A drink for all seasons: Jaffa Cake Gin (yes, really) and what might be the world’s first ‘crunchy’ wine

Normally, we write a few introductory lines in this space.

Today, we’re just too excited about getting on to the first entry that… well, this is your lot.

The gin you’ve been waiting for? Jaffa Cake Gin

‘Please can you send me the link? Will buy INSTANTLY’ was the immediate reaction from one of the Country Life staff on being told of the existence of this gin, via a Teams message.

Shockingly, not everybody was quite as excited. Those people are wrong. How could you possibly not love a gin distilled with distilled with oranges, fresh orange peel, cocoa powder and real-life Jaffa Cakes?

Priced at £27.95 from Master of Malt — click here to buy.

Time for a… rum and tonic? Union Lemon & Leaf Rum

The idea of putting rum in your tonic (or should that be the other way around?) is a bit of a tough sell to lovers of the classic G&T and the Cuba Libre alike. Yet this is worth a try: it comes across like a G&T with an unusual zing that’s unexpected and different. Union also suggest this a cocktail of 50ml of the rum, 20ml passion fruit puree, 30ml fresh lemon juice and 15ml vanilla syrup, garnished with passionfruit. If any of those were in stock for home delivery, we’d have given it a try. Let us know what it’s like if you manage it.

Priced at £34.95 from The Whisky Exchange — click here to buy.

A treacly delight: Co-op PX Irresistible Sherry

Co-op has released its first own-label Pedro Ximénez Sherry, aged for up to 12 years in an American-oak solera system, according to the experts at decanter.com. A little goes a long way here, as the flavours are so intense that you’ll really only need a small glass. This is a treacly, mouth-coating delight with raisiny, grapey, fruit flavours.

Priced at £6 for 37.5cl from the Co-Op — click here to buy.

Best use ever of video conferencing? Gin tasting

If you’re holding a gin-tasting party over Zoom in lockdown, this set is a good starting point, with examples of all the major gin types which is also a mini-tour of Britain. There’s Slingsby Gooseberry as a fruity gin from Yorkshire, Silent Pool for floral from Surrey, Aber Falls for the juniper-led gin from Wales and a pair of citrus gins, Boë (Scotland) and Boatyard (Northern Ireland).

Purists might keep looking for a set which also includes a herbal and a spiced gin; the rest of us will only be disappointed that each bottle includes no more than 50ml.

Priced at £29 from www.ilovegin.com — click here to buy.

Crunchy Croatian wine? Alba Malvazija Istarska

We were slightly shocked to hear our friends over at Decanter talking about this wine as being reminiscent of ‘crunchy pear fruit’, but it was merely an image, for there are decidedly no bits whatsoever in this wine, made with a blend of grapes from six vineyards, vinified separately, and fermented in stainless steel with no skin contact. Fresh, herby and mineral — and absolutely no crunchy bits.

Priced at £17.99 from Liberty Wines — click here to buy.