Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Gin can be a great Winter Warmer

When you think of Gin you most probably think summer and tonic. The humble G&T first created to keep British soldiers Malaria free is a fantastic drink and one that almost all Gin drinkers consume on a regular basis but in its traditional format ie plenty of ice and tonic tends to be a bit cold for those chilly winter evenings.

One of the best things about Gin for me is its versatility as a drink. If you’re anything like me there is a different drink and a different way of drinking it that covers just about every mood/situation/weather scenario. Now these differing scenarios could be filled with a different spirit/beer/wine/cider or whatever you normally drink. On the other hand this post will hopefully give you some ideas on how to make simple changes to adapt your Gin collection to suit just about any scenario. Yes that’s right I drink a lot of Gin in Winter!

Winter is stereotypically the season for strong dark spirits heavy dark ales or deep mahogany coloured red wines. There are plenty of great winter Gin drinks that I enjoy that don’t require a lengthy internet search for obscure boutique ingredients. Here are some of my favourites.

-          Gin and Tonic:
The G&T is often over iced and drowned in tonic this might make it a fantastic summer guzzler but there is no reason why with a few tweaks it cant become a great warming sipper perfect for those chilly winter nights.
    o   1 part Gin (Make sure this is a heavy Juniper variety with plenty of flavour)
    o   1 – 1 ½ parts Tonic (Depends on Gin but Fever tree comes in small bottles and does the trick)
    o   1 small cube of ice
    o   Build in a wine or brandy or other tulip shaped glass

-          Negroni:
Bitter Sweet, if that combination does it for you then read on! Growing massively popular at the
moment any bar worth their salt should be able to mix you up a good one.
    o   1 part Gin (again recommend a variety heavy on the Juniper)
    o   1 part Campari
    o   1 part Rosso Vermouth (make sure you get a good quality brand and refrigerate once opened)
    o   1 large/oversized ice cube (its very worthwhile investing in oversized ice cube trays)
    o   Hefty Citrus peal (Orange,Grapefruit)
    o   Build in short glass stir gently to mix twist citrus peel to express oils into glass then add.

-          Martini:
A great stronger drink if you’re really in need of warming up or if you had a rough day at work and just want to dress up the fact that you’re in need of some hard liquor pronto!
    o   2 parts gin (Got to be a high flavour intensity premium one)
    o   ½ parts Dry Vermouth (add this to personal preference)
    o   Fill shaker with ice and add ingredients stir gently and strain into martini glass
(If you don’t have a taste for vermouth and you have a good collection of premium Gins then add Gin to a wine glass and enjoy)

-          Aged Gin:
Yes this is a thing now and rapidly growing as more and more barrels of Gin finish their aging process. Think about this for a second all the botanical flavours of your favourite Gin overlaid with a deep oaky smokiness of your favourite whisky. Trust me if you haven’t tried this yet get out there and find a bottle or 2!
    o   Neat in a brany/wine or tulip shaped glass I recommend no ice and just a couple of drops of                water. But drink how you would a good whisky.

Next time its so cold you cant feel your toes and you’re thinking about reaching for the Single Malt or can’t imagine drinking anything but a glass of your best Burgundy remember Gin has some great easy winter warming options!

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