JC Food asked two drinks experts for their top three kosher tipples to give to friends and to toast in the Torah. Here are their picks:
Morris Herzog of Royal Wine Europe and Kedem Europe recommends:
1. Fashionably flavoured vodkas:
"Infused vodka is very fashionable at the moment. Carvo Caramel vodka is South African and packaged well enough to make a lovely gift. It also comes in a chocolate flavour. Or go for Zachlawi hazelnut cappuccino or mocha cappuccino vodkas which are delicious. Serve flavoured vodkas over ice or straight from your fridge or freezer. This makes a great cocktail blended with iced coffee, chocolate syrup, a touch of sugar and some cream - or almond milk for parev."
"High end cognacs are always popular at Simchat Torah and are also coming into vogue. Louis Rodier XO is a premium brand and has been aged in the barrel for 10 years. It's not much more expensive than the non-kosher version."
"This anise-based spirit is popular for this chag and sales are currently increasing. A good brand is Askalon, which is Israeli but made in the Lebanese style. The Lebanese are famed for making good arak. It's relatively inexpensive, makes a good mixer in cocktails and pairs well with fruit juices, coca cola and ginger ale."
Motty Grohman of The Grapevine recommends:
1. Fruity liqueurs and Eau de Vies:
"I love Golden Eight, which is a pear liqueur from Massenez and is divine. It has a big note of pear, caramel and vanilla and is delicious slightly chilled or on the rocks, It's also a good cocktail ingredient. I also love Peureux kirsch. It's a French eau de vie (fruit brandy) made from cherries and has unbelievable flavour with a very aromatic, distinctive taste. They also make jars of cherries soaked in alcohol (griottines) which are good for cocktails but unbelievable over ice cream."
"Courvoisier XO has come down hugely in price and this is now very competitive with non-kosher cognacs. This is one of the oldest cognacs in France. They use only the finest grapes from the Cognac region to make a wine that is aged for 25 years and then made into cognac which is then aged further - a minimum of 15 years for this XO (extra old) cognac. It has big aromatic flavours."
3. Experimental Whisky:
"Whisky is a traditional favourite and Glenfiddich IPA is a bit different. It's an experimental blend born from a partnership with a Speyside craft ale brewer. The IPA stands for Indian Pale Ale, made by the brewer and left in casks to infuse them with that flavour. The ale is then replaced with the Glenfiddich whisky. That's left in the same barrels and has taken on the zesty, hoppy flavour of the ale."