THE EDIT • February 2021
With Dry January firmly in the rear-view mirror, we’re exploring the world from home with this, The Club’s globally inspired drinks cabinet. So, if you’re biding time until future travels (and want to collect Avios to put towards them), let’s imbibe these international intoxicants from our favourite places across the BA network…
The bourbon: Maker’s Mark
There’s a reason bourbon, the so-called ‘National Spirit of America’, was such a hit with those old-timey cowboys. Strong, sweet, and smooth, it’s an adaptable liquor that works well on its own, on the rocks, or mixed in a cocktail. To get a real sense of the flavour (and indulge your inner sophisticate) try sipping it neat, then adding a drop of water or a cube of ice. Amanda Humphrey, drinks program manager at Star Hill Provisions in Loretto, Kentucky, says: “You’ll be amazed at how the subtle alteration of a few ice cubes can open up and develop the flavours of the bourbon in your glass.”
Where to buy: Masters of Malt (5 Avios per £1 spent)
The wine: Lusco Albariño 2019
Though Spain is typically known for its hearty reds, white wine is having a moment, quite literally, in the sun – particularly Albariño, a crisp white with notes of white flowers, green apple, and citrus, hailing from the northwestern region of Galicia. The grape can be compared to a Sauvignon blanc, says master sommelier David Yoshida, but with “a distinctive underlying tone of fresh sea spray that transports you immediately to its place of origin.” Best drunk perfectly chilled alongside fresh seafood on a warm and sunny day (hang in there, they’re coming).
The gin: Plymouth English Gin
While gin may have recently garnered attention as Britain’s most popular bev, this is not new news. The spirit has been wreaking havoc (in the best way possible) around the UK since the 18th century. Plymouth Gin Distillery, in particular, has been expertly blending botanicals since 1793, longer than any other distiller in the country. Though there are heaps of cocktail concoctions, senior brand manager Rachel Palmer swears by a classic G&T: pour 50ml into a copa glass filled with cubed ice, top up with 100ml Fever-Tree Aromatic Tonic Water, and garnish with a lemon slice or zest of lemon.
The rum: Appleton Estate Signature Rum
It’s near impossible to think of Jamaica without immediately conjuring up the image of a thirst-quenching rum punch. For the best, look to Appleton Estate, the island’s oldest and most famous sugarcane estate and favourite of locals and tourists alike. The signature rum boasts flavour notes of dried apricot, fresh peach and just a hint of sweet molasses. Kamarla Simms, general manager of Sunset at the Palms Resort in Negril, recommends enjoying it with blended pineapple, papaya, banana and shaved ice for a tropical treat at home.
The sake: Akashi-Tai Junmai Daiginjo Genshu
The Japanese have been producing sake, also known as rice wine, for close to 2,500 years. The highest quality comes out of the Setouchi region near the Seto Inland Sea, where Yamada-nishiki, the best rice for brewing sake, can be found. Akashi-Tai (whose name literally means ‘sea bream’) pairs perfectly with, you guessed it, fresh fish. (Why not try your hand at making sushi?) Serve it chilled to fully appreciate the strong, signature scent, suggests Japanese brewery director, Kimio Yonezawa. Like grape wine, a bottle of sake should be consumed shortly after opening – ideally within three days, but up to a week, for optimum taste.