Wednesday 17 July 2013

Snaps Happy…

Alcohol is one thing in life that I don’t always enjoy. It is quite easy to become bored with drinking the same old drinks time and again, perusing the supermarket shelves hoping for a surprise and so rarely finding one. I mourn the days when Blavod (black  vodka – which I always adore – coloured/flavoured with extracts of acacia) was readily available, and since its disappearance there have been few ‘high street’ drinks that stand out and excite me.

So the joy at finding these mini Snaps in Ikea, of all places, has warranted a blog, first to rant about the lack of unusual alcohol flavours/varieties available and second to shout out a hurrah! for amazing little tipples that manage to take some unlikely ingredients and produce some fantastic little drinkies. The set cost £7 for seven 50ml bottles of the following flavours, and I assure you it is well worth it:

·      Caraway, anise and fennel.
·      Caraway, dill and lemon.
·      Herbal.
·      Lemon and elderberry.
·      St John’s Wort.
·      Blackcurrant.
·      Swedish Southernwood.

First up my favourite. Top marks all round goes to lemon and elderberry. Lemon? Well, you know what you’re getting. Tangy citrus flavours. In this guise it reminds me very strongly of limoncello, which is also an excellent beverage. But the real star here is the elderberry. Elderflower is one of my favourite soft drink flavours. Take the more robust version of the plant, elderberry, add it to the crisp yet light lemon, and you have a drink that is refreshing and invigorating. The only criticism is that there is only 50ml to enjoy.

Surprisingly my least favourite of the bunch was blackcurrant. On first sniff it was very Ribena – and I love Ribena – but on first sip it was most certainly not at all like Ribena. There is a very mild blackcurrant taste lurking in here, but it has a medicinal quality that takes away from any joy a blackcurrant would normally bring. More medicinal, in fact, than the flavours I would consider to be medicinal – herbal, St John’s Wort and Southernwood (part of the Wormwood family). Not a winner.  

Despite that disappointment, a special mention has to go to caraway, dill and lemon for sheer unusual-ity and genius of flavour combinations. Caraway I like, in moderation, lemon I adore, but dill is a flavour I usually turn my nose up at. So bored I have become over the years at salmon constantly being plastered in the stuff, or railed against those times when I’ve bitten into a delectable seafood mousse only to grimace at the hidden dill. Yet here, in the quantity and combination which it appears, it is subtle enough not to make me pull faces, and delicately complimentary. I shall no longer say I do not like dill.

Last, but certainly not least, I simply dote on the cute little bottles and ‘hand drawn’ style labels that these remarkable and enjoyable drinks come in. Ikea you have won me over with this one. What’s not to like?

So, get yourself snaps happy and give these a try.

Elloise Hopkins.

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