Advent 2017 – Day 20

20 Dec

Today’s drinks are:

Schweppes Slimline Tonic Water

This is my usual tonic water of choice so it’s interesting to taste it having tasted so many others these past few weeks.

When smelt it’s bitter and citrusy.

When tasted it’s much sweeter/ has a smooth /sweet mouthfeel than I remembered- but maybe that’s after tasting so many delicious bitter tonics. I’m not dating it’s sweet but has more sweetness/ a sweeter mouthfeel to it. It’s also a lot less effervescent than I remembered it.

With gin it’s delicious- bitter and well balanced. It stands up to the gin but doesn’t overpower it.

This is a lovely, bitter and woody tonic water than I measure all other tonic by.

Les Arbousiers Sauvignon Blanc 2016

This smells… bad.

It’s hard to describe but it smells like sour milk and rancid meat. Not appealing at all!

When tasted it’s better but almost immediately gives us heartburn. It’s acidic but also sweet- a strange combination that don’t combine.

We threw the rest of this away.


Advent 2017 – Day 19

19 Dec

Today’s drinks are:

Nordic Blue Tonic Water

This is an off-putting blue colour for seemingly no reason other than a gimmick. But ignoring that the smell is nice and bitter with a lot of citrus and acid.

When tasted it’s wonderfully bitter and acid and when gin is added even more so.

A really nice tonic which should rely on its taste to sell it rather than Del Boy -style styling.

Pizo Garnacha Rosaso 2016 (nowhere to be found on the internet)

This smells of peaches and and roses – gently perfumed .

When tasted it’s nicely balanced between subtle sweetness and refreshing dryness. It’s soft but crisp and lovely to drink.

Advent 2017 – Day 18

18 Dec

Today’s drinks are:

Lamb & Watt Original Tonic Water

This smells lovely – fresh and effervescent.

The taste is much more bitter than expected and weirdly like sucking on a soluble aspirin. Chalky, fizzy & bitter- in the nicest way possible.

With gin it was less nice. It was easily overwhelmed but what could be tasted didn’t combine well.

This was much better without the gin when it was a nice drink

The Long Way Round Merlot 2016

This smells of burnt wood and burnt berries with a strange undercurrent of something odd. A not overly pleasant smell.

When tasted it’s full of tannin and dry bitterness. The least enjoyable red so far

Advent 2017 – Day 17

17 Dec

Today’s drinks are:

Indi Tonic Water

This smells of delicious tonic water but kicked up a level. All bitter & woody but also sweet and fruity.

When tasted by itself it immediately hits your saliva glands with its dry bitterness- lovely.

Their website says it can be an aperitif and I agree. I’d gladly drink this before a meal (as well as during and after!). There’s a lot of depth to it and it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

With gin it’s equally delightful – it combines beautifully.

Fonseca Porto Bin 27 Finest Reserve

Drinking these blind meant we didn’t realise this was port until we’d begun drinking it. The smell and way it poured into the glass gave us many clues – so much sweet, treacly, spicy goodness.

When tasted… heaven. It was as though plums, sultanas and nuts that been cooked for hours in wine, sugar, spices and orange peel and then the whole syrupy deliciousness had been simmered until thick, strained, chilled and put into our glasses.

BUT it wasn’t overly sweet and syrupy.

I love port but hadn’t drunk it for years as I’d remembered it as being sweet wine but this is so much more than that. Boozy, fruity, nutty, spicy and with more depth and substance I’ve already ordered more

Advent 2017 – Day 16

16 Dec

Today’s drinks are:

Indi Strawberry Tonic

This smells of strawberry chewits- sweet, sugary and artificial .

It’s billed on their website as:

“The result is a surround drink getting the perfect balance between sweet , bitter and acid. Its aroma is intense and natural, its taste, the diversity of flavours of wild berries and lasting.

This soft drink is perfect, both as an aperitif for its complexity and combined with premium spirits”.

And I was hoping this would be the case but when tasted, although it’s not as bad as it’s smell would suggest, it doesn’t live up to the billing and is watery, slightly fizzy and insipid. Like a watered-down kids drink.

But add gin and it’s a lot better – this way at least there’s some taste. The bitter and sweetness and stronger but sadly still artificial and childlike.

Dada Art Wine 2

This smells of toast & smoke. Dark bonfires the day after they were lit and dark plums.

When tasted it’s the same- smooth but tasting of bitter coffee grounds. A lovely wine with so much body and taste. It does have a tannic, drying after-taste but nicely so

Fentimans Rose Lemonade

16 Dec

This has been hanging around for what seems like ages waiting for me to pluck up my nerve to try it. I’d been putting it off because, as much as I love roses, Turkish delight and a hint of rose-water, too much rose scent (especially when artificial) is nauseating and too cloyingly perfumed to enjoy.

So it’s sat around waiting for today when I decided to dive in.

I wanted to check how Fentimans recommend serving it so checked out their website where I learned they recommend serving in a tall glass, with ice, and garnishing with ‘pale pink rose petals’. Fortunately I had some dried rose petals so figured ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’ and got sprinkling…

The end result was… so much better than expected!

The smell was so much fresher and less perfumed than I expected. The subtle rose scent was less artificial and ‘pot pouri-y’ than I’d feared and the addition of lemon (smelling like I’d just squeezed it in myself) cut through it and the combination was very enticing.

When tasted it lived up to my new expectations. So fresh and zingy and less sweet and cloying than I’d expected.

In summary this is a nice, refreshing and unusual soft-drink that’d I’d absolutely choose again.

Advent 2017 – Day 15

15 Dec

Today’s drink are:

Gents Swiss Roots Tonic Water

This has a mild smell of musty wood and bitterness.

When tasted it’s definitely woody and full of gentian which dries your mouth and kicks your tastebuds awake.

With gin it’s slightly lost but it’s delicious dryness and slight bitterness and acidity still shines through. Very, very nice.

16 Little Black Pigs Pinot Grigio 2017 (2016 here)

This smells fresh and bright with a hint of sweetness.

When tasted the first sip was like drinking pure lemon juice. Shockingly acidic.

Further sips are better- or I’m used to it. But it’s incredibly acidic and sharp and not something I’d choose to drink again.

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