Sunday, 1 October 2017

Cocktail No 73 - Bleeding Heart Birkdale Gin Martini

Thinking ahead to Halloween and looking for ghoulish cocktails: enter the Bleeding Heart Birkdale Gin Martin - a classic dry martini, garnished with a pickled baby beet that "bleeds" from the wound caused by piercing it through with a cocktail spear.

The bleed develops with time and the drink gets increasingly blood red, assuming you take that long to drink it.

Birkdale Gin is an excellent base for a martini. Its clean and fresh and paired with the crispness and vitalising herbal brilliance of Noilly Prat, makes a perfect marriage. The pickled beet isn't noticeable until you get to the bottom of the glass where it comes through as an aftertaste. You can taste the beet, but not much of the vinigar used to pickle it, which is surprising. In the very last sip, the sweetness of the beet really came through, quite delightfully.

Here in the UK, Waitrose is the only place where I have found pickled baby beets on sale.

All good fun in the name of gore & horror.

Recipe

3 parts Birkdale Gin
1 part Dry Vermouth (preferably Noilly Prat).

Shake on ice until very cold, add to martini glass. Garnish with pickled baby beet, pierced through with a cocktail spear.



Saturday, 29 July 2017

Cocktail No 72 Green Fizz

So after making the Gin Oyster I had an egg white going spare. What to do? Make some tiny meringues or anoth gin cocktail - you can guess which one won the contest.

As with other fizz's the shaking of the egg white creates a froth or crema that float to the top of the dring. The gin is hidden by the mint and the tang of lemon juice. The sugar made it a little sweet for my taste and if I was to remake it I would be heavier on the lemon and lighter on th sugar, but that is just personal taste.

I am becoming a real fan of soda water. When younger I disliked it for the slight bicarbonate taste and the fact it didn't really add much of anything else - to be fair that was with whisky & soda and I'm still not a fan of that, but in this drink it provides the bubbles and lets all the other flavours come through without distortion.

And don't forget to drink the crema at the end of the drink - like drinking liquid minty meringues.

A great cooler for a summer's day, but I still think the Green Hat has the edge on this one.

Recipe

4-5 ice cubes
1 egg white
2 teaspoons sugar syrup
1 measure lemon juice
2 measure Birkdale Gin
1 teaspoon green Crême de Menthe
Soda water

Crack ice and add to shaker with egg white, sugar syrup, lemon juice,
Birkdale Gin, and crême de menthe. Shake very well and strain into a tall glass. Top up with soda water and serve with a straw.



Cocktail No 71 Gin Oyster

Its 30 years since I had one of these beauties. Volume control is important otherwise you can't swallow it all down in one.

The raw egg yolk is the Oyster, nestling in luscious tomato juice, gin, worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice. Salt, pepper, paprika, nutmeg and tobasco provide the spice and fire.

Unless you are taking it as a hangover cure, its more for the ceremony than the taste - its over so quickly that there isn't much sensation to it, but it is fun.

The yolk goes down very easily and then a brief taste of tomato &gin, before the spices and heat kick in.

Everyone should try it once in their life!

Recipe

1 teaspoon Birkdale gin
1 raw egg yolk
2 teaspoons tomato juice
1 dash worcestershire sauce
1 dash lemon juice
1 dash tabasco
salt, pepper, paprika, nutmeg.

Slide egg yolk into shallow glass making sure it does not break. Add Birkdale Gin and the other liquids. Sprinkle with salt, pepper & paprika. Grate over a little nutmeg.

Do not stir this drink, but swallow it down in one.



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.