Pretty in Pink

 

Two words: Elderflower & Rose.

Kalki Moon is a small distillery in Bundaberg, Queensland, which is around four hours drive north of Brisbane. I tried their dry gin courtesy of my gin club and it was very nice, so I started following them on Instagram.

When I heard this new gin was coming (and had those two words), I knew I needed to get my hands on some. I was sorely tempted to do a day trip, but was lucky enough to discover that Malt Traders at Southbank was a stockist – so a ten minute drive was no barrier!

To give the flavours a chance to shine, I tried this with plain tonic and ice, no garnish. This pink gin has a stunning hot pink rose colour, as you can see, which is just as pretty diluted. The flavour is just as delicate as the colour, with the rose flavour stronger than the elderflower – in fact, I don’t know that I’d have picked the elderflower at all.

If you enjoy your gin light and delicate, then this is definitely one to try. It is entirely drinkable and indeed very pleasant. Next time I’m going to muddle fresh raspberries in the glasses and top with pink gin and soda water – I think the raspberries will help to make the gin flavour pop. I’ll let you know how it turns out 😉

Are there any flavoured or liqueur gins that you’ve enjoyed recently?

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I exercise strong self control. I never drink anything stronger than gin before breakfast. W. C. Fields

Tastes like Christmas (in June): Juniper Eggnog

Eggnog1

Until I tried the delicious recipe I’m going to share with you today, I had actually never tried Eggnog. Usually made with dark spirits like rum or whiskey (blergh!), it honestly never appealed.

ChristmasGin1Eggnog is traditionally served at Christmas, so when I happened to have some spare Australian Christmas Gin, the idea came to me to make Juniper Eggnog! Christmas Gin, you say?! Let me tell all.

Four Pillars is a distillery in the Yarra Valley, Victoria that specialises in gin, making a small range of high quality and unusual products – including the Rare, Dry Gin that featured in my G&T tart. A couple of years ago, the first Australian Christmas Gin was released and it is now an annual highlight.

According to the story, distiller Cam distils some Christmas puddings with juniper, cinnamon and other herbs. He also ages gin in a couple of 125-year-old scotch whisky barrels that had previously stored Rutherglen Muscat for 80 years. He then blends these together, rounds it out with a little muscat, and produces a wonderful Australian Gin that tastes and smells like Christmas! It is produced in a small batch each year and always sells out, so be quick!

Because Eggnog is a Christmas drink popular in cold places like the US and Canada, I was surprised to find that it is most often served cold – weird. For some reason, it makes me think of cold nights snuggling by a fire, so the week of Winter solstice seemed like the perfect time to make a batch of this delicious creamy drink.

A quick heads up – this recipe really needs to be chilled overnight so you aren’t going to get the instant gratification of many cocktails. I know, I know, I hate waiting too, but the delicious flavours will steep overnight and the wait is worth it. This Juniper Eggnog has a delicious spicy aroma, a smooth custardy texture, and a wonderful richness and warm Flavour. It really is just like drinking Christmas and, apart from the overnight wait, is very easy to make.

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup Australian Christmas Gin (substitute another barrel aged or spiced gin if you don’t have the Christmas gin – and set a diary reminder now to not miss this year’s release!)

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup cream

2 tsp ground cinnamon (plus a cinnamon stick or two if you have them)

2 tsp ground nutmeg

2 tsp vanilla essence

3 whole cloves

3 egg yolks

3 tbsp caster sugar

METHOD:

1. Heat the milk, vanilla essence, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon sticks in a small saucepan. Remove from heat as soon as bubbles appear – this should only take a few minutes.

2. Meanwhile, stir the egg yolks and sugar in a small bowl until creamy.

3. Once the milk and spices are heated, add the egg mixture slowly, stirring constantly. Gently heat, stirring, until the mixture thickens like custard.

4. Once thickened, remove from heat and strain into a glass bowl/jug. Place in fridge for a couple of hours.

5. Stir the Gin and cream into the custard mixture and refrigerate overnight.

This recipe makes approximately four decent serves of Eggnog. You can easily scale it up or down depending on the quantity you want. It will also keep in the fridge for up to three days after making – just give it a quick stir before pouring.

Enjoy chilled or warm!

Winter here is really not much to speak of, with temperatures of between 20 and 7 degrees Celsius. I’ve enjoyed this delicious spiced eggnog cold, but you could serve it warmed it if that’s more your thing – or if you have a proper winter 😉

With Christmas in July celebrations just around the corner, why not try this delicious twist on a classic beverage? Be warned though, it’s pretty boozy so don’t plan on driving after!

 

What’s the sophisticated drinker’s favourite Christmas carol? Gin-gle bells, gin-gle bells…

A perfect gin and tonic

I’m sure it’s no surprise that I like gin. I enjoy researching new cocktails and really enjoy the complexity of flavour that a great cocktail can provide. I like mixing, shaking and stirring and I enjoy selecting and making garnishes.

But in all honestly, there are plenty of times when I want nothing more than a classic gin and tonic to enjoy. That slight bitterness and aromatic gin taste can’t be beaten on a hot day and is my go-to drink for most of the year living in a subtropical climate.

One of my current favourite gins is the delicious Manly Spirits Gin – a boutique Australian gin made in Manly, Sydney. I discovered Manly Spirits Co. through my gin club (yes, I have a gin club – more on that in another post ;)), and what a great find!

I’m focusing on the Australian Dry Gin today, although they also make a Coastal Citrus Gin that I’d dearly love to try. The Dry Gin has an interesting complex flavour, probably due to the unusual mix of botanicals used in the distilling process. The citrus flavour is strong but followed by an almost salty taste – it makes me think of afternoons on the beach. The gin is crystal clear and, when mixed with tonic water, is almost iridescent to look at.

Manly gin and tonic

I garnished this one with a slice of lime to help the citrus flavour pop, and a sprig of rosemary because the aroma is so good and it also makes a good stirrer!

As an aside, how beautiful is this bottle? The shape, the blue glass, the texture, it is just perfect. I also love the fact that each bottle is individually numbered. There is just something special about enjoying small batch products, isn’t there?

I enjoyed this gin so much that the first bottle didn’t last terribly long, so I was very glad to find it again at my local Dan Murphy’s recently. I suggest you seek it out but don’t just take my word for it – Manly Spirits Australian Dry Gin won double gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2018, so it really does come highly recommended 🙂

What’s your favourite gin for a classic G&T?

You’re the gin to my tonic – Anon.

 

World Gin Day 2018

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9th June – it’s the most wonderful day of the year!

It goes without saying that World Gin Day requires something special – and what could be more appropriate than the classic G&T turned into a delicious creamy lemon custard tart?

I’ve made this recipe a couple of times before, and it is incredibly easy and amazingly delicious. The pastry needs to chill a couple of times so it takes a little time, but is well worth it. Make sure you use good gin as the flavour permeates the tart, and you don’t want to spoil it with cheap alcohol. This time I used the Barrel Aged Gin from Four Pillars (possibly my favourite distillery), and it was soooo good.

Recipe adapted from Delicious Magazine here – I don’t bother with the gin syrup because I like the traditional custardy texture.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar
  • 1 tbs grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup (185ml) lemon juice
  • 150ml thickened cream
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) gin

Pastry

  • 1 1/3 cups (200g) plain flour
  • 1/4 cup (35g) icing sugar
  • 75g chilled butter, chopped
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 egg yolk (reserve egg white for a delicious cocktail!)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) chilled tonic water

METHOD

  • For the pastry, place the flour, icing sugar, butter and lemon zest in a food processor and whiz until the mixture resembles fine crumbs – I use my stick blender bowl attachment as I don’t have a food processor. Add the yolk and tonic water and process until the mixture comes together in a smooth ball. Enclose in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 23-cm tart pan or pie dish.

  • Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface until 5mm thick, then use to line tart pan. Chill for a further 15 minutes.

  • Prick base with a fork, then line with baking paper and fill with baking weights or uncooked rice. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the paper and weights and bake for a further 5 minutes or until the pastry is golden. Allow to cool.

  • Whisk the eggs, caster sugar, lemon zest and juice, cream and gin together until combined. Pour into the cooled pastry shell and bake for 20-25 minutes until just set.

  • Allow to cool before dusting with icing sugar and eat while still warm. You can thank me later 😉

 

When life gives you lemons, make a gin and tonic.

Welcome

Thanks for joining me!

I enjoy tasting new gins, exploring different flavours and creating delicious cocktails. This will be a place to capture and share my gin creations.

My collection is always growing and there is such a wonderful variety of boutique gins now readily available that I can’t wait to share with you!

Of all the gin joints, in all the world she walks into mine – Casablanca

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