Pampelle Cocktail.
Pampelle Cocktail.
Image: Supplied

‘Tis the season to get festive (responsibly, of course). Whether you’re lounging by the pool, or wanting to bring in the New Year in style, look no further: we’ve locked down the very best drinks options to round off an imperfect year just perfectly.

The mixer: Pampelle Cocktail

Made with handpicked grapefruit from the Mediterranean island of Corsica, this complex aperitif is as bittersweet as 2020. Enjoy with tonic, as a spritz or topped with bubbly and a little soda water.

The whisky: Buitenverwachting Single Malt Limited Release

Distilled from straight-neck stills and then matured in refill bourbon barrels for six years at Loch Lomond, this whisky is then finished in a combination of red wine barrels from Buitenverwachting Wine Estate for a further six months. Literally meaning “beyond expectation’’, Buitenverwachting certainly lives up to its name with this offering.

Buitenverwachting Single Malt Limited Release.
Buitenverwachting Single Malt Limited Release.
Image: Supplied

The bubbly: Klein Constantia MCC 2016

100% chardonnay grapes are selected from one of the oldest vineyards on the lower slopes of Klein Constantia. Harvested in numerous batches to ensure complexity, freshness, fruit and intensity, the palate is rich and zesty, defined by a fine and delicate mousse. An ideal bubbly to toast to the end of 2020.

Klein Constantia MCC 2016.
Klein Constantia MCC 2016.
Image: Supplied

The rosé: Wade Bales Shiraz Rosé 2020

Made by the acclaimed Groot Constantia Wine Estate, this Rosé has a delicate shell pink colour and an equally appealing flavour. Aromas of strawberries and just-sliced melon give way to a palate brimming with fresh acidity and a clean, dry finish. Pair with a light salad, light pasta or seafood and rice dishes.

Wade Bales Shiraz Rosé 2020.
Wade Bales Shiraz Rosé 2020.
Image: Supplied

The sparkling wine: Bernini Amber

In true trendsetting style, Bernini has just added a new addition to their range of ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages. Inspired by the growing orange wine trend, Bernini Amber is a light yet complex sparkling wine — sweet and fruity with a delicate amber colour and Frizzantè bubbles.

Bernini Amber.
Bernini Amber.
Image: Supplied

The cognac: Rémy Martin VSOP

Almost a century ago, the first VSOP Cognac Fine Champagne blend was created. Year after year since, Rémy Martin’s Cellar Masters create a worthy tribute — crafted in the same elegant taste and vibrant style as the 1927 original. Try it neat or in a classic Remy Ginger (just add ice, ginger ale, a wedge of lime and a single grind of black pepper).  

Rémy Martin VSOP.
Rémy Martin VSOP.
Image: Supplied

The spirit: Belvedere Single Estate Rye Series

Belvedere Single Estate Rye Series.
Belvedere Single Estate Rye Series.
Image: Supplied

We’ve always known terroir is a critical factor in winemaking, but vodka? The notion of terroir in vodka is nothing short of a rye-volution. Belvedere has just unveiled two distinctly different vodkas in an exciting new series dedicated to celebrating terroir: Smogóry Forest and Lake Bartężek. Each is crafted on a separate, single estate in different areas in Poland. When tasted side by side, the two complex vodkas beautifully express their distinctly different upbringings. Enjoy either neat or on the rocks.

If you’re looking for a classy cocktail, try this Lake Blossom recipe — a characterful alternative to a classic rye whisky cocktail:

Mix:

  • 60ml Belvedere Lake Bartężek
  • 10ml Apricot Brandy
  • 10ml Lillet Blanc

To finish:

  • Garnish with lemon twist

 Wade Bales is the Founder of Wade Bales Wine Co. 

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