Christmas presents 7: flavoured vodka

I know, I know, I’m the first to grumble about people adding stuff to take the flavour of a drink or food away. Only yesterday I was grumbling – unkind people may even say ‘whining’ – about people putting salt in chocolate or caramel and ruining it.

However, I find vodka is a bit different, primarily because it tastes of very little except alcohol. Unlike whisky, brandy or rum I find little to distinguish one vodka from another. So longer term readers might remember I became reasonably fond of the Christmas Pudding flavoured tipple from Howard’s of Kent,  tasted like Christmas pudding in a glass.

Now, my wife finds vodka-based drinks make her feel ill, so it’s no comment on Howard’s that the drink in question lasted some time, and by late January I was pretty bored with it. There was no doubting the quality, I’d just suggest going for that one when you have friends around and disposing of it relatively quickly when the season is right. Meanwhile they’ve kindly sent me some other samples to try.

They’re all good. The chilli version is positively searing and does what it says on the tin; the limoncello is very refreshing after a heavy meal…

Actually they’re all good but if you wanted something terrific and unexpected this year, just go for the rhubarb. It sounded utterly repulsive, I admit – rhubarb, which coats your teeth at the best of times, and a fairly insipid spirit, what’s to like? The combination, though, is delicious. Warming, sweet but with that extra edge of sourness from the fruit (if indeed rhubarb is technically a fruit, I’ll leave that to wiser heads than mine).

They don’t sell off their website and are primarily fairs-based; they’ll be at Croydon High School this weekend (a full list of their appearances is here) – if you arrive and find all the rhubarb stuff has gone, it means I’ve got their first and stocked up!

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