Most nations like a good excuse for a booze-fuelled get-together and for Scots, 25 January provides one such occasion as they celebrate the birth of national poet Robert Burns.If you’re lucky enough to find yourself amidst a traditional Burns Night celebration, then it’s possible you’ll encounter any number of Scottish cultural cliches that include bagpipes, ceilidhs, tartan kilts, haggis, poetry recitals and, of course, booze, of which whisky is likely to be the toasting drink of choice.
Anyone who has ever struggled to drop off at night will know a relaxing hot drink can be a godsend.It goes without saying that even the best sleepers tend to shun caffeine after a certain time, so decaf options are the name of the game.
December is a time for indulgence, but January… not so much.After all that festive frolicking propped up by wheels of stilton, mince pies and too much Christmas spirit many of us find ourselves craving the opposite come the New Year.
Although vegan products are becoming increasingly easier to find, it can still require a bit of forward planning to ensure you stick to your guns.That’s where having a subscription service that brings the tasty, animal-free treats to you can make life so much easier.
With around 350,000 people signed up to take part in Veganuary this year (the charity reports that this is already 100,000 more than last year), it’s abundantly clear that veganism is on the rise.You might assume that chocolate is a no-go if you’re taking part but, in fact, there’s a wealth of options out there to satisfy even the sweetest of teeth.
Until recently, the UK and its consumers have been lacking in choice when it comes to bourbon.With more bottles being exported from the US and many of the familiar big brands unveiling new products. And with an increasing interest in the spirit, 2020 is set to be a great year for British bourbon drinkers.
Us Britons are lucky enough to enjoy excellent whiskies from close to home – hello delicious Scotch – but we also like a foray into bottles and blends from the other side of the world.According to the Spirits Embassy, Japanese whisky is enjoying unprecedented growth in the global whisky market. Its popularity in the UK is ever-increasing and supermarkets, bars, off-licenses and boutique whisky suppliers will likely hold a variety of Japanese whiskies to choose from.
What constitutes “healthy” food is very much a subjective term: no food alone is intrinsically healthy, rather health is achieved through balanced, non-faddy eating that generally incorporates all food groups.But with Christmas behind us – which is undoubtedly the most indulgent time of year when it comes to food – as well as those wonderful cheese courses, tins of chocolates and everything else, we're in search for some greenery back in our life.
The past few years have seen our drinking as a nation take a dive: we’re becoming more health conscious, sober curious and a 2018 study found 30 per cent of young people never drink at all.It’s no surprise then that the “low and no” movement has grown exponentially in that time; no longer are teetotallers stuck with a soda and lime or dodgy alcohol-free beer.
From last-minute essentials or stocking up on supplies to see you through to the new year, a trip to the supermarket is inevitable over the festive period, even if just to escape family.But, with many shops planning to close their doors at irregular times in the coming weeks, knowing where to pick up some extra food or booze can be confusing.
The malbec grape, an inky purple fruit, originated in the south-west of France, where its concentrated dark fruit flavours can still be found in the so-called “dark” wine that takes its name from the town of Cahors.In the past, these French wines have been overlooked, but now a new generation of winemakers are taking a fresh look at this established classic and producing some very agreeable and welcoming wines.
For a nation of tea drinkers, we haven’t half got on board with a decent cup of coffee.The independent coffee scene is rightly thriving here in the UK, giving growers a better deal for their beans and the consumer a better brew in the process.
Christmas Day is a time for feasting, but when you’re cooking for large groups of people, it can be difficult to get the quantities right.For peace of mind, most people tend to overestimate the amount of food their family will want, resulting in plenty of leftovers to last you several more days.
Christmas Day is almost here, but not everyone will be sitting down to a traditional turkey feast this year.For vegans and vegetarians, the festive season can pose a few dietary issues, given that the majority of the foods eaten at Christmas are either meat or dairy-based.
We’d argue that it’s a great drink all year-round, however, it’s still the winter months that seem to be synonymous with port. This is in part because the flavours in our traditional festive food favourites are such a great pairing with a generous glug of the good stuff.Whether that be a chunk of stilton, or the dried fruits in mince pies, with dark chocolate desserts or simply drunk alone in your favourite chair with a good book – it’s an essential part of the Christmas day spread.
Gin still appears to be the nation’s favourite spirit, but with so many on the market we wanted to shine a light on some brand new releases. Whether you’re looking for a gift for the gin lover that’s already built up an enviable collection, or are just in the mood for trying something new, here is our pick of the best releases of the year.Although all gins must legally contain juniper as one of their botanicals, there are no limits on what else can be used. When selecting your gin, think about whether you’d prefer a fruit-forward style, something spicy and warming or perhaps one which is more delicate and floral.
You might think tea bags are just simply paper and tea, and that of course they decompose, and that you’re doing your bit by putting them in your home food waste to compost.But, you’re wrong – unless you use plastic free tea bags, that is.
In many households, Christmas dinner boasts an array of dishes, from succulent turkey to crispy potatoes, and mouth-watering pigs in blankets.Those who have pets may habitually feed their animal companions under the table during meals.
Aldi is donating surplus food on Christmas Eve to vulnerable people who are in need.As part of the annual festive initiative, charities and community groups from around the UK have been called upon to collect food donations from the supermarket's branches.
Once thought of as merely a Christmas staple, sherry is at last taking its rightful place in the wine world as a superb example of Spanish winemaking.It’s standing in the wine world is perhaps best summed up in the subtitle of the newly published and wonderfully researched history of the wine by Ben Howkins Sherry: Maligned, Misunderstood, Magnificent! (Académie du Vin, £20).
A fish and chip shop in Cardiff has said it is to open its doors on Christmas Day to offer free food to people who are homeless, elderly or vulnerable.Victoria Fish Bar, which is situated on Old Church Road in Whitchurch, shared a post on Facebook explaining that they wanted to do something to help those affected by homelessness in the Welsh capital.
A fail-safe gift for the hardest to please, a beautifully presented box of chocolates never fails to impress. We’ve focused on the most luxurious boxes around, for when only the crème de la crème will do.When testing our chocolate boxes we were looking for exciting flavours that tasted as great as they looked. Presentation was key – not only should the box be visually stunning but the individual chocolates needed to be finished to the highest standard, created with the freshest, highest quality, natural ingredients.
Here at IndyBest, we love discovering new flavoured gins. From the fresh and fruity styles to the downright whacky, our favourite brands have been very creative; cleverly combining botanicals, infusing with fresh fruit and macerating with citrus.In fact, aside from the obligatory juniper which all gin must legally contain, gin actually starts life as a neutral spirit. Therefore, in order to make a gin stand out from the crowd, these added flavours are very important. And while all gin contains botanicals which will impart subtle differences, flavoured gins take it one step further, with decidedly deliberate flavour profiles.
Alongside the mince pies, chocolate logs and string of roast dinners, Christmas is a great time experiment with festive cocktails and mocktails.While you may traditionally opt for a warming mulled wine, a punchy whisky sour or a quintessentially-festive cup of eggnog, this year why not concoct a cocktail that has received the royal stamp of approval?
Predominately made from the glera grape in northern Italy, prosecco is the unapologetic good time gal of the wine world.Less pretentious than champagne, prosecco is a drink to be enjoyed at any time of day, for any occasion. Begin your evening by pairing with canapes and enjoy right through to dessert where it goes particularly well with fruity puds. And then there’s also a whole host of cocktails just waiting to be knocked up – we think a mimosa is always a winner.