THE BBQ ENHANCER: HonestBrew Mini Kegs
HonestBrew is celebrating the return of larger al fresco gatherings with the launch of two mini kegs. Designed for summer BBQs and parties, each keg is portable and serves eight pints – ideal for gatherings where you don’t want to take up valuable space in the fridge with layers of cold cans. Choose from Adnams Ease Up IPA at 4.6% – a clean, dry finish, accompanied by subtle sweetness from the barley – or a 4.9% Jever pilsner, which has the complexion and aromas of a classic pils, but with a more pronounced hoppiness and bitter finish.
THE GADGET: Kasai Grill
Sous Vide Tools has launched its British-made Kasai Grill, a stainless-steel BBQ inspired by the Japanese ‘konro’. Meaning ‘fire’ in Japanese, the Kasai is ideal for grilling meats, vegetables and fish and its compact design means it fits neatly into various garden or outside settings. Loved by chefs such as Tommy Banks (The Black Swan at Oldstead), its structure uses a special insulating material that reflects heat back into the grill, allowing for a consistent temperature throughout cooking. As a result, charcoal burns longer than it would in conventional grills, making the Kasai ideal for multi-course BBQs.
THE LUNCHTIME PICK-ME-UP: Future Noodles
Carl Clarke, chef and founder of cult London restaurants Chick ’N’ Sours and Chik’N, has launched Future Noodles, a range of nutritionally complete, natural, plant-based instant noodles. The brightly coloured pots of noodles are ready in three minutes by just adding boiling water, and currently comprise three flavours: Spicy Kimchi, Smokey Shiitake and Miso Noodle Soup, and Super Root Yellow Curry. A huge upgrade on the classic Pot Noodle, each pack is vegan and loaded with all the protein, fibre, essential fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals needed to aid a balanced diet. Check out the website for plenty of ideas for pimping your pot with the likes of kimchi, sesame seeds and pickled cucumber.
THE NEW DRINKS TREND: Umeshuya
Plum wine – ume – is a staple in Japan. Since 2008, Umeshuya has been working with a variety of producers to create a varied roster of sake and wines. Now the brand has launched in the UK. Among the current selection, we love the look of the Ebisu Fuku ume, which is infused into brandy, aged for 20 years and pairs well with meat. Enjoy it neat, over ice or mixed with soda water for a refreshing summer drink.
THE COOKERY COURSE: Banquist
Bound to impress even the fussiest of foodies, Banquist’s meal kits are curated by leading chefs and designed to teach customers how to cook world-class food in the comfort of their own home. Right now, we like the sound of the Gary Foulkes masterclass, which sees the head chef of Michelin-starred Angler teaching you how to BBQ chimichurri beef, create delicious sides and make a knockout salted chocolate feuilletine tart. For something more extensive, this month Theo Randall is hosting a series of pasta-making workshops, held virtually each Thursday.
THE COOKBOOK: Fish and Seafood to Share
This month, husband and wife team Rick and Katie Toogood of fishmonger and restaurant Prawn on the Lawn release a new-look edition of their excellent cookbook Fish and Seafood to Share. Made with family, friends and feasting in mind, it equips the reader with all the skills to create fuss-free, restaurant-quality dishes at home, on the BBQ or at the beach. Among the many recipes, we’re most excited about recreating the smoked mackerel pate; smoked haddock scotch egg with romesco sauce; and shellfish stew with parsley oil.
THE SPIRIT: Mijenta Tequila
Mijenta is a new premium tequila that’s crafted with a commitment to environmental sustainability and support for the local community in Mexico. After a successful launch in the US last year, it’s now available to buy in the UK. Mijenta achieves its distinctive flavour profile through traditional methods, using fully mature, certified 100% Blue Weber agave from the highlands of Jalisco, where it is grown using zero pesticides and herbicides. The stylish bottles are made from Mexican stock glass, while the labels are produced using agave waste.
THE SHOP: The Sea, The Sea Hackney
Chelsea’s chef-led fish shop and seafood bar The Sea, The Sea is set to open a multipurpose space in Hackney at the end of July. In a railway arch on Acton Mews, the venue will serve as a centre for product development, with the team producing a range of stocks and sauces to sell to customers. From September it will also house an immersive dining counter led by executive chef Leo Carreira.
THE WHISKY: Gladstone Axe
Named after four-time prime minister William Gladstone, this new launch is a modern twist on classic Scotch. There are two expressions in the range: The American Oak and The Black Axe. Both whiskies have been selected from the Highlands and Islay to create two easy-drinking smooth blends made up of 14 single malts. The American Oak is aged and finished in bourbon barrels, while The Black Axe has a higher proportion of Islay malts to add a smokier edge.
THE SUBSCRIPTION: By The Glass
By The Glass is a new subscription service from Wine List that delivers wine knowledge through your letterbox, three glasses at a time. Ideal for those wanting to get a head start on their wine knowledge or to mix up a midweek WFH lull, you get three top wines, along with tasting notes and full info for them. Focusing on lesser-known wines, indigenous grapes and lower-intervention winemaking, the team rebottles wines using proprietary technology which makes glasses stay fresh for two weeks. Best of all, if you find a wine you love, as a subscriber you’ll get discounts on case purchases.
THE SMOKING STARTER PACK: Woodsmith
Started in lockdown, Woodsmith is on a mission to transform cooking over fire. Specialising in woods such as hazel and blackthorn, which are often hard to come by, each bag of kindling is made with a specific cooking style in mind and comes in the form of chips, chunks, logs or charcoal. For those looking to get started, Woodsmith’s starter bundle costs £39 and contains 3kg of lumpwood charcoal, 1.5kg of applewood chips, 50 eco-friendly firelighters and 200g of ‘The Smoky One’, a flavour-enhancing rub. All Woodsmith products are available for nationwide delivery.
THE LOW-BOOZE LAUNCH: Small Beer
Bermondsey’s Small Beer specialises in brewing classic beer styles below 2.8% ABV. The UK’s first dedicated small beer brewery, the team is on a mission to change the future of drinking culture. This summer, it’s launched its Summer of 21 organic IPA. Designed to accompany BBQs and get-togethers, it offers a floral hop aroma on the nose, followed by a hint of orange and a punch of crisp biscuit on the palate, finished with a rich marmalade-like bitterness. The range is now available to shop via Ocado, Borough Box and Abel & Cole.
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