Breakfast (flavoured) Gin and Tonic with Bombay Sapphire East & Ultimate Gin & Tonic Discovery Event

The Gin & Tonic season has truly arrived and, whilst there is a true art in
perfecting the classic mix of gin, tonic and ice, sometimes I have a hankering
for something a little more, hence my breakfast-inspired gin. This is partly
inspired by the limited release of FEW Breakfast Gin at Tales of the Cocktail.

Now, you may be thinking that a kippers and bacon Gin & Tonic may not sound
particularly appealing and I agree, so I went, instead, for a slightly more
“continental breakfast” style.

Bombay Sapphire East Breakfast Gin Tonic FINAL

The Recipe

50ml marmalade-infused Bombay Sapphire East*
One Earl Grey tea bag
150ml tonic water
Ice
2 slices/wedges of orange and 2 of grapefruit

Place the gin into a large wine or coupe glass, add the tea bag, and infuse for
20-30 seconds.
Remove tea bag.
Fill glass with ice and add 3 slices of the citrus fruit.
Top up with tonic water.
Squeeze the juice from one of the grapefruit slices into the glass.

The Taste

Floral Earl Grey upfront, followed by some botanical flavours from the gin and
a touch of menthol pepper. This moves onto a mix of sweet marmalade and fresh
orange, before a long, dry, zesty finish of grapefruit.

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If you fancy learning more about making Gin & Tonics with a wow factor, Bombay
Sapphire are holding the Ultimate Gin & Tonic Discovery Experience on Friday
24th July and Wednesday 29th July at Laverstoke Mill (details below).

Hosted by the UK’s Most Imaginative Bartender Dan Berger and Senior Brand
Ambassador for Bombay Sapphire Distillery at Lavertstoke Mill Sam Carter, each
masterclass will provide a never before chance to learn insider tricks of the
trade.

Influenced by his recent involvement in the Bombay Sapphire World’s Most
Imaginative Bartender Competition, Dan has created a number of gin and tonic
twists inspired by the regions from which the botanicals in each bottle of
Bombay Sapphire are sourced. Guests will learn how to re-create these twists in
an interactive masterclass whilst hearing tales from his experience in the
competition. Resident cocktail expert Sam Carter will also be on hand to guide
guests in making their twists whilst talking through the history of the brand.

Tickets are priced at £40 and need to be booked in advance via the website
http://www.distillery.bombaysapphire.com. Each masterclass starts at 7pm and runs for
an hour and a half.

*Marmalade Infused Bombay Sapphire East is made by combining one teaspoon of marmalade for every 50ml of gin, combine and leave to infuse for 2 hours, occasionally shaking. If you need it quicker added ingredients to cocktail shake (without ice) and shake vigorously. Strain out remaining marmalade before use.

Tanqueray & Tonic – An Investigation into the Best Garnish for Tanqueray Gins

Tanqueray GinTonica Title

This is the first part of my investigation into garnishes for Tanqueray Gin. I’ve spent a little time recently thinking about the lemon vs. lime argument. For World Gin Day, I made a Gin & Tonic according to a 1938 recipe using Mason’s Gin, which used lemon and/or lime (you had the choice). Having recently returned from Spain, I also fancied experimenting a little more with the Gin Tonica serve for this classic drink.

Naturally, after a quick reflection, I decided the best way to investigate this subject would be to do a taste test. I extended my normal citrus selection to include: lemon, lime, orange, pink grapefruit and red grapefruit.

I shall be tasting both of the following gins in my Gin & Tonics:

Tanqueray Export Strength (43.1%ABV) – from hereon referred to as “Original” – which is made using 4 botanicals: Juniper, Coriander, Angelica, and Liquorice; and

Tanqueray No:10 (47.3%ABV), whose botanicals include: Juniper, Angelica, Coriander, Chamomile, White Grapefruit, Lime and Orange (for the citrus, the whole fruit is used, not just the peel).

Each drink will be mixed with Fevertree Tonic. I will add a double measure of gin to a tonica glass filled with ice and then add 150ml of Fevertree Tonic. Each one will be garnished with a wedge of the fruit being tested and a little spritz of oil from the peel over the top of the drink, for aroma.

Control (No Garnish)

Original: A rather classic Gin & Tonic with dry, piney juniper, some angelica and sweet liquorice. Cooling and refreshing, this works very well straight-up without a garnish.

Ten: A crisp and clean Gin & Tonic, with lots of citrus notes and some sweetness, such as liquorice, coming through. A hint of floral notes, too. Even without a garnish, this also works very well.

TanquerayGinTonica Lemon FINAL

Lemon

Original: A good version of the drink, this is more floral than when using lime and provides a little more sweetness, too. It’s a very accessible and refreshing drink that makes you go back for seconds.

Ten: The slightly sweet notes of the lemon seem to muddle the more complex flavour of the Tanqueray No:10; it is still a quite acceptable drink, but I think that the lemon does the gin a disservice.

TanquerayGinTonica Lime FINAL

Lime

Original: Classic in style, this drink is dry, with a tiny hint of bitterness and a great citrus liveliness courtesy of the lime. A very classic serve and flavour, providing more bite to the drink than the lemon version.

Ten: Wow! A great example of how a garnish can add life and vitality to a drink. Lime is a great match for Tanqueray No:10. The drink on its own is good, but the lime really is the cherry on the cake and finishes the drink nicely. Easy to drink and rather morish.

TanquerayGinTonica Evans FINAL

Evans

Original: Works well with the two citrus fruits; the lemon adds sweet juiciness and the lime adds a crisp liveliness to the drink. Also, on the eye, the yellow and green are rather attractive. A good choice for Original Tanqueray.

Ten: Better than just lemon on its own: the lively lime works well with the gin but, alas, the lemon detracts too much and the flavour again becomes a bit muddied. Fans of strong juniper and coriander notes may like it, though, as these flavours seem to be amplified by the combination.

TanquerayGinTonica Orange FINAL

Orange

Original: Quite a soft Gin & Tonic. The orange is okay, but seems to clutter the underlying flavours of the gin somewhat and gives the drink a tannic quality.

Ten: Very fragrant and inviting, this serve highlights the gin’s juiciness. The orange works well with some of the lively bitterness from the pink grapefruit botanical, making this a much better match than with the Original Tanqueray.

TanquerayGinTonica PinkGrapefruit FINAL

Pink Grapefruit

Original: Just superb: you immediately get some citrus and floral notes from the garnish. The pink grapefruit adds a zesty succulence to the drink, but doesn’t overpower the gin, allowing Tanqueray’s underlying botanical character to come through strong. Simple, but effective, this is refreshing and definitely quaffable.

Ten: I thought that the Original Tanqueray went well with pink grapefruit, but I think that Tanqueray No:10 works even better. There is that same fresh, zesty, juicy citrus note coming through, but it’s accompanied by some more complex notes, such as a little bitterness akin to that of dark chocolate. This makes for a very sophisticated drink and one I could enjoy again and again.

TanquerayGinTonica RedGrapefruit FINAL

Red Grapefruit

Original: The orange and pink of the garnish looks particularly attractive in the glass and provides an enticing aroma. It creates a very dry Gin & Tonic with a little zestiness at the end; a slight squeeze or muddle of the fruit invigorates the drink, making it juicier and more lively.

Ten: Simply excellent. There are some very rich, bold flavours here, but they work really well together: the fresh fruit is succulent and refreshing, with a little zesty bitterness right at the end. Some very faint hints of vanilla come through, too.

In Conclusion

It is certainly true that the garnish really does impact upon the flavour and overall experience of the drink. Tanqueray No:10 seemed to pair particularly well with the citrus, more so than the Original Tanqueray, probably due to the citrus botanicals used in the gin.

I think that lime (the garnish suggested by Tanqueray themselves) worked well for both gins. Both pink and red grapefruit also worked well with both (unfortunately Waitrose didn’t have any white grapefruit, so I have yet to try that). Lemon seemed much stronger with the regular Tanqueray then the Tanqueray No:10, and I’d probably avoid orange all together, considering how good the other combinations were.

~

The Tanqueray Website

Tanqueray On Twitter: USA

Tanqueray on Facebook

Tanqueray (43.1% ABV) is available for around £20 for 70cl from The Whisky Exchange.

Tanqueray (47.3% ABV) is available for around £22 for 70cl from The Whisky Exchange.

Tanqueray No:10 is available for around £28 for 70cl from The Whisky Exchange.

 

Negroni Sorbet Recipe

A little while back, I wrote about creating a Gin & Tonic sorbet and, with the weather heating up again, I thought that I would turn my attention to another cocktail sorbet. With its dry, refreshing flavours and bright colours, the Negroni seemed like a natural choice.

THE RECIPE

400g Caster Sugar
75ml Campari (except no substitutes)
75ml Red Vermouth
100ml Crodino or other Bitter Soda
100ml Orange Juice
70ml Water
30ml Dry Gin (I used Perivale Dry)
1 Egg White

  • Mix the sugar, Campari, Vermouth, water, orange juice and Crodino until the sugar has dissolved, then chill in the fridge until cold.
  • Once cold, remove the mix, add the gin, and pour into a container. Return to the freezer until the mix is almost frozen; this will take about 2 hours.
  • Remove the semi-frozen mix from the freezer and break up with a fork. Froth the egg white with a fork, then add both to a food processor and pulse to blitz together – do it quickly so that it doesn’t start to melt. Pour the mix back into your container and freeze again until solid.

THE TASTE

A very fresh and bitter-sweet sorbet with a tangyness form the orange. It has the deeper herbal notes of the red vermouth and the Campari is flavours come through very well. It doesn’t taste to alcoholic and would make an excellent unusual palette cleaner between courses.

I aimed to make a sorbet that tastes like a Negoni and I think this got pretty close.

It is difficult to put a lot of gin in the sorbet, as it won’t freeze, but a good compromise is to pour some gin, straight from the freezer, over the sorbet when you serve. If you do this then the sorbet is even more Negroni like as you get more of the piney, citrus juniper.

Campari is available in most supermarkets and off licences priced at around £14 for 70cl.

Chocolate Orange Liqueur Recipe – (Using Terry’s)

First off don’t forget OUR COMPETITION which ends at Midday GMT on Thursday (Tomorrow)

Folks who attended the Juniper Society a few months ago may remember a Cadbury’s Fruit ‘N’ Nut liqueur that I made, the recipe of which is lost to the sands of time (as I didn’t write it down!).
Those who attended this Monday’s Hendrick’s Juniper Society were “treated” to a taste of my new Chocolate Orange Liqueur.

This was inspired by our recent trip to the Diageo Archive where, in their bottle room, they had a few bottles of the now defunct Terry’s Chocolate Orange Liqueur. Inspired by the concept behind the bottle, I decided to recreate some and I am sharing the recipe with you.

TERRY’S CHOCOLATE ORANGE LIQUEUR

One Terry’s Milk Chocolate Orange
150ml Semi-skimmed Milk
150ml Double Cream
200ml Vodka (I used Iceberg as it is very clean and soft)

Melt one whole sphere of Terry Milk Chocolate Orange* in a glass bowl (I suggest using a Bain Marie and you may want to added a dash of milk whilst it is melting).
On a low heat, gradually add 150ml Semi-Skimmed Milk and 150ml Double Cream.
Remove from the heat and add the vodka. I recommend using something that is clean and smooth; I used Iceberg.

If you want a little more bitter orange, I would suggest adding a few dashes of orange bitters or orange flower water.

Once the mix has cooled, strain it through a fine sieve and then bottle and keep in the fridge.

I was doubtful of how this would turn out before I put it in the fridge, but after 12 hours of chilling, I tried it again. The result was a thick and creamy liqueur with both initial and lingering flavours of chocolate and a finish of bitter chocolate and orange. In short, it tastes a lot like Terry’s Chocolate Orange; I’m glad the other folks at the Juniper Society agreed.**

* Okay, so I say “whole”, but I actually ate two segments and that knobbly bit in the middle.
** Sadly it was so popular that I never managed to get a picture of it!

Sipsmith Autumn Cocktails with Recipes for Ginger, Oat, Berry and Pumpkin Gin!

L:R Oat, Cranberry & Blueberry, Ginger, Pumpkin Flavoured Sipsmith Gin

L:R Oat, Cranberry & Blueberry, Ginger, Pumpkin Flavoured Sipsmith Gin

At SummerFruitCup we love a good bit of experimentation and occasionally we dabble with flavouring gin, so far we’ve tried making a variety so far including Apple, Raisin even Turkish Delight. The issue with flavouring gin as a opposed to vodka is that the gin has a more complex taste and so sometimes when adding another flavour you can mask the character of the spirit, even to the extent that you’d never guess it was gin; now, that really would be a shame.

The way to get round this is to use a strong Juniper-driven gin, I quite like using Sipsmith for this purpose and Sipsmith themselves have a similar philosophy with their Sloe Gin.

I decided to make four autumnal flavour gins for my cocktail; Oat, Ginger, Blueberry & Cranberry and Pumpkin. Recipes for these flavoured Gins can be found at the bottom of the article.

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The Cocktails

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#1 Ginger Gimlet
[50ml Sipsmith Ginger Gin 25ml Rose’s Lime Cordial]
The usual blend of crisp citrus and dry gin that you’d expect from a Gimlet but with a warming ginger burst in the middle which returns to linger on the finish. The ginger lightly brings out the more bitter herbal notes of the gin, which is actually quite pleasant. This is a Gimlet that will warm the cockles.

#2 September Sling
[35ml Sipsmith Blueberry & Cranberry Gin, 15ml Lemon Juice, 10ml Sugar Syrup 100ml Soda Water]
A very simple drink and perfect for the death throws of summer (or the odd September Heatwave!) The cranberry/juniper mix makes it long, dry cool and very refreshing. Not really much more to say, it’s simply delicious.

#3 Harvest Cocktail
[15ml Sipsmith Oat Gin 5ml Sipsmith Ginger Gin 10ml Lemon Juice 60ml Hot Water]
A hot cocktail, very warming and comforting a bit like a ginger oatmeal cookie. Pleasant buttery oatiness, sweet rich honey, fire of ginger with the tart citrus off setting the sweet/rich flavours.
This is really, really nice.

#4 Very Berry Bramble
The Bramble is already a rather autumnal drink, but this one uses the Cranberry Blueberry gin instead of Dry Gin and uses honey syrup instead of sugar syrup. Slight almond notes from the blueberry with dryness from the cranberry which works well with the juniper-citrus dryness of the gin. The honey gives the drink a  sweet, warming lift. Juicy, jammy and very tasty.

#5 Smashing Pumpkin
[50ml Pumpking Gin, 25ml Soda Water, 10ml Sugar Syrup – Twist of Lemon]
A Pumpkin Gin Smash quite sweet and quite rich, not 100% sure that the lemon twist works but other than that rather nice. Certainly a drink with potential, the rich buttery flavours of the pumpkin come through. I think a squeeze of a cranberry over the top would be a good addition and using honey rather than sugar would also improve the drink.

#6 Autumn Days*
[5ml Creme de Mure, 10ml Sipsmith Oat Gin 15ml Sipsmith Pumpkin Gin, Top up with Sparkling Apple Juice. (For an extra punch you could use sparkling cider but that would be quite a drink.)]

A drink with a little more festive fizz, the apple adds an extra layer to the autumnal flavour the fleshy fruitiness of the Pumpkin comes through as does the warm oaty gin. The Mure adds a touch of sweetness and blends well with the apple on the finish.
It interesting that the pumpkin seems at it’s strongest once you’ve finished the drink.
Variations: Ginger Ale, Sparkling Wine or Champagne instead of apple juice.

In Conclusion
This was really good fun to write and create and thanks to Sipsmith for their ongoing help and support. I recommend experimenting with your own flavoured gins (see below for inspiration). Our favourite cocktails were the September Sling, Harvest Cocktail and Smashing Pumpkin, but in a rare case, it was hard to choose.

Sipsmith have got a plethora of shenanigans and talks at the their Hammersmith Distillery during London Cocktail Week, click here to find out more.

RECIPES

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When making flavoured spirit/liqueurs/syrups at home it is important to taste your concoctions along the way and adjust the taste as necessary.
Fresh ingredients will vary as will personal preference for intensity of certain flavours, levels of sweetness and sourness.
Below are the basics but you need to use you palette too.

Ginger Gin
Add 2cm of root ginger (chopped) to a clean jam jar for every 100ml of Gin.  Leaved for 3 days or to taste.
(Optional) Sweeten with a little sugar and ensure that it is fully dissolved.
Strain and bottle.

Strong fresh ginger nose, smooth yet fiery, the warm ginger grows and develops as the flavours of the gin does. Juniper and citrus still prevalent.

Blueberry and Cranberry Gin
Add 10 Blueberries 5 Cranberries for every 100ml of Gin. Prick the berries with a cocktail stick. Leave for a week, or to taste.
(Optional) Sweeten with a little sugar and ensure that it is fully dissolved.
Strain and bottle.

Pumpkin Gin
Add a cupful of Pumpkin flesh for every 100ml of Gin. Prick the berries with a cocktail stick. Leave for at least 2  weeks, or to taste.

(Optional) Sweeten with a little sugar and ensure that it is fully dissolved.
Strain and bottle.

Oat Gin
Add a tablespoon of Dry Porrige Oats to every 100ml of Gin. Leave for 3 days. Fine strain and then bottle.

*Named after a popular song sung in British Primary Schools around this time of the year (or at least it was when I was there)

Pimm’s No:8 Absinthe Cup & Tequila No:7 Fruit Cup Recipe


Pimm’s No:8 Absinthe Cup

A bottle of Pimm's No8 Absinthe Cup

A bottle of Pimm's No8 Absinthe Cup

It’s been a bit of a fruit cup special this week, what with a vintage fruit cup on Monday and Sipsmith Summer Cup on Wednesday, so today we’ll continue that theme. A little while back, for our first birthday, we created a tribute to the old Pimm’s Cups No. 2 to 7 (Scotch, Brandy, Rum Rye and Tequila); details can be found “here”. I’ve had a variety of ideas afterwards, one of which is now today’s feature: No. 8 Absinthe-based Fruit Cup.

Why Absinthe?
It’s a popular spirit at the moment and many of my friends and colleagues are enthusiastic about it; in addition, it fits in quite well with some of the vintage features of our site.

The Taste

Lemonade
There’s a good amount of anis, rather like pastis, but more fruity and with a more complex spiciness underlying the initial flavour. Refreshing, unusual and very tasty. Mrs. B loved it.
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Pimm’s No:7 Tequila Cup Recipe

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I’ve had a few requests for the fruit cup recipes that use different base spirits. I’ve been happy to give some pointers but, as I’m sure many readers can understand, everyone has their trade secrets. In addition, none of the recipes are precise: experimentation is the key; each of my fruit cup batches are slightly different. Nonetheless, as something of a consolation, I thought I would provide the basic recipe for a home-made Tequila Cup.

150ml Tequila Blanco

50ml Red/Sweet Vermouth

50ml Curacao

Peel of One Lime

One Cinnamon Stick

Combine the ingredients into a glass jar and seal.

Leave for 24 hours (or to taste), strain and bottle.

Mix 1 part fruit cup to 3 parts lemonade or ginger ale.

 

Quinine-free Tonic Water Recipe

On a few occasions, including our recent Beefeater London Market masterclass with Dre Masso, I have heard that, in Japan, quinine is banned and so the tonic water is rather different there and making a good gin & tonic is difficult. I believe this fact was inspiration for Beefeater 24.

So setting aside whether you can technically have a quinine-free “tonic water” I set about making a tonic water substitute without quinine. Could you use a  different bittering agent? I had a discussion with a chap in the industry and he suggested gentian root. This is an ingredient in Angostura Bitters, Bundaburg Brewed Bitters, Aperol and the extra-bitter liqueur, Suze; so it’s flavour is not unknown to the drinks world.

Whilst attempting to source some gentian root, I found that, whilst you can easily buy wormwood, angelica root and marshmallow root in my local town, gentian is nowhere to be found! Still, I managed to find some online and so, earlier on today, I set about experimenting to produce a non-quinine-based tonic water.

I’ve never used gentian root before, so my first step was to make some tea up using a few specks of the root. With just three small pieces, it had quite a busy, bitter flavour – a good start.

The recipe given below is the second that I tried (our favourite) and is based on a tonic syrup recipe.

Zest of half a lime and half a lemon

1.5 tsp Citric Acid

1 tsp Genitian Root

8 Juniper Berries (crushed)

Pinch of spice

180 ml Water

Add ingredients to a small saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

Strain the mixture and stir in 5 tsp of sugar, ensuring that it dissolves.

Allow to cool and then bottle and keep refrigerated.

To drink, mix 3:1 or 4:1 with soda or sparkling water.


The Taste

1) Own

I mixed this with soda water 3:1. Both Mrs. B and I were surprised at the similarity to tonic water, if you are familiar with gentian flavour, you’ll pick it out but with a broader brush it’s pretty close.

2) Gin & Tonic

I also made a Gin & Tonic with Plymouth Gin in a 2:1 ratio with the diluted tonic water. This was good drink, full of flavour and perhaps with a little more bitter bite than the commercial options. The Plymouth still had room to breath and could be tasted.

3) GT Turbo

(Gin, Tonic Syrup, Lime Juice and Orange Bitters)

Another favourite cocktail of mine is Purl’s GT Turbo. This was really packed with flavour and would make a good pre-dinner cocktail, raising the appetite well. A greta combination of juniper and herbal bitterness and the tartness of citrus. Shake well to ensure it is ice cold. Lovely.

In Conclusion

Frankly I’m surprised at how well this turned out, it was a bit of a long-shot but has turned out rather well. I’ve tried about ten different recipes for tonic water syrup (using quinine) and this was easily my favourite. If you try it yourself I’d be keen to know what you think.

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