The cooler autumn nights call for a warmer tipple, so Lyme Bay Mulled Wine (rrp £8.90 per 750ml bottle 10% abv) is the perfect option. Hand-crafted by Lyme Bay Winery, at Shute near Axminster in East Devon, this delicious autumnal drink has won Gold at the Taste of the West Awards and was voted ‘Best Mulled Wine’ at the Observer Food and Drink Awards.
It is made from a delicious blend of fermented grape juice with damson and elderberry plus the addition of festive spices such as cinnamon, clove, star anise and ginger.
All you need to do is empty the contents of the bottle into a saucepan and gently warm it over a low heat until it is heated through and starting to simmer (be careful not to overheat or boil as it could scald on drinking). Add a tot of brandy for an extra kick, to warm the cockles on a chilly autumn evening whilst watching a glowing bonfire.
This delightful mulled wine has appealing aromas of hedgerow fruit, including ripe damson and juicy black elderberry. The palate is rich, sweet and cleverly spiced to add layers of complexity and a seasonal edge to this wine with a lingering finish. It is made with natural ingredients which have been carefully selected to ensure that this wine is suitable for vegetarians and coeliacs.
Enjoy it served warm with a garnish of orange peel and fragrant star-anise. Available to buy online at Lyme Bay Winery (Tel: 01297 551355).
A rich stout is a great seasonal beer to enjoy this autumn. Hanlons Port Stout (rrp £2.40 per 500ml bottle or £3.90 per pint 4.8% abv) is an excellent stout with a fruity twist. Hanlons Brewery in Half Moon Village has been brewing craft beer since 1995. With an Irish heritage and humble beginnings, John O’hanlon moved from Dublin to London and opened O’hanlons pub in Islington. Tired of people asking for Guinness, John started a brewery in a railway arch in Vauxhall, with the aim of supplying the pub.
The first beer was Port Stout, fondly nicknamed ‘Corpse Reviver’ inspired by a sly Irish barman from John’s youth who added a glass of port to his stout. In 2000, O’hanlons moved to Devon and the business was later bought by Dan Taylor and rebranded ‘Hanlons’ in December 2013. The multi-award-winning Port Stout recently won a Gold Award at the Taste of the West and Silver at The Great British Beer Festival Champion Beer of Britain. It is brewed with a range of hops including Phoenix, Styrian and East Kent Goldings. Ruby port is added to boost the alcohol and provide fruity sweetness. This smooth dark, ruby black and chestnut coloured beer has aromas of roast malt and pumpernickel, tasting richly of bitter chocolate and coffee alongside the vinous fruitiness of ruby port, with a mild smoky liquorice finish.
Enjoy this perfect winterwarmer with seasonal British fayre or creamy blue cheese, like Stilton. This excellent seasonal stout certainly packs a fruity punch! Find out more about Hanlons Brewery, near Newton St Cyres (Tel: 01392 851160).
For a truly natural and alternative soft drink then try an Empress Juices - beetroot, apple, orange and cinnamon pressed juice (rrp £2.50 per 250ml), which is great for autumn drinking.
Frustrated with the plethora of sugar-laden soft drinks on offer in every café and shop she visited, Emily Hughes started her business in Otterton in 2015. She decided to launch a selection of unusual freshly pressed fruit and vegetable juices made naturally without any refined sugars and full of goodness.
Emily believes passionately in using only the naturallyoccurring sugars such as fructose found in fruit and vegetables which are a healthy option. Nothing is added to these pure freshly pressed juices.
The beetroot combination is a vibrantly pink, autumnal, blended juice which is delightfully balanced by bringing together earthy beetroot with the sweetness and acidity of crisp apples, alongside citrus notes from the orange, and a hint of cinnamon which gives a lovely, subtle, warming and seasonal spice on the finish.
This really is a uniquely delicious, refreshing and completely natural drink containing only freshly pressed juice from fruit and vegetables. For more information about Empress Juices contact Emily on (Tel: 07584 013711). Also available from Greendale Farm Shop and Darts Farm, near Topsham. empressjuices.co.uk Rebecca@rebeccamwines.com
October is a time to enjoy seasonal autumnal drinks, so REBECCA MITCHELL has selected this tasty autumn trio - a mulled wine, a rich stout, and an unusual pressed juice