The Chinese New Year, which starts on Monday, is one of those annual events that really captures the imagination. It is celebrated in such a colourful and joyous way and Chinese food is so delicious, quick and simple to make that I hope you won't be able to resist having a go at it.
In case it's escaped your notice today is International Gin and Tonic Day - a rather bizarre notion but then every food and drink seems to have its own day these days. However it does provide an excuse to re-run this article on how to make the perfect gin and tonic, under the guidance of the great Salvatore Calabrese:
There’s been a huge growth in interest in gin over the last few years so this month’s prize of six ‘Silver Outstanding’ medal-winning gins from the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) is a great chance to compare and contrast different styles and hone your cocktail-making skills
You may find the idea of making cocktails daunting but bar consultant Kate Hawkings says it's simply a question of stirring a couple of good ingredients in a glass. Here are four of her current favourites.
We automatically think of matching wine and cheese or beer and cheese but there are many drinks that work just as well and can give a real ‘wow factor’ to your cheeseboard.
Given the immense popularity of gin the chances of you sitting in a bar downing a gin-based cocktail are pretty high. But at some point you're going to need something to eat so what kind of food can you pair with it?
You know how difficult it is to find a good wine and cheese match? Well here are five I’ve recently tasted that hit the spot perfectly. Four were at a tasting at the recent Bristol Wine Fair that was conducted by the food and wine writer Andrea Leeman. The other was a serendipitous one I came across the other night when we were eating with friends.
There hasn’t been a drink of the week for a couple of weeks so I’m making up for it and posting 3 really good gins I’ve tasted recently.
Having spent my first two days in South Africa in regions that specialise in Sauvignon Blanc (Elgin and Constantia) it won’t greatly surprise you I’ve been drinking a fair bit of it. The greater surprise, as someone who has become Sauvignon-weary is how much I’ve been enjoying it.
A simple and delicious Christmas dessert from my mate Sarah Randell, food director of Sainsbury's Magazine, which combines two of my favourite things, jelly and cocktails.
If you haven't yet worked out what to drink tomorrow (which is February 14th, if you need reminding!) here are a few suggestions to match popular Valentine's Day foods.
You like gin? You like shiraz? You’re in luck! Australian distillery Four Pillars has combined the two in a gin they’ve called Bloody Shiraz, the perfect bottle with which to celebrate Australia Day.
If you’re going to stay with someone - or even just have a meal with them - over Christmas, it’s good to take along a bottle of some kind and if you don’t know their taste in wine why not make it gin?
"The Negroni is the Marmite of mixed drinks" writes Ian Cameron. So why does it put so many people - including restaurant critic Jay Rayner - off?
Unless you've been living in outer Mongolia you can't fail to be aware that the Paddington movie goes on release today. Cue for a marmalade cocktail!
One of the main events at the Dartmouth Food Festival this weekend was a dinner at Mitch Tonks Seahorse restaurant cooked by London chef Mark Hix. The unusual factor though was that every dish was matched with a cocktail.
Judging by my Instagram feed practically everyone is eating avocado toast at least once a day but what do you drink with it?
I’ve already written about how well game terrine pairs with oloroso sherry. Now I’ve discovered an equally good, if not better pairing: London Dry Gin.
Ask the man in the street where Japanese gin comes from and he’d look at you pityingly. "Japan, of course!" But actually this 42% ultra-premium gin comes from Cambridge, England.
Gin isn’t just an aperitif, it’s also a surprisingly good match for food as I’ve already suggested in this post. Last week I discovered yet another way to enjoy it - with peppered smoked mackerel.
We think of gin even less than whisky as a pairing for food but with the incredible popularity of gin these days - and the need for the many new entrants to the field to create a distinctive image for their brand that could be about to change.
No Christmas would be complete without a slice of Stilton or its unpasteurised cousin Stitchelton. But what to drink with it? The usual answer is port - and that of course is classic - but here are some other drinks that make great pairings
"What better drink to toast ghouls and witches (or to drown out all the Hallowe'en nonsense) than a Corpse Reviver No.2?" writes award-winning mixologist Jared Brown.
A deliciously fruity but simple cocktail from Hawksmoor at Home that makes use of in-season raspberries. (So one of your 5-a-day, maybe? ;-)
My first meal of the new year was a Mexican which might sound unusual in London but not much is open on New Year’s Day. We went to Wahaca which has a number of restaurants around the capital with some good non-alcoholic drinks options.
We asked our mixologist friends Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller of Mixellany to come up with the perfect Thanksgiving cocktail. This is it.
If you want to celebrate Mardi Gras in style you can do no better than go for one of the classic New Orleans cocktails which, according to my learned friend Jared Brown of Mixellany, are the Ramos Gin Fizz, Hurricane, Vieux Carré and the Obituary.
The port and Stilton combo has become a bit of a cliché. Not that it doesn't work - it's hard to fault - but if you want to really impress your guests and take them out of their comfort zone, serve your stilton with a shot of sloe gin instead. It has much the same brambly flavour as a Late Bottled Vintage port but, despite being stronger, manages to taste lighter, fresher and less alcoholic.
I’ve never been a great fan of Pimm’s so I wasn’t expecting much from the Heston Blumenthal Fruit Cup which has just been launched by Waitrose.
Despite the naff name I love the sound of this refreshing orangey beer cocktail created by legendary mixologist Nick Strangeway for Badger Ales. Great presentation too!