Review: GIN: Shake, Muddle, Stir – Dan Jones
What is it?
Though GIN Shake, Muddle, Stir may sound like a 1950s chart attempt (Ooh baby, I’ma shake muddle stir ya, ain’t gonna let no bod-dy hurt ya…), Dan Jones’ cocktail book is a wonderfully modern collection, crammed not only with classics but with a brief introduction to the biggest gin and tonic brands that have emerged over the past few years.
GIN: Shake, Muddle, Stir never feels crowded, despite the abundance of content. Each cocktail is hand (or rather computer) drawn, conveying a minimalistic, borderline Scandinavian feel that makes it feel somewhat Tate worthy – it’s definitely one you’ll display in pride of place.
Slipped in alongside recipes for cocktails you’ll almost have definitely heard of are some truly inventive tipples. One of our favourites is the excellently titled ‘Nice Pear’ (see below for recipe), not just because we are eleven-year-old souls trapped in fast-decaying 30-year-old bodies, but because the resulting cocktail is deliciously sippable and has been created with the understanding that gin has evolved. The recipes rarely call for bog-standard juniper juice, instead putting in requests for ‘premium gin’ (read: modern, therefore batshit mental).
The intro is great, though a bit simplistic and brutal in places. Referring to Gin as ‘The Crack of the Capital,’ Jones takes readers on a short but sweet journey through the science and history of the spirit and gives the reader confidence that they, too, could have a go at making it.
GIN: Shake, Muddle, Stir can be a little bold in its recipes, from adjusting the ratios on a classic (sorry, Dan, but a Negroni will never be 1gin/1vermouth/2Campari) to listing drinks so convoluted even the names are exhausting to read (hello Spiced Rhubarb & Rose Ramos Gin Fizz).
This isn’t a bad thing in itself, but some of the recipes do call for an awful lot of syrups, reductions and fiddly elements. The recipes are all at the front and written in simple enough speak, but… no one does this, do they? We might cook up the occasional spot of simple syrup here at Gin Foundry, but that’s about the extent of our homespun bar keeping. One to keep in mind if hunting around for a weekend project perhaps.
Perfect gift of short shrift?
Perfect gift! For sure. It’s cool, it’s funny and it understands the way that Gin and Gin drinkers have evolved.
Here’s the recipe courtesy of Gin: Shake, Muddle, Stir by Dan Jones (Hardie Grant £9.99)
60ml pear juice
60ml premium gin
15ml sugar syrup
grated crystallised ginger
Shake the wet ingredients over ice and strain into a coupe.
Grate over a little crystallised ginger and add a sprig on mint to garnish.
Buy it on Amazon.
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