Luscombe Drinks

I’ve noticed lately that you can’t beat a good, refreshing drink. Easy to say, and I suppose everyone will have had the experience at some point in their lives, but if you’re like me, branching out and trying something different just seems to make it all a little sweeter.

It’s with this statement that I would like to introduce Luscombe to the table. An organic soft drink range from Devon, England with history stretching back to 1975, Luscombe offer an extensive range of flavoured drinks, with an ethos that owner Gabriel David says is “It’s all about the taste”.

Going direct to source, Luscombe pride themselves on working with the fruit producers over purchasing through fruit companies, meaning that they receive what they believe is the very best at the right times of year. Examples include UK growers (usually their own Devon orchards) for the apples and elderflowers, lemons from Sicily, ginger from Peru, Williams pears from France and apricots from Spain. Oranges from Sicily or Mexico and limes from Sri Lanka.

With the use of fresh ingredients, it means that it lacks a full consistency due to the seasons and weather conditions, but a tiny amount of variation, for me, really hammers home their idea of creating a true form of flavoured soft drinks.

So with this, below I give to you my tasting notes on my experiences so far –

Soft Drinks:

Luscombe Sparkling Apple Crush – 0%

Soft baked apple on the nose, with hints of naturally sweetened apple pulp. Slightly sharp on the palate, with the fresh apple juice coming through. Bold red apple skin flavour on the lingering finish.

Luscombe Damascene Rose Bubbly – 0%

Lightly scented rose petal on the nose, with a soft citrus following. Very soft on the palate, with hints of the rose coming through, blended with freshly cut lemons and clementines.

Luscombe Madagascan Vanilla Soda – 0%

Soft vanilla notes on the nose, with the flavour thinning off once onto the palate. Light, scented and lingering on the finish.

Luscombe Lime Crush – 0%

Ripe lime on the nose, with a sharp hit of zest. Softer than expected, but a back-of-the-throat catch of lime creates a long finish.

Luscombe Sicilian Lemonade – 0%

Very light on the nose, with only hints of the lemon coming through. Subtle once again, with the dry lemon profile offering a scented finish.

Luscombe Wild Elderflower Bubbly – 0%

Fresh elderflower on the nose, with slight sharp hits of the flavour following. Sweet start, with a softer ending, seeing the elderflower linger with bursts of freshness.

Luscombe St. Clements – 0%

Bold, dry notes of the orange and lemon combining on the nose. Slight sharpness to be gin with on the palate, following to a smoother finish with hints of the rind and zest of each.

Luscombe Strawberry Crush – 0%

Fresh, soft strawberry aromas on the nose, with a smooth offering onto the palate. Short, but a bold finish.

Luscombe Raspberry Crush – 0%

Bold raspberry notes on the nose, with a tart follow-up on the palate. A lively, long finish of vibrant, fresh raspberry.

Luscombe Cranberry Crush – 0%

Subtle notes of stone cherry, with hints of ripe vanilla coming through. Very soft, a little dry, with the cherry flavour coming through slowly. Short on the finish.

Luscombe Cool Ginger Beer – 0%

Created with less ginger.
Soft, fresh ginger comes though on the nose. Very soft on the palate too, with more of the root ginger present, followed by dry earth notes leaving a lingering finish.

Luscombe Passionate Ginger Beer – 0%

Fresh, sparkling ginger on the nose, with lighter notes than its Cool expression. Ripe ginger, with a bolder profile, seeing a lingering, dry, passionfruit etched finish.

Luscombe Hot Ginger Beer – 0%

Bold notes of stemmed ginger comes through on the nose. Light start, but the ginger profile hits, bringing a warmth to the long, slightly spiced finish.


Luscombe Orange – 0%

Ripe orange rind on the nose, with a sun-kissed flavour on the palate which see’s the orange come though smoothly to a long finish.

Luscombe Apple and Pear – 0%

Pear notes dominate the nose, with the red apple flesh underlining. A more balanced profile on the palate, with the apple notes offering a rich, fresh experience, and the pear creating a long finish.

Luscombe Apple Juice with Ginger – 0%

Subtle apple on the nose, with only a dash of ginger coming through. The ginger hits a little more on the palate, offering a slight kick as it follows the bold, fresh apple.

Luscombe Apple and Apricot – 0%

Very dry notes of the apricot come through on the nose, with the apple scents following slowly. Slightly stewed combination on the palate, seeing the apricot dominate as it heads to a lingering finish.

Luscombe Carrot and Orange – 0%

Very subtle orange and carrot aromas on the nose, followed onto the palate with a smooth offering. Thin, with a short finish.


Luscombe Devon Cider – 4.9%

Made with Devon apples including Tail Sweet, Sugar Bush, Devon Crimson, Slack-Ma-Girdle. Subtle notes of rich apple, followed by a sweet vanilla profile. A good hit of fresh vanilla once again, with the apple scents opening a bold, rich finish that lingers.

A great range of soft drinks, with the flavours of each really offering that fresher profile that many of us ask for in our beverage. Serve chilled, the expressions cater i think for all, and could be one’s to impress with when pulling out of your fridge.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.



Bramley and Gage Tasting Notes

Bramley and Gage

Bramley and Gage – a company that is making a bit of a scene in the bartender arena. Despite being around for over twenty years, bartenders are taking notice of their thirteen strong portfolio, using the brand within new cocktail creations and simple serves. But who are Bramley and Gage?

Back in the mid 1980’s, Edward Bramley Kain and Penelope Gage started experimenting in the kitchen of their South Devon farmhouse with strawberry, raspberry and blackcurrant liqueurs. Using fruits from their fruit farm, the recipes they were creating followed the traditional French method of maceration. Going traditional became a success, and they started selling their products to local off-licences, delis and tourist attractions.

Ten years after starting up, Edward and Penelope sold the farm and moved to a more suitable premises with its own bottling line. Using locally sourced fruit, and all created by hand in small batches, the Bramley and Gage range falls under both fruit gins and liqueurs, with new lines being brought out as they experiment with the fruits of Gloucestershire by the team of Michael and Felicity (son and daughter of Edward and Penelope).

So how do they fare? Well I’ve been lucky enough to try some of their range, so below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Plum Liqueur – 18%

Soft plum notes on the nose but becomes rather sharp once onto the palate. Plenty of acidic notes are present on a fairly short finish.

Creme de Cassis – 18%

Intense blackcurrant aromas on the nose, with a slight sweetness. Soft on the palate with the hit of blackcurrant stepped down a notch. Rather sweet with a lingering finish of currant flavours.

Organic Sloe Gin – 26%

Bold notes of sloe berries on the nose, with a rather sharp yet sweet flavour emerging on the palate. Dark cherry flavours come through, with subtle dry hints of juniper.

Elderflower Liqueur – 18%

Very floral with lots of sweet elderflower aromas on the nose. A blend of citrus and elderflower on the palate creates a long yet slightly dry finish. Fresh.

All great on their own, but have you tried one of these –

Hedgerow Sling
Hedgerow Sling

Hedgerow Sling

Glass – 


Ingredients –

50 ml Bramley and Gage Organic Sloe Gin
25 ml Fresh lemon juice
12.5 ml Bramley & Gage Blackberry Liqueur

Method –

Shake the Sloe Gin & lemon juice with ice and strain over fresh ice into an ice filled glass, top with soda and float the blackberry liqueur. Garnish with fresh blackberries and a lemon slice.

Bramley and Gage are also rather versatile –

Pheasant Breast with Sloe Gravy
Pheasant Breast with Sloe Gravy

Pheasant Breast with Sloe Gravy

Serves 2

Ingredients –

2 pheasant breasts
Fresh Parsley,
Zest of an Orange
Strips of Pancetta or Streaky Bacon
Juniper Berries
Butter for frying
Chicken or Pheasant Stock
A little plain flour
Sloe Gin

Method –

Pre-heat the oven to 200C / 400F / Gas Mark 6. Take the skin off the breasts and remove any shot! Remove the false fillets and mince them with fresh parsley, orange zest, a few crushed juniper berries and seasoning. Flatten out the remaining breasts between two sheets of cling film

Place the minced meat onto the centre of the pheasant breasts and then roll them up in the pancetta or streaky bacon.
Pan fry in butter to get the bacon coloured and then place the pan the pre-heated oven 5 minutes.
Remove the breasts to a warmed plate to rest for 2 minutes then slice.
Meanwhile. make the gravy in the pan used to cook the breasts. On the hob, sprinkle a dusting of flour over the hot fat and meat residue and leave to brown then add stock and Sloe Gin and whisk until smooth.
Serve on buttered savoy cabbage or kale and dress with the rich gravy. Accompany with a few roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

Fantastic and very British! And you’ll be drinking award-winning spirits too as Bramley and Gage have been given many awards from prestigious food and drink competitions, including Taste of the West, the Great Taste Awards, the Quality Drinks Awards, the International Wine and Spirits Competition. Worth a purchase for your cabinet. And while your at it, grab a hold of their 6 O’clock gin too!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.