Sunday Brunch Summer Trio
For all of you who saw Olivier this weekend – here are the three Spring Cocktails he featured on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch.
With new releases flooding the Gin market each week, there’s been a lot of ink dedicated to talking about the exploits of newly established distilleries. The frenetic pace of innovation, the new faces adding their fresh perspective and the phenomenal gins they have released have made the past decade the most exciting time for Gin since the 1920’s.
But despite all their brand power and the spirits they have created – which have already stood the test of time – comparatively little celebration is afforded to the activities of established, household names. We’re not suggesting that they have gone unnoticed by any means, but in the battleground for a rapidly diminishing slice of customer attention and the holy grail of marketing men – peer-to-peer recommendation – the big boys have been in a similar form to Tiger Woods over the past two years…
Take the time to look at the likes of Tanqueray, Bombay, Beefeater and Greenall’s however and you will notice they have been innovating and announcing major changes of their own. Bombay Sapphire have moved home, and are now settling into their state-of-the-art distillery, designed by British design darling Thomas Heatherwick. Beefeater have opened their doors for the first time in their history with a visitor center. Greenall’s have announced the construction of a new, small batch sister distillery in the heart of Manchester. Crucially – all three have released new gins for your delectation and the theme behind this Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch drinkypoo’s…
Thomas Dakin Gin, 42% ABV
This gin is fresh off the still, having been launch at the end of July 2015. With a good dose of horseradish and citrus, the gin is usually savory. The distillery itself hasn’t been completed yet and the gin is being made at G&J Greenall’s for the time being. Once ready, the still will be uprooted and installed in it’s new home in the heart of Manchester.
Gin based Bloody Mary’s – or Red Snapper’s as they are officially called – must be up there on the list of ultimate Brunch cocktails. Using Thomas Dakin Gin takes this cocktail to the next level as their signature botanicals are perfect fits – horseradish, orange peel and coriander seed to balance out a fresh juniper.
Everyone has their own signature recipe when it comes to making Snapper’s but here is ours (heavy on the gin, light on the sauce!).
60ml Thomas Dakin Gin
125ml Tomato Juice (try yellow tomato juice for a change!)
15ml Lemon Juice
4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
4 dashes Tabasco
1 tablespoon of Horseradish sauce
1 pinch of salt
Coriander leaves for garnish (or celery stick if preferred)
Stir all ingredients over ice and serve in a chilled highball glass filled with ice and garnish with a sprig of coriander and a generous amount of ground black pepper or cubeb berries.
Beefeater’s London Garden Gin, 40% ABV (RRP around £23)
To celebrate the opening of their visitor center, Beefeater released this limited edition gin, exclusive to those who visit. With the botanical lineup undisclosed, the inspiration for both the contents and the name comes from the garden. Specifically, it comes from the Chelsea Physic Garden where Beefeater’s founder James Burrough liked to go for a wander and a sniff at the many medicinal herbs and plants grown so that trainee apothecaries could learn how to identify them.
There’s all the Beefeater DNA that fans will be familiar with, but more herbal tones emerge at the core.
Originally created by Jörg Meyer, from The Lion in Hamburg, this cocktail is fast becoming a phenomenon across the cocktail world. It’s a perfect serve for the London Garden Gin as the cocktail works best with classic, assertive juniper flavours which the gin has, as well as its complex citrus and spice balancing out the fresh vibrant basil.
10 basil leaves
15ml lemon juice
15ml simple syrup
Place the basil into a cocktail shaker, followed by the lemon. Muddle the lemon and the basil, smashing the ingredients and squeezing the lemon juice out. Add simple syrup, mix. Fill shaker with ice, top with gin. Shake vigorously. Double-strain into a rocks glass filled with ice and garnish with another basil leaf.
Star of Bombay Gin, 47% ABV, (RRP around £32)
Star of Bombay features two additional botanicals – Bergamot orange peel from Calabria in southern Italy and Ambrette seed from Ecuador – on top of the 10 botanicals that feature in their flagship gin Bombay Sapphire.
Served neat it is slightly musty on the nose, tasting dried flowers but also underlying spice. Almost strangely, the classic notes of juniper, angelica and coriander have been intensified but Ambrette is immediately apparent. Jammy from hibiscus to taste, with piquant spice, bergamot and ambrette seeds offer an exotic twist by entwining themselves around the core juniper. It’s an intense gin yet somehow retains the lightness expected of a Bombay distilled spirit.
Because of the gin’s intensity, we suggest serving it in a cobbler as it doesn’t require much else to really shine. Cobblers are an old form of mixed drink that consists of a base spirit, (the most popular historically being sherry), with sugar and fresh fruit. They date from at least the 1830’s, and made using two items very new to people of that time – ice, and straws. The Sherry Cobbler was one of the most popular libations during the last half of the 19th Century.
Fast-forward to this little brunch time drinkypoo session… The Gin Cobbler creation makes use of Star of Bombay’s intense flavours while combining them with a sweet and fruity twist. Easy to make, easy to drink.
60ml Star of Bombay
3 slices orange
1 juicy cherry
2 tea-spoons refined sugar
Shake all ingredients hard with ice and pour into a glass. Fill with crushed ice. Garnish with fresh berries then add a straw.
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