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London Wine Competition results

The results of the seventh international London Wine Competition, which took place on 18/19 March, are now in. The competition has become established as the world’s most relevant wine competition, where wines are judged on their quality, value and packaging.; the professional panel of judges included some of the most esteemed and highly-regarded professionals in […]

The art of the rebrand

We were approached by the UK-based PR agency looking after Belgian Owl, a Belgian distillery based in the region of Hesbaye, producing a range of authentic, Scottish-inspired whiskies.  The focus of the agency’s approach was that the distillery had undergone a major rebrand and we were invited to run the story. We agreed and we […]

Handmade heaven

When asked if we wanted to sample some handmade Belgian chocolate truffles, filled with a delicious chocolate ganache and Warwickshire Gin Company’s very own gins and rums, the answer was unequivocal: ‘yes’. The stunning truffles are a collaboration between two south Warwickshire businesses – Warwickshire Gin Company and Dale’s Handmade Ltd. The gin truffles, made […]

Best rum in South Africa

Lebogang Mooka, the founder of Mooka Rum explains why she entered the London Spirits Competition and the positive impact it has had on her business. Mooka Rum was launched in August 2022, manufactured and produced by one of South African’s best distilleries called Earthbound Distillery. I initially wanted to do gin, however after doing some […]

Back to the future

When Purity Brewing Company, the award-winning brewery based in Warwickshire, announced a historic licensing partnership with English Heritage, we were intrigued. Having contacted their PR agency, as we had already covered the news of this unique partnership, a box of six beers arrived at the office and appetites were whetted. The range comprises a 4% […]

Quite unusual

The first thing you think of when you mention Scotland, in relation to drinks, is whisky, and for obvious reasons. With over 150 distilleries producing some of the finest whiskies in the world, there’s a good reason for this hand-in-glove association.   So, when we were sent details of a gin produced in Scotland and, […]

Inspirational Pale Ale

Surrey-based One Planet Brewing Co has launched its first beer made using 100% solar power generated on site. The eco-friendly brewer makes all its beer using solar panels to generate enough electricity to power all its brewing activities. One Planet Brewing is a 15-hectolitre brewery, which launched with an initial investment of £250,000 from Hogs […]

Super smooth brandy

We were delighted to have received a bottle of St-Rémy’s Signature brandy, which was launched in 2020 as the new face of brandy. Presented in a new shaped transparent bottle, St-Rémy Signature was developed by the company’s master blender, Cécile Roudaut. The brandy is taken through two stages of maturation in both new oak and […]

Smooth single malts

The process of ageing and maturing spirits in previously used barrels dates back hundreds of years, but was more than likely discovered by chance when new products were transported in old barrels, resulting in the new liquid taking on some of the characteristics of its original wine or spirit. Over the centuries the process of […]

Mixing it up with Mocktology

The founders of start-up company, Mocktology, have combined the science of mocktails and how our senses react to flavours. In 2017 Rehana Choudhry and Shivali Lakhani started experimenting with the development of a range of alcohol-free syrups that would be used to make mocktails. The launch of their company was delayed by Covid-19 and the […]

Vodka that hits the mark

Before you even take the first sip of Kingmaker Vodka – a premium of 41% ABV British vodka produced by the award-winning Warwickshire Gin Company – you sense you’re in for a treat. The confident brand messaging starts with the elegant, elongated octagonal glass bottle with a short, straight neck and over-sized stopper. The black […]

Knock-out rums

The Warwickshire Gin Company, an award-winning distillery based in Leamington Spa, has turned its distilling prowess to producing three new rums under The Pugilist brand: White Rum, Spiced Blended Rum and Honey Rum.  After going a few rounds with the three varieties, there was no overall winner and we declared a tie. The White Rum […]

A warm welcome awaits

I didn’t know that Dunfermline was the capital of Scotland until 1452 or that the city — as it became in 2022 (part of the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations) — has so much to offer locals and visitors, alike.  During my recent visit I visited Dunfermline Abbey, which was built on the site of […]

Dunfermline on the map

There are many reasons to visit Dunfermline, a town that was conferred city status in October 2022 by King Charles III — part of the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. The city, which was the capital of Scotland until 1452, has much to offer locals and visitors, alike. There’s Dunfermline Abbey, which was built on […]

Mead in heaven

Mead is one those drinks that we’ve all probably heard about, but never tasted, and don’t really know what it is. Mead is a drink that is brewed using honey in the fermentation process and its history can be traced back over 10,000 years when it was first produced in China. Centuries later, the Greeks […]

Twice as good

We were very fortunate to meet the owner of Kinsale Spirit Company during a meet the makers event at the Irish Embassy in London earlier this year, who recently sent us a bottle of their Spanish Earl, Single Malt Irish Whiskey and a bottle of Kinsale Gin, both of which are reviewed in this feature. […]

Some like it hot

Warwick-based That Gin Company, recently sent us a bottle of their fiery gin That Jalapeños, which we looked forward to tasting the moment it arrived.  Here at Hand Crafted Drinks Magazine, we like hot and spicy food, and so we were intrigued when we first heard about this gin to see just how hot it […]

BRUBL’s triumph

The quality of drinks that are being produced by artisan companies continues to impress and the diversity of those products grows by the week, judging by the number of press releases we receive announcing new companies, products and brands. Here at Hand Crafted Drinks Magazine we only witness a small proportion of the new products, […]

Sky Wave Zero

Sky Wave Zero is a new, alcohol-free drink distilled with the same innovation and passion we have come to expect from premium spirits brand, Sky Wave Gin. To perfect this new zero-alcohol distilled drink it has taken their master distiller, Andrew Parsons, over eighteen months to develop. Parsons applied the same expertise that has helped […]

Inspired by nature

Centuries ago, the Aborigines unlocked the healing power of the eucalyptus tree, which was revered by Australia’s indiginous people. The sacred plant was used to promote health and cleanse, and was part of rituals and ceremonies to cure the spirit. They would crush and soak the eucalyptus leaves in water to create a medicine that they used […]

Gin designed for you

Warwick-based That Gin Company, which also owns a cocktail bar, offers customers the chance to create their own flavoured gin. Most artisan and hand-crafted drinks companies will argue, rightly so, that their products are unique, whether it is the ingredients used, the processes employed or a totally new product. But, in the case of That […]

A real gem of a gin

We were recently sent a bottle of Triple Three Gin, produced in South Africa by Triple Three Distillery, which in 2022 won a brace of trophies for its Just Juniper Gin at the prestigious Trophy Spirits Show: the Investec Trophy for Best London Gin and the Riedel Trophy for Best Gin of Show. This was an […]

Super smooth whisky

Having sampled the Highland Birchwater produced by Birkentree I struggled to find enough superlatives to describe the smoothness that their product adds to whisky. When I first poured the birchwater into my tumbler of whisky there was no discernible difference from adding regular water. At this stage I didn’t really expect to experience anything dramatically […]