Would you be happy if your Tequila Sunrise?

  wee eddie 18:29 03 Dec 2018
Answered

Would you be happy if your Tequila Sunrise was made with Gin, Marks & Spencer apparently think so. Their "Collection Brandy Butter" is made with distilled Cider. Not a grape goes near it.

So, just because some rustics in Somerset, call their home brew, Apple Brandy, instead of Somerset Calvados, M&S feel that they can drop the Apple bit and just use the word Brandy on the label (except for a mention in the "Small Print") of their Festive Stuff. It's not bad, but you can taste the apples

  Quickbeam 19:07 03 Dec 2018

If I see brandy on the product description, I expect brandy to be in it.

Speaking of which, my nephew's mother in law makes a brandy sauce that is not safe to drive on, I jest not!

  Old Deuteronomy 20:15 03 Dec 2018

The alleged brandy probably comes from Somerset Cider Brandy Company and Burrow Hill Cider .

Somerset "rustics" make real cider which, if you are not used to it, will see you falling over after 2 or 3 pints and tastes infinitely better than the over-refined rubbish the big producers sell.

  wee eddie 21:02 03 Dec 2018

I grew up on a Fruit Farm and we made our own cider. About 100 gallons each year.

As a general rule, it sent you to sleep

  bumpkin 21:27 03 Dec 2018

It could be worse, alcohol free Brandy for example.

  qwbos 00:35 04 Dec 2018

It's all part of the alcohol revolution that started with alcopops and has now reached "craft" (whatever that means) fever. Like just about everything else nowadays, trends are driven by promoted images.

Take whisky. What comes out of the still is raw alcohol. Never mind all the hokum about the glen, the water, the peat or the tartan clad piper eating shortbread. Until it's matured in an old cask, it's pretty much undrinkable.

So along came a smart marketing chappie who decided that they would broaden their sales by labelling whiskies with specific types of casks. And boom, people buy into it, even if they're killing off any subtle differences as soon as they add ice, water, lemonade, coke, orange or whatever else.

Flavoured vodkas, craft gin. It goes on and on. And most of it comes from industrial estates, not magical stills in the woods.

I'm like you wee eddie. I tend to read what's in a product and have many a chuckle at the inventiveness of the marketers.

I noticed a bottle of what I suspect was gin in a shop today. I suspect that most of us oldies on this forum would have had the same reaction as I did. It looked like methylated spirits, perhaps fitting given the current excessive drinking behaviour of some.

  Quickbeam 06:42 04 Dec 2018

"even if they're killing off any subtle differences as soon as they add ice, water, lemonade, coke, orange or whatever else."

Everyone to their own... Whatever a spirit is mixed with, it becomes a cocktail based on that spirit whether it be a classic Vodka & Orange, a Mint Julep, a Bacardi & Coke or a Gin & Tonic with Ribena which I can recommend on a hot evening. Either way it's best to not drink too much spirit as it comes straight out of the bottle.

During the height of this summer's heat wave I became quite partial to a Mojito in an evening, part of the enjoyment of those was in the ritual crushing of the limes the ice and the mint to make it, I couldn't get any sugar cane to make it even more real!

Funny how once the weather turns it becomes the wrong drink...

  Forum Editor 08:56 04 Dec 2018
Answer

"If I see brandy on the product description, I expect brandy to be in it."

In this case it is. Somerset Apple Brandy has EU Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status. It's perfectly legal to refer to it as brandy, although i do agree that M&S have been somewhat economical with the truth in dropping the 'Apple' on their labeling.

They must know that 'brandy' means the stuff made with grapes in most peoples' minds.

  BT 09:20 04 Dec 2018

Flavoured vodkas, craft gin. It goes on and on. And most of it comes from industrial estates, not magical stills in the woods.

When I was working we made various starch based syrups, many of which were supllied to various drinks companies to produce soft and alcoholic drinks of all descriptions. As a part of our production process there was a considerable amount of low grade material which wasn't useable so this was converted into various products for feeding animals etc, but some was used to produce potable Ethanol for the spirits industry. It was fermented and distilled in industrial stills. Not the pretty copper pots usually pictured but seriously industrial stuff. This produced nearly 100% pure Ethanol which was supplied in road tankers to be diluted, flavoured and turned into Vodka, Gin etc.

  Quickbeam 10:44 04 Dec 2018

Industrial ethanol is good enough for the base spirit in alcopops, but is instantly identified as industrial alcohol if served over a bar compared to a branded spirit.

  qwbos 16:04 04 Dec 2018

instantly identified as industrial alcohol if served over a bar compared to a branded spirit.

I wouldn't be so sure of that. I had hands on experience of refilling top brand bottles with budget spirits many years ago. Not a single customer complained, including those drinking straight spirits.

Venues that are catering for the binge drinking sector could pass off just about anything. Their customers chug it down, chug it up and then come back for more.

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