold crustaceans, salads and al fresco dining on ...

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Boutique breweries get crafty. . .

Boutique breweries get crafty. . .

Once upon a time, before motor transport and telephones, there were individual public houses in England’s towns and villages brewing their own beer on the premises for consumption by their own customers. Then brewing companies were established to supply all the pubs in the village – and beyond. Then there were mergers and the UK was down to six or ...

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A buoyant Vintage

A buoyant Vintage

Somerset Cider Revival DESPITE the floods, Somerset’s only cider-brandy distillery kept on going. “We are still heavily flooded and most of the roads to our farm shop are blocked. But we are still in business for ciders and cider brandy via our website, with a daily courier truck that gets through the one road that is passable and the distillery ...

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Vermouth revival

march_drink

Vermouth is back in style, helped by a resurgence of interest in cocktail drinking at home as much as in trendy bars. It’s essential to many classic cocktail recipes, from martinis to the Manhattan, while also regaining favour in its own right as a pleasant aperitif – its original raison d’être. The category is benchmarked by Italian Martini and French ...

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Going local

Going local

Be inspired to try something different from the micro brewing world The Belleville Brewing company of Wandsworth, South West London, founded January 2013, is an interesting micro brewery with a genuinely unique selling point: American style beers, billed as ‘beers from over there brewed over here’ and delivering distinctly different tastes. You might think of American beers as ubiquitous lager ...

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Special celebratory drinks gifts for sailors

Special celebratory drinks gifts for sailors

For festive tipples with a nautical twist, here’s All At Sea’s wish list The Hebridean Spirits & Liqueurs company of Helensburgh, West Scotland, has come up with a novel idea for its newest products: small and compact bottles just 10 centimeters cubed which will definitely never roll off the saloon table. Hebridean’s Ancient Mariner London Dry Gin is distilled in ...

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Tricks and treats for grown ups…

Tricks and treats for grown ups...

On Trafalgar Night and Halloween This is the month for Battle of Trafalgar annual dinners. There are traditional meal menus to follow but some thought, too, for the drinks will enhance the special occasion. Cornwall’s St Austell Brewery’s Admiral’s Ale, with its jolly Nelsonian ‘I see no ships’ pictorial label, is a good start. Flavoursome golden beer in the Tribute ...

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