Rathfinny Wine Estate and Sussex Sparkling. If you’ve not heard of them yet you soon will because Sussex vineyards are the future of English wine production. With award-winning wines spilling out of the county it won’t be long before you’ll be toasting your celebrations with a glass or two of Sussex Sparkling.
Rathfinny, near Alfriston in East Sussex, is the state-of-the-art wine estate that’s on course to become England’s largest single-site vineyard. I dropped by this stunning Sussex vineyard to find out what all the fizz and the fuss is about.
Gin has long been my tipple of choice so I was delighted to find out this week that there’s a whole day devoted to everything gin. #WorldGinDay happens each year in June and began in 2009 (why did that take so long?). There are over 70 gin inspired events planned worldwide.
To celebrate I’m going to share with you some tips and a recipe to let you in on the secrets of how to make the perfect gin and tonic. So, let’s bow down to the botanicals and celebrate World Gin Day with a tipple or two.
Say hello to Aperol Spritz a cheeky little Italian apéritif. I first noticed Aperol Spritz in Venice. As the sun started to set, everywhere I looked people were sipping fluorescent-orange cocktails. In the piazzas and canal-side cafés, in bars, terraces and trattorias. Aperol Spritz.
Read on for how to make it, where to buy it and which glass you should serve it in…
Aperol Spritz Recipe
Of course I had to try it. Aperol Spritz tasted so different from any other Italian drinks I’d tasted before. I’d been Spritzed! Now, whenever I’m in Italy I have to treat myself to at least one glass and take a moment while I enjoy a sunset and the gentle bitterness of this unique tipple.
I’ve quaffed a spritz in Portofino, Positano and Catania to name a few places and I’ll be sure to have a glass or two when I’m in Venice in September. Yup, the future’s orange!
Where does Aperol Spritz come from?
The Spritz is a legacy from Austria which is why it was originally more popular in northern Italy. It’s sold in bars and cafés all over the country today and in Spain and the UK too. In fact you can buy Aperol in one of the UK’s leading supermarkets or here online. My Aperol Spritz glass of choice is a large goldfish bowl glass.
Aperol Spritz – Sunshine in a Glass
Aperol Spritz isn’t too alcoholic (11% ABV) so it’s perfect for a pre-dinner drink. It’s made with infusions of sweet and bitter oranges, rhubarb, gentian, herbs and roots – the recipe is a closely guarded secret so I can’t divulge any further. Campari is similar but not as sweet and with a higher alcohol content.
What does Aperol Spritz taste like?
Decidedly delicious; very slightly bitter with a sweet hint of orange and a light tang of herbs. The Prosecco gives it sparkle and the soda water refreshes. It’s Italy’s answer to Pimms. Summer in a glass.
Aperol Spritz Recipe
What ingredients make a Spritz?
3 parts Prosecco (75ml)
2 parts of your chosen aperitivo (50ml)
1 part soda water (25ml)
How to Make Aperol Spritz
Start by adding the ice to a large white wine glass or tumbler then pour in the Prosecco and Aperol (or whatever bitter you’re using e.g. Campari). Squirt in the soda water, give it a quick stir, adorn with a slice of fresh orange and you’re ready to spritz.
A glowing sunset, roof terrace or patio garden is the perfect setting or. ideally, drink in a Venice bar with a great view of the Grand Canal.
Have you Spritzed in Italy? What did you think?
It would be wrong to visit Tuscany’s wine region of Chianti in Italy without stopping off at a vineyard or two to sample Chianti Classico, the area’s most famous wine.
During our visit to the Chianti region we visited a variety of wine producers delivering exceptional wines. A brand new state-of-the-art winery, the oldest cellar in the region and a vineyard that’s experimenting with age-old wine production methods. Join me on a mini tour of three of the best Chianti wineries.