If there's one bottle I always want in my kitchen after Christmas it's Stone's Ginger Wine. Oddly, because I don't particularly like the taste of preserved ginger. But it makes two great cold weather drinks - a whisky Mac and a very good hot toddy.
A Whisky Mac is simply a whisky with a dash - or more - of ginger wine. Most mixologists seem to favour about two thirds whisky to one third Stone's but it's one of those drinks that depends on your own taste and the quality of whisky that you're using. (No point in using a malt, obviously)
For a really great hot toddy put 1 shot (2 tbsp) blended whisky in a mug or a strong glass with a shot of Stone's, 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice and a teaspoon of clear honey, pour over 200-225ml boiling water and stir. If you have any cinnamon sticks you could use one for garnish but you don't really need it.
There are also much fancier cocktails and other recipes you can make if you visit the Stone's website some of which sound vaguely repellent (Pork Sausages Whisky Mac, anyone?) but you could add a dash to a chicken stir-fry if you have a bottle handy and I suspect it would be a rather good addition to a fruit cake or gingerbread.
Stone's costs roughly the same as a bottle of inexpensive table wine (usually around ££4.59 but both Sainsbury's and Tesco currently have it on offer for £3.99) and it will last a lot longer which makes it a bargain in my book. RATING: ***