Saturday, 3 June 2017

Cocktail No 70 - Green Hat

Incredibly refreshing on a hot summer's day. First time I used old soda water and it was like drinking a polo mint. Not bad, but when I made a second one with freshly opened bottle of soda water it was completely transformed. You mouth actually feels chilled before you can taste anything and I don't mean from the coldness of the ice. The bubbles from the soda seem to leach warmth from the mouth and dull any taste sensations. Then the mint comes through - actually after a few sips you notice that it is there at the beginning, but hidden in the freeze. Then it grows, starting at the tip of the tongue, then moving backwards.

To be honest, I am not sure I can taste the gin, but you would certainly miss it if it wasn't there. The sweetness of the crême de menthe completely disappears, partly dilution by the soda, but more by blending with the gin I suspect.

And the colour is to die for - pure emerald green

This is definitely one to try in the summer.

Recipe

2-3 ice cubes
1 measure Birkdale Gin
1 measure Green Crême de Menthe
Soda Water

Put ice in llarge goblet or tumbler with Birkdale Gin and crême de menthe. Stir and top up with soda water. Serve with a straw.


Saturday, 27 May 2017

Cocktail No 69 - Gimlet

The ridiculously easy cocktail to make is very refreshing on a summers day. It has a naval origin to prevent scurvy.

The Gimlet was promoted and drunk by British officers back in the 19th Century. Citrus juice was a gift from the Gods to sailors, as it prevented them from catching scurvy – a brutal, painful and sometimes deadly disease brought about by vitamin C deficiency.
Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Desmond Gimlette (served 1879 – 1913) is cited by some as the namesake of the Gimlet. Acting as a doctor to sailors, he administered gin with lime in order to mask the bitter taste. Allegedly, he introduced this to his shipmates to help them swallow down the lime juice as an anti-scurvy medication. British sailors, So great was the consumption of this ‘medicine’ by British sailors that they became known as “Limeys”.
Another credible etymological story is that the concoction was named after the hand tool, which was used to bore into barrels of spirits on Navy ships – a gimlet.
The lime juice comes through very sweet and strong - perhaps cut back on the volume if this isn't to your taste. The gin is masked, but comes through as an aftertaste. The soda gives the slightest fizz making this all in all very refreshing. 
Recipe.
50 ml Birkdale Gin
25 mls Lime cordial
Soda water
Put ice in mixing glass with gin and lime juice. Stir well and strain into a cocktail glass. Add a shot of soda.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Cocktail no 68 - Eton Blazer

It helps if you like Kirsch, that fiery eau de vie made from morello cherries & their stones. The Kirsch is the dominant taste, with the lemon undercutting it and highlighting that unique sour cherry flavour. The gin follows as an afterthought, with the sugar syrup compensating for the tartness of the lemon juice. The soda gives some bubbles and dilution that prevents these very strong flavours being over-powering.

It is incredible refreshing and perfect for a hot summers afternoon as we have today and the Cherries are even better after their soak in the drink

Certainly worth adding to your to-try list.

Recipe

25 ml Birkdale Gin
25 ml Kirsch
15 ml Lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar syrup
Soda water
2 cocktail cherries

Place ice, Birkdale Gin, Kirsch, lemon juice and sugar syrup in a tumbler. Stir, then top up with soda water. decorate with cherries.


Sunday, 7 May 2017

Cocktail No 67 - French Cocktail

With the French in a historic vote today for they next President it is apt that this is the next cocktail in the sequence.

Two fo my favourite drinks - Pastis & Gin - and they go wonderfully well together. There is fire from both the gin and the pastis. The aniseed in the pastis lifts the licorice in the gin. The grenadine is markedly sweet, for such a small amount added and the colour intensity is quite dizzying in its strawberry red intensity as well as clarity.

Take a large swallow - the fire starts in the top of the throat at the back of the mouth and then travels forward across the roof, with the flavours developing and the gin-aniseed combo growing in intensity. Its a drink to "fight" with as the flavours are uncompromising, which is my kind of drink.

If you don't like pastis, you definitely will not like this one, but if you do, its a winner.

Recipe

1 part Birkdale Gin
3/4 part Pastis (or Pernod, Ricard)
1 teaspoon Grenadine

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Enjoy.


Sunday, 23 April 2017

Cocktail No 66 - Empire

Another brilliantly clear cocktail, on the sweeter side.

The viscosity of the Apricot Brandy is felt before the actual taste - the Calvados dominates with a nutty apply taste followed by the apricot. The gin is omnipresent as a base under pinning everything else.

Normally I don't like too sweet a drink, but this one has everything going for it - complexity, changing flavours on the palate, each element distinctive yet blending and supporting the others. And then of course there is the booze laden Maraschino cherries for double th epleasure.

Recipe

25 ml Birkdale Gin
15 Calvados
15 ml Apricot Brandy
2 Maraschino cocktail cherries

Put ice in mixing glass with Birkdale Gin, Calvados and Apricot Brandy. Stir well and strain into a cocktail glass. Decorate with cherries and serve.


Cocktail No 65 - Cooperstown

Having launched the Churchtown Deli Gin last night, which ended up being a very late night, 5 pm could not come around soon enough today for this most welcome pick-me-up.

A variation on the Martini, a dominance of gin, supported by both dry and sweet vermouths and lifted with a sprig of crushed mint leaves.

Visually, its a beautiful drink crystal clear with the faintest hing of green. The first taste is the sweetness of the Bianco vermouth, then the herbs come rushing through and suddenly you realise that you are tasting the Noilly Prat over and above the Bianco. The gin is there of course as a master slug underpinning everything with the faintest hin of mint finishing the taste profile.

A very welcome to the start of the end of a glorious sunny day.

Recipe

25 ml Birkdale Gin
15 ml Noilly Prat or Dry Vermouth
15 ml Bianco Vermouth
1 sprig of mint

Put ice in a mixing glass along with Birkdale Gin and both vermouths. Stir well and strain into a Cocktail glass. Decorate with the sprig of mint.


Saturday, 15 April 2017

Cocktail No 64 - Clover Club

Bright strawberry coloured from the grenadine, with a creamy head from the shaken egg white, it tastes as sweet as it looks. The grenadine dominates and if you like pomagranates, that's great. The gin is there, but I initially mistook it for the chill of the drink.

Don't be put off by the egg white - you can't taste it and its there to thicken up the drink and give it some texture.

Very pleasant for a hot summer's day. If you are new to gin and unsure, this is a very good starting point as the gin is there, but not over present.

Personally I think a little more lemon juice, but that's just personal taste.

Edit

Wow - wait for the end and the crema - its like drinking liquid meringue - wonderful

Recipe

2-3 ice cubes
1 egg white
15 ml lemon juice
40 ml Birkdale Gin
20 ml grenadine

Crack ice and put in shaker with other ingredients. Shake very well (more so than usual to incorporate and "whip" the egg white). Strain into a small goblet.