THE FESTIVE BEST TASTE TEST

Cheshire Life|December 2019

THE FESTIVE BEST TASTE TEST
Looking for ideas for your festive feasts? We’ve scoured Cheshire to discover dreamy treats for your Christmas dining
Emma Mayoh

FOREST GIN

This award-winning small batch gin, created by Lindsay and Karl Bond, is served by some of the best restaurants in the country. Made in a 17th-century barn in Macclesfield Forest with local spring water as well as juniper berries, coriander seeds, vanilla and Peak District mosses and ferns, they produce their original as well as an earl grey variety. Forest Gin and Earl Grey Forest Gin, £55

DOMAINE LA BOUTINIÈRE CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE

Ideal for the main event, with your traditional Turkey roast, this red rhone blend is traditionally made with Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre grapes. They have enough body and structure to match the robust flavours of a roast but also ripe fruit to match the sweetness of certain accompaniments such as cranberry sauce or chestnut stuffing. £23, Booths

BIRD IN HAND SPARKLING PINOT NOIR, AUSTRALIA

This is a delicate sparkling Pinot Noir, salmon pink in colour, with floral notes and hints of strawberry, red apple and pink grapefruit on the nose. It’s the ideal pre-dinner apéritif or celebratory drink. Also sold in a mini, 20cl bottle, it’s great as a stocking filler for adults, too. £15, Booths

WINTER WARMER CORDIAL, FRUITS OF THE FORAGE

What started through a love of foraging has developed into much more for the group of friends who run this Macclesfield business. Plucking from nature’s bounty to produce a range of everything from hedgerow jams and sloe Seville marmalade, they also produce delicious drinks. Their Winter Warmer Cordial, made with pressed apples, damson and mulled wine, is ideal for tee-total guests as a nonalcoholic mulled wine. If you love a hot toddy, add a smidge (or more) of brandy or for some festive fizz, use it to spice up a sparkling wine. £8, 550ml

JEFFREY’S ORIGINAL RECIPE TONIC SYRUP

If gin is big news, then tonic is the one to watch. Gone are the days where bitter lemon or Indian tonic water were your only option. Enter Chester-based Jeffrey’s, who, since launching their tonic waters and syrups, have been disrupting this corner of the market. They’ve won awards – including a Cheshire Life Food and Drink accolade – that place them as producing some of the best products in the business. Their original blend, one of a handful of flavours, tastes like Christmas, with cassia, clove and allspice. Mix with soda or your favourite gin or whisky– it works well with ginger, too. £7, 200ml.

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December 2019