16 Amazing Wine Ideas

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Get ready for these 16 pretty amazing ideas that will thrill all the red-wine-blooded people out there. Watch out for some ideas that will work as excellent Christmas gifts for the wine lovers in your life…

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#1 Never be without your beloved wine again with a glass holder…

… in the shower…

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… in the park…

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Tovolo Steady Sticks

… in the garden…

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… on the beach.

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#2 Always know whose wine is whose with mildly amusing glass tags.

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#3 Show your love for the great wine gods with wine decorations lit throughout the house (or wine bottles with fairy lights inside).

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#4 Game of Thrones wine is a thing.

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#5 Warm wine? Never again with this decanter that has a removable ice pack.

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#6 Festive wine holders that look like penguins and reindeer.

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#7 A rainbow wine rack.

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#8 Just another Friday in the office.

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#9 How to fit five bottles of wine into one wine glass…

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#10 Wine is a way of life. You can even use it as a rolling pin for baking.

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#11 Halloween chillin’.

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#12 Wine ice-cream.

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#13 Wine jelly. (Serve with #12)

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From our Baking Bad blog

 

#14 Wine won’t solve your problems, but the same can be said for other things too.

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#15 Whimsical wine stoppers.

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#16 Because who wants a normal boring Christmas tree?

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I think it may be wine o’clock! Cheers! :)

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Find great gifts for winelovers this Christmas at smedson.com.

 

The Spiegelau Lager Glass Blog

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Consider yourself someone who knows good beer when they taste it? Have you got high standards when it comes to beer? Did you know that the glass you drink your favourite brew from may be hindering its taste? The purest raw materials used in the Spiegelau Lager Glass, along with a lager friendly shape, could enhance the aroma and taste of your favourite lager like you’ve never experienced.

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The Spiegelau Lager Glass was first created to bring out all the subtleties of pale lagers, but has proven to be excellent for many British ales too. As with each Spiegelau glass, the lager glass is individually designed in a way which accentuates the characteristics of these drinks. If you were to put it next to an ordinary glass and compare the two when they are filled, you will find a huge difference in the appearance, aroma and taste (give it a try, we dare you).

The lager glass is designed to preserve the refreshing character of your lager and ales. The shape of the glass will maintain a frothy head for longer and showcase the spectrum of flavours present in the beer (even subtle hints that may be over-powered in other glasses). It will release delicate aromas that you may never have experienced before, as other glasses fail to preserve these qualities because of their poor shape and quality.

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The thinness of the rim means that the beer freely hits the right regions of your tongue for a deliciously improved taste experience. The thinness of the Spiegelau glass will keep the beer refreshingly cool for longer, and its perfect clarity will make your beer look brighter and more appealing: the carbonation will be like watching your drink bubble in HD!

These features mean that you can finally enjoy the full spectrum of flavours of your beer and enjoy the taste the brewers lovingly crafted and intended you to experience.

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You might assume that such high quality glass is quite delicate, but it actually has a surprisingly fantastic breakage resistance and is certified ‘extremely dishwasher safe.’ In research by an independent laboratory, Spiegelau glass underwent 1500 dishwasher cycles and received no scratching, markings, loss of brilliance, foggy shadows, change in colour or brilliance, or build-up of water chemicals and residue.

Don’t waste your time, your money, or your favourite drink on a glass that won’t do it justice.

Lager not your thing? There’s also the IPA, StoutWheat Beer, Pilsner and Tulip glasses.

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Remembrance Day Poppy Curtain

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In honour of Remembrance Day this month, you can now find this lovely Poppy Shower Curtain on our website. All proceeds from sales of the poppy shower curtain will go to The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

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The red poppy has been used to commemorate fallen soldiers of war since 1921. It is used as a symbol as it grows wild in fields in northern France and Belgium, where many soldiers died in World War I. The idea of using the poppy was inspired by the World War I poem “In Flanders Fields” written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae.

Red is not the only colour of poppy that can be worn in remembrance. White poppies are a symbol of remembrance of fallen soldiers, but also of pacifism and objection to further war. Purple poppies are worn to remember the animals who have also served in war.

Find the Poppy Shower Curtain here.

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The Big 2000 Competition

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The Big 2000 Competition is taking place on both our Facebook and Twitter!

To enter on Facebook, make sure you like our page and the competition post. To enter on Twitter, make sure you follow us and RT one of our competition tweets.

Applicants are able to enter on both our Twitter and Facebook pages.

A winner will be chosen from those who have entered on Twitter when our Smedson Twitter page reaches 2000 followers. A winner will be chosen from those who have entered on Facebook when our Smedson Facebook page reaches 2000 likes.

The winners can choose one ‘Set of 2’ item from our Beer Classics range or our Vino Grande range, of value £17.50 each, as their prize. This means that winners can choose one of the following sets:

Beer Classics IPA Glass – Set of 2

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Beer Classics Lager Glass – Set of 2

 

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Beer Classics Stout Glass – Set of 2

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Beer Classics Tall Pilsner Glass – Set of 2

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Beer Classics Tulip Glass – Set of 2

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Beer Classics Wheat Beer Glass – Set of 2

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Vino Grande Bordeaux Glass – Set of 2

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Vino Grande Brandy Glass – Set of 2

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Vino Grande Burgundy Glass – Set of 2

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Vino Grande Champagne Flute – Set of 2

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Vino Grande Martini Glass – Set of 2

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Vino Grande Red Wine Glass/Water Goblet – Set of 2

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Vino Grande White Wine Glass – Set of 2

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Vino Grande White Wine Small Glass – Set of 2

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A prize must be claimed by messaging us with your prize choice and address. If the prize is not claimed within four weeks of announcement of the winner, the winner’s entitlement to the prize will be void.

Please note only UK residents are eligible for this competition.

Read more about the prizes at smedson.com.

The Ultimate Guide To Cheese Pairings

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Wine lovers! Beer lovers! Cheese lovers! Cast your eyes upon this ultimate guide of handy charts for cheese pairings: matches made in delicious cheese heaven.

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1. Make a great cheeseboard

First you need to know how to make a great cheese board (matching cheese with cheese if you will). If you’re hosting, you need a great and simple cheese plate that’s guaranteed to press everyone’s buttons. To do this, make sure you include all these cheese categories: creamy, nutty, sharp, fresh, and funky. An example of a balanced cheeseboard like this may include: brie, gouda, cheddar, goat cheese, and blue cheese.

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If you’re unsure of a wine that will go nicely with your cheeseboard variety, a rich, full-bodied chardonnay is a safe bet and will pair well with most cheeses.

2. Pairing cheese with wine

Now, for those of you who want to get a little more technical, you may want to know which cheeses pair specifically well with which wines rather than just using a ‘one-size-fits-all’ chardonnay. For a more perfectly paired experience, take a look below.

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There are so many options for enjoying wine and cheese together. This can be brilliant for variety but also perhaps overwhelming for beginners. Want a few more specific suggestions to start you off? Here are some particularly popular pairings (including a few extra for your parmesan, ricotta, or mozarella dishes) to guide you.

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3. Pairing cheese and beer

Pssh. Pairing wine and cheese? So over-done. If you’re looking for something a bit different, treat yourself/your guests to a fantastic beer and cheese pairing experience. Just as delicious, and something many people may not have thought of trying!

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A few more matches to try: an IPA should also go nicely with blue cheese, a saison with chèvre, a bock with aged Swiss cheese, and a brown ale with mild cheddar or sheep’s milk cheese.

4. Which cheese with which biscuits?

Not happy unless your pairings are absolutely perfect? In your cheese and biscuit/cracker selection there are complimentary pairings you may not have realised work really well together. Try them out!

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These are all suggestions that the experts recommend for maximum enjoyment when enjoying cheese. Of course each idea is subjective and you may have your own perfect pairings you’ve stumbled across that you use every time. Care to share? Let us know in a comment below!

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Psst! Another tip for your cheeseboard: a slate board like the one above from Jamie Oliver will stop your cheese getting too warm, keeping it at the right temperature for delicious cheese all night long!

Find what you need for all things wine, beer and food at smedson.com

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The Beautiful Match: Pairing Beer With Fine Food

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Contrary to popular belief, wine is not the only beverage that can be paired fantastically with food. Beer fans, if you haven’t already, it’s time to get in on the action too!

During this year’s London Beer City, we were lucky enough to attend one event hosted by the Brewers’ Association at Club Gascon, demonstrating how to match craft beer with fine dining for a delicious result.

As a general rule: start light and progress to darker, richer beers. Begin with refreshing, crisp wheat beers and pale ales, progressing to lagers and brown ales of matched intensity to your dish, finishing with full-flavoured stouts or porters to balance the sweetness of dessert.

Not only were they paired perfectly with food in this meal, but the beers were also matched to their uniquely designed glassware from Spiegelau, for maximum enhancement of the taste, aroma and appearance. Delicious!

1ST COURSE

For the first course, starting light with fish and wheat ale: Bells Brewery Oarsman (4.0%) in the Wheat Beer Glass, paired with Gillardeau oysters, apple crush, seaweed tartare and black tea tuile.

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2ND COURSE

Second course was a silky duck flan, ginger and hay jus, served with two complimentary pale ales in the Spiegelau Pilsner Glass.

The first match was a crisp Deschutes Brewery, Mirror Pond Pale Ale (5%).

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Followed by a light Boulder Beer Hazed and Infused American Pale Ale (4.8%).

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3RD COURSE

A third course of capuccino of black pudding, lobster and asparagus was paired with two IPAs in the unique Spiegelau IPA glass.

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First pour was Founders Centennial (7.2%), below, and second pour was Lagunitas (6.2%).

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4TH COURSE

Fourth course was gorgeous wood pigeon, orange, barigoule and glazed kumquat. Here we see a transition before dessert to stronger tastes with darker beers.

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First pour was Stevens Point Amber Lager (4.7%) in the Spiegelau Lager Glass.

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Second pour was Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale (6.7%) in a Spiegelau Tulip Glass: a darker beer in preparation for the rich and full-flavoured dessert stouts and porters.

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5TH COURSE

For dessert: The Millionaire, coffee, pink praline and frosted Worcestershire ice cream. As you can guess, very chocolatey and rich to match the beers.

First pour was North Coast Old Rasputin Imperial Stout (9%) in a Spiegelau Stout Glass, below. Finishing with a Heretic Chocolate Hazelnut Porter (7%) in a Spiegelau Tulip Glass.

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Aaaand then lay down and nap in a delicious food coma.

This epic meal is only one example of craft beer and fine dining complimenting each other just as well as fine food and wine. Yet, similarly to wine, beer can be matched with all sorts of other food too, not just fine dining. Here’s a great little guide from the Brewer’s Association to matching all kinds of meals, meats, cheeses, and desserts with beer.

Got any of your own favourite combinations you think everyone should try? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook

Want your own specialised Spiegelau glassware to enhance your beer? Take a look here.

An IPA’s Best Friend: The IPA Glass

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If you’re an IPA fan you’ve probably seen this quirky glass in a lot of beer snaps from beer bloggers and enthusiasts. If you don’t own one as your own pride and joy, you need to get in on this action!

Why do beer fans love them so much? In short: they showcase all the qualities of a good beer in stark contrast to a normal pint glass. Like drinking a beer in HD, if you will.

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Not just the endeavour of glassmakers, Spiegelau, the IPA glass was designed in partnership with the founders of breweries Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head. It was a labour of love: to make a glass that would enhance the IPA-drinking experience to epic heights. Hundreds of possible designs were considered in design and tasting workshops until a final line-up of eight custom-made prototypes were put to a secret vote. The brewers unanimously chose the glass you see here: ‘number 6.’

Of course a glass cannot fundamentally change a beer, but it can enhance the taste in comparison to other glasses. Did you ever notice your favourite IPA had a hint of pineapple to it? Those delicate qualities lovingly crafted by the brewer may be dominated by bitterness in a pint glass, yet suddenly come to life in an IPA glass. There is more balance and dimension to the drink. So how does an IPA glass manage this?

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A few features of the IPA glass:

  • A fine, laser-cut rim means the rim causes very little intrusion between your drink and your tongue. Thinner glass means more taste-bud impact.
  • The bulb shape acts like a chimney to collect and direct the aroma straight to your nose every time you sip.
  • The ribs create more surface area: increasing aeration, maintaining the foamy head, and renewing the aroma with every tip and sip.
  • Thin glass keeps the beer cooler and delicious for longer.

So you can see that it really hits all the senses when you drink.

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We’ve heard it compared to a high quality sound system, providing more detail to the experience: you can have the most beautiful song in the world playing, but if you’ve got bad speakers the song will not sound its best. Similarly, put your IPA in a bad glass and the quality of it will be lost: aromas will escape, delicate flavours will be overwhelmed and the drink will be less than its best.

In addition to taste, the brilliant clarity of glass is as expected from makers Spiegelau, meaning the beer looks better too: the colour of the beer is brighter and the bubbles are crystal clear. Like we said: drinking a beer in HD.

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Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? We have even witnessed non-beer-fans utter the words, “I don’t normally like beer, but I like that!” when trying a beer in a Spiegelau IPA glass for the first time.

Fundamentally, the IPA glass captures all the details of a beer and prolongs your enjoyment of them. If you’re a beer fan, this glass is definitely worth trying out. Try your own glass comparison test, and see the incredible contrast for yourself! Once you try it you’ll never go back.

You can find the IPA glass here.

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Rosé & Raspberry Jelly

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It’s jelly but not as you knew it! This is Rosé & Raspberry Jelly: wine jelly for adults. All you need is jelly cubes, wine and water.

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After having this (frankly magnificent) idea of Rosé & Raspberry Jelly, we went in search of pre-existing recipes and found some that are slightly more complicated than this (but still pretty simple). We decided to take the easiest route possible for this wine jelly, but it still ended up great (just the way we like it): bursting with mouth-watering flavours of red fruits and with a little kick to remind you that this ain’t no child’s dessert.

This ain’t no child’s dessert.

For this recipe, we simply followed the instructions on the packaging but swapped the ½ pint of cold water for wine. It takes only a few minutes to make but will take 5/6 hours to set.

All you need is raspberry jelly cubes (we used Hartley’s), rosé wine, and water.

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Rosé & Raspberry Jelly 

1) Separate the jelly cubes and place in a bowl.

2) Add ½ pint of boiling water to the cubes and stir until dissolved.

3) Add ½ pint of your chosen wine and stir. Pour into your mould or serving dish/es.

4) Allow to cool, then refrigerate to set.

SAM_2575 copy2And that’s it!

There are a variety of differently flavoured jelly cubes and wine combinations to experiment with that we think could work. For this recipe you could easily use strawberry jelly cubes instead of raspberry if you prefer. We’ll definitely be experimenting with this in future as it’s so simple to do but makes a refreshing, tasty wine treat. Cheers! :)

Our little jelly experiment is presented in our Spiegelau Authentis Casual Tumblers.

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15 Cake Pop Character Ideas

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Here are some fun ideas for making your cake pops into lovable characters! Would you be able to bring yourself to eat them though..? Probably, yes.

1. Despicable Me minions

Of course there are minion cake pops. There’s minion everything.

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2. Winnie The Pooh

Classic Pooh and P-p-piglet characters.

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3. Sesame Street

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4. Wall.E robots

Also with plant.

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5. Pac Man

Waka waka waka waka waka.

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6. Angry Birds

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7. Doctor Who

Yes, the TARDIS counts as a character.

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8. Stitch

The troublesome Disney alien from Lilo & Stitch.

9. Mr Potato Head

Now filled with cake instead of potato.

10. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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11. The Simpsons

With added three-eyed fish and doughnut cake pops!

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12. Pokemon

Who would you choose?

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13. Hello Kitty

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14. The Muppets

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15. Mario Kart

Perhaps more of a cake ‘bang’ than a cake ‘pop’.

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Picked one you want to try? Have a browse through our Cake Pop range for accessories to help you!

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Strawberry, Peach, Blackberry, & Orange Daiquiris

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Wonderfully fruity drinks that are so easy to make at home for a weekend treat. Fresh, sweet and slightly indulgent but we’re convinced they definitely count towards your five a day!

SAM_2334 copy blurA daiquiri is typically made up of rum, citrus and sugar. Fruity versions use fresh, crushed fruit, with the citrus and sugar combining for a sweet and sour taste, resulting in a sherbet-y taste that is yummy and refreshing.

SAM_23242 copy blurThe basics for these daiquiris are white rum, lime juice, sugar and fruit or fruit juice. You can also add extra liqueur for added alcoholic oomph. You may also want to add crushed ice to make an extra summery, refreshing beverage.

SAM_22762You’ll also need a cocktail shaker and a clean rolling pin. For some fruits that aren’t so easily squishable, you may want to use a blender.

SAM_22492FRUIT DAIQUIRI RECIPES

STRAWBERRY

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  • 4 fresh strawberries
  • 2 oz white rum
  • 1 tbsp strawberry liqueur
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice

Put the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and mash with the end of a rolling pin. Put the lid on and shake well. Strain the mixture into your martini glass.

PEACH

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  • 1 peeled & sliced peach
  • 2 oz white rum
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice

Whizz the peach in a blender until smooth. Add all the ingredients including the peach into a cocktail shaker and put on the lid. Shake well and strain into your martini glass.

BLACKBERRY

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  • 6-8 blackberries
  • 2 oz white rum
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice

Crush the ingredients together in the base of a cocktail shaker with a rolling pin. Place the lid on the shaker and shake well. Strain twice before serving.

ORANGE

daiquiris

  • 2 oz orange juice
  • 2 oz white rum
  • 1 tbsp orange liqueur
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice

Add all the ingredients to your cocktail shaker, put the lid on and shake well. Make sure all the sugar is dissolved and serve.

Et voila!

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Why not try other fruits like cherry, passion fruit, mango, or raspberry versions. Try it with your any of your favourite fruits! Fruit daiquiris totally count as one of your five a day, right?

SAM_2311 dark5The gorgeous glasses used in these photos are our Willsberger Anniversary Martini Glasses. You can find them here, along with other beautiful glassware on our website www.smedson.com.

 

 

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