I recently attended a Masterclass at uber-cool Heya Bar in the Valley, hosted by Noble Spirits, a Paddington based company. Noble is dedicated to importing and distributing top-shelf spirits and wines. The FAIR. products I tasted all shared the same ethos of being sustainable - either organic, Fairtrade and/or dedicated to making a positive impact in the community where they are produced. And I don't think you can ask FAIRer than that! They are proud to be the first ethical brand in the world using Fairtrade (see the logos on the bottles) and organic ingredients.
FAIR. Voddy at Dan Murphy's (image by May Cross)
1. FAIR. Quinoa Vodka Yes, you read that correctly - voddy based on an ancient gluten-free grain we have all just discovered for healthy eating. It is made in France (which is well known for its premium vodka) from organic Bolivian grain. This award-winning voddy has done very well in blind tastings around the world. I loved this buttery, sweet vanilla blend with spicy overtones. I spotted it on the shelf in my local Dan Murphy's (or "Uncle Dan's" as I like to refer to it). You can't miss the simple label on the elegant bottle. All the other FAIR. spirits can be bought online from Dan's or check them out in your favourite watering holes such as Heya Bar or Emporium in Newstead.
(image by May Cross)
2. FAIR. Café Liqueur
This beautifully balanced coffee liqueur is based on coffee beans from Mexico and Fairtrade sugar cane juice from Malawi and Paraguay. It would be perfect with ice-cream, tiramisu or affogato. Or try this on-trend Espresso Martini.
3. Espresso Martini Ingredients: 35 ml FAIR. Quinoa Vodka 15ml FAIR. Café Liqueur A shot of espresso A dash of sugar syrup Method: Pour voddy, café, syrup and espresso into a cocktail shaker. Shake and serve into martini glass.
(Sorry, but I couldn't help myself; because it was so delish, I drank most of it before I paused to take a photo. It should look coffee-like with a smooth frothy top.)
Half-drunk Espresso Martini (image by May Cross)
4. FAIR. Juniper Gin
The juniper berries in this London dry-style gin are sourced from Uzbekistan (who knew?). Strangely, the smell does not equal the taste. It is smooth and balanced with six botanicals. Would be really good in a Dirty Martini or a White Lady.
(image by May Cross)
5. FAIR. Kumquat Liqueur
Kumquats are those delicious mini-oranges that you have at Chinese New Year celebrations. This liqueur is orangey, but not too sweet, like triple sec. It would make a mean Margarita. Here's a recipe for something different, a Kumquat Martini.
Kumquat Martini (image by May Cross)
6. Kumquat Martini Ingredients:
45ml FAIR. Juniper Gin
20ml FAIR. Kumquat Liqueur
20ml fresh lime juice
10ml sugar syrup
egg white Method:
Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
Strain back into shaker to remove ice.
Shake again without ice and then pour into a chilled glass.
Limited Edition Gin (image by May Cross)
7. FAIR. Barrel Aged Gin
This gin is aged for at least three months in French cognac oak casks which gives it a woody taste. As it is a Limited Edition, you will have to be quick if you want to try it. The bad news is that there are only a few cases left worldwide. The good news is that they are all in Australia. Hooray.
(image by May Cross)
8. FAIR. Rum XO
Rum is the second biggest selling spirit in France, after whisky. And oddly, this rum was very whisky-like, so I loved it. The sugar cane comes from Belize, which is unusual for rum. It's not too sweet as no sugar is added after the ageing process. It is a lovely caramel (colour, not flavour), oaky and dry with a complexity of aromas. Enjoy on the rocks or in your favourite cocktail.
9. FAIR. Cacao Liqueur
It's all about the chocolate. In fact, this is a dark chocolate bar in a bottle. It's my favourite: choccy AND alcohol. The sugar cane juice comes from Malawi and Paraguay. Try it with rum in a Cacao Old Fashioned.
Cacao Old Fashioned (image by May Cross)
10. Cacao Old Fashioned Ingredients:
45ml FAIR. Rum
10ml FAIR. Cacao Liqueur
spoonful of sugar
couple of dashes of Angostura bitters Method:
Stir all ingredients and serve over ice in an old-fashioned glass.
Add an orange or lemon peel garnish.
FAIR. Pomegranate Liqueur (image by May Cross)
11. FAIR. Pomegranate Liqueur, FAIR. Acai Liqueur and FAIR. Goji Liqueur
These stunning liqueurs taste like they say on the bottle, that is, fruit. they are not too sweet as the fruit is the focus. Drink neat, over ice, with your favourite mixer or in cocktails. CHEERS!