Spring has sprung and it’s time to celebrate fruit!
It’s official! Fruit makes the world a better place! I firmly believe that fruit makes us Happy. And it you have an aversion to the fruit bowl, there are plenty of amazing British-made fruit drinks that are going to put a smile on your face.
Fruit is a great way to appreciate how great nature is, and with the help of passionate drinks producers, there are a huge range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to bring fun into your day.
See below some info on the drinks I recently featured on ‘Love your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh’. Apologies that it’s a bit like a fact sheet! I haven’t had the chance to craft it into a beautifully flowing article!
1) Pulpt Ltd Edition 2 Cider (Somerset)
Made by people who want to make cider interesting again in the West Country. The best techniques, cutting edge equipment to produce rally great cider from Somerset cider apples.
Al & Jim established Pulpt in 2017. Often people have a view about what cider is – not always positive Their aim was to get better, more interesting, cider available to everyone.
Their cider is made using 100% fresh pressed juice, no concentrate, 100% British apples, with nothing artificial. Unlike some commercial cider makers.
LE2 is a small batch cider, made only from Gilly cider apples sourced from an orchard in Wedmore, a village on the Somerset levels. It is very unique – Possibly the only Gilly single variety cider. Gilly is a bittersweet apple and they have made this cider in order to create a refreshing drink with tropical flavours.
“We feel LE2 helps our bid to make everyone realise how great cider can be! We’re keen to highlight that cider can be unique and drunk more like wine (single variety apples for instance). But also it’s a naturally lighter alternative to wine. So our LE2 is great to share when you don’t want to drink too much but still want that celebratory feeling!”
Style: Dry and gently sparkling.
Age: 8 months matured
Nose: Honeydew melon, tropical fruits, pear
Palate: Light, fruity, acidic, clean but with gentle roundness, a little pineapple
Notes on the Gilly Apple (Soft g):
• The Gilly apple was created at the Long Ashton Research Station, just outside Bristol (a programme to create new apple varieties that extend the harvesting season, naturally create disease resistant fruit and create heavy cropping varieties).
• This programme created a number of new apples between 1985 and 2003. The 29 new varieties are known as ‘The Girls’ as they were named after the ladies who worked there, hence ‘Gilly’.
2) Sloemotion Bramble Whiskey Liqueur (Yorkshire)
£18.95 (35cl) / 28.95 (70cl)
Founded in 2002, Sloemotion is an artisan spirits distillery based at Green Farm, in the village of Barton-le-Willows, just north of York and nearby to the market town of Malton, Yorkshire’s food capital.
Joff established the business with North Yorkshire farming neighbours back in 2002. Together, they had been proactive in returning tracts of the farm to wildlife habitats. Before long, large amounts of sloes (the fruit of the blackthorn) began to fruit in abundance. To Joff and his neighbours, who had all grown up drinking home-made Sloe Gin, an idea began to take shape and Sloemotion was born.
They started distilling this in 2017 and now make gin, vodka and rum.
In this bramble whisky liqueur, they steep whole blackberries in sugar and Scottish Whiskey. The result is full of vibrant juicy fruit with balanced sweetness. The Whisky gives a unique and beguiling buttery note with which gives the sensation a real depth and texture. It’s mellow, peaty, smokey and buttery!
2 Great Taste Stars (2019)
3) Warner’s Rhubarb Gin (Northamptonshire)
£38 (70cl) / £16 (20cl) / £5 (5cl)
Tom & Tina’s story started in 2012 on Falls Farm and they had no idea what they were getting themselves into. They wanted to save the world from mediocre gin and became gin farmers. On the way, they have always been really keen to celebrate nature and sustainability.
We’re drinking the 2018 vintage of rhubarb. They make this with Lincolnshire rhubarb from Queen Victoria’s rhubarb root stock (Her patch was in Buckingham Palace). When it launched it was the world’s first rhubarb gin. One third of the bottle is rhubarb.
The gin is gently tangy, fragrant and gently sweet. It’s great to appreciate with regular tonic and ice. No frills needed for this beauty!
Botanicals used: Juniper, coriander seed, elderflower, cardamom, black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, angelica root, orange peel, lemon peel, plus a secret ingredient…
4) Tame & Wild Strawberry, Cucumber and Lime Flower sparkling drink (Leeds)
Tame & Wild was set up by Annabel Makin-Jones, a fifth generation Yorkshire farmer (and bee-keeper), having run the family farm near Leeds for the last 15 years. The farm has 1200 acres of arable land, where Annabel takes charge of 1,800 tonnes of strawberries each year. Forever restless, she wanted to create something more, and Tame & Wild was born.
All the ingredients are grown and foraged on the Yorkshire farm and tastes fragrant and sophisticated. It’s beautifully balanced and is gently sparkling.
Served with ribbons of cucumber and freeze-dried strawberries. The strawberries are from ‘Fruits for Drinks’, a company run by two people (Mirella and David) in St Albans. They Their ethos is: Maximum taste, longer life, minimum waste.
“We are not in the drinks industry but we were in a lovely top London bar and were served drinks with this horrible brown leathery thing bobbing around in our drink. Looked horrid and added nothing. With a bit of Dutch courage, we decided we were smart (booze does that to us) and would come up with something better, something tastier, something more exciting than just a brown thing in our glasses. And so Fruits for Drinks was born!”
The drink has 1 Great Taste Star 2020
5) Beardsley Pear Juice (Kent)
12 x 75cl / 36 x 250ml for £35
Bardsley was established in 1892 and is a fifth generation family-run business in Kent. They grow apples, pears, plums and apricots predominantly for supermarkets and they also harness the best fruit for their juices.
They operate 850 hectares which yields 35,000 tonnes of fruit every year.
They say their juices are ‘made with love from unloved fruit’ and this pear juice is an example of how something as simple as juice, can be so exciting. Comice, Concord and Conference pears are hand-picked and pressed into this juice. I think thy’ve got the balance just right.
It’s full of orchard fruit smells and flavours, and has a rich creamy texture with mouth-watering ripe fruit and balanced acidity.
1 Great Taste Star 2020