All aboard the festive cheese and gin train; everyone’s gone novelty cheese board mad and fallen drunk in love with gin.
Where can we go from here, you ask.
Enter: Beloved Borough Market, who've looked into your soul and seen your heart's deepest desires.
The kindly traders have released a gin-soaked cheese just in time for Christmas Day.
They even hosted an Evening of Cheese on Thursday 7th December to springboard the cheeses they have on offer.
The gin-soaked goodness taking the spot at star of the show was received well by all cheese connoisseurs who came, ate and approved.
The market traders even came up with the perfect drink to wash it down with: Borough Market's new '#LoveBorough' Imperial Porter, which is flavoured with both coffee and chocolate.
Who’s joining us tonight for our #EveningofCheese? 🧀A great opportunity to speak to our cheese experts about their craft, buy some tasty morsels, get ideas for the perfect Christmas cheeseboard, watch traders compete in the ‘cracking of the parmesan’ and hear from author Francis Percival at the #demokitchen about microbes, farming and cheese flavours. #cheese #boroughmarket #marketshopping #traders #demo #reinventingthewheel
If that's not delicious-sounding enough to you, how about drinking beer while serving up a little philanthropy? All profits from the sales of the beer are going to the trader support fund, which is helping ease the financial losses suffered following this year's terrorist attack.
The beer is brewed from English hops grown in the Market Hall and flavoured with coffee from Change Please and chocolate from Rabot 1745, both Borough Market traders.
The Imperial Porter is the third brew from Borough Market's own hops, and is the result of a true community effort.
Darren Henaghan, managing director of Borough Market said:
We're proud to produce a sustainable and low-waste beer which is grown from hops planted right here in our Market Hall.
Our urban gardening team used leftover coffee grounds as a mulch and rainwater to grow the English hops, and by using high-quality ingredients from our traders to flavour the porter, the result is a proper London brew.
— Borough Market (@boroughmarket) November 30, 2017
Dan Tapper, the curator of Imperial Porter and expert brewer, said:
As both a brewer and a food writer it has been an absolute honour to create a beer that not only displays genuine London terroir but also showcases some of Borough Market's most flavoursome produce.
It hasn't been easy; the project took six months to realise with the help of coffee roasters, chocolate makers, brewers and urban gardeners but we're all thrilled with the final beer and are delighted that proceeds will be donated to Borough Market traders.
And here it is! Our 2017 Christmas installation. ✨Perhaps more than any other year, these decorations carry so much meaning and symbolism. The circular motif represents protection, inclusion & timelessness (three qualities fundamental to Borough Market - an institution that has provided strength, sustenance & companionship to the people of London for 1,000 years, through good times and bad). The fruit, herbs & spices were all sourced from #boroughmarket traders. Each carries its own meaning: cinnamon for protection, rosemary for remembrance, oranges for good fortune. Collectively they capture the riot of colours, smells & human engagement to be found at the Market. 💚 #LoveBorough
The star ingredient of the porter is the traditional variety of English hop known as 'Fuggles', originally cultivated in Kent by Richard Fuggles in the late 19th Century.
Grown in the Market Hall by Borough Market’s urban gardening team, the hops are renowned for displaying delicate but complex flavours of mint, tea and marmalade, even Paddington himself would envy.
Most hops used in the beer industry are kiln dried within 24 hours to preserve them, which can adversely impact taste.
By using local brewers, Tap East, Borough Market could deliver the hops in their wet, fresh state within hours of harvesting; contributing to the beer's authentic flavour.
Beers created in this way can only be made once a year, making them one of the world's most sought-after seasonal products.
The Imperial Porter is made from six malt varieties, heated to extremely high temperatures to produce the iconic dark liquid.
The 85 % cocoa chocolate used in the beer is famed for its robust notes of oak and leather and was sourced by Rabot 1745 from a 250 year-old cocoa plantation on St Lucia.
The coffee from Change Please was specifically chosen for its vibrant flavours of raspberry and blackcurrant.
The beer has been produced in collaboration with Tap East, an acclaimed microbrewery in Stratford, East London whose founders have been trading at Borough Market for more than 15 years through specialist beer shop Utobeer and bar, The Rake.
Dinner: Stilton and a coffee and chocolate Porter brewed exclusively for @boroughmarket by The Beak and @TapEast launching at @Rakebar on Thursday night. All proceeds to the Borough Traders Fund. Come get it! pic.twitter.com/E69MqtWGxo
— The Beak Brewery (@TheBeakBrewery) November 29, 2017
Limited edition bottles of the 7.2% beer will be priced at £3.90.
But £2 from each bottle will be donated to the trader support fund - and there's no better way to enjoy a delicious beer during the season of goodwill than while helping others.
— Francesca Donovan (@Francesca_Don) November 28, 2017
Bottles will be on sale from the Borough Market office, and from the merchandise stand in the middle of the market.
The #LoveBorough Imperial Porter will also be exclusively available in the Market on draught from The Globe Tavern and The Rake.