A mystery shopper assignment accepted by Mrs Cake led us to the small Marks and Spencer at Lymm services one Saturday. The mission: buy two products and ask two questions. Sounded like an opportunity to pick up some distinct beers to me. However, when we got there, Mrs Cake found this; M&S Christmas Cocktail (20% ABV), a rum and dairy based drink at half price (£6 for 50cl, given that Christmas was more than two months past, and the use by date was May), that I immediately thought might make an ideal replacement for my Irish Cream du jour that I don’t currently recall.
Now, as with all M&S products, the ingredients are listed right there on the bottle, and these include lemon and vanilla. And none of that made me think this drink would be all that different from Irish Cream. Let me tell you now: it is. I found out as soon as I poured it into my coffee cup the following day, and noticed that the “dairy” element is somewhat minimal. Undeterred, I continued making my coffee with the outcome being… unusual. It was a bit tangy and not at all creamy, but in all fairness, not unpleasant. Perhaps it wasn’t a combination I’d be keen to try to frequently, but given its appearance, surprisingly acceptable.
Next it was time to try in the recommended manner; over ice. Irish Cream excels in this manner, so how the M&S Christmas Cocktail fared here, would make it or break it. Aaaaaand… break it it is. This just isn’t pleasant. Someone has made a mistake with this one. For a start, I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to combine dairy and citrus… something about curdling. Not to mention the unpleasant taste.
In the glass, it looks like what can only be described as… spunk.
It isn’t sweet enough, it isn’t creamy and what on earth has it got to do with Christmas? I’d be gutted if I’d paid full price for this. In the end I had to tip it into a big glass of ice, and pretty much chug it, just to clear a bit of space in the fridge.
How about you? Have you ever bought a dubious Christmas themed drink that doesn’t really seem to have any reason to exist? Let me know in the comments.
Now, I might have overestimated how many Christmas-themed posts I've got this year, so unless I tap out something else real quick, next week might be something completely un-Christmassy. Anyway, come back and find out then, and the week after that I'll have my annual Spirits of the Year post, which I always look forward to, at least. Laters!