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Popping the cork… dry January

January –  if you find it the most boring (and sanctimonious) month of the year, with all your friends donning Lycra instead of heels and talking about quinoa rather than drinking, then we hear you. Stilettos and martinis are not just for Christmas; so join us for a truly muddy Surrey retox, all helped along by our friends at Taurus Wines.


 Mews Gin – East Horsley – £34.99

Father and son team, Richard and Daniel Mew created this small batch, vapour distilled gin for a very special occasion – their daughter/sister’s wedding! We love it served straight from the freezer with a dash of bitters and three or four blueberries perched elegantly in the glass with a  cocktail stick – we call it a Mews & Blues Martini.

WRY Vodka – Guildford – £25

From the ‘intricate realisers’ of the sell-out Silent Pool gin, this thoroughly Surrey vodka is made using locally malted rye, which is filtered through locally sourced charcoal. It’s smooth with a slightly peppery finish, making it the perfect slosh to go into your morning Bloody Mary!

 Vachery Farm Cider – Cranleigh – £2.49 (or 12 for £26.99)


Made on the historic Vachery estate in Cranleigh (once the breeding ground for Henry VIII’s cranes – hence the village’s name) this cider is made from apples grown on the estate and others collected from gardens around the local area. It’s unpasteurised, un-filtered and suitable for vegans – so it’s practically a health food! We love it slightly warmed and mulled with cinnamon, mace and a slosh of brandy.

Taurus Wines, The Old Cart House, Whipley Manor Farm, Bramley, Surrey, GU5 0LL. Tel: 01483 548484.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Surrey