Best drinks: Nelson companies win top awards

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Florence de Chia Sisters, left, and Chloe Van Dyke have added another award to their collection for their Immunity Hot Tonic.

Braden Fastier / Stuff

Florence de Chia Sisters, left, and Chloe Van Dyke have added another award to their collection for their Immunity Hot Tonic.

Nelson produces top notch drinks and top class tonics which have won prestigious awards.

At the New Zealand Food Awards, Chia Sisters’ Immunity Hot Tonic received the Beverage Award, while Dancing Sands Distillery in Tākaka won the Novel Award for its Sauvignon Blanc Gin.

The winners of the 13 categories, including the Massey University Supreme Award, Chilled Award, Pantry Award and Below Zero Awards, were announced at a virtual awards ceremony Thursday night due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Chief Justice Kay McMath said the products have been judged up to seven or eight times on three themes, including innovation, sustainability and excellence.

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“Overall that’s a pretty comprehensive overview of these products, so when we had a winner it was really a winner – they ticked off all of the categories.”

She said Chia Sisters created an immune tonic that lived up to its name, researching ingredients with immune properties while providing an affordable concentrate that was good for the family.

The Sauvignon Blanc Gin was “very, very smart,” McMath said, using depleted fruit to flavor the gin.

The Dancing Sands distillery in Tākaka has been recognized for its Sauvignon Blanc Gin.

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The Dancing Sands distillery in Tākaka has been recognized for its Sauvignon Blanc Gin.

“This is certainly different from what exists.

She said the two drinks were “good examples of two products that answered these three themes of judgment, and they did so with excellence.”

There were over 170 entries vying for the top spot this year, with 66 finalists from 45 companies across New Zealand.

Chia Sisters and Dancing Sands have received numerous awards, with Chia Sisters recognized for its enduring and exceptional business as well as its product and Dancing Sands which has won gin and spirits awards around the world.

The judges of the International Brewing and Cider Awards held in the United Kingdom chose only one brew made in New Zealand to receive the honors, awarding gold to Orchard Thieves Rosé cider.

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The judges of the International Brewing and Cider Awards held in the United Kingdom chose only one brew made in New Zealand to receive the honors, awarding gold to Orchard Thieves Rosé cider.

Meanwhile, a cider made in Nelson won gold in the new Cider Innovation Rosé category at the 2021 International Brewing and Cider Awards.

Made in the Redwood Cidery of Nelson-based DB Breweries, Orchard Thieves Rosé Cider was the only medalist among New Zealand Beer and Cider entrants this year.

A total of 138 medal and trophy winners were announced at one of the world’s oldest international beer and cider competitions, which took place last week at the National Brewery Center in Burton-upon-Trent, UK.

Redwood Cidery chief cider maker David Sax said the team were “thrilled” to be recognized for their blush-colored cider that would appeal to cider and wine drinkers.

“This is a new version for Orchard Thieves, which is drier in style. It’s fresh, fruity, and nicely rosy thanks to the blend of white and red-fleshed apples. This cider uses the unusual varieties of red-fleshed apples. Geneva and Red love. These red-fleshed apples are used for their fantastic color and rhubarb-like acidity that perfectly balances the cider.

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