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CHRISTMAS NUMBER ONE

We are proud to introduce Oddbins Nº1...

In November 1952, Italian crooner extraordinaire and future star of The Godfather, Al Martino, topped the first ever UK Singles Chart with the enormously forgettable Here In My Heart. It stagnated there on the top spot for nine whole weeks, thus becoming the first ever Christmas Number One.

Al Martino

The list of its successors over the past 50 years makes for fairly tortuous reading and even more painful listening. Mr Blobby, Bob the Builder, the Spice Girls three times, Cliff Richard the same, Paul McCartney eight times, Jimmy Osmond’s Long Haired Lover From Liverpool, Slade (perpetrators of the first cynical Christmas Number One-abe), Michael Jackson’s Earth Song described by San Jose Mercury News as “flat” and “whiny” and an almost never-ending procession of The X Factor protégés, who would go on to inevitably drop off the face of the earth after successfully ruining Christmas for everyone else.

But this year Oddbins has released a potential Christmas Number One for the people. Before you worry that we have recorded Wine Aid by The Oddbinites, let us assure you that there is no singing involved; we are talking about a beer, a very special beer indeed…

Over the last few years we have been quietly building up an extensive range of glorious beers from areas local to our shops. We are now working with over 50 breweries and cider makers from up and down the UK, including Rocky Head, Tempest, Bristol Beer Factory, Moncada, Redwillow, Pressure Drop, Beavertown, Old Dairy, Celt Experience, Fyne Ales, By The Horns, Cromarty and Kernel, to name just a tasty handful.

One of our favourites is the East London Brewing Company, a husband and wife team who run a 10-barrel microbrewery in Leyton. While many of the new wave of brewers have gone down the route of making beers that spank and slap your taste buds around like they’ve taken the submissive role in Fifty Shades of Ale, ELB make beer with integrity, beer for drinking, beer for grown-ups. Their honest style has made them firm favourites amongst our customers and staff, and therefore the perfect choice for our inaugural craft beer collaboration. So we rounded up a posse (Oddbinites Sarah, Kaleigh, Cat and Dave) and headed down there to bash some spices, manhandle some hops and help make something beautiful…

Oddbins Nº1 is a limited edition amber winter ale infused with cinnamon, ginger, cloves, orange peel, nutmeg and vanilla. For the beer geeks amongst you, it’s brewed with oats, Styrian Bobek hops from Slovenia and Pale, Maris Otter, Cara, Wheat and Crystal 150 malts. The result is an intensely aromatic brew that tastes like bottled Christmas: tangy orange and ginger marmalade, mulling spices, vanillary oak, lebkuchen, pfeffernüsse, stollen and a gentle hoppiness. For those who prefer beer to wine, it is the perfect partner for turkey and all the trimmings, farmhouse cheddar and mince pies or just for getting into that festive spirit. Available exclusively at Oddbins in selected shops (London and Scotland for the moment) for £2.95 a bottle or by the case in the beer section of Oddbins.com.

Call it a hunch, but we don’t think that Nigella Lawson is going to release this Christmas’ bestselling cookbook and surely Jamie Oliver has his fingers in so many pies there isn’t a spare one to pen a recipe. So we’re going to take over the reins by releasing our first culinary experiment too, inspired by Oddbins Nº1. It’s very much our kind of recipe; three ingredients, one of which you are allowed to drink some of…

Festive Spiced Beer Chocolate Mousse

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 200g Dark Chocolate
  • 125ml Oddbins Nº1
  • 300ml Double Cream

Recipe

  1. Gently melt the chocolate in the beer.
  2. Whip cream until stiff.
  3. Gently fold chocolate mixture and cream together.
  4. Pour into 4 ramekins or glasses and chill.
  5. Drink the remaining beer immediately.

To conclude, our advice is don’t waste your money on bad songs this Christmas. Make Oddbins your Christmas Number One, specifically Oddbins Nº1. And keep your eye out in the New Year for the next episode in our craft beer series. To be continued…

This blog was written while drinking: Oddbins Nº1, Quadrant, Pale Ale and Nightwatchman from the delectable ELB Mixed Case. Grab one before we drink 'em all.