VIP Picks – The Bottles The Buffs Loved In 2021

Meet our business development manager & in-house mixologist, Rob Squire

Rob is a dab hand with a cocktail shaker after spending over a decade developing and serving up innovative cocktail menus and serves for cocktail bars and gastropubs.

Exceedingly passionate about booze, Rob and the VIP Team have selected what we believe are the most innovative, versatile, or simply plain tasty bottles for each of our major categories.

Our Gin Pick Of 2021

Portobello Road Navy Strength Gin

Classic London Dry Gin distilled in Notting Hill and bottled at Navy strength – a punchy 57%.

Finally, the wiz kids at the Portbello Star Ginstitute add a touch of English sea salt to balance out the classic botanicals within.

Rob’s thoughts…

“I love the standard Portobello Road gin and used it as a house pour gin for many years in bars, it tastes great in a G&T but also stands up in cocktails – very versatile.  

The Navy Strength, however, can still do all of that, but with a little extra added kick with the slightly higher ABV and the pinch of sea salt.

This helps to bring out sweetness in your gin cocktails and helps balance flavours.”

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Our Vodka Pick of 2021

Crystal Head Onyx Vodka

Dan Aykroyd’s Crystal Head Vodka is more than its amazing skull-shaped bottle, and the Onyx expression, housed in sleek black ceramic, is a ground-breaking vodka with agave notes.

Rob’s thoughts…

Crystal Head Onyx is a new vodka to the market made from the agave plant (the same base as tequila). On the nose you get all of the wonderful smoky notes you would associate with tequila, but when you drink it you get a super silky-smooth vodka with a super clean taste.

This would pair perfectly with a citrus-heavy tonic water such as the Franklin & Sons Grapefruit & Bergamot Tonic or Schweppes Salty Lemon Tonic.

Grab yours here

Our Whisky Pick of 2021:

Eagle Rare 10yr Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

A beautiful bourbon from the talented folks at the Buffalo Trace distillery, this oak-matured bourbon has notes of cinder toffee, caramel-coated almonds, toasted oak and a touch of cherry leather for balance. Basically, it tastes great.

Rob’s thoughts…

“This has been one of my favourite whiskeys for a long time. This is one of the best bourbons you’ll get for the price point!  

It’s such a versatile spirit that is great to sit and sip on with a cigar by the fire or tastes great in an Old Fashioned with some Fee Brothers Peach Bitters.

This bourbon also suits a Brown Derby (shake together 50ml bourbon, 25ml Pink Grapefruit Juice and 15ml of maple syrup and strain into a coupe glass –  try one and thank me later!)”

Get yours here

Our Rum Pick of 2021

Mount Gay XO Triple Cask

This creamy sipping rum’s depth of flavour comes from a blend of hand-selected rums aged for between 5 and 17 years in whiskey, bourbon and cognac casks. Notes of baked figs, caramel and dark chocolate.

Rob’s thoughts…

“Mount Gay XO is from the oldest documented rum distillery in the world. Again, this is a super versatile rum and can be drank however you want!

Pair with chocolate bitters in a Rum Old Fashioned and you’ll have just found your new favourite cocktail.

Or if you prefer something a little bit fruity, try mixing with a dash of Giffard passionfruit syrup and top with Ting grapefruit soda for a long refreshing drink!”

Available at vip bottles

Our Tequila Pick of 2021

Codigo 1530 Rosa Tequila

A new twist on tequila, Código 1530’s Rosa expression is finished in Cabernet wine barrels, giving the blanco spirit a natural pink shade and a layer of floral and berry notes.

Rob’s thoughts…

“This was hard for me to pick, tequila is my favourite spirit of all time, I love the history and culture behind the spirit!

If you’re looking for something a little different and more of a sipper than a shooter, try Codigo 1530 Rosa, a Blanco tequila that’s been rested in un-charred wine barrels from the Napa Valley.

Delicate floral flavours make this a beautiful sipping tequila, it also has a beautiful blush pink colour that looks great in the glass.”

Shop the codigo 1530 range

Our Liqueur Pick of 2021

Melonade Melon Liqueur

We love the unique refreshing flavour found in Melonade, crafted from Cavaillon Melons grown and picked in Provence, France. Limoncello fans should check out this rare aperitif.

Rob’s thoughts…

Melonade Melon Liqueur was an instant hit with bartenders when it was released.

This is great to shoot, mix with lemonade for a simple serve or use in cocktails. Goes perfectly with Prosecco for a twist on a classic spritz or pairs perfectly with gin in a Tom Collins.

Try it now

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