If you have children then Easter is about egg hunts, make believe rabbits and oodles of chocolate (make sure you have a read of my Easter gift guide if you still haven’t got this sorted!). If you’re a churchgoer then it’s a very special time of the year where all come together in praise and thanks. But for the rest of us it’s about having 2 extra days off from work and that means a good old fashioned bit of drinking!
I have put together this handy drinks guide to ensure you have a wide variety of tipples to choose from. From Easter themed cocktails and low alcohol ales to gin pamper hampers, there’s a bottle for everyone so you can put your feet up and enjoy a cold one in the sun (hopefully!).
Please remember to always drink responsibly.
I’m going to start off with one of my favourites that I had to review for this article. When I see any kind of ‘hamper’ advertised my first thought is usually that if it’s not in a hamper then it’s not a hamper. Thankfully the Gin Pamper Hamper does come with one (yes I really am that easily pleased!). This gorgeous hamper features a bottle of Kapriol Dry Gin, which boasts 15 botanicals, inspired by a recipe from 1948, including hops, bay leaves, rosemary and rosehip. You can create the perfect G&T by pairing it with Franklin & Sons Natural Indian Tonic Water and you’ll also find scrumptious treats including SugarSin Gin Fizz Gummies and gin and tonic flavoured gourmet popcorn. I absolutely loved the products in this set and it felt more of a treat because I actually wanted everything in it, there was nothing that got left in a cupboard for 6 months or given to my other half. That’s the sign of a good hamper. To top it all off, you can light a gin and tonic scented candle to add a bit of luxury while you’re stuffing your face and drowning your sorrows. Sounds like my perfect evening!
We’ll come back to gin a bit further on but for now let’s sample some cocktails. I am the kind of person who likes to go out for a cocktail because I have none of the ingredients at home. I don’t have bottles of grenadine and Cointreau lying around and you’ll be hard pressed to find a lime in my fruit bowl. So imagine my delight when I received a box of cocktails through the letterbox, I didn’t even have to open the door in my Star Wars onesie as usual so I was already impressed.
Boxtails deliver ready to pour cocktails direct to your door and if you thought it couldn’t get better you’d be wrong because they also have a special range especially for Easter! Their Crackin Cocktails collection contains two Gold Lychee Martinis, two Rhubarb gin cocktails and 2 chocolate martinis all in 125ml pouches that you simply pop in the fridge and pour over ice when you need them. I like to be honest in my reviews so I’ll tell you that I tried all three flavours while watching the final of Rupaul’s Drag Race UK and the cocktails were the least disappointing part of the evening. The rhubarb gin is a mix of sweet and bitter but perfectly balanced and fresh. The chocolate martini is a creamy, chocolatey delight that is worth the calories and finally the Gold Lychee Martini was my favourite one for the flavour alone but also for the floating gold flecks making me feel like a diva while screaming “WHAT!?” when Bimini Bon Boulash wasn’t crowned the winner.
Another Easter themed cocktail I tried was Bottle Bar and Shop’s Easter Martini. Vodka infused with organic cacao nibs, it has a delicate chocolate flavour, with a hint of orange bitterness lingering on the palate. It’s enjoyed best ice cold with orange zest and makes a great alternative to a dessert if you fancy something sweet. I’m sure 2 of these are better than a Twix and a bag of Haribo anyway. I loved this cocktail in a bottle idea and would be lovely if you had family over for Easter or wanted to offer something to the 5 guests in your driveway on Easter Sunday. You can also create your own hamper from The Bottle Bar and Shop’s Easter collection where all their cocktails are made with only natural ingredients.
Carthy & Black is a tempting range of cream liqueurs which provoke both curiosity and delight. The ‘about’ section on their Facebook page says “At Carthy & Black, we bottle the very best of Yorkshire. But we do it with an unexpected twist.” I already want to try anything they offer. Carthy & Black Lemon Gin Cream is a delicious drop of the unexpected. Blending the silkiest cream with the finest Slingsby Gin, they ingeniously introduce sweet, caramelised lemony notes which develop a mouth-wateringly biscuity finish. You know what it tastes like? Lemon cheesecake in a glass. It’s absolutely delicious. If you want to be a full on porker like me, try it over vanilla ice cream with some crumbled lotus biscuits, just be prepared to go up a dress size the next day. Or if you have a bit more class, try this Lemon Simnel Delight cocktail using 50ml Carthy & Black Lemon Gin Cream, 12.5ml Vanilla Syrup and 5ml Amaretto. Simply shake with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass, rimmed with ground almond and cinnamon. Perfection!
So far I’m sure all this is sounding delicious, but for some people who choose not to drink alcohol it can feel very alienating when all people have to offer you is a soft drink or water. Research undertaken by the IWSR has found that consumers around the world are increasingly prioritising health and wellness when selecting their favourite drinks brand, so in the spirit of catering for everyone, or if you want to enjoy a more grown up drink without the hassle of a hangover, The Wine Society have a range of drinks that are perfect for the Easter break.
First up is a lovely de-alcoholised French fizz from a Champagne house: Gratien and Meyer Festillant Sparkling Sans Alcool . Medium dry and fresh tasting with little in the way of over-dominant sugar, it is easy to drink in plenty with no guilt. Just imagine drinking champagne in the garden all day without the crippling I’m-over-30-and-just-can’t-handle-it-anymore hangover the next day. That’s the dream right there!
And if a beer is more to your taste but alcohol is not your friend then try Drink’in The Sun Alcohol Free Pale Ale from Denmark the name alone just makes me happy, is there anything better than drinking in the sun? Containing 0.3% of alcohol per bottle it’s light and refreshing and tastes so much better than just a beer flavoured drink. There’s so many positive reviews for this beer so I highly recommend you try it if you’re looking to cut down on your beer swilling this summer.
However, if the thought of drinking non-alcoholic beer makes your blood run cold then you better try these instead. Round Corner Brewing was the dream of two close friends decades in the making. Located in the end shed of Melton Mowbray Market, they make highly drinkable beers inspired by the character of a thriving local agricultural community and the raw, real flavours of the East Midlands. Celebrate Easter with their Hop into Easter 12 can pack perfect for loved ones that Lockdown makes it impossible to see, or just as a treat for yourself. Featuring their award winning ‘Hopping spree’ as well as the fruity ‘10 hours in LA’ and dark and foamy ‘Gunmetal’ you can guarantee you’ll find more than one favourite amongst this bunch. Just don’t drink all 12 at once. That’s not a challenge.
I said I’d come back to the gin so here are two very different but very good ones to consume as soon as the clock strikes 5pm on Good Friday. The first is from Otterbeck Distillery created by three women after a gin fuelled New Year’s Eve. The only good idea I’ve had while drunk is to have a pint of water before bed so my opinion of these women is already very high. Their signature Cotton Gin won a gold award in the Gin Masters, Spirits Business awards last year and really is a great gin to enjoy on a sunny day. Delicate and floral, it’s really smooth to the taste but is best enjoyed with lime or grapefruit to really highlight the citrus. I’ll also add that the bottle is so cute and gorgeous and this would be a lovely little gift for someone you can’t be with this Easter. Or just for yourself as it would look nice on the shelf.
Talking of gorgeous bottles I was genuinely thrilled to receive a bottle of Mermaid Gin from The Isle of Wight Distillery . Mermaid Gin comes in one of the best bottles I’ve ever seen and will be keeping long after I’ve drunk its contents. It is also plastic-free and uses entirely recyclable materials – including a plant-based seal around its sustainably sourced cork and wooden stopper. I feel so much better about getting absolutely plastered knowing that I’m helping the ocean. Hand-crafted on the Isle of Wight using ten ethically sourced botanicals, it’s a smooth yet complex blend that features the freshness of organic lemon zest, the peppery notes in grains of paradise and a hint of sea air from fragrant rock samphire. Perfect with a light tonic in the sun or with lemonade in your front room plus because of the unique botanicals it lends itself well to gin based cocktails that require a salty touch.
In conclusion, have a wonderful Easter, whether you’re teetotal, a full on gin monster or a martini loving glamazon. Please drink responsibly.