Dear Friends of TLD
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We have now reviewed more that 180 drinks and we’re in touch with many of the manufacturers. We’re building up our social media presence – you can follow us on Instagram and/or Facebook. We’ve even had a tour of Adnams, with the Head Brewer and the Head Distiller – both charming, passionate, knowledgeable men and, like Adnams, nice. Tours are open to the public too and we finished up with a superb fish lunch at the lovely Sole Bay Fish Company which we highly recommend.
New from the spirit world . . .
The world of low or no alcohol spirits is absolutely booming with hundreds of products launched. There is a lot of creativity being used to echo or reflect the particular feel of an alcoholic drink, from Crossip’s use of cayenne to give a chilli kick to their excellent drinks, to Lyre’s White Cane Spirit which adds a lingering prickle of black pepper. I like the use of ginger in drinks, such as Mother Root to add punch and fire to the taste. A new development is the production of drinks using CBD, such a those made by Trip, to offer a different kind of feel-good factor. We’ll be reviewing those soon.
One of our favourite beers – Adnam’s Ghost Ship 0.5%
We’ve seen this being made! Adnams 4.5% Ghost Ship and the 0.5% version both start out the same – fermented from locally grown Suffolk Rye Crystal and Cara malts and then “dry-hopped” with Citra, Chinook and Cascade to create the bright, citrus aromas and flavours. Only at this stage to the two drinks’ paths diverge. The 4.5% is ready to be bottled but that destined for the 0.5% is sent for reverse osmosis where the alcohol
is diverted out across semi-permeable membranes. All of this takes place in a gleaming array of shining stainless steel pipes and tanks – Adnams are great fans of the best German technology. And it is this mixture of the best science and engineering with the best traditional ingredients and recipes that produce such excellent ales. The 0.5% is now selling so well that it’s now widely available on tap.
These two 5-star favourites of ours are served everywhere from the Gavroche to the Fat Duck to the Pig
hotels. The sophisticated multi-award-winning kombuchas from REAL are delicious. They’re a delicate alternative to Champagne and sparkling wines. Made from First Flush Darjeeling tea, which is apparently picked by hand just at the first tips of tea emerge in the spring, it’s a flavoursome brew – refreshing rather than sugary and with a long complex slightly acidic finish. Owner of Real, David Begg, brewed them specifically as a substitute for alcohol, which is probably why they’re such successful alternatives.
Why we buy our wines from Asda
Well not all of them, obviously! But for a very well-priced, covers-all-basics, basket of Light Drinker staples, we buy these four wines stocked by Asda:
Brancott Estate Flight Sauvignon Blanc – 9% – £7.00 – 5-stars and as good a Marlborough SB as you’ll find for under £15.
Dr L Riesling – 8.5% – £7.00 – 4.5 stars – a genuinely good Riesling from the excellent Dr Loosen.
Barefoot Moscato – 9% – £5.75 – 4-stars – surprisingly full bodied for a lighter white.
Nozeco – 0%, £3.00 – 4-stars – a great basic fizz for drinking mixed – perhaps with one of the many no alcohol aperitifs or, my favourite, with some Aperol in a Spritz to give you a low ABV cocktail for the bank holiday.
Prices all from this week – but several are special offers so could change. And whilst we were there, we couldn’t help noticing the Heidsieck & Co Monopole Blue Top Champagne is very good value at £20 at the moment. We haven’t yet found a lower alcohol champagne so this (at 12.5 ABV) will have to do. Hard times indeed. And for full disclosure, we do get a small commission (at no cost to you) if you do buy any of these from Asda, and other retailers, through our links. We thank you if you do.
Top Tip for using thelightdrinker.com
You can easily see all the Light Drinker products that we’ve reviewed and that are stocked by a particular retailer. Towards the bottom of our home page you can click on the “See What’s in the Shops” button and it will show you the logos of the stockist we cover – just click on the logo of choice (such as Asda!) and you’ll see what they stock.
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