I think I’ve written before that as the crow flies, I live less than 6 miles from the home of Belvoir Cordials. Which means I’m probably going to get driven out the Vale for writing this post! But the team at Bottlegreen sent me some of their limited edition sparkling elderflower pressé, which is just too pretty:
I love elderflower, in cordial or pressé, at any time of the year as a non-alcoholic drink, but it’s particularly good in the summer. It looks pretty in a wine glass, tastes refreshing and works well with a shot of gin…oh, maybe that’s not the idea, but can’t deny that it works!
I’m not sure that I’d mix the two, but if you wanted a more alcoholic version, then I really like the St Germain elderflower liquer too, which goes brilliantly with fizz to make a real change from a kir royale. Obviously I’ve missed the time to pick blossom, and one year must attempt my own cordial. You have to be quick round here though, Belvoir still pay well for any kilos of blossoms you take to them, and in May and June you can’t move for hedgerow pickers!
I realised when I had published yesterday’s post that there were other old foodie friends that we stopped by at the East Mids Food Festival, with one of them being Belvoir Fruit Farms. I know they are quite literally just up the road, but still we came back with 3 different bottles.
If you’ve not discovered Belvoir, which I am sure in most of the country is pronounced the French way but here is Beaver, then you really should, particularly if you want good cordials to provide adult alternatives to wine. Lets face it, Diet Coke is not a good accompaniment to most meals, and you can get bored of water.
As a great alternative to white wine then I’m very fond of the elderflower. Great with still water, even better with sparkling. There’s now a Elderflower, Gooseberry & Muscat Grape, which sounds a perfect alternative to a white wine on a summer’s day. They’re also really useful as bases for sorbets, when you need a little helping hand!
For something to accompany a beef casserole or similar, then it has to be Spiced Winter Berries. I stockpile this, as it is seasonal, but I love it. Works equally well as a hot drink or cold, you could also spice a warm mugful up a bit more with a grating of nutmeg or a swirl with a cinnamon stick. You can buy them directly from Belvoir, or most branches of Waitrose.
If you were after more traditional alcohol free versions of wine, then The Alcohol Free Shop is probably a good place to start. They have red, white, rose and sparkling wines, plus alcohol free beer and cider. They also stock the Fentimans traditional sodas, like ginger beer and dandelion & burdock. New to me earlier this year was Kingsdown Drinks, which has a great range of British drinks including not only Belvoir Cordials but also Luscombe and juices from Moors and Lawton Cross.
With the Christmas season coming up this is a good time to start thinking ahead to organise some interesting alternatives to any non drinkers you may be entertaining over the season. They’ll be grateful not to be greeted with diet coke or orange juice and lemonade. Or they can be there for those good intentions of your New Year’s resolutions!