On The Menu: Snowballs; Sarah's Honey; Glorious soups; Naga chilli vodka; tomato sauce
This week I've been drinking...Snowballs
Yes, I know, I know. We all thought the snowball had gone the way of the boombox and Kevin Keegan's mullet, consigned to filling the cabinet of history labelled "1980s embarrassment". Few of us missed the presence of an advocaat, lime and lemonade mix on the nation's cocktail menus.
Now, though, like so many other 1980s dinosaurs, it's been resurrected and has found its way on to the new menu at the Nightjar cocktail bar on London's City Road. In fact, the speakeasy-style bar gives the snowball top billing. But don't go there expecting granny's favourite. This version spurns the advocaat base. Instead, it goes for a Victorian recipe, which calls for cognac to be mixed with whisky, ginger beer and sugar, and then blended with a whole duck egg (the chicken's offering being judged not up to the task).
The result is a custard-coloured drink which is light on sweetness, with a kick like a stallion.
The latest buzz
Does honey need flavouring? If you'd asked me that a week ago, I would have said no, of course not. Honey needs no improvement. And I still hold to that to an extent. But the new range of blended stuff from Sarah's Honey – blueberry, cinnamon, lemon and cherry flavour – are not at all bad. The award-winning organic blends are the product of the Gough family's hives in Co Kilkenny, Ireland. While the blueberry and cherry flavours are a little jarring (no pun intended), the others are well worth a try and make interesting glazes. from £3.99, mileeven.com
Looking for a warming dinner to see you through the sub-zero evenings? Check out the new hearty soups from Glorious. The latest offering from the brand, which is known for its unusual pairings, includes oriental spiced tomato and New York chicken noodle. The first has a pleasing low-level spice, but could stand to be a little thicker. The second ticks all the boxes, with lots of slippery noodles and a soothing, thick chicken broth. £1.99, sainsburys.co.uk
So, you think you can handle a vindaloo and a scorching Texan chilli holds no fear for you. But how about a shot of Naga chilli vodka? As well as the usual potato base found in standard vodka, this one contains chilli – quite a lot of chilli, in fact. The amber spirit has been given a 100,000 rating on the Scoville scale (the rating system devised by Wilbur Scoville in 1912 for spicy food and drink), which makes a glassful the equivalent of eating a handful of scotch bonnets. Certainly a swift way to perk up a bloody mary.£39,99, selfridges.com
On the sauce
It's the age-old question – what's better, tomato or brown sauce? Well now, thanks to a survey by market researchers Mintel, we have an answer. The tomato sauce has it (as every right-thinking person knew it would). The red stuff accounts for 57 per cent of all thick or thin sauces sold across the country. And brown sauce? A measly 18 per cent of sales.
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