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Lightly buttered toast, with a generous dollop of jam or orange marmalade. For years, it’s been the breakfast that Britons choose to set them up for the day.

But what about adding a splash of whisky to the marmalade or a glug of gin to the jam? It may sound like a recipe for a hangover by lunchtime, but classic spreads are now enjoying an edgy rebirth thanks to a growing demand for booze-infused products.

‘It’s really lovely to mix, say, the finest Sicillian lemons with an earthy whisky,’ says Jennifer Williams, a specialist jam maker, whose company, Naked Jam, has seen a 40 per cent boost in the market since introducing alcohol-flavoured preserves.

Angela Epstein gives verdict on a selection of classic spreads with a tipsy twist (file image)

Angela Epstein gives verdict on a selection of classic spreads with a tipsy twist (file image)

Angela Epstein gives verdict on a selection of classic spreads with a tipsy twist (file image)

‘Fruits and alcohol really complement one another in terms of taste and balance. A clean spirit, like vodka or gin, can soften the overpowering sweetness of a jam, for example.’

Jennifer suggests that if you do have jam on toast, you should team it with a good, unsalted butter as the fat will absorb the tartness of some spreads.

For those wanting to start the day with a tipsy twist, there are plenty of products on offer (don’t worry, the alcohol content gets cooked off in the preparation process). Here’s how they fared in my taste test.

DROP OF THE GOOD STUFF 

Pittenweem Preserves Malt Whisky Orange Marmalade, £3.50 for 200g, pittenweempreserves.co.uk

Angela said Pittenweem Preserves Malt Whisky Orange Marmalade (pictured) is best mixed with bourbon and lemon juice for a sundown tipple

Angela said Pittenweem Preserves Malt Whisky Orange Marmalade (pictured) is best mixed with bourbon and lemon juice for a sundown tipple

Angela said Pittenweem Preserves Malt Whisky Orange Marmalade (pictured) is best mixed with bourbon and lemon juice for a sundown tipple 

Seville oranges are blended with Bunnahabhain whisky (a single malt produced from a distillery on the Hebridean islands since 1881) for a gloriously rich combination. The initial tartness of the orange gives way to a deep smack of peaty malt.

In fact, this does linger in the same way that neat whisky can leave a chemical aftershock. It’s not a problem if you’re a spirit lover like me but it may be a sharp surprise for those who usually decline a wee dram.

My advice is to forget the toast and mix a dollop of this golden amber spread with bourbon, lemon juice and ice for the perfect sundown tipple. Trust me, it’s gorgeous. 4/5

SEXED-UP SPREAD

Spreadable Pornstar Martini, £8.99 for 225g, thebottleclub.com

Angela said Spreadable Pornstar Martini (pictured) is redeemed when stirred into a neat vodka with ice

Angela said Spreadable Pornstar Martini (pictured) is redeemed when stirred into a neat vodka with ice

Angela said Spreadable Pornstar Martini (pictured) is redeemed when stirred into a neat vodka with ice 

A Martini cocktail may have been Bond’s favourite tipple but even 007 might baulk at the suggestive name of this spread. Clearly this is an attempt to make staid marmalade sexy. Made from passion fruit puree, oranges, lemon and lime, it’s also ‘straddled by a vicious twist of vodka’.

The problem is that the taste is a huge let-down. I don’t pick up any vodka and the citrus hit is so sharp, it overpowers the passionfruit. If it weren’t for its dark telltale seeds, you wouldn’t know it was there. Redeemed slightly when stirred into a neat vodka with ice. But, frankly, I’m neither shaken nor stirred. 1/5

INDULGENT TREAT

Pinkster Gin Jam £6.50 for 340g, ocado.com

Angela said Pinkster Gin Jam (pictured) is extremely sweet with subtle notes of gin that can be enjoyed in jam tarts

Angela said Pinkster Gin Jam (pictured) is extremely sweet with subtle notes of gin that can be enjoyed in jam tarts

Angela said Pinkster Gin Jam (pictured) is extremely sweet with subtle notes of gin that can be enjoyed in jam tarts

Wow! A shade of vampy dark red, this jam is made from the gin-soaked raspberries discarded from production of the company’s signature Pinkster pink gin (for being too mushed), so there’s minimal wastage. The jam is extremely sweet and the notes of gin are subtle. I actually found myself spooning it straight from the jar when I fancied something a little indulgent after dinner. I loved it so much that I use it in jam tarts, so adding a dash of excitement to an otherwise routine afternoon tea staple. Lovely. 5/5

RICH FLAVOUR

Summer Fruits with Pimms Jam, £4.50 for 340g, cherrytreepreserves.co.uk

Angela said Summer Fruits with Pimms Jam (pictured) can be served for afternoon tea with a floury scone and cream

Angela said Summer Fruits with Pimms Jam (pictured) can be served for afternoon tea with a floury scone and cream

Angela said Summer Fruits with Pimms Jam (pictured) can be served for afternoon tea with a floury scone and cream 

This rusty-red jam is hand-cooked in small batches and mixed with strawberries, red currants and Pimms, one of the signature tastes of summer and a gin-based liqueur.

It’s a really rich jam though, sadly, it was hard to detect any trace of Pimms. Instead, it tastes rather like a bog standard, off-the-shelf supermarket jam.

Perhaps stir it into a glass of Pimms and lemonade to add colour and texture, though I am more inclined to serve it for afternoon tea with a floury scone and a mound of cream. 2/5

AN ACQUIRED TASTE

BeauFort Spirit Negroni Marmalade, £6.50 for 340g, beaufortspirit.com

Angela said BeauFort Spirit Negroni Marmalade (pictured) is too sharp for her morning toast but could be used to make an orange cake

Angela said BeauFort Spirit Negroni Marmalade (pictured) is too sharp for her morning toast but could be used to make an orange cake

Angela said BeauFort Spirit Negroni Marmalade (pictured) is too sharp for her morning toast but could be used to make an orange cake 

AT the pricey end, this thick-cut marmalade is also the most bitter. After all, Negroni, the Italian cocktail made from one part gin, vermouth and Campari is known for its acrid punch. This is made from Seville oranges, lemons, BeauFort Overproof Smoked Gin (flavoured with hickory, szechuan, pink peppers and citrus oil). It’s lower in sugar than the other spreads — 40g per 100g, while others are 60g.

The spread has a syrupy thickness and is a lush shade of golden caramel, spiked with long pieces of peel. But it’s too sharp for my morning toast, so I store it away and vow to use it when I make an orange cake. 2/5

SWEET AS SHERBET

Strawberry & Champagne Jam, £5.95 for 225g, naked-jam.co.uk

Angela said Strawberry & Champagne Jam (pictured) can be paired with warm buttered croissants

Angela said Strawberry & Champagne Jam (pictured) can be paired with warm buttered croissants

Angela said Strawberry & Champagne Jam (pictured) can be paired with warm buttered croissants

Jam-maker Jennifer Williams cooked up the idea for this jam when watching the semi-finals at Wimbledon, sipping champagne and enjoying a cream tea in the sunshine.

Strawberries are collected the same day that they are picked and then marinated in champagne and sugar overnight, before being slowly cooked, and hand-stirred, in copper pans the very next day.

No surprise then that this jam has such a sherbet-like, slightly overpowering sweetness, but not one specifically identifiable as champagne. Even so, it’s lovely and indulgent. I have mine with with warm buttered croissants on a lazy Sunday morning. Heavenly. 4/5

PACKS A PUNCH

The Cherry Tree with amaretto, £4.50 for 340g, cherrytreepreserves.co.uk

Angela said The Cherry Tree with amaretto (pictured) has intense flavours, but can be enjoyed with sourdough toast and creamy butter

Angela said The Cherry Tree with amaretto (pictured) has intense flavours, but can be enjoyed with sourdough toast and creamy butter

Angela said The Cherry Tree with amaretto (pictured) has intense flavours, but can be enjoyed with sourdough toast and creamy butter

Super dark in colour, at first sight this jam reminds me of Chanel’s famous Rouge Noir nail polish.

Opening the lid, I’m hit by a distinct waft of strong cherry. On first bite, the taste hits with a sweetly sharp smack then settles into something deeply tangy, possibly because Amaretto liqueur tends to be flavoured with bitter almonds, peach or apricot stones.

I warm a little of the jam to reduce its thickness then add a spoonful to a thick slab of sourdough toast underpinned with a little creamy butter. A good choice for those who enjoy strong, intense flavours. 3/5

FOR BUBBLY LOVERS

Wooden Spoon Bucks Fizz Marmalade, £2.95 for 227g, thewoodenspoon.co.uk

Angela said Wooden Spoon Bucks Fizz Marmalade (pictured) can be be used as a meat glaze

Angela said Wooden Spoon Bucks Fizz Marmalade (pictured) can be be used as a meat glaze

Angela said Wooden Spoon Bucks Fizz Marmalade (pictured) can be be used as a meat glaze

I have always hated Bucks Fizz (the cocktail not the pop group), but that’s because I loathe orange juice unless it’s neat and ice-cold. So when I say this marmalade accurately replicates Bucks Fizz, it’s both a plus and a minus. If you like the drink then you’ll love the fresh, taste of this tart, orangey marmalade, which offers a bubble of something slightly naughty. I’ll use it as a meat glaze but it does nothing for me on toast. 3/5

Source: Daily Mail UK

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