PART ONE

Alone and in lockdown, you have wisely stocked up on the essentials – wine and gin. So much gin, and so much time.

Here are a few ideas on how to add some variety to the wonder spirit.

  • Hopefully you’ve also stocked up on limes and lemons, so get squeezing. We squeeze limes and lemons into 100ml containers and freeze them. AVOID the use of pre-made mixers, you can’t make the real article with a pre-made mixer. More in Part Two.
  • You need a muddler and a Boston shaker. More in Part Two.
  • You need to make some sugar syrup. Once again home made is the only way. Just pour into a saucepan  one cup water and one cup castor sugar. Bring to boil then simmer for couple of minutes; the longer you simmer it the thicker it will be.  Let it cool and you have enough to fill a jam jar. There are lots of handy containers that make it easy to pour your SS, here is what we use. More in Part Two. 

    sugar syrup dispenser

    sugar syrup dispenser

  • There are literally hundreds of gins from all around the world, but the base benchmark is always Bombay Sapphire.
  • Bombay Sapphire and Schweppes tonic. Plenty of ice. Always measure the gin you are putting in the glass ; put as much as you like but if you don’t know how much then every drink will be a little different, and you may fall over sooner than planned. Slices of fresh lime, squeeze them before you drop them in. The one in the photo is with Fever-Tree just to be different. Our preference is to use limes not lemons, try both and you decide.

    G & T

    G & T

  • Tanqueray Melaka gin with peppercorns and rosemary. This gin is available at airport duty free, and if you ever get flying

    Tanqueray Malacca

    Tanqueray Malacca

    again you will find it’s one of the cheapest. Don’t be put off, it’s gorgeous and infused with peppercorns, rose and clove. Add half a dozen whole peppercorns and a sprig of rosemary from your herb garden. You can use Schweppes tonic or Fever-Tree, both are great.

  • The Botanist is a gorgeous gin made by the Bruichladdich whisky distillery in Islay Scotland.You can garnish this also with peppercorns and rosemary – or just rosemary. Other suggestions are lemon or mint. 
  • Hendricks and cucumber. Hendricks is infused with cucumber so it just has to be the garnish of choice. Again, you can use Schweppes or Fever-Tree. Take a Japanese (Lebanese in Australia) cucumber, cut off about 100 mm and then lengthways into four. Use two pieces and save others for next drink. 
  • TIP – When they come back for a refill (as they certainly will) don’t just make the drink over the previous limes/lemons/cucumber/peppercorns/rosemary etc; tip the old stuff and make a new drink, then it will be as good as the previous one and your friends will love you for it. 
  • Four Pillars is the most famous Australian gin, and for very good reason; we have been to the distillery in Victoria Australia and it is a very impressive enterprise. The Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin is the go-to and very versatile though not necessarily subtle. It’s infused with whole oranges, and you can smell the citrus. This is with lemon, but try a garnish of orange or grapefruit. If you come across a Four Pillars Shiraz gin (which you may see at duty free and is crazy expensive) try it straight over ice just once and you will be stunned.

    Four Pillars G & T

    Four Pillars G & T

  • Melbourne Gin Company is another beautiful Victorian gin, made by the young winemaker at the Yarra Valley winery Gembrook Hill. Etherial is the best description for the Gembrook Hill Pinot Noir and we collected them for many years, so close to great Burgundy it is spooky. MGC is in the same mould, and this is a gin that you could happily drink straight over some ice and a small slice of lime.
  • Tanqueray No. 10 is another premium gin but not sure it is worth the premium price with so many others available. 

Part Two now available, where we look at some gin based cocktails, and maybe a few others.