I don’t think I’m alone in feeling a rush of relief when the kids returned to school after the Easter break. We had a fabulous holiday in Turkey – more on that later – but I hadn’t spent a moment alone for over two weeks and the inquisition was doing my head in.
The questions from my kids are just relentless. I have a question kids, “why are you asking me? I’m new here too!”
We went all inclusive for this holiday, the first time we’ve done that for years. It was an absolute bargain – two large interconnecting rooms in a five star hotel, with a water slide park in the resort, and a private beach. All food and drink was included, and the beer was literally on tap – we could help ourselves.
Unfortunately I’m not much of a beer fan – too much gas. I’ll spare you the details.
I opted for cocktails. The spirits were a poor imitation of the brands I’d drink in the UK, but I had to try them all out just to be sure. The apple martini was just about drinkable.
Our drinking policy
Mr Maven and I have a drinking policy at home: we abstain Sunday to Wednesday, and on Thursday to Saturday it’s a free for all.
There are many exceptions to the rule. Firstly, if one of us is out drinking with friends during the abstinence days (which is allowed), the remaining spouse can crack open the alcohol at home. Secondly, I don’t like waste, so we wouldn’t throw away a half bottle of wine on a Sunday night. That is consumed. Purely for environmentally friendly reasons you understand.
On holiday, all bets are off.
Now we’re home and I haven’t had a drink for several days and I’m gasping for a G&T.
Luckily, before Easter I was sent (as a gift in return for my honest review) a discovery box of craft gins from Flavourly, an online shop where you can buy craft beer, gin, spirits, gifts and subscribe to monthly discovery boxes. Each gin discovery box contains a batch of three x 200ml bottles of gin from small, specialist distilleries, a mixer and snack.
My box contained Manchester Gin Wild Spirit, The Ginsmiths of Liverpool Citrus and a Flavourly Gin Project Honey and Raspberry Liqueur, along with a Fentimans Rose Lemonade.
The Honey and Raspberry Liqueur is lovely just chilled and poured over ice. You could add soda water but it is sweet, smooth and delicious on its own. I tried the other two spirits neat, but prefer gin in a cocktail.
In the spirit of research, I made, tested and photographed a few of my cocktail recipes for your (i.e. my) enjoyment.
Top tip: chop up fruit or herbs and freeze them with water in your ice cube trays for a bit of extra flavour and colour.
Three gin cocktail recipes:
Grape and elderflower gin & tonic
Chop and muddle a handful of grapes, a few leaves of mint and a splash of elderflower cordial. Add a large shot of gin, add ice and top with tonic. Garnish with mint and grapes.
Gin Moscow Mule
Muddle half a lime with a handful of mint leaves. Add a measure of simple syrup*, a large shot of gin, add ice and top up with ginger beer. Spicy and zingy!
*I made my own simple syrup, using equal parts sugar and water. Dissolve and mix together sugar and water in a saucepan on the hob and leave to cool. I have stored the remaining syrup in the fridge – it will keep for ages.
Citrus Gin and Rose Lemonade
Simply mix a large shot of citrus gin with rose lemonade. The sweetness of the lemonade is balanced by the tartness of the citrus alcohol. I added a slice of cucumber to mine.
You can win a Flavourly craft gin discovery box
Flavourly is giving away one Gin Discovery Club box to a UK reader. All you need to do is follow the instructions in the box below and keep your fingers crossed! I’ll choose a winner randomly using my competition software. Please note the competition is open only to over 18s and is for UK residents.
Flavourly is also offering Lifestyle Maven readers 10% off your first order of anything on the site. Either add the code MAVEN10 or use this link which will apply the discount automatically. Valid for new customers only. Over 18s only. UK only.
Much love, Vx[Disclosure: affiliate links are used in this post. Flavourly sent me their craft gin discovery box in return for my honest review. Unfortunately I had to pay for the holiday myself!]