The SLMan Food & Drink List


From an Edinburgh whisky range to a foodie pub in Richmond, these are the best new food and drink launches out there...
Photography TYGA; MANTECA

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THE PUB: The Fat Badger

The Fat Badger in Richmond is the fifth outpost from the Gladwin brothers, the family behind popular London restaurants The Shed and Sussex Soho. The neighbourhood venture offers all-day dining from a menu which highlights countryside classics with the use of wild, homegrown ingredients. Guests should begin at the Badger Bar, which serves AAA Maldon oysters freshly shucked at the counter, a selection of Cobble Lane charcuterie which hangs above the bar, small plates including mushroom eclairs and crab rarebit, and local craft beers. In the main space, expect starters such as venison tartare with quail’s egg and damson jam; and sticky spatchcock partridge with barley, sweetcorn and pesto.


THE WHISKY: Woven Whisky

Woven Whisky is a drinks start-up based in Leith, Edinburgh, that came to life during the pandemic. It wants to redefine blended whisky – from how it is perceived all the way back to how it is created. With five founders all well-established in the whisky industry, Woven has just launched a strong first collection comprising four limited-edition expressions: ‘Levels’, ‘The Smiling Whisky’, ‘Modern Nostalgia’ and ‘Slow Motion’. The first was created inside a single Octave cask from an Islay distillery and offers a woody experience. The second is a spicy, rounded whisky invigorated with youthful malt which was distilled in an ancient cognac cask, given to the team by Holyrood Distillery. All four are must-tries.



Manteca has opened its first permanent restaurant. Its Shoreditch venture centres on a glass-panelled hanging room for Chris Leach and his team’s in-house butchery and salumi. Lunch and dinner kicks off with these freshly sliced meats, which include fennel pollen salame; black pepper and lambrusco salami; coppa; ’nduja; and sticks of coppiette, a Roman-style pork jerky cured with Campari and fennel seeds. Among the starters are ’nduja-steamed mussels with cream, parsley and sourdough; and clam flatbread made with ancient grains. Pastas include brown crab cacio e pepe (a hit from the pop-up) and tagliatelle with smoked seaweed butter. Larger dishes cooked over fire are designed to be ordered and shared family style – think thick-cut Oxford Sandy pork chop and wood roasted sea bream. To drink, there’s a concise selection of aperitivi and amaro cocktails, mixed using the in-house amaro, made with artichoke leaves and chamomile.



Nuet Dry Aquavit claims to be the world’s first super-premium aquavit. It made history this year by becoming the first aquavit to receive an award in the gin category (Silver at the Nordic Spirits Awards 2021). A Scandinavian tradition since 1531, aquavit is typically enjoyed neat during special occasions such as Christmas and midsummer, but it has never really made it big outside its northern home. Nuet aims to take it to the next level by creating a fresh alternative to gin that works well with classic mixers like tonic. With grapefruit peel and blackcurrant influences accompanying the traditional slightly spicy caraway, Nuet Dry Aquavit is well worth trying this winter.



Santiago Lastra and the team at Kol have created a range of house mezcals. Bottles can be enjoyed at home via the newly launched Kol Store or in the Mexican restaurant’s dedicated mezcaleria. Each of these distinctive, terroir-driven mezcals has been sourced directly from independent mezcaleros from Puebla and Oaxaca. The excellent label designs have been inspired by traditional ‘La Loteria’ Mexican playing cards, making them a good shout for Christmas presents. The highly regarded restaurant’s house wines – four low-intervention blends created especially for Kol in partnership with Slovakian winemaker Slobodne – are also available for delivery nationwide via Kol Store.

Visit KolRestaurant.Store

THE PRE-BATCHED DRINKS: The Bottle Cocktail Shop

The award-winning team behind cocktail bar Homeboy has launched an online store, The Bottle Cocktail Shop. The platform specialises in bar-quality cocktails designed to be opened with friends or given as a present. The team’s pre-mixed drinks range comprises nine original-recipe bottles and will change each year. Of the current selection, we like the look of ‘Corn & Oil’, which combines Eminente seven-year rum, Velvet Falernum liqueur, aromatic bitters, lime and spring water to create a modern take on a rum and coke. There’s also free nationwide delivery and a small but decent selection of spirits, wines, beers and hard seltzers.


THE LUXE GIN: Cambridge Distillery Truffle Gin

This recent launch by Cambridge Distillery was created by master of wine and master distiller William Lowe. The result is the UK’s first digestif gin made from white Piedmont truffle. This truffle is highly prized for its rarity, the time it takes to grow, the skills required to harvest and its incredibly concentrated aromatic intensity. Cambridge Distillery's Truffle Gin works excellently in cocktails such a negroni – just add vermouth, Campari and crème de cassis.


THE COOKBOOK: The Essential New York Times Cookbook

Ten years on from the initial success of her ground-breaking cookbook, former New York Times food editor Amanda Hesser returns with an updated edition. She has added 120 popular recent dishes to the original thousand-strong selection which ran from 1940s classic caesar salad to modern no-knead bread. Joining the line-up are the likes of Samin Nosrat’s herbed rice with tahdig, Todd Richards’s fried catfish with hot sauce and J. Kenji López-Alt’s cheesy hasselback potato gratin. Hesser has tested each of the recipes and inside she highlights her go-to favourites. A great gift for foodies this Christmas – or for anyone looking to master some kitchen basics.



Standard Brew Co is a customer-owned, subscription-based brewery which ships out new and exclusive small-batch IPAs. Each month the team brews a different beer, making everything from SIPAs to TIPAs. For £20 a month, subscribers receive a six-pack of tank-fresh IPA straight from the brewery. Recent hits include IPA #003, a double header of citrus and tropical juice with a hint of pine, brought together by a smooth oaty malt build and sweet, balanced verdant yeast. Best of all, Standard Brew Co is awarding free shares to anyone who completes a year-long subscription.



Home cooks keen to expand their repertoire with the punchy flavours of South-East Asia should look into recipe kit specialist Tyga’s new offering. The South-East Asia Discovery Kit was created by Tyga’s in-house chef Shahin. Delivered in a letterbox-friendly format, it aims to teach cooks how to make some of the region’s best-loved dishes, from nasi goreng to delicate larb and pho. Every box contains a selection of perfectly portioned pastes, herbs and spice blends alongside easy-to-follow instructions. All you need to do is grab a few fresh ingredients, such as chicken and spring onion.


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