Currently browsing Gin
The most famous cocktail in the world, the Martini, is also a misunderstood one. These days most associated with James Bond and vodka, a real Martini should be made with gin and most definitely stirred, not shaken. It’s certainly not a cocktail for beginners, so find out what I made of my very first Martini.
Bénédictine is a brandy-based herbal liqueur flavoured using 27 plants and spices. It was first formulated in 1510 by Dom Bernardo Vincelli, a Benedictine monk at the Abbey of Fécamp. The liqueur was made here for almost 300 years as a tonic to aid the monks, until the French Revolution destroyed the monastery and put [...]
St. Germain is a relatively new liqueur from France, which uses hand-harvested elderflowers picked from the foothills of the Alps. Elderflowers are small, delicate, white flowers that bloom for just a few days every year, and have long been used in herbal remedies throughout Europe. Transported from the hills on the bicycles of the pickers, [...]
A recent darling of the cocktail world, the Aviation is a wonderful mix of gin, maraschino and lemon juice. Until recently that was as good as it got, but now with the availability of crème de violette we can make the original recipe, which provides the beautiful blue tint that perhaps earned this cocktail its name.
My previous experiences with Campari have left me less than impressed. I’ve tried both the Negroni and the Rendezvous but have found both of them somewhat overwhelmed by the bitterness introduced by the Campari. However, I’m not one to let a difficult ingredient keep me down – if I was I would never have gotten [...]
Having already covered Kirsch and Maraschino, two cherry based spirits, tonight I turn my attention to Cherry Heering, a Danish liqueur that is brandy based and flavoured, as you might have guessed, by cherries. It has been in production since 1818 and is generally considered one of the very best cherry brandies. It has a [...]
It’s Mixology Monday time again, which this month has the slightly different theme of blog love – the idea being you pick a cocktail you first came across in another blog, and write about the cocktail whilst also plugging the source blog. Personally I’ve done this several times before already, with the Charleston from Erik [...]
Almost two months ago now I experimented with several cocktail recipes using Kirsch, a cherry flavoured eau de vie. The two drinks I tried, the Acacia and the Eider Duck, weren’t bad cocktails but they weren’t exactly special either, and I haven’t returned to either again. However, since then I have come across several other [...]
Ever since I really got in to cocktails and started trying to find the more exotic ingredients, I’ve been incredibly frustrated with what local off-licenses and supermarkets stock. If you’re after Absolut vodka or more famous liqueurs like Cointreau, then there isn’t a problem, but try finding Maraschino or Chambord and you’ll almost certainly be [...]
My adventures in gin based cocktails continue tonight with two cocktails using Lillet Blanc, a fairly obscure French apéritif. Lillet is similar to vermouth, being a fortified wine, but has a slightly more pronounced flavour than typical vermouths. Like vermouth it is available in both white (blanc) and red (rouge) versions, though I currently only [...]
Maraschino is a liqueur which gains its flavour from Marasca cherries. During production the whole cherry, including the pits, seeds and stems, is used which lends an almost almond like taste to the spirit. It has a fresh, slightly dry, bittersweet flavour which is very different to regular cherry liqueurs, and somewhat hard to describe. [...]
Kirsch, short for the German Kirschwasser (cherry water), is an eau de vie (French for water of life, enough languages for you yet?) – a clear brandy made from fermented fruit, in this case cherries. Kirsch is a strong alcohol (typically over 80 proof), and unlike the sweet, strongly flavoured cherry liqueurs has a very [...]