Tag Archives: shopping

Paul A Young Chocolate

15 Oct

I love chocolate. My go to are dark and strong (preferably 90% upwards) but some days I crave the sugar fix of Dairy Milk and nothing else will do.

One sadness to me is that more companies don’t do filled or flavoured high cocoa choocolates but one that does is Paul A Young.

I don’t often get a chance to visit them but today I did and had a hard time making my choices.

Their range of fresh chocolates varies from week to week so you never know what they’ll have (though the Marmite seems to be a perennial) and over the years I have fallen in love with some (a memorable marzipan covered kirsch cherry springs to mind) only to never see them again.

But today I picked just 3 different flavours (at £7 for 4 making a wider choice soon becomes expensive. Not that they’re not worth it, just a more considered purchase that other chocolate).

I went with 2 x Marmite (I adore this and have never tasted Marmite used in a better way), slow-roasted garlic and cigar-smoke.


All were delicious and a tantalising mix of sweet and savoury with an amazing depth of flavour.

They have 4 branches in London but also have some of their range available on Craved making it easier for everyone to get to enjoy them.



Bristol Black Spiced Rum

23 Mar

All my recent daiquiris have ignited my love of rum and when on a recent visit to Blue Otter Wines I was shown Bristol Black Spiced Rum and decided to give it a try.
As soon as I opened the bottle the smell was liquorice, treacle and aniseed. The taste follows the smell with this being an unusual non-sweet spiced rum compared to others I’ve tried.
Whilst I normally love non-sweet drinks it wasn’t what I was expecting but it was enjoyable slowly sipped.
To see if I could sweeten it up I added some coke and the result was delicious – all of the flavourful spices but slightly sweeter so it felt smother and went down very easily…



Portugual Purchases

27 Feb

One of the joys of travel is trying local food & drink and our trip to Portugual was no exception. As well as plenty of fresh fish and fruit we also got to discover Amarguinha– an almond liquer.  Delicious as is, even better over ice and out of this world with lemon this drink proved to be a favourite with us and I made sure to come home with a bottle.

On our day trips out we discovered a great alcohol shop with varieties and specialities from around the world so I made sure to snap up as many as our luggage would allow.

My Portuguese purchases

My Portuguese purchases

Piri chicken for lunch

Piri chicken for lunch

fresh oranges for dessert

fresh oranges for dessert


A Pina Colada by the pool

A Pina Colada by the pool

A Caipirinha playing mini-golf

A Caipirinha playing mini-golf

Tapas in Sevile

Tapas in Sevile

An amazing blue concoction I drank every night

An amazing blue concoction I drank every night

Zucca Rabarbaro

11 Jan

Until recently Zucca Rabarbaro was unknown to me. But I love rhubarb and when I spotted it whilst browsing Masters of Malt (as you do) I couldn’t resist adding a botle to my cart. If that is out of stock they also have plenty of other Zuccas available.

According to Wikipedia,  Zucca is an Italian aperitif with a base of rhubarb often mixed with ice and water.


On its own the drink is slightly bitter with a strong burnt sugar taste. It tastes ‘dark’ and the sweetness is cut through with a mild bitterness and a treacy/ burnt sugar taste which is very pleasant. The smell and taste are like a much milder Campari but with less herbs and bitters. A nice dirnk which I would imagine would appeal to more palates than Campari does.


I wanted a longer drink with a bit of fizz and fortunately had some Prosecco in the fridge so combined the two so see what I got and was really pleased. The Prosecco easy overpowered the Zucca though so it needed a lot more than you would think. Combined they made a refreshing and unusual drink.

2013 Ginvent Calendar

20 Nov

As a treat to myself a year ago I bought the 2012 Ginvent Calendar.


Sadly I was too unwell to consume it all last December and instead have treated myself to one occasionally as the year has gone on.

I’m down to my last 2 and am enjoying trying new varieties of gin I haven’t had before and compiling my own taste test and future shopping list.

If you want to treat yourself then a 2013 edition is available as well as a craft gin edition and also a whisky one.



Aviation No 1

13 Oct

I first had an Aviation at London Cocktail Week and it was a revelation to me. Light, flavourful and refreshing, the combination of flavours seemed perfect. I immediately bought a small bottle of Creme de Violette at Gerry’s and searched for a recipe.

The recipe I have used is from Diffords and is for an Aviation No 1 (an Aviation No 2 omits the violette which isn’t essential but I like the unusual flavour twist it gives as well as the subtle colour change)


The basic recipe is:

  • 1 ¾ shot gin
  • ½ shot maraschino
  • ¼ shot creme de violette
  • ½ shot freshly squeezed lemon juice

All shaken with ice or ½ shot water added

p.s. I hope you’re as in love with Monkey Alan as I am


Ikea Shopping

22 Sep

I’m always on the look out for different drinks so a trip to IKEA was no exception.

I managed to bag elderflower, rhubarb and blueberry cordials to use in future cocktails as well as a new dark beer they sell. As you can see the beer didn’t last long enough for the photo!


The beer has a smooth caramel and coffee taste but was a lot lighter/ less substantial than other dark beers but I wouldn’t turn it down.

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