Sunday Brunch, January Inspo
For those of you seeking a little more information about the drinks being served and the brands features on C4’s Sunday Brunch today, we’ve put all the information in one place. We’re following the crowd a bit with this one and going down with the Dry January crowd (or… you know, the low ABV lot, at least).
Up first today was a “Virgin” G&T produced by South African brand The Duchess. This booze free take on the tipple had its UK launch at Junipalooza in 2017 and is almost certainly set for big things in the coming year. As both a zero alcohol and low sugar alternative to a G&T, it’s starting to pick up a buzz as more and more people discover it.
The Duchess Virgin G&T is made using a combination of distilled essences and oils such as cloves, all spice, cardamom, juniper extract and orange peel oil. Once blended, it’s carbonated and packaged “ready to drink,” so a perfect accompaniment for those Friday train rides…
When you compare it to the “ready to drink” G&Ts you get in supermarkets it really holds its own, quite miraculous given that it does so with zero alcohol. Whether you want it in there or not, alcohol is what tends to carry most of the flavour in a G&T, so for The Duchess to achieve a comparable, if not better result than most RTD’s offerings without it is really a big achievement.
For those wondering about the low sugar commentary surrounding The Duchess, our research has a 200ml bottle at 78 calories (with d 2.5 gram of sugar per 100ml using Stevia as the sweetener).
Tiptree’s Raspberry Gin Liqueur with Fentiman’s Rose Lemonade
This Raspberry Gin Liqueur is a collaboration between the team at jam manufacturer Tiptree and Hayman’s Gin, who make classic English gin. Both are located within shouting distance of each other in Essex, so they decided to bring their expertise together with a range of fruit liqueurs that are so delicious as to be outrageous.
There is no such thing as a low ABV gin in the UK market. To be called a gin, the spirit has to be at a minimum of 37.5% ABV. A good example of this is the (relatively) low volume Minus 33 (at 33%), which is sold not as a gin, but as a ‘juniper distilled spirit.’ The exception to this is gin liqueurs, which tend to be in the 26 – 28% area. There are many of these on offer, but we’re pretty well convinced that the Tiptree Raspberry Liqueur is the best of them.
The really nice thing about the Tiptree/Hayman collaboration is the clarity with which the fruit comes through. It’s like a fresh raspberry captured in it’s perfectly ripe state, with the underlying gin providing some serious depth for good measure. You can serve this with tonic or with Prosecco as a spritz, but to go with the idea of it being January (and wanting to keep it both simple AND less boozy), we topped it with soda water and added a garnish. It’s a really simple serve and super delicious!
It’s also worth noting that fruit infused Gins, be they full strength boozy gin with a hint of fruit or lower proof liqueurs were THE big trend of 2017 and are set to dominate much of the new releases in the year to come. It’s worth getting clued up on them now to know what to look for and what you might enjoy regardless of the time of year.
6 O’Clock Sloe Gin with Franklin & Sons Apple And Rhubarb
Last but not least, we featured 6 O’Clock Sloe Gin, served with an Apple and Rhubarb mixer.
6 O Clock Sloe Gin is made just outside Bristol by the team that many fans of fruit liqueurs and not just Gin will know – Bramley & Gage. They are hugely respected producers with a fantastically vast range. To make the Sloe Gin, they take their flagship gin – which is quite classic, big juniper and a flush of citrus up front – and steep it with sloes for a few months, before adding in a touch of sweetness.
The mixer is from Franklin & Sons, a team that have been causing quite a stir in the tonic world lately. One of the big shifts for tonic brands in 2017 was the move to add flavoured tonics and create a more diverse range. The mixer world had a lot of catching up to do (especially in the context of gin’s popularity and progression), and there needed to be a greater diversity of flavours than your standard Indian tonic. What this brand in particular has done is create a tonic that works just as well with gin as it does when served solo.
We are always asked what to do with a Sloe Gin, other than serve it neat or with Prosecco, especially after Christmas when there’s still plenty left in the cupboard. Many like it with bitter lemon, but we came across this serving last year and we really taken aback by just how well they combine. The guys at Franklin & Sons deliberately only lightly carbonate this mixer (others in the range have a massive fizz), and the reduced effervesce works well in creating a serve that’s not too in your face and that keeps it light and refreshing.
To make it at home, add Sloe Gin with the mixer, lots of ice and a garnish and you’re all set. If you like it wintery, you can move it to be more warming with Cinnamon as a garnish, but if you want to bring in a dose of summer, opt for apples or soft citrus. We hedged our bets here and opted for both (apple and cinnamon).
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