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July 18, 2019

At any given moment, the 5pm Food blog is pretty much 90% gin so we were intrigued to hear about a gin which is billed as the oldest in the world.

Produced by the House of MacDuff, FIFTY/50 is made with twenty-year-old gin.

More than twenty years ago, the family-run drinks company House of MacDuff - based in Renfrew -  acquired some London Dry gin which had been distilled at the Langley  Distillery in the West Midlands of England. 

House of MacDuff specialise in whisky but decided to experiment with the gin by maturing it in virgin oak casks for ten years. After that, they transferred the spirit into ex-whisky casks where it sat for another decade taking on more subtle flavours and a slight whisky finish.    

They then combined the twenty-year-old London Dry Gin with newly distilled London Dry Gin to make the botanicals more prominent. As far as House of MacDuff is aware, FIFTY/50 contains the oldest gin the world.

Bottled at 50% ABV, the gin retails at around £55 for a 50cl bottle and is available from House of MacDuff, the Masters of Malt website, and select spirits suppliers.

Rum's on the up

While the gin explosion has been the big news in the spirits world for the last few years, some people are calling its peak.

According to a press release we received, UK sales of rum have exceed £1 billion for the first time and industry experts are declaring it ‘the new gin’.

In 2006, there were just 50 rum brands on sale in the UK and now there are almost 200.
National Geographic Traveller Food editor Glen Mutel reckons: 'For almost ten years, gin has hogged the spirit limelight, but it’s now rum’s time to shine... It’s been driving the rise of craft spirits, and the number of amazing, artisan producers who are crafting fantastic new brands, blends and flavours - whether dark, white, spiced, golden or aged – means there’s never been a better time to finally try a Dark 'n' Stormy, Pina Colada, Mojito or Caipirinha.'

We're all for chugging a Caipirinha but won't be saying sayonara to our G 'N' Ts for quite some time.

Fancy a Lennon-ade?

The Lennon-ade cocktail from Rioja.

The Lennon-ade cocktail from Rioja. Pic: Naomi Vance for Atomic 10.

Finally, in Finnieston, Rioja Spanish restaurant is toasting the Linda McCartney photography retrospective at Kelvingrove with a range of Beatles-inspired cocktails.

Created by Rioja bartender, Maria Blagoeva, the Cocktail Collection Vol 2 is a celebration of the iconic pictures that Linda shot of The Beatles in the 1960s.

Themed drinks on offer in Rioja include The Cava’rn Club - a play on where The Beatles were famously discovered in Liverpool by Brian Epstein. This a sweet long sip made with Hendrick’s gin and muddled with cucumber, elderflower, and fresh basil, all topped with Spanish cava.

The Fab Four cocktails.

The Fab Four cocktails. Pic: Naomi Vance for Atomic 10.

Meanwhile Let Ice Tea is perfect for the sunshine with the spicy citrus flavour of Licor 43, refreshing pineapple, Grey Goose vodka, golden turmeric, and topped with fresh orange, lemon and soda.

Daring drink fans should try the Lennon-ade, in honour to the original innovator  - John Lennon, a long smooth drink with beetroot syrup, Bulleit Rye, apple juice and barley.

Of course, you can book Rioja via 5pm. They are taking part in the Big Summer Dine Out which means you can enjoy a glass of wine plus three tapas from the pre-theatre menu for £14.50