Perfect Alcoholic Christmas Gifts

Alex Seleska

‘Tis very soon the season to be jolly, and how can one be jollier than when furnished with some jolly-inducing beverages?

And if you’re in the spirit of providing joviality to your friends and loved ones this holiday season, then look no further than Drink Station for all your Christmas gift needs.

So, whether it’s a gift for that special someone, or just something for a friend that you know they’ll enjoy, allow us to give you some ideas and show off some of the wonderful Christmas options we have in store.

 

The 12 Gins of Christmas Advent Calendar

For the gin lover in your life look no further. This wonderfully presented box contains 12 hand crafted, organic and flavoured gins inside a fantastic gift pack. Each gin serves as a double measure, so there’s enough to share!

Gins from Whitley Neill, JJ Whitley and Liverpool Distillery are among just a few of the treasures hidden within. The collection would make an excellent Christmas gift, especially for those who like to explore their gins and might want to try and full-sized bottle of something they try here!

Buy it here

 

Tincup Whiskey Lantern Pack

This American Whiskey gift set includes a bottle of the famed Tincup brand. This Colorado produced spirit is known for its bourbon-style profile but with more powerful, spicier notes this whiskey is refreshingly different.

The gift set includes a lantern tin, perfect for outside whiskey sipping, simply remove the bottle and the case doubles as a lantern. Though perhaps it might be better to enjoy both in the relative warmth of the indoors this Christmas!

Buy it here

 

Silent Pool Gin & 2 Copa Gift Set

The Silent Pool gin comes to us from the self-monikered “Willy Wonka of distilleries” so you know it’s bound to be something out of the ordinary! Master Distiller Cory Mason is a 2016 World Spirits Award winner with Silent Pool gin, it is classic at heart but with a contemporary spin that will satisfy even the most discerning gin-sipper.

Made with a blend of 24 botanicals that compliment its juniper core with floral notes of lavender, camomile, honey and citrus. It is stunning served as a gin and tonic, really livening up the traditional drink with a refreshing, unexpected note.

Do not let the description fool you, this is still a hearty gin capable of working in a variety of cocktails. Don’t miss out.

Buy it here

 

Visit our Christmas Gifts page to peruse our entire Christmas selection today!

Read more →

Alternatives to Wine for Dinner Parties

Alex Seleska

Selecting a drink to serve your guests at dinner can be challenging, even if you are going to pick wine, there’s just so many to choose from. But if you want to go outside the box as it were and pick something a little different, then it can be even more challenging.

Generally, it comes down to what you are going to be serving up as to what you might choose to pair with it. in order to give you a bit of help, we thought we’d give some basic guidance as to the kinds of drinks on offer and what foods you might choose to pair with them.

 

Pork

If you’re serving pork, the general convention would be to serve a pallet-cleansing white wine or a robust red able to cut through the fattiness of the meat. However, there are numerous other non-wine alternatives that pair just as well that will surprise and delight your guests.

The first among which is cider. Everyone knows that apple goes well with pork, apple sauce an even raw apple are routinely served with it, but the fermented option is just as good. The sweetness of the cider compliments the natural sugars in the pork and gives a fabulous and thirst-quenching paring.

Beer is another popular choice. If you’ve ever been to Germany, you may well have seen ham hock and ale advertised on the bar menu. But the Bavarian’s are not alone in recognising the symphony of the pairing. Most beers are robust enough to cope with the pork’s strong oils and fats and the malt in ales or stouts is especially complimentary. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.

For a bit of an outside the box choice, especially if serving a summer BBQ or spiced pork dish, a mojito is a viable option. Drunk quite traditionally with pork in Cuba the mojito’s combination of sweet and sour flavours enhance pork nicely and cool the spices in anything at the hotter end of the scale!

 

Beef

The traditional paring with beef is of course a full-bodied and flavourful red wine. But, for an alternative you might just change a few people’s minds!

Beer is another contender here. Again, a stronger ale or stout is usually recommended to hold its own against the richness of beef, especially if you’re serving a rib of beef or the ribeye or sirloin cut. For the leaner fillet or rump cuts a nuttier brown ale might work better

Whisky is a different option altogether. Its rich caramel notes can pair rather well with the more flavourful cuts of red meat. If you’re serving grilled or BBQ steak, then a Scotch whisky can be an excellent paring choice. The smoky notes in the drink pair and perfectly complement the charred flavour provided by the grilling and the flames. We recommend the whiskey is served neat over ice to properly accompany the steak experience.

A martini can be another interesting choice. Its flavour is palate-cleansing and will not compete with the richness of the beef. Overall allowing you and your guests to enjoy the experience of both without any clashes taking place.

 

Fish

The definition of a fish meal can be rather wide. You’re not just taking your standard battered cod fillet here, lobster, crab, scallops, prawns, octopus and numerous other sea-dwelling animals all fall into the broad category of fish dishes.

Again, the traditional fish accompaniment would send one to the fridge for a nice cooled bottle of crisp white wine. But, consider if you will a few other options.

If you’re going for battered fish, then the traditional pub-grub can pair very well indeed with the traditional pub beverage – beer. A pale ale or even a light larger is typically the best recommendation here.

Acidic notes really help draw out the flavour of great seafood. So, if you’re serving up the king of seafood – lobster, then you might consider a Sangria or a Mai Tai to accompany it. These drinks contain a good amount of citrus flavours and really enhance the beautiful lobster meat.

If you’re going for something a bit special and serving up oysters, traditionalists again would possibly opt for Champaign. But consider for a moment the British classic Gin and Tonic. This cleansing, refreshing drink goes down superbly with the delicacy, trust us!

There are of course numerous other food types that pair with a variety of drinks and we’ll be writing about them too in the future. For now, visit our shop to find a great alternative pairing for your next dinner party!

Read more →

Halloween Cocktail Recipe

Alex Seleska

This Halloween period doesn’t just have to be about carving pumpkins and kids knocking on your door at all hours of the night.

Here at Drink Station we support your right to a good drink with your friends and family, so we thought we’d give you a great recipe for a devilish Halloween drink to serve up on the spooky evening itself.

 

Blood Red Halloween Cocktail

Ingredients You’ll Need (Serves 4)

  • 225 ml Au Vodka
  • 3 drops of black food colouring
  • 250ml pomegranate juice
  • 4 dashes of orange bitters
  • Pomegranate seeds to serve on side (optional)
  • 1 tbsp honey or golden syrup
  • Black sugar or black cake sprinkles

How to make it

  1. Dip your finger into the honey or golden syrup and rub around the rim of 4x martini glasses
  2. Roll the rim through the black sugar or cake sprinkles to coat the rim of each glass
  3. Fill a large cocktail shaker with a big handful of ice cubes and add the vodka, pomegranate juice, orange bitters and drops of food colouring.
  4. Shake well to break ice down and fully combine the cocktail, divide between the four glasses.
  5. Serve – if you dare.

Whatever the occasion, cocktails are always fun and entertaining. Lending a feeling of class and elegance to an otherwise ordinary evening or event. Over the coming weeks and months we will be releasing more great cocktail ideas, make sure to follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date and see the next great recipe we release for your drinking pleasure.

We hope you enjoy this recipe, if you enjoyed this one, please check out our shop!

Read more →

The Crazy History of Gin

Alex Seleska

Of all the various spirits that make up the plethora of drink culture around the world, Gin is the one that can be called the most quintessentially English. Its history tells the story of British aristocracy, class warfare, the maritime industry and technological innovation!

 

The Ori-gins

The core ingredient of Gin, juniper, seems to have been combined with alcohol as far back as 70 A.D. or at least, as far as written record seems to tell when a Roman physician recommended, among other herbal treatments, juniper berries steeped in wine to combat chest ailments.

A record of Benedictine Monks from Solerno, Italy dating to 1055 included a recipe for a tonic wine infused with juniper berries. Perhaps they were on to something!

In the 16th Century the Dutch began producing a spirit called “Genever” which essentially consisted of a malt wine base and a large amount of juniper berries to mask its harsh flavour. It was still, at that time, intended as a medicinal drink, as many such spirits began their lives.

 

The be-gin-ing

The first record of the written word “Gin” appears in a 1714 book written by Bernard Mandeville who wrote; “The infamous liquor, the name of which derived from juniper-berries in Dutch, is now by frequent use shrunk into a monosyllable, intoxicating Gin.”

The prevailing thinking is that that British were too drunk to correctly or coherently pronounce the Dutch word Genever and instead abbreviated it to Gin. And hence the name was born.

In 1689 William III became King of England, Ireland and Scotland. William III was of Dutch birth, originally known as William of Orange and thus united the two nations in a common Royal relationship.

Almost immediately he began a trade war with France, levying heavy taxes against their wines and cognacs in an attempt to weaken their economy. At the same time, he declared The Corn Laws in England. This provided tax breaks on the production of spirits. The result, a period known as the Gin Craze began and led to a pint of Gin becoming cheaper than a pint of beer.

However, the freedom of distillation began to cause a problem of its own.

With no checks or measures and cheap, easy access to Gin a drinking problem began to emerge. Distillers had been found to add turpentine, sulphuric acid and sawdust to their mixes in order to produce an intoxicating effect. People went mad from the drink or simply died as the problem became more acute.

In 1736 a distillers licence was introduced at the exorbitant price tag of £50 – almost unaffordable to anyone at the time. Only two licences were issued in the following seven years. In addition, a reward of £5 was offered for anyone who gave information on illegal non-licenced Gin operations. In no time at all the industry was greatly retracted.

 

 

The Mar-gin-alising

The drink was further demonised when in 1751 a series of propaganda-style dark etchings were released named “Beer Street” and “Gin Lane” by the notable painter William Hogarth.

Whereas “Beer Street” showed a group of happy and merry people enjoying their days. “Gin Lane” showed a scene of squalor and debauchery; Women dropping babies over bannisters and men wielding impaled infants on spikes, people covered in syphilis sores and others committing suicide.

The idea was apparently inspired by an incident in 1734 when a woman, whom had become driven mad by her addiction to Gin, had taken her two year old daughter out to a field, removed all of her clothes and left her there taking the clothes to sell for money with which to buy more Gin. The child had sadly died, and the mother had been sentenced to death by hanging.

In the same year as the painting’s release, parliament released the Gin Act which was a measure intended to crack down on the consumption of spirits. Taxes and fees were levied against the purchase and manufacture of the spirits and licencing restrictions were also introduced.

At the same time, the drinking of beer and tea were actively encouraged.

 

Redemption through En-gin-eering

It was not until the 1830’s that things began to start looking up for Gin again.

A French-born Irishman, Aeneas Coffey, developed a new still that modified the existing continuous column still and revolutionised liquor production across the world.

With it’s capability to produce a far cleaner, pure spirit was celebrated and Gin producers quickly embraced it, soon being able to produce a crystalline elixir which had thus far been beyond their reach.

Gin’s popularity was given a further boost by the Royal Navy.

At the time Britain was the leading sea power in the world, with the largest navy and merchant navies in existence. With so many thousands of men sailing the world, Gin became the drink of choice aboard the vessels.

They were often travelling to destinations where malaria was prevalent, and they would take quinine with them to aid the fight against the disease. Schweppes provided “Indian Tonic Water” to make the harsh liquid more palatable.

London Dry Gin was kept in ration on the ships as it didn’t spoil (as beer did) in the deep hulls which were often in sweltering heat. The sailors soon began to combine the drinks and the Gin and tonic was born. British sailors also added limes to the drink as the citrus fruits had fantastic anti-scurvy qualities.

Cordials were developed to preserve the limes and Gin and cordials then became popular. The industrial revolution and Britain’s imperial endeavours gave Gin a new lease of life.

Today, Gin is recognised as a classic, sophisticated drink to be sipped and enjoyed in nice bars or before dinner.

After centuries of ill repute, English Gin is back in all its glory and it looks set to stay.

Check out our selection of Gins here at Drink Station.

Read more →