On Monday we visited Graphic Bar in Soho – for ‘the greatest cocktail tournament in history!’ It was our first visit there and we loved it!
It was the first round of the Gin Off event they are running over the course of the next 6 months, there was a great vibe with a room full of gin enthusiasts. Graphic have a fantastic back bar featuring over 300 different gins but this night was all about 4 very competitive Gin brands: Bols Genever, Whitley Neill, Copper Head and Plymouth Gin.
Each night of the gin off, a bartender from each brand creates a signature inventive cocktail to show off their incredible gin. Each cocktail was then judged by everyone in the bar. They served a fascinating array of cocktails shown below, but a special congratulations to Copper Head for winning round 1 and Whitley Neill for Runner up.
These guys served up ‘I’m not a cupcake’ – gin, sherry and lemon juice featured in this cocktail which was then topped up with Champagne and served in a chocolate cup.
For a spirit to be called a “Gin”, Juniper must be the predominant flavour, but a huge array of botanicals are used to give the many different brands of gin their distinct flavours.
Gin as we know it today stems from “Jenever”, a Dutch spirit made with Juniper berries and usually aged in casks. Originally it was used as a medicinal tonic, but developed over time into a recreational drink, and exploded as an industry when it was brought to Britain by the Dutch in the 17th century.
There are various types of gin and it’s the London dry we are focusing on…
Here’s 5 recipes that will get you drinking/eating gin and tonic like never before…
Gin and Tonic Popsicles
Ice lollies for adults. Forget gin on rocks with slice of cucumber, lick it off the stick and you won’t even notice you got yourself drunk.
These are so great for a sunny summers day and not hard to make. Why not make a batch now so they are ready for when the sun comes out.
Recipe for Gin, Cucumber and white current lollies
350g fresh white currants
½ cup sugar
Juice of half a lemon
1 cup gin
1 sliced lemon
1 sliced cucumber
Simmer the the white currants and sugar with about ½ a cup of water for 8-10 mins. Leave to cool. Strain, and push pulp through sieve to remove seeds. Add the lemon juice, gin and water. Pour into the popsicle mould (if you don’t have one then plastic champagne glasses work well – probably about 7-8) insert cucumber or lemon slices and freeze for at least 5 hours.
Gin is thriving, the world is once again infatuated with this juniper based spirit and small-batch distilleries are popping up across the globe. The G&T is seeing a new lease of life, being served up in stunning glassware, with big ice and a beautiful array of garnishes, not to mention Fever-tree causing a stir in the mixer category with their natural tonic waters. Bartenders are offering a plethora of beautiful G&T’s and the classic gin-based cocktails have come roaring back into fashion too.
With gin’s resurgence, we’ve seen a vast array of ‘gin palaces’ arrive on the scene ready to serve you up the perfect concoction. Here are 5 of our favourite places to get a great gin drink in London.
Spring is on it’s way and there’s nothing I enjoy more on a sunny day that a classic Gin and Tonic cocktail, however we’ve covered this previously with ‘The Perfect Serve‘ so now we are here to share a few other gin cocktail recipes for you to try with you’re favourite gin.
Known for their Whisky, Guinness and Baileys this may come a surprise to some of you but Ireland is in fact, home to a rich and lively gin drinking scene, and the country is hardly inexperienced when it comes to distilling it too.
Distilling is an ancient art in Ireland- for how long we do not know exactly – but probably just longer than 1,000 years.
There are SO many gins out there that it can sometimes be overwhelming when you stand at the bar and order a G&T and the barman turns and asks you what gin you’d like…he points at a whole back bar stacked full of GIN! This shouldn’t be a mad moment of panic where you feel so under pressure that you end up going for the closest bottle or the one you vaguely recognise or stands out on the shelf! This should be your time to shine and impress Mr Bartender with your Gin knowledge…so let’s start with some top British Gins.
Most of you gin drinkers can pretty much be divided into one of two sides – those who support the lemon, and those who defend the lime!
However, lately the list of potential garnishes for you G&T has grown, and we are now faced with a seemingly endless array of options, creating the perfect Gin and Tonic is more complicated than it sounds…
I simply love the sound of ice clinking against the glass and the fizz of the tonic as you pour yourself a drink at the end of a long day..
But there is so much more to a G&T than just being a refreshingly boozy offering that involves a shot of Gordon’s, topped with Schweppes Slimline tonic and maybe a slice of lemon if it’s there. Here’s how to make a perfect G&T every time: