In the last few years we’ve all had our fair share of prosecco and gin but now we’re in 2017, folks are now on the lookout for the next big drinks trend and a combination of factors is conspiring to push British drinks and spirits to the forefront. British craft vodkas are a natural follow on from the explosion in craft gins, and 2017 is tipped to be the year that English sparkling wine finally breaks through to the mainstream consumers and becomes a viable alternative to other popular sparkling wines. Plus, there’s also the matter of the weak pound pushing up continental drinks prices.
All in all, it’s fair to say that 2017 is shaping up to be quite a good year for these two tipples so we thought we’ve have a little fun and provide a couple of cocktails recipes with a very British bent, drops that wouldn’t look out of place at your next garden party…
English Sparkling Wine
Its quality has been compared to Champagne, and even the Queen is getting in on the act with a special 90th birthday vintage made from grapes grown on her Windsor Great Park Estate now completely sold out. Most large retailers used to stock just one or two brands, but these days Waitrose Cellar are making a point of being a bit of an English sparkling wine specialist with smaller names like Renishaw Hall and Hush Heath joining big hitters like Ridgeview, Nyetimber and Chapel Down on their list.
Of course, when it comes to cocktail recipes, you can use English sparkling wine as you would Champagne due to their similar flavour profile (such as in the classic Kir Royale), but why not add a distinctive British flavour proceedings? This recipe features another classic British ingredient – elderflower – to create a cocktail that would look out of place during a springtime St George’s Day celebration…
English Elderflower Fizz
- 1 750ml bottle of a good quality non-vintage dry English sparkling wine, chilled
- 250ml elderflower liqueur
- 375ml soda water
- Sliced strawberries to garnish
Half fill a large glass jug or pitcher with ice then top with all the ingredients and stir. Serve in flutes or coupe-style glasses. If you want a lighter version, substitute the liqueur for elderflower cordial. This would also make an interesting alternative to Pimms, because let’s face it, we all get a bit sick of Pimms after a little while.
You might think that, in comparison to gin, there’s nothing British whatsoever about vodka, apart from the fact that as a nation, we have traditionally drunk quite a lot of the stuff. However, with the increasing number of craft distilleries cropping up, it seems inevitable that we should get our artisan paws on another spirit. 2017 has been tipped to be the year of British vodka and one brand already making its mark is Chase, with Waitrose Cellar stocking their Chase English Potato Vodka and Chase Marmalade Vodka, but other names to look out for include Vintage Velvet, Black Cow and Our/London. The Chase Marmalade Vodka is great to use in a rather more English alternative to a Moscow Mule, but here’s another very refreshing vodka cocktail made with the original variety that is unmistakeably British. And wouldn’t you know it, elderflower features yet again…
- 40ml of British vodka
- 10ml elderflower liqueur
- 2 x 1cm cubes of ginger root
- 10ml honey
- 20ml lemon juice
- 27.5 ml Earl Grey Tea
Shake everything with ice, then double strain and serve in a tea cup with saucer and garnish with a flower. These quantities are for one serving, but if you want to make for several people, adjust accordingly and strain into a teapot before serving for maximum effect.
Other British Twists
There are plenty of variations on the ‘tea’ cocktails, but you can easily adapt other classic cocktails to make them a bit more suitable for Queen and country. For example, using British vodka infused with rhubarb to create a martini with a difference, infusing sugar syrup with rosemary and using as a base ingredient, or using a classic British juice such as cloudy apple or pear as a mixer.
So chin-chin, bottoms up and, well, cheers, because even though some of your favourite drinks and cocktails ingredients could well soar in price over the coming months, the discovery of some top-notch British offerings might be just the silver lining we all need.
By Anna Scott, Writer at My Favourite Voucher Codes, 27th January 2016