cocktails

3/4 Oz Tonic Maison - Syrups

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As much as we enjoy cocktails, making our own at home is never quite the same as when done by a mixologist. At The Amazing Blog we always like to impress our guests by making cocktails. So, the idea of creating our own tonics with syrups, playing with the flavours and strength to suit, certainly intrigued us. Which is where we discovered the drinks brand ¾oz Tonic a clever concept for customising our favourite drinks.

The names came from ¾ of an ounce (approx 25g in metric), which is the amount of syrup needed for each glass to make your perfect tipple! ¾ oz Tonic was born in Montreal, Canada where these syrups are handmade with only 100% natural ingredients, they are non-alcoholic and offer a delicious array of tastes and aromas.

There are five flavours in the range, but we only tried just three: Ginger Ale, Spritz and Tonic syrups. Ginger Ale Syrups is one we’ll never tire of. Made with fresh ginger juice, hops, sugar cane and citric acid, this syrup is so refreshing to drink just mixed with sparkling water.  Or to create an ‘Irish Buck’ prepared with a glass full of ice, poured with ¾ of Ginger Ale Syrup, 1 ¼oz of your favourite spirit (Irish whiskey in our case), finished with 2-3oz of sparkling water, stir well and enjoy. We found that unlike shop-bought mixers, this bursts into life tasting zesty and fresh with its sweet warming ginger. This was our favourite of the three.

Next, we have The Spritz Syrup is a non-alcoholic version of the classic Italian-style bitters aperitif. Key ingredients are with cinchona bark infused water, cranberries, grapefruit and orange zest, cane sugar and natural quinine. Your palate will experience some pleasant sourness at the beginning, ending with a dry finish. We also tried Spritz with sparkling wine which were an ideal match. If that’s not your drink, try mixing it as suggested for a Negroni or top it up a notch as a Manhattan! For the classic Spritzer add 1 part of Spritz, 2-3 parts of sparkling wine, 1 part sparkling water and an orange slice (for Instagram purposes obviously!) with lots of ice to finish.

Last but not least, is the signature Tonic Syrup. Unlike other tonics, Tonic Syrup has an attractive amber colour that caught everyone’s eyes. It is similar in its ingredients as The Spritz Syrup; however, with this we noticed had a slightly more distinctive bitterness, which is probably due to the more undiluted Cinchona bark ingredient.  There is also sugar, lemongrass and orange zest too making that quite a dominant taste; NB it’s not for mixing with your more subtle flavoured gins. It tastes raw and punchy with a feeling of apothecary goodness. They suggest adding ¾ oz of the Tonic Syrup, 1 ¼ oz of gin (or vodka) and 2-3 oz of sparkling water on a glass full of ice. Whether you want cocktails or mocktails, these delicious and handy bottle syrups make great drinking partners. We recommend getting your ¾ Tonic syrups  240ml bottle at £7.99 from Waitrose here

 

Silver Swift - Spirited Spritzers

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Come rain come shine, weekday or weekend there will always be time for a drink or two at The Amazing Blog. If it’s a celebration in the office, then we like to make life easy by finding a chilled spritzer style mixer stashed away in the fridge. In our search for this very type of tipple, we discovered Silver Swift Spirited Spritzers.

Rose Unwin, the founder of Silver Swift Spirited Spritzers, created this when she (like us) was looking for something quick, ready mixed and unique. In 2017, her mission was to make a delicious ready-to-drink spritzer for those wanting a sophisticated British made cocktail. Since then, Silver Swift has already gained recognition by being awarded a silver for the vodka-based spritzers in the Global Speciality Spirit Masters 2018 and shortlisted for the Great British Food 2018 and for ‘Best Newcomer 2018’ by Speciality Food Magazine.

Silver Swift Spirited Spritzers come in four vibrant flavoured cocktail combinations, and each contains a high-end distilled spirit. The first flavour we tried was Basil Blush Vodka which is a blend of sparkling water, award-winning Brittains Vodka (a Doncaster premium vodka), strawberries and fresh basil. The drink has a sweet pepperiness to the finish and beautiful blush tint in the glass.

Tipsy Iced Tea Vodka also contained Brittains Vodka it is light sparkling drink made of gooseberry, elderflower and earl grey. We like the twist with earl grey which gives it a subtle smoky taste and a tang of iced tea.  

Wild Rose Gin is composed Two Birds’ Old Tom Gin, sparkling water, blackberry and raspberry, rose and a dash of lemon. I think this was our favourite we liked the lingering floral rose flavour.

Lastly, Orchard Pear Gin Tonic is a new addition to the spritzers range. As the name suggests, it is made up of sparkling tonic water, a juicy pear and elderflower with a dash of lemon. The drinks are best served chilled or over ice with bits and pieces of real fruit and a slice of lemon. It reminded us of a classic ‘Gin Fizz’ with a shot of elderflower.

Make no mistake, these Silver Swift drinks are no ordinary spritzer drinks. The drinks are low in calories (from 85 to the highest of 98), they are made with country garden flavours, vegan free from gluten and other nasties and are made with Britain’s award-winning spirits. You’ll also be glad to know that each of their drinks only has a low alcoholic percentage of just 5% abv. These four drinks not only look pretty they are very palatable and unusual, we think they’re great for drinking alone or pairing with food. The bottles are 250ml  with a price point of £2.55 each, to purchase see here, Cheers!

 

 

Real Kombucha

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Have you noticed that increasingly at events or in restaurants, where once there would be a choice of either red or white, or perhaps champagne with the non-alcoholic options of water or maybe juice sitting forlorn alongside? Well things have taken a welcome turn with some very exciting new offerings to tickle our taste buds whilst giving our livers the night off, welcome Real Kombucha.

This company has taken the concept and is firing it up to new heights. Real Kombucha was established in 2016 by David Begg, a self-proclaimed foodie who having given up the sauce, found that he missed the opportunity to pair various foods with something decent to drink. A family holiday to India provided the real impetus for developing a tea which would offer up similar depths of flavour that we enjoy in wine, but without the alcohol, that then could sit alongside different dishes. Working alongside Adrian Hodgson, an expert in nutrition, and Will Battle, a tea expert, this entrepreneurial team came up with three delicious choices: Dry Dragon, Royal Flush and Smoke House all who’s flavours are derived from the fermentation of high-end teas. Our favourite at The Amazing Blog, came in as Royal Flush, but that is probably because we are huge fans of Darjeeling, which is the primary ingredient here. But where this range stands out from the crowd is its versatility, not simply with any type of food, but also in opening up new avenues for cocktails, aperitifs and even desert wines, all alcohol free.

Got your interest? Then click here, if you order by 3pm, you’re promised our Real Kombucha will be with you the next day. The choice of a case of 6 or 12 bottles. As a starter, why not try the half-mixed case at £12.69 (6 bottles) so you can thoroughly enjoy each option? A case of 12 will cost £24.39 with delivery from £4.99

Borrago #47 Paloma Blend

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We love nothing better than to enjoy a nice cocktail on a summers evening, here at The Amazing Blog. So we were very curious to try a much talked about new and rather sophisticated non-alcoholic drink, called Borrago’s #47 Paloma Blend. This is a unique substitute for a spirit since they say that it has no alcohol, sugar, fat or calories – frankly, we think it all sounds far too good to be true! The perfect tipple for an urbane barfly, Borrago is a new British brand that was just launched in 2018. Named after the bright blue edible flower, Borage, the brand prides their alternative spirits on their natural, delicious, and beautiful flavouring.

The #47 Paloma Blend is made from six different of steam distilled botanicals which are individually distilled in order to maintain their own unique flavours. This non-alcoholic spirit has a complex zesty taste that has a clean and smooth finish. This blend makes a great base for a cocktail and can be used to replace high-calorie gin or vodka in your favourite drink. However, for our preferred drink, we recommend combining 50 ml of Borrago’s blend with 200ml of tonic water and a lime for a refreshing low-calorie drink. While the major wow factor is the fact that this drink has zero calories and zero alcohol - we mustn't forget to mention how elegant the bottle is… ready to don any table. We just love those hip, bright flowers on the bottle; it makes such a great addition to our drinks cabinet! 

You can purchase a 500ml bottle of the #47 Paloma Blend here for £19.99.

Friday Favourites - Cookbooks

After a busy workday, cooking can be put on the back burner of our to-do list. We gravitate toward meals that are most easy and convenient, often eating the same foods over again. That’s why we have made it our mission to revitalize the way we perceive cooking by searching for cookbooks that are equally as unique as they are healthy. Say goodbye to monotonous cooking with the help of these four books, handpicked by The Amazing Blog.

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Plant-based cooking has gained its popularity, but have you ever thought of incorporating flowers into your recipes? The Fragrant Pantry by Frances Bissell uses flowers as its main ingredient. While flowers are commonly featured as decoration in cookery, Bissell shows how its delicate scent and flavour can take the place of herbs or spices. Although this seems like an unconventional approach, don’t mistake it as a fad or fashion. Instead, Bissell pays homage to English culinary traditions through her use of flowers. Her recipes include jams, spreads and pickled foods with easy-to-follow instructions. You can purchase The Fragrant Pantry here for £11.99. To get a 20% discount use the discount code FRAGRANTP at purchase on the Serif Books website. 

Interested in more of Bissell’s recipes? Check out the other two volumes in her acclaimed trilogy: The Scented Kitchen and The Floral Baker.

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Calling all Mediterranean lovers! Get prepared to transport yourself to Greece with Mazi Modern Greek Food’s vivid imagery and authentic dishes. Co-authors, Christina Mouratoglou and Adrien Carré’s goal are to revolutionise Greek cuisine by combining genuine flavours with a modern twist. The recipes are ingrained with a trendy tapas vibe and cover cocktails, hot plates, signature dishes and desserts. You can purchase the book here for £17.99.

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The Herball’s Guide to Botanical Drinks by Michael Isted offers non-alcoholic plant-based drinks. Isted offers careful alchemy with each recipe that acts as cleansers, restorers, energisers, brain boosters and more.  The cookbook includes step-by-step directions in processes like hot & cold brewing, fermentation, distillation, juicing and tincturing. The first section provides a brief informational introduction to the plants used throughout the book and the second section includes 58 different recipes serving different functions for the body.   Isted uses ancient practices as the foundation of his creations. This guide brings purpose and intention to the kitchen by uniting intuitive and healthy eating. You can purchase The Herball’s Guide to Botanical Drinks here for £12.90.

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Whenever starting a new diet, snacking is an inevitable part of the process. Gracie and Sophie Tyrrell, founders of Squirrel Sisters, have created a range of all-natural bars that will satisfy your cravings. In their book, Naturally Snacks & Treats: Over 100 Healthy Recipes, the sister duo has formed over 70 recipes using ingredients found at your local supermarket. The on-the-go snack is easy, convenient, and accessible. The Tyrrell sisters reassure their readers that eating healthily can be fun! Recipes range from sweet roasted almond and cinnamon butter to sushi rolls.The beautifully illustrated book is separated into four chapters where you will find breakfast recipes, snacks and lunches for on-the-go, sharing plates and, our favourite, sweet treats. Cocktail-lovers will even find low-calorie options. We can’t wait to try more recipes. You can purchase your own book here for £9.99.  

 

Let us know what your favourite recipes are!