Cotswolds Dry Gin cloudy gin and tonic ice

Raise a Glass: Lockdown drinks of gin and a lovely sauvignon blanc

Jane Clare lockdown drinks

The Raise a Glass feature is published every week. Here’s one from the beginning of Lockdown when my lockdown drinks included a gin with a twist and a fabulous dinner of leftovers with a lovely New Zealand sauvignon blanc. 


Life in lockdown so far has been mainly sunny (oh no! I’m tempting fate saying that!) which has meant more than one or two gins in the garden.

Lockdown drinks  – a drop of gin

My daughter escaped from London just before lockdown kicked in; which means I have a partner in crime here with me and she’s introduced me to my very favourite gin experience. The gin sour.

It is so, so easy and delicious. I’ve picked up a gin every week from Lidl during my essential shop: – Finton’s Special London Dry Gin (£9.99) – which does the trick perfectly. [update … I’m still buying this gin three months’ on!]

This is my version of the Gin Sour: Add 15ml of fresh lemon juice, 15 ml of fresh lime juice and 15ml of sugar syrup to a cocktail shaker. (If you don’t have one, use an old jam jar, or even a water bottle – and it’s also easy to make your own syrup). Then add an egg white. Shake and shake until the mixture becomes frothy and white.

GIn Sour lockdown drinks
Gin Sour – my first-ever attempt … (and spot the schnauzer)

Strain it over a measure of gin and ice.

We’ve shaken it with the ice and gin too and poured into cocktail glasses with a curl of zest.

Just go with what you fancy. Then relish it.

I haven’t used my latest gin discovery to make my zesty gin sour livener as it is very interesting in its own right.

Cotswolds Dry Gin (RRP: £34.95, Cotswoldsdistillery.com, Waitrose, Majestic, Oddbins, Laithwaites) performs a little act of chemistry every time you add tonic.

Because of the way it is made, it turns cloudy. This is mainly due to the volume of essential oils, particularly from the freshly peeled lime and grapefruit used in production. Hence its signature pour – The Cloudy G&T. I love it.

Cotswolds Dry Gin lockdown drinks
Cotswolds Dry Gin … a Cloudy G&T!

Sauvignon blanc and risotto

I hit the kitchen to turn some lockdown leftovers into a kind of’ risotto.

I used Sunday roast chicken, homemade stock, leeks and celery and mushrooms and then stirred in frozen peas and parmesan, basil and parsley.

It was delicious, but the star of the show was the consistently delicious Yealands Reserve Sauvignon Blanc (Waitrose, RRP £11.59).

It has a bite and sizzle of zesty acidity with tropical fruit undertones. Well not so much undertones as full on rock (a nod to music there).

International Sauvignon Blanc Day is celebrated on May 1st – if you’ve missed it there’s always time to play catch-up with a glass of savvie B. Find out more online at sauvignonblancday.co.nz

A classic pink

A pink which has sat alongside me in the lockdown sun is one of my favourites.

Mirabeau’s Classic Provence Rosé (RRP £11.99 – Waitrose and Ocado) has been named as the “Best of Show French Rosés” by respected Mundus Vini in 2020.

It is everything you could want from a rosé; refreshing and bright with red fruits, raspberries and strawberries.

Mirabeau’s Classic Provence Rosélockdown drinks
Lockdown drinks … Mirabeau’s Classic Provence Rosé

Finally, if the Co-op is on your list of essential shop destinations, a pretty little prosecco is Corte Molino Prosecco DOC Extra Dry (RRP £8.50). Make a Venetian Bellini by blitzing up the flesh of a few white peaches and spooning the purée into chilled flutes. Top up with prosecco.


First published in over 30 regional newspapers including:
Hull Daily Mail – Leicester Mercury – Cambridge News – Liverpool Echo South Wales Echo – Daily Post Wales –  Huddersfield Examiner – The Chronicle, Newcastle  – Teesside Gazette – Birmingham Mail – Coventry Telegraph  – Paisley Daily Express 

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