Although I am not a great lover of gin, I am of cocktails! Cocktails are a perfect addition to any gathering. Whether it's a low key get together or a large party, they offer something different for everyone to really get stuck into. They allow us to try alcohol we originally wouldn't have considered and to potentially discover a love for the art of mixing drinks.
Making cocktails at home is becoming increasingly popular. You can find in many large stores such as John Lewis, selling cocktail sets for the avid fan of mixology, which usually are Cobbler shakers, also know as Manhattan shakers. However professional bartenders tend to opt for the Boston tin and glass. I suggest if you're a beginner go for a Cobbler shaker as the design is easier to handle, but if you are a little more advanced definitely pick up a Boston shaker - they aren't as scary as they look!
Gin is also booming and it certainly isn't going anywhere fast. The last few years has seen a rise in popularity of the spirit, with an estimated 95 different gin brands on the market. As the Brits have been in the grip of a "ginaissance" we have also seen a surge in distilleries in the country, with an estimated 300+ distilleries operating across the UK. With so much choice it's hard to choose, but as a nation of gin lovers, we just need more! Pink gin, blue gin, lemon drizzle gin, you can find it all and these amazing gins work beautifully in cocktails!
So if you aren't a big gin like myself but want to give it a go, why not grab your shaker and try a few of these out:
G and Tea
40 ml Sipsmith gin
1 tbsp Tiptree orange marmalade (or marmalade of your choice)
30 ml Whittard Earl Grey tea, chilled (or local Earl Grey)
Dash orange bitters
Orange twist, for garnish
Method: Add gin, orange marmalade, chilled Earl Grey tea and bitters to cocktail shakers, then add ice. Shake and pour into a rocks glass filled with ice. Add orange twist for garnish.
40 ml The Botanist Gin
30 ml Cointreau
20 ml Fresh Lime Juice
2 dashes Bitters
5-8 Fresh mint leaves
Method: Add The Botanist Gin, Cointreau and Fresh Lime Juice to shaker, plus 2 dashes of bitters. Clap 5-7 mint leaves and add to shaker. Add ice and shake. Strain into a Highball Glass. Top with Soda Water. Garnish with a mint sprig
The Curious Blue
Tall Collins glass
10ml Blueberry Liqueur
10ml Lemon Juice
60ml Blueberry Puree
50-70ml Ginger Beer
Method: Shake all ingredients apart from the ginger beer with ice. Strain into a tall Collins glass filled with a small amount of crushed ice topped with cubed ice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with a mint sprig and a knotted bamboo skewer OR a cocktail stick with 3 blueberries.
Pear and Ginger Twist
50 ml Bombay Sapphire
30 ml Pear juice
2 Fresh lime wedges
50 ml Premium tonic water
1 Sliver of ginger
1 Sage leaf
Method: Fill balloon glass to rim with ice. Stir until frosted then strain excess liquid from glass. Add Bombay Sapphire, pear juice and a squeeze of fresh lime. Add new lime wedge garnish under the ice. Stir drink. Tilt glass and pour chilled tonic water down side of glass and lift once gently using bar spoon. Garnish with sliver of ginger and sage leaf.
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