While the nation’s thirst for local gins remains unquenchable, quirky cocktailsmiths and brilliant bartenders across the South West are getting creative with the artisanal spirit.
Yohann, bar manager at the Water’s Edge bar at The Greenbank Hotel in Falmouth, shares his top tips to fashion fabulous juniper juices at home and the secret behind his ultimate G&T
The perfect G&T
At the Water’s Edge bar, we prepare our signature G&T using a house-infused gin. Using Tanqueray as a base (made with just four botanicals, its beautiful simplicity makes it the perfect candidate), we infuse our signature gin with rosemary and orange peel to create an amazing Mediterranean flavour.
The Water’s Edge perfect serve:
- Vintage coppice glass filled with ice 1 large
- Infused orange and rosemary gin 50ml
- The Distillers’ Choice Tonic 1 bottle
- Slice of orange and sprig of rosemary to garnish
Gin cocktails 101
I love working with gin in cocktails as it’s a wonderfully versatile ingredient. It doesn’t overpower other elements and brings an extra depth of flavour depending on the botanicals used to create the spirit. Here are a few of my favourites …
My favourite recipe for The Aviation is the original from 1916, which includes the delectable crème de violet. For this recipe I use Curio Fly Navy Gin, both for its taste and close ties with aviation – it was made as a collaboration with the navy to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the landing of a plane on a moving ship.
- Curio Fly Navy Gin 50ml
- Crème de violet 20ml
- Lemon juice 20ml
- Luxardo Maraschino 15ml
- Maraschino cherry to serve
Shake and double strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry.
The Swiss Manhattan
This combination is a ginny twist on the infamous whisky cocktail, The Manhattan. Its balance between whisky, vermouth and bitters is somewhat of an art to achieve and for my take I like to include Nginious Smoked & Salted Gin as well as Pedro Ximenez sherry.
- Nginious Smoked & Salted Gin 50ml
- Bella Luna PX sherry 10ml
- Fee Brothers Black Walnuts Bitters 3 dashes
- Grapefruit peel to garnish
Stir all of the chilled ingredients in a mixing glass and pour into a martini glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.
The Spanish Collins
A Tom Collins is a simple mix of gin, lemon, sugar and soda, which makes it long refreshing drink. I like to use our orange and rosemary infused gin with sugar syrup, lime and soda to enhance the flavours.
- Infused orange and rosemary gin 50ml
- Fresh lime juice 20ml
- Simple syrup (50:50 water sugar) 20ml
- Orange peel and rosemary to garnish
Build in a high ball glass over ice and top up with soda. Garnish with rosemary and orange peel.
A gourmet’s guide to gin and food pairing
As the popularity of gin continues to rise, an increasing number are people are swapping wine for a G&T to accompany their meal. And with so many artisan spirits to sample, all showcasing different botanticals, certain gins naturally match certain foods.
Here are a few gin and food pairings from our new spring menu:
- Tyler-Street Gin Pan seared scallops, pistachio praline, cauliflower, pink grapefruit, sea salt crispy chicken skin
Made with lemon, lime and grapefruit, this London Dry gin will pair well with the grapefruit, cut through the sweetness of the praline and complement the scallops perfectly.
- Curio Rock Samphire Gin Monkfish, cod, mackerel, scallop, seaweed tartare, crushed new potato, samphire, charred lemon
The seafood grill is the Water’s Edge’s signature dish – a lip-smacking selection of Cornish fish and seafood cooked simply. And what better than a gin made from locally foraged samphire to accompany this special dish.
- Tarquin’s Blackberry Gin Greenbank garden: sugared filo flower pot, chocolate, crumb, pistachio, early season berries, flowers, lemon curd
This edible flower pot is simply delicious and I love to serve it with Tarquin’s Blackberry Gin. The use of fresh English blackberries and honey makes it a great match.
Want to get creative with cocktails? You need to know the rules in order to break 'em. We got the DIY dictums from bar manager Ian Rudall of Bar 62 at 62 The Bank in Barnstaple
The creative crew at Watergate Bay Hotel in Cornwall blend The Wrecking Coast's Clotted Cream Gin with smooth crème de cacao and punchy orange bitters in this seriously sippable tipple