Drinks for Mothering Sunday

Drinks blogger James Robertson recommends bottles for Mothering Sunday.

SINCE the Middle Ages, a celebration of motherhood has taken place on the fourth Sunday in Lent – hence Mothering Sunday. This is not to be confused with Mother’s Day, which started in the United States in the 1900s on the second Sunday in May. I recall that, as a child, violets were the flower of choice to be handed out, with a hand-made card and a small gift to my mother by me and my two siblings.

As the years went by, the gifts became a little more grown-up and, of course, the odd bottle of wine was handed over or one of my mother’s favourite treats: a jar of stem ginger. I look back with very happy memories of those days and was thinking this week how much I would have enjoyed handing over one of these suggestions.

H by Hine, Fine Champagne VSOP Cognac
This is a blend of around a dozen Grande and Petite Champagne eaux de vie, the youngest of which is at least four years old. You can sip this on its own but ideally its main raison d’etre is as a mixer in cocktails. I would have taken this over to my mother and the first suggestion from her would be to add it to some ginger ale with ice. The other option would be a take back from a couple of years living in Cyprus and it’s the excellent brandy sour. Take two measures of the Cognac, a measure of lemon juice, two-to-four drops of Angostura, and top up with either soda or lemonade with ice – heaven in a glass. £40, Berry Brothers & Rudd, Master of Malt, Whisky Exchange

Downpour Gin, North Uist Distillery
Mother’s Ruin but, on this occasion, nothing of the sort – what’s not to like about a good gin and this is one of those? Not only is the vibrant blue bottle going to make a lovely gift but once finished it is a very handy vase for flowers – the gift that keeps on giving. This is a wonderful gin, using locally-foraged heather with abundant juniper and citrus notes. You can drink this as a classic Martini and really taste the cracking flavours of the gin or have a good old G&T. £40 direct from North Uist Distillery

Mas Cristine Cotes de Roussillon Rosé 2021
As the early flowers of spring appear – daffodils, crocus and blue bells – one cannot resist a glass of rosé. Nothing beats sharing a glass of wine with one’s mother, chatting away on Mothering Sunday as a gargantuan lunch is being prepared. This is one of my favourite rosés. One because I introduced it to my mother some years ago but also the winemaker is an old friend of mine, which makes it even more special. Andy Cook has been making wine in the beautiful town of Collioure for several years. This is 95% Grenache Noir and 5% Syrah, it has a delightful deepish pink hue but more importantly on the taste it is full of soft summer red fruit, full bodied, lovely on its own chatting with your mum or with the lunch that follows. £14, de Burgh Wines

Read more of James’ reviews on his drinks blog, The Grape & The Grain.

Plus, don’t miss James’ Wine to Dine column in the April issue of Scottish Field magazine.