Saturday, 10 June 2017

Fentimans - World Gin Day

Celebrate World Gin Day in style with these awesome pre-mixed alcoholic gin drinks by Fentimans Ltd.

Perfectly balanced and ready to serve, these gin and tonics, and alcoholic gin beverages are great for any celebration and are easy to serve. Just grab a glass of your choice, add a few cubes of ice, preferably the right garnish and voila - gin served within seconds.

Living a busy life it's sometimes just that little bit easier to grab a pre-mixed bottle and bang it in a glass - as much as I do love to play around with the hundreds of gins on the market to find out what their perfect serves are. The convenience of these drinks is really beneficial, especially if you're looking to grab something from your house quickly before venturing over to a friends - and these drinks are great if you're not the most organised of people, especially when in a rush.
Having been established for over 110 years, family-run business Fentimans have grown their product offering from ginger beer and soft drinks to tonic waters and pre-mixed alcoholic drinks.

The rose lemonade and bloom gin is exceptionally sweet, as I had anticipated having tried the rose lemonade on its own. I could easily have one or two of these on a summers night, but I think after a while a drink so sweet would need to be swapped out for a good ol' regular gin and tonic. Oozing with floral tones - something I quite enjoy about this drink - the bloom gin and rose lemonade make this marriage a very sweet one.
The gin and tonic was completely different and much more crisp on the tongue. Bloom London Dry gin and Fentimans have partnered to bring their edition of the perfect gin and tonic to their customers in the easiest of fashions. Again, with slightly floral notes this gin is very much to my taste, but it's  the Fentimans tonic water which softens the sharp blow of gin creating within this beverage, making a  very delicious drink.

Both drinks are 275ml, a great size for transporting about, and for drinking of course. The ABV on both is 6.5%.

The only company in the UK to utilise botanical brewing is what makes Fentimans stand out with unique 3D flavours, the drinks have a depth of texture and a distinctive feel in your mouth and every drink takes seven days to brew using a combination of infusion, blending and fermentation of the natural ingredients. The best thing, none of their drinks have artificial sweetener, flavours, colours or preservatives All of the flavours are produced by hand from Chinese ginger root to rose oil from the Rose Valley in Bulgaria.

Also, the tonic waters were really tasty, and I really enjoyed the pink grapefruit tonic water. Having been served Rock Rose gin with a wedge of grapefruit, I partnered the Scottish gin with the pink grapefruit tonic water which went extremely well together. The slight bitterness of the tonic water complimented the sweet notes of the Rock Rose, creating a delicious partnership. I also tried the tonic out with Lone Wolf gin too and it worked really well.

The rose lemonade can be rather overpowering at times due to its pure sweetness, but partnered with a more earthy gin like Gordon Castle which also boasts notes of lavender I think this gin would go quite well with it. Any other earthier and more dry gins would also go really well too.

I decided to pair the original tonic water with Porter's gin and Esker gin as I felt these gins would be best suited to a plain tonic, and I was so right. Finish off with your perfect serve for each and you're definitely off to a winning combination there.

Whatever gin or alcoholic beverage your drinking to celebrate World Gin Day this year,  remember to raise a glass to the most fashionable spirit of the moment. And please, drink responsibly.

  For Now...

Just Julia





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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Malmaison Aberdeen - The Sunday Lunch of dreams

There's nothing  quite like getting together with your friends and family, indulging in a good feed, and chilling out in a relaxing setting on a Sunday afternoon. The best thing about eating out obviously has to be the fact that you leave the full cooking experience in the talented hands of a chefs team - and that you don't have to tackle a mountain of dishes once everyone's done.

More and more people are now looking to restaurants to offer up something rather special and when it comes to giving customers what they want, Malmaison Aberdeen does just that with their Sunday lunch. A four course menu incorporating an abundance of stunning dishes, the menu is great for those looking for a good feed, and for those looking for a great foodie experience. 

For only £24.95 per person, you can fill your boots, fill your boots again, and go back and fill them one last time with the unbelievable four course Sunday lunch at Malmaison as my best friend and I found out a few weeks ago.
To kick start your experience you can expect a scrumptious soup of the day, and once you've ordered that you'll then be invited up to the chef's salad table to indulge in a selection of unlimited hors d'oeuvres. With everything from the salad classics like Caesar, Caprese, Greek and numerous other types, to shellfish and seafood cocktails, to hand carved meats including serrano ham, ibérico, salchichon, different terrines and various freshly made artisan breads, not to mention the different cheeses, chutneys and dressings on offer there's plenty for guests to tuck into. With so much on offer its hard not to tempt yourself eating too much during this second course, but with a main and dessert still to follow diners should try be mindful of this - if they can resist that is.

A few favourites of mine had to be the selection of breads and hams, as well as the rocket and parmesan cheese salad and the sun-dried tomatoes and mozzarella cheese dish. Not wanting to miss out on sampling the red pepper and tomato soup, I was extremely delighted with the delicious flavours it boasted. Coming in a mug, it was the perfect amount and wasn't too heavy either. Everything was extremely fresh and there was so many different things to choose from it was hard to figure out what I wanted to try out first.
Once you're done with the chef's salad table I'd suggest you take a break before embracing the creme de la creme, the main event. Getting the choice of something from the brunch section, or something from the main's section there's a strong array of dishes available including the classic Mal burger, a whole Normandy corn fed chicken to share, Severn and Wye haddock fish cake, as well as eggs Benedict, malted blueberry pancakes or California eggs from the brunch options.

Deciding on completely different dishes, my best friend opted for the USCA black Angus Picancha rump with thyme and rosemary Yorkshire pudding, whilst I decided on the big brunch breakfast which included pork sausages, sweet cured bacon, mushrooms, Ramsey's black pudding, tomato, Mal's signature steak sauce and two eggs cooked to preference - poached for me. The breakfast brunch option was extremely filling, so much so I had to opt out just over half way through. Delicious it was, I had eaten too much from the chef's table. Looking on in sheer jealousy, there were no complaints from Lauren about her three huge slices of beef and giant Yorkshire pudding which she drowned in the rich, gooey gravy. The jug of gravy lasted forever and went beautifully with the beef.
Moving forward to dessert a wee while later it was a really tough choice. A massive sticky toffee pudding lover, I was extremely tempted to order the sweet sponge dessert, that was until I spotted the Mal hot chocolate. A cup full of marshmallows, white chocolate and vanilla ice cream with a pot of hot chocolate sauce served on the side I was in sugar heaven. Pouring the rich hot chocolate sauce over the cold ice cream it took seconds until they started to mix together, melting to make a creamy chocolate dessert. With a sweet tooth like mine, this was an excellent choice of dessert, however, having ate almost my body weight in food, I found it very hard to eat it all and had to leave some due to being so full - not a bad dilemma to be faced with I guess.

Lauren decided to tackle the warm Valrhona caramel chocolate brownie with brown butter pecan ice cream. She loved every bite of the moist brownie which was soft on the inside and boasted a slight crunch on the outside, she even managed to polished off the last morsel on her plate with great ease.
Turning to the coffee menu I admitted defeat and we sat gossiping over some juice instead, relaxing in the Brasserie area where majority of the food is served within the hotel. The restaurant was buzzing and was really starting to fill up. It was clear we weren't the only two in Aberdeen who had got the memo on this incredible lunch and I was glad we'd managed to bag a big comfy booth where we could watch the other diners experience this dining extravaganza.

Deciding to head home, we gave up our comfortable table for the net lucky customers to snag.

If you haven't already I urge you now to don your stretchy pants and get a table booked - trust me, you won't be disappointed.

And if you're not sure what you'd order you can check out the full lunch menu here - I guarantee there will be something on it you'll be dying to get your teeth into.

   For Now...

Just Julia
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