Manzanilla is the driest of the dry sherries and is matured in the soleras of Sanlúcar de Barrameda. Flor, a layer of yeast in the barrel that protects the wine against oxidisation, thrives in this maritime climate and lends the wine its tangy character. Incredibly fresh, with a salty, tangy character reminiscent of a sea breeze. A complex, nutty palate and crisp, palate-cleansing finish. Treat like a white wine and serve chilled in a normal wine glass, if you don't have a copita handy. A must-have with tapas.
Frangelico is produced in the Piedmont region of northern Italy, and its origins date back more than 300 years to the presence of early Christian monks living in the hills of the area. Their skills in fine food and drink would have included the art of distilling, especially the use of the wild hazelnuts and other local ingredients to create a liqueur on which Frangelico is based today. Frangelico's irresistible hazelnut taste includes some very special hazelnuts called Tonda Gentile - and are a speciality of the northern Italian region of Piedmont where Frangelico is produced.
Powerful and unique, Green Chartreuse is the only liqueur with a completely natural green colour. Only two Carthusian monks know the identity of the 130 Powerful and unique, Green Chartreuse is the only liqueur in the world with a plants, how to blend them and how to distill them into this world famous liqueur. They are also the only ones who know which plants they have to macerate to produce the natural green and yellow colours. And they alone supervise the slow ageing in oak casks. “Chartreuse, in my opinion, is the king of liqueurs,” says Adam Gamboa, the lead bartender...
Chambord is a world-renowned raspberry liqueur which was first produced in the Loire valley in the 1600s. It is made with black raspberries, vanilla from Madagascar and Moroccan citrus peels which are steeped in cognac and sweetened with honey. The striking bottle is design is not based on the Holy Hand Grenade, in fact it's based on a Globus Cruciger - an Orb a Christian symbol which was used during the Middle Ages. The cross surrounds the orb, which represents the earth.
What would any great cocktail be without a few dashes of Angostura bitters? These legendary bitters were created by Dr Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert, who was Surgeon General in Simon Bolivar's army in Venezuela. The drink was originally created for a use as a medicine, but survives to this day due to its wonderful richness and complexity that adds a great "extra dimension" to a drink.
The authentic Southern French vermouth style apéritif is made to a fuller strength than its Italian counterparts. A long established name, Noilly Prat was first produced in 1855. White wine based vermouth, made with two wines which are matured separately for a year before a secret selection of herbs and spices are macerated for three weeks, then carefully extracted. Afterwards, the wine is allowed to rest for six more weeks.
My favourite fortified wine. Pineau de Charentes is made with a blend of Cognac and wine from different grape varieties. After blending it is aged in oak barrels for 4 to 5 years. Keep a bottle handy in the fridge as an aperitif... or great with cheese!
Aperol Barbieri is probably Italy's most popular aperitif, and for a reason. This bright orange and tart liqueur impresses with its bitter-sweet taste and is an absolute classic, without which hardly anything can be done, especially in summer! Mix Aperol Spritz, Aperol Soda or more by getting a piece of the Italian enjoyment culture with Aperol! Aperol Spritz: 6 cl Prosecco or white wine 4 cl aperol 4 ice cubes 2 cl soda or mineral water Pour the prosecco, aperol and ice cubes together into a long drink glass and pour it all up with mineral water or soda -...