Malawi’s Linga Wine in UK

Malawi’s Locally produced Linga wine has broken international barriers and is now available in Africanos World shop in Shipley. There are also high possibilities of extending the market further through online sales.

Linga wine is a fruit wine produced by Malawians and is made from locally produced fruits.

Malawi High Commissioner to London, Kena Mphonda, confirmed the development and said the mission is eager to introduce more Malawian products on the London market.

Mphonda said the opportunity to have Linga wine on shelves in London was made possible through initiatives championed by Francis Kaunjika of Africanos World in Shipley, Yorkshire.

Kaunjika has been importing several products from Malawi including the flagship Malawi Gin.

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“There have been several demands for the wine in London but until now, we were not able to despatch Linga Fruit Wines to other countries. But now, through Francis and Africanos World, online deliveries will be made,” Mphonda said.

The Malawi High Commission to London was instrumental in linking Linga Wine to Africanos World. The partnership has led to an increase in supply of the wine.

“After linking up the two, a consignment of all seven varieties of Linga wine was sent to Africanos World in Shipley at the end of November 2016 as the first external sales. These are now available both physically at the Africanos World Shop in Shipley, Yorkshire and also available online. The High Commission is keen on introducing new products on the UK market,” he said.

Linga Winery has a production capacity of 20,000 litres and is certified by the Malawi Bureau of Standards and is currently working on ISO 22,000 accreditation.

Malawi’s Linga Wine in UK

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Malawi Gin on Ginder

Ginder from A World of Gin

Yes that’s Ginder as in GIN (not gingers! Although I could roll with that app too! 😜) – an event designed to match you to your perfect gin. I got to go along for free as a Yelp Elite.

There is no right or left swiping as such, more of a tutored gin tasting with Nik, who gets to know your tastes and then suggests your perfect gin and tonic, which gets made up at the bar by Henry.

Nik passionately waxing lyrical about gin (no I didn’t warn him I was taking this photo!)

The line up – yes we tried most of these gins and tonics!!

We started at the beginning, which all gin fiends know if basically vodka…

This RubyBlue vodka was smooth – made from potatoes in Ireland this is the good stuff! (Reminds me of Vestal Vodka’ssingle variety potato ‘vintage’!)

A neutral spirit like vodka is the base for gin – gin is in fact a flavoured vodka….or rye or whatever your base is. The main thing that makes it gin is the juniper – a minimum 50% has to go in to the botanicals to be allowed to call it gin.
Once we had all tasted the vodka, agreed it was good, but not gin, we started with the matching process…

First up – Hayman’s a classic London Dry style gin (which basically means it’s a classic gin – citrus and juniper!)

Everyone liked this one – so then it was Nik’s chance to try and split us by mixing it up. We tried Fair gin and Palmers 44 (one he is familiar with as he used to work at Langleys who made gin for the Palmer family)

Palmers is citrus heavy, the recipe uses grapefruit and sweet Seville oranges, so is strong on the aroma.

For a complete contrast Fair has a much more earthy taste. Straight away I could tell that the base spirit had some underlying flavour – and as this gin is made in Cognac, France that’s because it’s made using grapes!
In addition they add a lot more of the earthier style botanicals such as cassia bark, orris root and a different style of juniper berry. It has a lot more depth of flavour and some spiciness.
We then tried Masons Yorkshire gin special tea edition. This takes a typically citrus Yorkshire tea and adds lots of lemon – so ideal for citrus lovers – with some sweetness from liquorice. I actually prefer their dry gin over this particular addition, so on to the next…
58 Gin was served to the member of our group who preferred the earthiness of the Fair gin and we all liked this one!
Now that the group was split a bit we tried the gin supplied to the Queen:

No. 3 is made and supplied by Berry Bros and Rudd, made to a traditional recipe in the Netherlands it also uses a lot of grapefruit and is perfectly balanced.

Then we tried some tonic bases… First up BTW tonic syrup, made in Bermondsey

This is like quinine squash – ie you have to dilute it with soda water (and gin obvs!) before you have a G&T. Because it’s made with real chinchinoa bark it has a natural colour and some bitterness to balance the sweet syrup (you can make this yourself – I’m going to try at some point!)

Then we tried the unsual Pedrino. This tonic is actually alcoholic (only 5%) and is made with Pedro Ximenez sherry.

It’s actually a delightful drink on its own – soft and slightly sweet – perfect for a hot summer day! I’m not sure it worked so well as a G&T though… But the mix of sherry and gin makes it feel like a cocktail straight away! (Soon to be stocked at Waitrose apparently…)
We weren’t finished yet… Some more gins were lined up:

Brighton gin (in keeping with the theme they also do gin flavoured rock!)

The USP for Brighton is that it is the only gin to use milk thistle as a botanical. So maybe drinking it means no hangover?! It’s a nice easy drinking gin (by the way I should mention that we were trying these gins neat before adding tonic!) this one went well with the FeverTree Mediterranean tonic – which Nik recommends to showcase garnishes.
Then to really mix it up Nik had us try Shetland Reel. Made using Shetland seaweed in the distillation you can taste the sea!

Well definitely a hint of something salty – an interesting gin, they had to keep the alcohol % high to keep the seaweed from  overpowering the rest of the botanicals.

We also tried this special gin from Malawi.
I’ve been following them for a while on Twitter, but this was the first time I’ve been able to try it.
Malawi gin is warm with an interesting depth and lots of spice. I really enjoyed it – so much so that I demanded it was in my Ginder G&T!

Henry mid pour with our perfect G&Ts! You can see how those tonic waters have vivid colours.

Ta da! My Ginder match.

Nik certainly listened well, the Malawi gin was served with a lemongrass tonic, rosemary and grapefruit.

I’ve tried the tonic before at London cocktail week and I’m sure that Nik picked up on my liking the lemongrass from my love of Bobbies and Butlers gins (both heavy on the lemongrass).
The garnish was inspired too – the grapefruit gradually infuses into the drink and so the flavour is constantly evolving. I was very happy with my Ginder match.

The group in general liked their matches – however the G&T with the Pedrino wasn’t as sweet as imagined, but hell by then we were all a bit tipsy!

Now to find me a bottle of Malawi and a crate of no. 5 lemongrass tonic… Nik and Henry can you set me up with a boyfriend next?!
Nik and Henry run Garnish Communications and have lots of exciting pop ups and events planned over the next few months and into summer – check out the A World of Gin website for more info, now they just need to work on that Ginder app!!

Red alert: We might be facing a national gin shortage

Red alert: We might be facing a national gin shortage
One day, a G&T won’t be a thing. We’ll just have the T. No one wants that. 

Middle class drinkers, look away now. This is going to be hard to hear.

A new study from Plantlife reveals that we could be facing a national gin shortage across the UK. Meaning we’ll have to sip sad tonic water, alcohol-free, while we sob about the sad state of affairs.

It’s all down to the humble juniper plant which, if you didn’t know, is the main component of gin.

In devastating news to us all, the juniper plants in Scotland – considered the best place in the UK to get hold of the key ingredient – are being killed off by a deadly plant disease. The horror.

Gin and tonic

Plantlife says Scotland’s juniper stash is in a ‘critical state’, with 79% of last year’s juniper stock too old, damaged, or, well, dead, to be any use to any of us.

Thankfully, most gin producers in the UK do actually bring in their juniper from abroad.

But that doesn’t mean we’re in the clear. Every unhealthy bit of juniper takes us closer to a gin crisis. The disease must be stopped to ensure our future gin-filled old age.

Might as well buy a few caseloads of gin in the meantime though, just to be safe.

Malawi Premier Brandy

Malawi Premier BrandyThis rare old Brandy is distilled in cognac type pot-still and is matured in casks of Limousin oak specially imported from France, hence it’s natural Brandy flavour and the character and quality that has made it famous for generations.

This brandy has a typical wooden but mild flavor, which is why it’s so popular. Will love this unique premium Brandy.

Brandy tasting is a tradition that endures over time and is a ritual after hearty meals.

I’m glad it’s available to buy here in UK

Malawi Gin

Malawi Gin

Malawi Gin, the spirit of Malawi!

In 1965 the unique taste of Malawi’s very own Gin was first discovered by discerning drinkers. Since then the fame of Malawi Gin has spread far and wide throughout Africa and beyond.

Visitors to the warm heart of Africa have savoured the pleasure of an M.G.T as it truly reflects and relaxed tranquil way of life. Enjoy Malawi Gin!

Refreshing and a touch of the warm heart of Africa, this gives the lemony flavor of Malawi Gin The Tropical water which used to produce this unique gin gives it a very mild taste.

I’m glad, it’s now available to buy here in UK