5 reasons

An 'open mic' platform for small food and drink producers, importers and retailers to talk about what they do giving five reasons why you should buy from them.

5 reasons to cut down your drinking with Bax Botanics

5 reasons to cut down your drinking with Bax Botanics

”Many people don’t see the point of an alcohol-free version of their favourite drink, but we all deserve a treat sometimes and it's better if we don’t drift into a dependence on alcohol" writes Bax Botanics founder Rose Bax. "This isn’t a time to be putting any extra strain on our bodies or our minds."

"There are alternatives out there now that are great tasting and actually give the feeling of having an adult drink.”

1. We created our alcohol-free spirit Bax Botanics to bring something truly delicious to people who want to keep off alcohol and enjoy something sophisticated and complex. These relaxing drinks keep you in good spirits using flavour, not alcohol or sugar: you get the oooooh at the end of the day and don’t have a thick head afterwards!

2. An alcohol-free spirit is a drink distilled from water using the same method as an alcoholic spirit i.e. vodka, gin, or whisky, but it is made using water that does not contain any alcohol. We filter our water to remove any microscopic baddies and then, as it is distilled, the drink is flavoured with the botanical ingredients specific to its recipe.

3. We distil two flavours traditionally using organic botanicals.

* If you want a bright summer herbal choose ‘Verbena’. This serve is close to a refreshingly dry G&T

* For a rich, bittersweet distillation go for ‘Sea Buckthorn’ This serve is decadent and relaxing. (This is my own favourite FB)

4. Our small business launched in January 2019 into an emerging sector. We’re now trying to overcome bars closing and the retail demand for alcohol as opposed to alcohol-free. The future will be tough, but our amazing drinks are loved by the people who have decided to drink less alcohol, and we have faith that this sector will grow.

4. You can buy from us on-line from www.baxbotanics.com with free delivery on 500ml bottles until mid-April. Just use voucher FD2020 at the checkout.

Follow us @baxbotanics on Instagram and Facebook.

Thank you! Rose and Chris.

5 Reasons is a free platform for small food and drink producers, importers and retailers to speak in their own words about what they do. See What is 5 Reasons all about? for a fuller explanation.

5  Reasons to try The Fresh Sauce Co

5 Reasons to try The Fresh Sauce Co

In the first of our 5 reasons food posts Mark Robinson and Victoria Monaghan of The Fresh Sauce Co explain how their chilled sauces can turn basic ingredients into a restaurant quality meal (see my comment below on the one I've tried)

  • We’re Victoria and Mark and we’ve been making a range of fresh sauces from our dedicated kitchen in Suffolk for 3 years. We started the business following a trip around Italy, wanting to recreate the delicious pesto we tried when we got back home
  • We quickly worked out that using the best and freshest ingredients gave us the best tasting sauces. We’ve now expanded our repertoire to include Asian dishes such as Jalfrezi, Korma, Satay, Laksa as well classic Italian favourites like green and red pesto and Bolognese.
  • In the last year, we’ve been focusing on online sales, which happens to be very timely! We deliver in environmentally-friendly insulated packaging, by courier, so that the product remains chilled while in transit to reach you in perfect condition. You can even specify the day of delivery.
  • Our sauces can transform simple store cupboard ingredients into delicious meals from around the world in minutes with options for vegans, vegetarians and carnivores!
  • We have a Limited Edition sauce each month - this month (April 2020) it's a classic sweet and sour sauce made with pineapple juice tamari and rice vinegar - so you can make your own Chinese takeaway at home!

To read more about the range visit our website thefreshsauceco.

Fiona's view

I don't normally ask to taste the food and drink that's featured in this section but was offered a range of sauces to try and was quite intrigued by the idea that you could use them to jazz up basic meat, fish and veggies you might have in the fridge or freezer, particularly when the ingredients you might need to make more adventurous recipes could be hard to source at the moment.

So far I've tried the satay sauce which was absolutely delicious and really tasted as if you had spent hours in the kitchen. It was also dead easy - it cooked while I was making the rice to go with it - though I found you needed to add a bit more water than the 100ml they suggested. The sachets are ideal - and not expensive - for two but at £3.95 a pop might be a bit pricey for a family though obviously not in comparison with a takeaway.

They'd be ideal to order for an elderly relative or anyone else who is currently living on their own and unable to get to the shops - you could freeze half of what what you had made.

Disclaimer: I was sent a set of sauces as a free sample.

5 Reasons is a free platform for small food and drink producers, importers and retailers to talk about what they do. See What is 5 Reasons all about? for a fuller explanation.

5 reasons to buy Californian wine from James Hocking

5 reasons to buy Californian wine from James Hocking

James Hocking Wine is one of the U.K.’s leading specialist Californian importers.

Based in south Hampshire, James set up his Californian agency at the beginning of 2019. Previously, he was director of The Vineyard Cellars, part of The Vineyard hotel.

JHW specialises in boutique, family-owned wineries from California and other selected North American regions, and sells to high end independent wine merchants and wine-focused restaurants.

1. JHW imports wines from California’s leading boutique wines estates, many of which are family-owned and run.

2. JHW normally sells to some of London’s top restaurants, such as Goodmans, HIDE and The Dorchester. As a result, they are now selling direct to consumer at trade prices, with some incredible deals now available.

3. Offering free delivery on single bottles in the south Hampshire area from the “Fine & Covetable” range. These include Napa producers making tiny quantities, such as CAMi and Scarecrow.

4. JHW is an avid supporter of the U.K.’s top butchers, including Turner & George (@turnerandgeorge); he recommends their meat cuts as great accompaniments to his wines. Check out James’s instagram @jameshockingwine feed for some pretty awesome BBQ’ing skills.

5. James will personally deliver and has some very fetching black latex gloves (see picture) and excellent social distancing skills.

5 Reasons is a free platform for small food and drink producers, importers and retailers to talk about what they do. See What is 5 Reasons all about? for a fuller explanation.

5 Reasons to buy from Art House Wine

5 Reasons to buy from Art House Wine

Italy has been one of the countries hardest hit by COVID-19 so here’s a way of supporting one of the small importers of Italian wines from “hidden cantinas who produce wine that until now has only been drunk by the Italians themselves”.

Here are 5 reasons to buy from them from co-owner Dario Planese

1 We only sell organic Italian wine that we have personally tasted and fallen in love with - usually at the vineyard with the family over lunch. Many are produced from indigenous varieties such as schiava and turbiana.

2 We love all things Italian and through our website we share the spirit of Italy and spread some Dolce Vita.

3 Loving Italian wine is loving life itself.

4 We are a small business - our customers are everything. Building our business is like constructing good lasagne: complex, slow, layered, tricky but so worth doing. Expect the best!

5 We are currently offering 10% off all our wines with coupon code BALCONIES on our website arthousewine.co.uk

The image is of wines from Inserrata vineyard https://www.arthousewine.co.uk/inserrata-wines.html in Tuscany where they produce their wine biodynamically; we have the red 100% Merlot, rose 100% Sangiovese and white 100% Chardonnay. They're fab labels, aren't they? You could be drinking alone but feel like you're with a friendly face - perfect for self-isolation!

5 Reasons is a free platform for small food and drink producers, importers and retailers to talk about what they do. See What is 5 Reasons all about? for a fuller explanation.

5 reasons to buy from Cambridge Wine Merchants

5 reasons to buy from Cambridge Wine Merchants

Hal Wilson, founder of Cambridge Wine Merchants explains how his staff have been going the extra mile - and how his customers have been responding.

"A week ago we were drinks wholesalers and retailers with welcoming wine bars. Today we are none of those things, our business plan swept away on a viral riptide.

Amazingly, though, my exceptional team is refashioning what we are, with the conviction that we can and will reimagine our purpose. Maybe it is the long hours or the large glass of Rosso del Palazzone taking their toll but I am deeply moved by this shared endeavour, in which we all have a role (whether working or furloughed).

1. Existing and new customers are finding our website, reading our emails and posts, sending their orders, their money, their love. Ruth Turner thanked us for being her 'fourth Emergency Service'!

2. Our logistics team is working 16 hour days to deliver cases to strangers’ doorsteps, while maintaining strict social distance.

3. Our sales team has gone into creative overdrive to repurpose our inventory for a new market, a different world. Wines destined to be enjoyed in restaurants now need to grace the isolated dinner table so everyone’s cooking better to be up to scratch!

4. Our buyers extend that sense of solidarity to our growers, with whom we build the path from grape to glass. Winemakers are just as vulnerable to the economic consequences of this outbreak as everyone else and we desperately want to keep working with the likes of Simon and Monica Coulshaw at Domaine des Trinités in Faugeres after this is over. For some it will be one crisis too many to weather, after years of climate change-induced short harvests.

5. Self-employed educators and journalists are also in our thoughts and plans, as we support WSET tutors like Steve Hovington to go online or distribute local magazines like Anne Beamish’s The Indie.

The future may be uncertain but the present is intensely real. And I’m proud to be part of it.

Take a look at what we're doing at www.cambridgewine.com

PS the above image brings back memories of the last time I was as exhausted as I feel now, winning The Ardbeg Peat Football World Cup. It reminds me of our solidarity, of being almost literally in the s**t together!

5 Reasons is a free platform for small food and drink producers, importers and retailers to talk about what they do. See What is 5 Reasons all about? for a fuller explanation.

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