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Friday, July 5, 2013


A quite new and rather versatile drink that is apparently making a considerable impact in KZN bottle stores is Magnum Cream Liqueur.

This is a creamy liqueur made from a blend of Scotch malt whisky and Dutch cream. These components are imported, and the blending and bottling are done in the Western Cape.

The result is a delicious and highly distinctive liqueur. It has flavours of caramel, chocolate and toffee, but the glow of whisky on the palate is the most memorable feature. It is this that gives the drink a grip and character that make it different from some other rather cloying liqueurs.

Magnum Cream should be served chilled, and it is delightful as an after-dinner drink. It can also be served over ice as a cocktail or added to coffee or even added to ice-cream (but not for the young ones).

Alcohol content is 17 percent, the same as that for nearly all liqueurs. And the packaging, to use the trade term, is in a class of its own. Magnum Cream comes not in a bottle but in a reusable stainless steel flask with a screw-top and handles. It is available at liquor retailers in a one-litre flask selling for about R120. A 750 ml. flask priced at R99 is about to be placed on the market.

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South Africa’s most unusual wine tasting venue must surely be the Winters Drift Tasting Station at the old Elgin train station, in one of the most beautiful parts of the Western Cape, about an hour’s drive from Cape Town.

Winters Drift is a cellar in the Elgin area, which is known for its high quality white wines. Its first bottling was in 2010, and it produces chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, shiraz and rosé.

The Elgin station fell into disuse and disrepair about 40 years ago, when road transport superseded passenger trains. Recently the owners of Winters Drift  bought buildings at the station and obtained permission from Transnet to renovate the whole place and open a wine tasting station there.

The result today is the Platform 1 Eatery, which offers meals and snacks at reasonable prices and of course Winters Drift wines, at R20 to R35 a glass. And you can buy bottles of Winters Drift wines: sauvignon blanc at R67, pinot noir at R105, shiraz at R85, rosé at R50, and chardonnay at R85. The wines are reported to be of high quality.

The railway line is still operational, with two or three freight trains laden with grain passing through every day.

The Platform 1 cafe is open from 09h00 to 16h00 from Tuesday to Friday (Saturdays from 10h00 to 16h00). Phone 021 859 5534 or 082 494 1265. - Michael Green