Something for the weekend? Kombucha, giraffes and father’s day

Peter Ranscombe rounds up some of the interesting drinks making appearances this weekend…

TOMORROW isn’t just father’s day – it turns out that it’s also world giraffe day.

Glenmorangie distillery near Tain is famous for the height of the stills in which it makes its whisky, so it’s little surprise that the Scotch brand has teamed up with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland – which runs Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park at Kincraig in Strathspey – for a three-year partnership.

Their partnership aims to help conserve the Nubian giraffe, once known as Rothschild’s giraffe, and provide a habitat for the species at Edinburgh Zoo.

The Highland single malt is toasting the partnership tomorrow by launching its “Journey of Giraffes” cocktail to make at home.

Spoon one or two teaspoons of orange marmalade into a highball glass and add 50ml of Glenmorangie Original before stirring to combine the marmalade with the whisky.

Fill the glass with ice and 100ml of tonic water, before garnishing with a slice of dried orange.

Glenmorangie and tonic is a classic aperitif and, for me, the marmalade added a refreshing bitter note on the finish.

Daddy dearest

While Glenmorangie celebrates giraffes, its sister Scotch brand, Ardbeg, is focused on father’s day, with another at-home cocktail suggestion.

The Islay single malt has come up with an “Island Highball”, made by adding 50ml of Ardbeg An Oa to 10ml of dark fruit cordial and 10ml of dry vermouth, all topped up with tonic water.

A sprig of rosemary and a wedge of lime add to the gin and tonic-esque appearance of the cocktail.

The smokiness of the Scotch rips through the other ingredients but, whether it was the vermouth or the tonic, there was a metallic tang that just didn’t hit the right spot for me.

Yet, for die-hard Islay dads, the fruit cordial adds an interesting extra dimension to the mixture, like the apple juice in last month’s dirty daiquiri.

It’s tea, Jim, but not as we know it

For those looking for a non-alcoholic treat this weekend, grab yourself a bottle of Jarr Kombucha and tune into the Online Fermentation Fest today between 10am and 8pm.

Kombucha is a fermented tea and Adam Vanni, one of Jarr’s founders, will be joining his fellow “partners in brine” at 11.30am to discuss this polar opposite to sugary soft drinks.

Jarr started out life as a brewery and taproom in London’s Hackney Wick in 2015 – although I’m assured you’re allowed to drink it in a glass and not a hipster’s jam jar.

Now part of Belgian brewer Duvel Moortgat, the brand is producing its original flavour – with aromas of lemon and vinegar, plus refreshing acidity and a sweeter peachier note on the finish – alongside passionfruit and raspberry variants, and my favourite ginger incarnation.

Kombucha is a refreshing alternative to a tin of sugary juice and a great lockdown option if you’re trying to keep a lid on your alcohol intake.

Read more of Peter Ranscombe’s reviews on his drinks blog, The Grape & The Grain.