Sunday Brunch: World Gin Day Cocktails
Like top hats, tea, roast dinners, queueing and marmite, Gin is often considered to be an archetypally British staple. We’ve been guzzling it for centuries on this side of the Atlantic – famously in some cases (hello Your Majesty), infamously in others (hello Gin Craze…). Gin, though, is far from a uniquely Pommy endeavour: America, Australia and New Zealand have countless craft distilleries spreading the juniper love, and the biggest consumer of the spirit in the world is, by some margin, the Philippines.
It’s a worldwide phenomenon, and as such it’s mutating; picking up different cultural twitches and habits along the way. We hope you’ll be celebrating the spirit’s global nature with us at Junipalooza, but if you can’t make it… well, why not embrace the international nature of Gin by trying these World Gin Day cocktails on for size?
The United States of America
The USA is a huge market for Gin, especially from a British maker’s perspective, with 59% of all non-EU exports heading across the pond. They get a considerably better deal than us, too: by volume, US drinkers pay less than half the duty we pay, so a lot of British brands sell their spirits at a higher ABV. Beefeater, for example, is bottled at 40% here, but 48% over there. Send us a bottle over, would you?
The craft market out there is buoyant, too, with somewhere between 1000 and 1300 distillers currently making Gin. One of our favourites is Conniption American Dry, a dual distilled gin with huge botanical clarity, especially on its super fresh cucumber and honeysuckle distillates. This cocktail harnesses the bright, crisp notes captured during distillation, filling the mouth with so much cucumber you’ll feel as replenished as if you’d spent an hour sweating it out in the gym, not a bar.
Cucumber & Elderflower Martini
The United Kingdom
Despite its decidedly French feel, Pothecary is a Dorset spirit. We’re using it to make a Fizz Provençal, a bittersweet cocktail that falls somewhere between a spritz and a fizz and transports you to the heady lavender fields of southern France so clearly, it’s as though you can hear the summertime bees buzzing around the glass.
35ml Pothecary Gin
10ml Lemon Juice
10ml Lavender & Rosemary infused sugar syrup (Take sugar and cut lavender and rosemary sprigs in a pan, add water and gently heat until sugar has dissolved. Leave to cool and fine strain)
Shake ingredients well in a cocktail shaker, fine strain into a highball glass filled with ice.
Top with Fentimans Grapefruit Tonic Water.
Though a little slow to start, New Zealand has been working hard to catch up on the Gin boom over the last couple of years, and in recent months has started to show growth parallel to that of Australia. If this drive to produce remains, the country will soon become a major player in the global arena.
To put some numbers into this, in 2012 there were only two brands flying the Australasian Gin flag. Now there are over 80, and while most of those are coming from Australia, New Zealand – which took up the mantel some 18 months after its Antipodean cousin – is quickly gaining pace, with some great distilleries emerging and making inventive use of the country’s flora and fauna. The drinking culture down under is shifting too, with consumers starting to value craft.
As New Zealanders, Scapegrace as a distillery will probably be the first to celebrate World Gin Day, so we’ve cobbled together this cocktail that embraces what’s happening on the other side of the world: winter. This is one for those milder evenings, when you want something with a bit more depth and character.
Shake ingredients, double strain, garnish with freeze dried raspberries.
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