Fruit Infused Gin on Sunday Brunch
Booze shelves are lined with a seemingly endless array of fruit-flavoured gins these days. Way back in 2015 there were just a couple to choose form, but this summer has seen around one or two launch each week. It’s a trend that we’ve spoken about before and one that we expect to continue on in 2017. Clearly, there is consumer demand, and for good reason: When done well, gins infused with perfectly ripe, in-season produce can add lovely complexity to cocktails and can contribute to the diversity and deliciousness that exists in the gin category.
The idea of Fruit Gins is not without its problems and putting aside the legalities of naming conventions for a second, the main gripe amongst gin lovers is that some of the fruit gins produced for mass consumption can be laden with artificial ingredients. The end result is products that taste more like scented sweets than actual fruit. Subtle and orchard-fresh they are not…! All is not lost, though – some have been so good they’ve far outstretched their distillery’s original flagship products.
What makes infused gins different to “dry” gin is that for the most part this style infuses the fruit post distillation, hence the colour. Also, because the infusion happens after, many distillers typically add a little sugar to balance the flavours too. You can think of them as similar to a Sloe Gin, but a little more ginny.
There has never been a better time to experiment with Fruit Gins, so here are three great examples of the genre and how to serve them.
William Chase Pink Grapefruit Gin:
The team at Chase don’t just infuse one of their award winning gins with pink grapefruit to create this bottling, they make one specifically for the purpose. This custom “base” gin is crafted upon their own apple spirit, and features a booming dose of juniper, coriander seed and lime peel amongst its other botanicals, including – naturally – quite a bit of pink grapefruit. This gives you a really fruity, grapefruit-forward gin.
Once it’s been distilled the gin undergoes a rapid maceration – just a few hours – where it is infused at high proof with fresh pink grapefruit. Because of this dual use of the fruit (both during and after distillation), there is only a very light colour but a massive grapefruit presence. Serve it in a…
…GRAPEFRUIT AND CUCUMBER BLISS
50ml Williams Pink Grapefruit Gin
20ml fresh pink grapefruit juice
15ml HoB Cucumber syrup
12.5ml fresh lemon juice
Pink Grapefruit Tonic Water top
METHOD: Add all ingredients to a shaker and shake with cubed ice. Double strain into tall glass over crushed ice. Garnish with fresh cucumber and pink grapefruit slice.
Warner Edwards Victoria Rhubarb Gin:
This rhubarb infused gin is made by the rapidly growing team at Warner Edwards. When it comes to Fruit Gins, this has been one of the biggest success stories of the past three years, so just keeping up with demand has been difficult for the team. There are now countless others who make rhubarb infusions, and while Warner wasn’t the first, it definitely set the trend. To create it they extract rhubarb juice using traditional presses and then blend it with their flagship Dry Gin (and a little sugar to balance the rhubarb’s acidity).
We’re suggesting using it to make a Sour, which is a classic style of cocktail that can be made with pretty much any spirit. We find that using Warner Edwards Victoria’s Rhubarb Gin changed the complexity of the drink entirely. The lemon and sugar create a sherbet like flavour with a burst of rhubarb coming through. The addition of the egg white will give the drink a smoother more rich texture, although we prefer ours without, although that’s merely a matter of personal taste. This is how to make one:
50ml Warner Edwards Victoria’s Rhubarb Gin
20ml lemon juice
20ml sugar syrup
Dash of Angostura Bitters
1 egg white (optional)
Blackberries and lime wedge for garnish
METHOD: Dry shake (without ice) then all ingredients together, then shake again with ice and pour into a rocks glass filled with ice.
Bloody Shiraz Bloody Shiraz Gin:
This intriguing treat (one of our absolute favourites!) is the delicious result of mixing Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin with Yarra Valley Shiraz grapes. Four Pillars is a distillery located in Healesville, in the Yarra Valley, Australia. To create Bloody Shiraz, the team infuse their gin with the grapes for about 8 weeks, then put it through a gentle press and blend it back with more gin.
Perhaps one of the more intriguing elements about this gin is that because it’s based around the terroir of the Yarra valley, it’s a vintage product that will vary year on year. The first, from 2015, is quite different to the 2017 batch, which is a little more vibrant and fruity compared to the earthier note of previous releases. This is sweet and luscious and unlike anything on the world gin market – truly delicious! Try it in a…
25ml Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin
20ml Dry Curacao (or any other orange liqueur, such as Cointreau)
10ml fresh lemon juice
1 dash of Orange Bitters
Lemon twist for garnish
METHOD: Add ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled coupette glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
Copyright © Gin Foundry