Your Last Mouthful

Cardiff based food blog

Category Archives: drinks

My Very Own Blend Of Tea!

I recently entered a competition to design a tea for the company Tea Horse which would be sold on their website. Well I only went and won!

My tea, Pistachio Rose was inspired by a delicious pistachio cake I had tried and flavours I had experienced on a trip to Morocco. I love the flavours of rose and often make my own tea with rose buds and green tea. The introduction of the pistachios was thanks to the cake!

My tea is a blend of Chinese green tea, rose petals, pistachio nuts, Japanese Hojicha roasted green tea, rooibos, calendula petals, sunflower petals, almond slices, mallow flowers and vanilla.

tea

It is for sale at Tea Horse from 26th August and is part of the August subscription box. I’m very excited! If you try it, please let me know what you think.

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Ancre Hill Estates Welsh Wine – Bringing Welsh Wine To The Market

Guest Review by Mr. V

Recently, Fine Wines Direct on Penarth road asked us to review some Welsh wine.

Slowly but surely wines from this part of the world – i.e. from the Biritsh Isles are making a mark in the world of quality wines and some even say that some of our sparkling white is better than Champagne. You may be surprised to hear that – especially given the recent wonderful weather we’ve been doomed with (perhaps 2012 won’t be a vintage…) but there are already quite a few vineyards and wine producers in Wales.

Ancre Hill Estates Pinot Noir

The wine on review is from Ancre Hill Estates where the grapes are grown in Wales and turned into wine here too. First up is  the Pint Noir.  Being a lover of deep dark merlots and shirazes, I thought a light wine like a Pinot Noir wasn’t going to do it for me. However, I was very pleasantly surprised. It is a light, soft wine with hints of vanilla and licqurice and has a good roundness. I think it would be an excellent accompaniment to a light but spicey pasta dish.

The wine is priced at £18.99 from Fine Wines Direct .

Ancre Hill Estate White Wine

The second wine is the Ancre Estates White wine (£12.79 from Fine Wines Direct). I do like to know which variety of grape is in the wine and so when it’s labelled ‘white wine’, it does make me curious. On this occassion though, sadly I wasn’t pleasantly surprised. I thought the wine lacked crispness and freshness that is usually present in a good chilled white wine. It did have notes of citrus and a slight gooseberry kick but failed to hit the mark with me. However, I would like to stress that I find wine tasting a personal thing. Everybody have slightly differently configuered taste buds and so you should only take my opinions with a pinch of salt.

As wines go from small yielding wine producers growing their grapes in a rain soaked country I was impressed – especially with the pinot noir and I would love to see Welsh wines appear more and more on restaurant wine menus and in our local highstreet shops. I have also heard excellent reviews of the Ancre Hill sparkling rose but sadly weren’t asked to review that one on this occasion.

If you’d like to try any of these and other Welsh wines, you can find them at Fine Wines Direct on Penarth Road.

Are You A Comfort Drinker?

Everyone’s heard of comfort eating. Who doesn’t reach for a bar of chocolate or a calorific cake when we’re feeling a bit low on a dark, miserable winters evening? When I’ve had a really bad day, it is a great comfort to climb under my blanket on the sofa, put on a DVD box set and indulge in my favoruite chocolate bar or ditch dinner for desert.

However, on the rare occasion that I lose my appetite and things are that bit worse, I’m a comfort drinker. Don’t worry, there’s no need to call AA anonymous, as much as I love a G&T, I’m not talking alcohol. I’m talking rich, deep, satisfying creamy drinks that have all the comforting qualities of a piece of cake but in a liquid form.

A recent discussion with followers on Twitter revealed that I am not alone here. When I just can’t face food, sweet creamy drinks win out. Hot chocolate proved to be the Twitter favourite and I have to agree, I am partial to a mug of the chocolate stuff, just so long as it is more milk than water. Add cream and marshmallows and I can guarentee a smile.

Tea is always a winner with me. I’ll agree tea keeps me going on a bad day but if it’s that bit worse, my tea fix just isn’t comfort enough.  I like mine with a splash of milk so it doesn’t give me the snuggly feeling that a creamy drink does. For me, when I am at my lowest, I have to take my tea up a notch.

My ultimate comfort drink is Chai. It has everything. The flavour of tea, the creamy milky texture, the sweetness of the sugar and the soothing, warm spices. Perfect! Even the sweet smell as it is boiling on the hob seeps into your skin and provides instant comfort. For me, Chai also has the added bonus of bringing back happy memories of great times in India.

I’m getting all warm and snuggly just thinking about it!

Photo by Motograf

 

This post was originally written for Honest Cooking. You can read more of my Honest Cooking articles here.

Abrahalls Cider by Celtic Marches

Guest review by Mr.V

A few weeks ago we were sent some Abrahalls Cider from the Celtic Marches company. Celtic Marches, located on the Herefordshire border, are a company who sell unique liquers, spirits and of course cider.

abrahalls cider

They sell three different types of cider; medium still cider, dry still cider and a sparkling cider. We sampled the sparkling cider – a medium cider at 6%ABV.  Taken straight from the fridge, the cider had a lovely crisp and tangy taste.  We were given 2 bottles and so as I drank the first, because of the strength of taste, I used the second to make a creamy cider sauce to accompany my chicken.
The chicken was cooked in a tagine with the whole bottle of cider simmering away which keeps the chicken moist and reduces down to make a good tasting cider sauce. The cider made a very tasty sauce.

This is my own recipe but to make the dish, I seared the chicken quarters in the base of the tagine dish together with onions, garlic and seasoning. Once the chicken and onions have browned add 500ml of Abrahalls Cider. Bring to the boil and gently simmer with the lid of the tagine on. Once the chicken is cooked through the cider will have reduced down. Before its cooked, fry some sliced mushrooms in another pan in butter. Once the chicken is cooked, take off the heat, remove the chicken and add in the mushrooms and a tablespoon of creme fraiche. Serve with sweet potato and wholegrain mustard mash with green crunchy veg – and obviously wash it down with a bottle of Abrahalls cider!

Overall the cider has a very nice tangy, crisp taste and I would happily drink more of it!

You can purchase this cider from their online shop at 12 bottles of 500ml at £29.99

Tea Horse- A Cup Of Tea Through The Post!

I’ve been noticing a lot of subscription food companies lately. It seems like a very fruitful idea and there are some excellent varieties available. It was on Twitter that I discovered the most appealing one so far, and it isn’t even offering food!

Tea Horse is a subscription website allowing you to experience the world of loose leaf tea. For just £11.95 per month, Tea Horse will send you a box of four different teas based on a different tea theme every month. In each box, you receive the teas, neatly packaged with instructions on how to brew and enjoy them, 40 tea filters and a little booklet full of tea information.

I love tea and have really got into my loose leaf tea recently so I was very happy when Tea Horse offered to send me their July box to review. July’s box was called Eastern Promises and contained a combination of traditional teas from china and new innovations from India.

I started my tasting session with Jasmine Pearls from China. I love floral tea and Jasmine is one of my favourites. Each pack of tea is foil wrapped and when opened, releases the most gorgeous fresh scent. The Jasmine tea smelt deliciously floral with a hint of green tea. It smelt amazing but once brewed, it smelt even sweeter. Flavourwise, the tea was lovely. It had the subtle jasmine taste that I love. Still a firm favourite.

The next morning I broke into the Earl Grey. The first thing that struck me about this one was the gorgeous fresh, citrus smell. What could be better in the morning? Once brewed, the tea had that nice perfumed taste that Earl Grey is known for but it had none of the harsh flavours that I sometimes associate with it. I don’t usually like Earl Grey without milk but this one was lovely and I could have happily drunk it with or without milk.

Later that day I sampled the Rolling Thunder Oolong. It had that deep, rich oolong scent and lovely long leaves. Oolong isn’t my most favourite usually as I can find it a bit bitter but this one was a good one. It had a full flavour and was a lovely golden colour. Once brewed it smelt beautifully sweet.

Lastly was the Rohini Enigma which has become my comfort tea. It smelt more like the tea I was used to but with a hint of spice. It was a delicious black tea, very subtle and elegant. I usually take tea with milk but I actually prefered this one without milk.

I was very impressed with July’s box and I will definitely be subscribing to Tea Horse as I think it is an excellent way to try a variety of teas. Each box comes with all the information you need and the website is excellent. It’s very easy to navigate and each box is clearly explained. There is also a shop online if you’d like to purchase tea without subscribing.
Now, I’m off for a cuppa…

 

My last Mouthful was: The Jasmine Tea

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