Saturday, March 31, 2012

My Favorite Things

It's probably no surprise from previous posts that I love good food and drink.  While at Borough Market this morning, I popped into one of my favorite stalls that I hadn't been to in a while-Uto Beer-and bought one of the best English beers I've ever had-Jaipur, from Thornbridge brewery.  After I was done, it got me thinking about other beverages I've discovered while living here here-that I likely wouldn't have come to know had it not been for living in London & travelling.  So, if you're fortunate enough to come across any of the below in a grocery store/liquor store near you, I'd highly encourage getting a bottle or two!

Sipsmith Gin and Vodka...London's only distillery...I first came across Sipsmith a few years ago when friends gave me a bottle of Vodka for my birthday (thanks Todd & Dorothy!), and it has now become my vodka brand of choice-and often is the tip-off to the quality of the cocktail bar long before I've had my first sip.  Sipsmith isn't a mass producer, but their quality is high.  So, if a cocktail bar carries their product, it's a good indication of the quality of their cocktails. On a side note...I don't like gin.  It's too 'juniper-y', but Sipsmith's gin is so mild, that even their gin is delish.

Faustino and Torres...In general, I've come to be a big fan of Spanish wines over the past few years.  Between the close proximity to Spain (and availability of the product), to the frequent trips we've made to Spain, I've come to discover and drink a lot of Spanish wine!  And though it may sound cliche, Rioja has become a go-to for me.  On that, I've discovered Faustino to be an outstanding brand-their red are amazing, their white and rose (yes, red & rose Rioja...) are light and summery. And, at anywhere from 6 GBP to 20 GBP for their Reserva, their prices can be very, very reasonable.
And, a more recent discovery- the Torres Celeste Crianza from the Torres family of Spanish wine.  All I can say is yum.  It's light, but complex, and I've become so obsessed with it, I'm already looking for places in the US that may stock it for when I return to the US in a few months!

Last, but certainly not least!
Thornbridge, BrewDog, and Meantime breweries.  All three are micro-brews that produce beer with attitude (and high quality standards...)-and outside of the Pac NW, are three of my favorite labels...(Do NOT for even a moment think that Fuller's London Pride is a decent taste of UK beer.)  Thornbridge and Meantime are London-area breweries (Meantime is worth the trip to SE London to Greenwich to check out...their brewery/restaurant serves incredible food in an incredible location) , and BrewDog is Scottish.   Such great varieties to choose from -from simple ales & pilsners to stouts and IPAs.  And all, just worth trying!


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