Drink of the Week: Laverstoke Cocktail – 5 Smart Points

The picturesque Laverstoke Mill, the distillery where Bombay Saphire is made, is on my bucket list of places to visit. So when I saw a cocktail which had been created to mark the opening of this magical place, I had to try it.

I’m not a massive fan of ginger ale, and I’ve got to be honest, I wasn’t sure how it was going to marry with the elderflower cordial, but marry they did and for me, it was love at first sip!

In a large wine glass, mix together one measure of Bombay Saphire, one measure of Martini Extra Dry and 10ml of elderflower cordial. Add crushed ice and top with diet ginger ale. Garnish with a wedge of lime, a spring of mint and some fresh ginger. Cheers!

Drink of the Week: Mud House New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

Based on my posts thus far, you’d be forgiven for thinking that I’m all about the cocktails with the occasional cup of tea thrown in. This is simply not true – I’ll drink pretty much anything!

In particular, I love a nice glass (or two) of wine. One of my favourite varieties in recent years has been New Zealand sauvignon blanc. I love the crisp refreshingness of the tropical fruit notes that you get with it.

A friend, who knows my tastes particularly well, recently treated me to a bottle of Mud House. It’s not one I’ve tried before and so I was excited to try it. It packed a real citrus punch with lemon overtones and was made for a very satisfying drink after a hard day at work. Definitely one I’d buy myself.

Drink of the Week: Caramel Rooisbos Infusion – 0SP

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I’m a big tea lover, and whilst Mr FFF often complains that I have too many boxes, pouches and packets of tea, my philosophy is the same as that which I apply to shoes and handbags – you can never have too many!

I used to drink buckets of English Breakfast Tea each day, but a few years ago I decided to reduce my consumption of caffeine. I substituted my usual brew with redbush/rooibos and, like with most things, I’m always keen to try new varieties.

I also love all things caramel so imagine my excitement when I came across these bad boys in Sainsbury’s: Rich & Indulgent Caramel Rooibos Infusions. Disregarding the likely inability to be able to fit them into the cupboard at home, I chucked them into the trolley hoping that the flavour would be as good as the promise – as experience has told me this is not always the case with flavoured teas.

I needn’t have worried. The cup of tea I enjoyed as soon as I’d put the shopping away more that delivered. It smelt of toffee popcorn and the taste didn’t disappoint either: it was sweet and creamy – almost like sucking a Werther’s Original. It was so sweet (though not sickeningly so) that I had to check the ingredients list to make sure there was no added sugar. As an added bonus, the teabags come individually wrapped so they’ll stay fresh while I enjoy all of my other tea varieties.

I can’t see maintaining freshness being too much of a problem though as this has quickly become a firm favourite of mine and is perfect for enjoying on a cosy, autumnal evening.

Drink of the Week: Hedgerow Chat – 3 Smart Points

Another gin-based cocktail this week, but this time, one that uses sloe gin. I usually think of sloe gin as a wintery option but couldn’t resist trying this surprisingly refreshing option on my summer hols.

Mix together a measure of sloe gin, 50ml of fresh orange juice, a dash of lemon juice and a teaspoon of vanilla syrup. Fill a short, wide glass with crushed ice. Pour in the gin and citrus mixture then top up with soda water. Garnish with a lemon ribbon and enjoy. Cheers!

Drink of the Week: Marrakech Mint Tea – 0 Smart Points

As I’ve said before, I’m a BIG fan of tea. I’ve got a cupboard full of the stuff; a bit like shoes and handbags, I firmly believe you can never have too many varieties.

This variety is a green tea with peppermint from Whittard.

Inspired by the tea served in the souks of the Moroccan medina, we’ve blended our smoky Gunpowder Green with pure peppermint leaves for a refreshingly nuanced infusion. We’ve even added a sprinkling of blue cornflower petals for a British touch – why not try it the traditional way, mixed with honey or sugar?

https://www.whittard.co.uk/tea/tea-type/green-tea/marrakech-mint-loose-tea-MSTR314633.html

It was a thoughtful present from my amazing cousin who is also a tea lover (she’s a bit of an English breakfast purist, but does enjoy a Biscuit Brew). I love the Moroccan tiled print on the tin and the little flecks of blue cornflower petals in the tea itself.

Being a green tea, you only want to brew it for a couple of minutes otherwise it will taste bitter. And being a loose-leaf tea, you’ll need a teapot and strainer or an infuser but it’s worth the effort: you’ll be rewarded with a slightly sweet, refreshing tea with a hint of smokiness. Perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up when you want something without the heaviness of ‘standard’ tea or coffee.  

Drink of the Week: Cosmopolitan – 5 Smart Points

This week we’re back to one of the gorgeous cocktails I enjoyed on my cruise. This time, it’s the classic Cosmopolitan. As a fan of Sex and the City, this cocktail is always spiked with nostalgia for me. Taste-wise, I love the sharp tang of cranberry set off against the bittersweet tang of the orange rind.

What you’ll need:

  • 50ml mandarin or lemon vodka
  • 30ml cranberry juice
  • squeeze of lime juice
  • orange rind

What to do:

  1. Shake the liquid ingredients over ice then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  2. Garnish with a curl of orange rind.

Top tip: For an even tastier cosmo, hold a 3cm round piece of rind about 10cm above your drink. Carefully pass it over a flame, bending the outer side of the rind towards the flame to release the oils before dropping it into the drink.

What’s your favourite cocktail? Let me know in the comments section.