Tag Archives: tasting notes

Kew Orangery Triple Sec

12 Mar

Triple Sec is a sweet orange-flavoured liqueur which is used a lot in cocktails to add sweetness and flavour. On its own it’s often very sweet, syrupy and cloying, and something I generally avoid, but I’m glad I took a chance on this as it’s absolutely lovely.

It comes in beautiful packaging which hints at its taste and difference from other Triple Secs.

When opened you’re hit with a fresh citrus smell full of orange oils – as though someone has just peeled an orange next to you. Even better the taste matches up.

Fresh and full of citrus oil (so much so that my lips were tingling for hours after) this is delicious over ice and also very tasty with tonic water.

If you want something that tastes of summer bottled then you can buy it here (or elsewhere on the internet) or pop to the beautiful Kew Gardens for the day and treat yourself to some on the way out.


Advent 2017 – Day 24

24 Dec

Today’s drinks are:

Double Dutch Cranberry & Ginger Tonic Water

When opened this smells of fizzy refresher sweets from my childhood. All sugar and fake flavourings.

Thankfully when tasted it’s much better. It’s very bitter and full of quinine the cranberry adds sourness and the ginger adds a warmth which lingers after drinking.

With gin it’s not as nice – the bitterness is less fresh and becomes a stale, aggressive bitterness and the drink tastes full of fake flavouring.

Senti Extra Dry Prosecco

This is a very dry prosecco which is perfect as an aperitif. Full of sharp bubbles and sharp freshness.

We’ve really enjoyed the wine advent calendar and tasting 23 different wines (so annoying it wasn’t 24!) we’d not had before. There were many we didn’t like – and some we had to throw away as they were so undrinkable BUT some we absolutely loved and we appreciated being able to try different drinks and learn more abbreviated wines and our likes & dislikes along the way. We definitely hope to do this again but maybe with a different company so as to not risk repetition (I mean if they repeat wines in the same year what’s the odds they’ll have some of the same ones next year?)

Tasting 24 different tonics was a real treat too. It was nice to break out of our usual tonic buying and explore different flavours and brands. It also gave us a daily opportunity to sit, taste & chat and learn more about what we liked, or didn’t like, and why.

This we’ll definitely do again.

I sourced all my tonics at importonics (they have mixed packs which I split and gifted a tonic advent calendar to a friend) and in a few months I’ll start looking to build up my stash for next time!

Advent 2017 – Day 23

23 Dec

Today’s drinks are:

Lamb & Watt Cucumber Tonic Water

This smells so cucumbery and effervescent when opened. As thought cucumber slices were in sparkling water – nothing else can be smelt.

When tasted it’s sweeter than expected but the predominant taste is cucumber but with a slight bitterness following on.

With gin it’s not a very pleasing blend. The cucumber, sweetness and gin clashes rather than combines. This tonic is definitely better by itself.

Perez Cruz Cabernet Syrah blend (here is a similar one with added Cot)

This smells peppery and fruity with a sharp, dry, twist.

When tasted it’s very drying with lots of tannin but also full of fruit and warmth

Advent 2017 – Day 22

22 Dec

Today’s drinks are:

Folkington’s Indian Tonic Water

When smelt this is very bitter and effervescent but with a strong hint of dirty dish-water, very odd.

When tasted it’s very effervescent and strongly bitter. It’s also got strong hints of citrus but the bitter peel and pith rather than juice. Delicious.

With gin it’s very nice- it stands up to the gin without overwhelming it. I’ll definitely buy this again

Savvie Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

Hang on a minute- haven’t we seen this already!

Yep- today’s wine is exactly the same as Day 12. A real shame as the whole point of doing this was to try 24 different wines. To get the same wine on 2 days is ridiculous and poor quality control. I’ve contacted Virgin Wines so we’ll see what they say…

My tasting notes are the same- funnily enough I’d just eaten cheese & biscuits when we opened this and it definitely goes well with it

Advent 2017 – Day 21

21 Dec

Today’s drinks are:

Poachers Classic Tonic Water

This has a very mild smell- almost indiscernible. But there is a hint of bitterness and acid.

When tasted it’s the same. It’s a mild tonic with almost no fizz – almost as though it’s been watered-down. Pleasant but very mild.

With gin it’s almost instantly overpowered and nearly completely disappears. But it’s nice and is there is the background and nicely compliments the gin- I just wish it had more of a kick.

Double Dutch Indian Tonic Water

My experiences with this brand has not been good so I wasn’t looking forward to more from them. Especially as I’m tasting these blind and didn’t want something awful sprung on me again – I even contemplated removing them but thought I’d give them the benefit of the doubt…

This smells of watered-down tonic water with a hint of toilet cleaner.

When tasted this is like … watered-down Tonic with a hint of pine-fresh toilet cleaner and bleach. It has a slightly acidic fizz- like a fizzy lemon sherbet – but again watered-down. It has a slightly sweet but artificial taste but thankfully not too much.

With gin it’s the same- I was expecting it to be overpowered but it’s still there humming away in the background. It’s not offensive but there’s nothing to recommend it- I wouldn’t bother with it again.

Once I discovered the brand I was pleasantly surprised. This isn’t a great drink but, unlike their others I’ve tasted, it isn’t so bad I had to tip it down the sink.

Beneficial Cellar Reserve Shiraz 2016

This smells like a big and beefy red wine. Slightly peppery with loads of dark fruit and spice.

When tasted this lives up to its promises. It’s deliciously rich and pleasantly isn’t bitter or too tanniny. This is a very nice wine – one of the nicest in the set

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 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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