World Gin Day 2018 Distillers Dinner

Join me for a special Distillers Dinner at Arc One Gallery, with food by Cumulus Inc. featuring five of Australia’s leading distillers.

Joining us will be; Cameron Mackenzie – Four Pillars Gin, Dr. Dervilla McGowan – Anther Spirits, Nicole Durdin – Seppeltsfield Road Distillers, Myffanwy Kernke – Shene Estate & Distillery and Tim Boast – Never Never Distillery.

They will each share their stories and introduce their gins before we enjoy it neat and in a cocktail matched with a delicious dish by Cumulus Inc., all in the beautiful surrounds of Arc One Gallery

 

Tickets are $155 and include 5 dishes, 5 gins and 5 cocktails.

Limited dietary requirements available.

Book now to avoid disappointment!

With thanks to our sponsors:

Four Pillars 'Jude' Copper Still

Gin Queen on Tour ~ Four Pillars Gin

A private gin bus will collect you from Federation Square in Melbourne and whisk you to Four Pillars distillery in Healesville. There, you’ll meet the distiller, Cameron Mackenzie, have a G&T, learn about (and sample!) their fantastic gins, and enjoy a light lunch before the gin bus departs.

But wait there’s more!

Instead of you ending your tour back at Federation Square, we’ll be off to Bad Frankie (the No. 1 bar for Australian spirits) for a mini martini.

The perfect way to round off our gin tour!

What’s included?

  • Fully escorted tour hosted by Caroline Childerley, The Gin Queen!
  • Transport from Federation Square to the distillery and back to Melbourne
  • Meet the distiller
  • Gin tasters
  • G&T at the distillery
  • Light lunch (limited dietary options available)
  • Mini martini at Bad Frankie!

When are we going?                                        

Saturday 24 April 2018

How much?

$120 will get you a spot on the tour.

Terms & Conditions

Attendees must be over 18.

No refunds or exchanges.

Please drink responsibly.

Death’s Door Gin

Usually when I’m writing for ‘gin of the week’, the gin is brand new, so it’s great to be able to revisit a gin that’s been established for a few years. Death’s Door gin has been available sporadically in Australia, but now it’s part of the Vanguard Luxury Brands portfolio, you can expect to see more of it.

There are only a handful of excellent American gins – Junipero and Aviation ( BEFORE Ryan bought it!!) being two of my favorites. The US remains firmly wedded to aged spirits and its corn/rye heritage which don’t always work as a base for the delicate botanicals used in gin. However, Death’s Door gin is an exception.

The story behind Death’s Door gin ticks all the sustainability and locality boxes, and did so way before it was fashionable. Historically, the Washington Island in Wisconsin had been known for potato farming, but the industry died out in the 1970s. Locals moved into tourism focussed industries or left the island altogether.

In 2005 a small group got together to see if agriculture could be restored.  Working in collaboration with the Michael Fields Institute,  they selected specific variety of hard, red winter wheat that could withstand the maritime conditions. They began with a few seed and  5 acres. This has now grown to 1, 200! The wheat was initially used for bread and then the local brewery but eventually went on to become the base of all of Death’s Door Spirits.

The distillery expanded in 2012 and is now the largest craft distillery in Wisconsin with an annual capacity of 250,000 cases of finished product!

Why Death’s Door?

The Door Peninsula and Washington Island form a treacherous stretch of water that connects Green Bay to the rest of Lake Michigan. The Early French explorers named this water Porte des Morts, which literally means “Door of the Dead” or, “Death’s Door” due to the number of shipwrecks and gave rise to the gin’s name.

Local Botanicals

There are only THREE botanicals in Death’s Door gin: juniper, coriander seeds, and fennel seeds and come from the state when possible. There is an annual juniper harvest festival on Washington Island whereby guests can pick wild juniper berries!

The juniper used is  Juniperus virginiana (Eastern Red cedar) rather than Junipers communis.

Death's Door gin
Juniperus virginiana (image via Urban Forest Ecosystem Institute)

Tasting Death’s Door Gin

Death Door Spirits use vodka as a base for their gin, and this is made using the aforementioned red winter wheat, corn and malted barley, but unlike some American gins, it doesn’t dominate the botanicals.

There is plenty of lovely juniper at the front of the palate before spice and lemon come through from the coriander, before a crisp, dry aniseed finish from the fennel. Go easy with the tonic for a G&T, or even try it with soda, and you’ll need to add lots of citrus to boost the flavour.

It was absolutely stunning in a martini, that base has a fabulous texture and the fennel combines well with vermouth. Divine!

When so much is made of the number and diversity of botanicals in gin these days, it’s refreshing to see how much can be achieved when you pare everything back. This gin was truly ahead of its time and in spite of the unusual base and heavy fennel I think this could be a useful and versatile gin to have in your arsenal.

If you haven’t tried it seek it out immediately!

ABV: 47%

Price: Medium

You can follow Death Door Spirits on Facebook or instagram

Australian Distilled Spirits Awards Gin Results 2018

The winners of the Australian Distilled Spirits Awards were announced at Ormond Hall in Prahran last Thursday.

I have attended every awards ceremony since their inception in 2015 but in 2017 and 2018 I was fortunate enough to be asked to join the judging panel in the gin category as well as host the awards ceremony. Both are duties I don’t take lightly!

There were over 300 spirits submitted across all categories this year and judging is managed and organised under the tightest of conditions.

As judges we don’t see any bottles over the two days and the spirits are presented pre-poured in tasting glasses ready for judging. Judging sheets simply have spaces to give marks for colour/appearance (/10), nose (/20), palate (/40), balance (/10) and finish (/20) and no other information, including the ABV to avoid spirits being identified.

Medals are presented as follows:

Gold (90 – 100 points) A Gold Medal Exhibit is an outstanding spirit, liqueur or bitters for the type of product that it is.

Silver (82 – 89.9) points) A Silver Medal Exhibit is an excellent spirit, liqueur or bitters for the type of product that it is.

Bronze (74 – 81.9 points) A Bronze Medal Exhibit is a very good spirit, liqueur or bitters for the type of product that it is.

There were 7 categories for gin and the results were as follows:

LONDON DRY CATEGORY

GOLD

Kalki Moon Premium London Dry Gin,  Kalki Moon Distilling & Brewing Company, QLD

Poor Toms Fool Strength, Poor Toms Distillery NSW

Suter & Sons Dry Gin, Victoria

Sin Gin No 5 Greed The Murray Hotel, Western Australia

SILVER

Animus Macedon Dry Gin, Animus Distillery, Kyneton, Victoria

Manly Spirits Australian Dry Gin, Manly Spirits Co., NSW

Triple Juniper Gin, Never Never Distilling Co, SA

1829 Gin, Old Youngs Distillery, WA

Poltergeist Gin – Unfiltered, Shene Estate & Distillery, Tasmania

Sin Gin No 2 Lust~ The Murray Hotel, Western Australia

Sin Gin No 6 Gluttony The Murray Hotel, Western Australia

BRONZE

Prohibition Gin ~  Applewood distillery, South Australia

Kalki Moon Classic London Dry Gin ~ Kalki Moon Distilling & Brewing Company, QLD

Classic Dry Gin ~ McHenry Distillery, Tasmania

Original Classic Dry  ~Original Spirit Co., Victoria

Poltergeist Gin True Spirit  ~ Shene Estate & Distillery, Tasmania

Spring Bay Gin ~ Spring Bay Distillery, Tasmania

Sin Gin No 1 Pride  ~ The Murray Hotel, WA

Sin Gin No 3 Sloth  ~ The Murray Hotel, WA

36 Short Original Gin  ~ Virginia Spirits Pty Ltd, SA

CONTEMPORARY GIN

GOLD

Animus Arboretum Gin Animus Distillery, Kyneton, Victoria

Lawrenny Van Diemen’s Gin,  Lawrenny Estate Distillery, Tasmania

Six Seasons Gin Old Young’s, Western Australia

Anther Gin ~ The Craft & Co, Victoria

SILVER

78° Gin  ~ Adelaide Hills Distillery, South Australia

Small Acre Gin  ~ Ambleside Distillers Pty Ltd, South Australia

Brookie’s Byron Dry Gin  ~ Cape Byron Distillery, NSW

Fossey’s Gin Fossey’s Gin, Victoria

Four Pillars Spiced Negroni Gin ~ Healesville Distilling Co., Victoria

Hellfire Bluff Distillery Piquant  ~ Hellfire Bluff Distillery, Tasmania

Hellfire Bluff Distillery Summer Gin  ~ Hellfire Bluff Distillery, Tasmania

Kis Wild Gin ~ Kangaroo Island Spirits, South Australia

Lawrenny 1818 Settlers Gin ~ Lawrenny Estate Distillery, Tasmania

Cooper’s Best Gin ~  Mark Moran Group, New South Wales

Settlers Zuzu Gin ~ Settlers Spirits, South Australia

Red Hen Gin  ~ Small Batch Distilling T/A Red Hen Gin, South Australia

Dasher + Fisher Ocean Gin ~ Southern Wild Distillery Pty Ltd Tasmania

Suter&Sons G&Tea  ~ Suter & Sons, Victoria

Balcombe Dry Gin ~ The Craft & Co, Victoria

Twenty Third Street Distillery Signature Gin ~ Twenty Third Street Distillery, SA

BRONZE

Aqua Vitae Modern Gin ~ 7K Distillery, Tasmania

The Abel GIN co-Essence Gin  ~ Abel Distillers, Tasmania

Adams’ Turbo Gin  ~ Adams Distillery, Tasmania

Something Wild Beverage Company Green Ant Gin ~ Adelaide Hills Distillery, South Australia

Chamomile Dry Gin ~ Alchemy Distillers, Victoria

No. 8 Botanical Gin ~ Ambleside Distillers Pty Ltd, South Australia

Big Dry Gin ~ Ambleside Distillers Pty Ltd, South Australia

Animus Ambrosian Gin~  Animus Distillery, Victoria

Applewood Gin ~ Applewood Distillery, South Australia

Archie Rose Signature Dry Gin ~ Archie Rose Distilling Co., New South Wales

Archie Rose Distillers Strength Gin ~ Archie Rose Distilling Co New South Wales

Gin 10 – Wild & Spicy ~ Bass and Flinders Distillery Pty Ltd, Victoria

Gin – Soft & Smooth ~ Bass and Flinders Distillery Pty Ltd, Victoria

Angry Ant Gin ~ Bass and Flinders Distillery Pty Ltd, Victoria

Hippocampus Bangkok Gin ~ Boatrocker Brewers & Distillers, Victoria

Cedar Fox Distilling Co. Gin ~ Cedar Fox Distilling Co. Pty Ltd, Victoria

OLD TOM GIN

Silver

London Vs Collingwood Old Tom ~ The Craft & Co, Victoria

Bronze

Kis Old Tom ~ Kangaroo Island Spirits, South Australia

NAVY STRENGTH GIN

Gold

Common Gin ~ Old Young’s, Western Australia

Silver

Fossey’s Navel Strength Gin Elixir ~Fossey’s Gin, Victoria

Bronze

Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin ~Healesville Distilling Co P/L, Victoria
The Buccaneer ~ Kilderkin Distillery Pty Ltd, Victoria
Wildbrumby Stallion Gin “Navy Strength” ~ Wildbrumby, New South Wales

BARREL-AGED GIN

Silver

Cedar Fox Distilling Co. Oak Gin, Cedar Fox Distilling Co. Pty Ltd, Victoria
Kalki Moon Solstice Barrel Aged London Dry Gin ~ Kalki Moon Distilling & Brewing Company, QLD
Kis Whisky Barrel Gin ~ Kangaroo Island Spirits, South Australia

Bronze

Bathtub Gin ~Catcher & Co Distillery, New South Wales
Four Pillars Sherry Cask Gin ~ Healesville Distilling Co P/L, Victoria
Giniversity Barrel Aged Gin ~ Great Southern Distilling Company, Western Australia
Kilderkin Distillery Barrel Aged ~Kilderkin Distillery Pty Ltd, Victoria
Old B.A.G. ~ Old Young’s, Western Australia

SLOE GIN

Silver

McHenry Sloe Gin ~McHenry Distillery, Tasmania

Bronze

Dasher + Fisher Sloe Gin ~ Southern Wild Distillery Pty Ltd, Tasmania
Settlers Sloe Gin ~ Settlers Spirits, South Australia

OTHER (UNLISTED GIN) – does not fit into any other category

Silver

Brookie’s Byron Slow Gin Cape Byron Distillery, New South Wales

Bronze

Anther Cherry Gin ~ The Craft & Co, Vic
Monsoon Gin, Flavored Gin ~ Bass and Flinders Distillery Pty Ltd, Victoria
Prohibition Bathtub Cut Gin, Overproof ~Applewood distillery, South Australia

On the final day of judging, all the gold medal winning gins are evaluated alongside each other and an overall winner selected by the judges.

This CHAMPION GIN trophy was won by Anther gin!

Dr Dervilla McGowan from Anther Spirits with their Champion Gin trophy

Gin distillers also did well in the Smaller Scale Production Trophies, with Suter & Sons winning Champion Australian Micro Batch Spirit:

Matthew Suter of Suter & Sons with his trophy (image supplied)

While Animus Distillery was awarded Champion Australian Small Batch Spirit for their Arboretum Gin.

The Animus Distillery team with their trophy (image supplied)

Gin and vodka distiller, James Young from Old Young’s Distillery in WA picked up the Champion Distiller award for the second year running for achieving the highest total score across his entries.

It was wonderful to watch the response of the winners, it obviously means so much. All the entrants receive a score as well as constructive feedback. Everyone I spoke to saw the awards as a way of benchmarking themselves within our fledgling spirits industry.

For full results across all the categories head here.

Teddy and the Fox gin

I first met Lorelle and Russ at the inaugural Junipalooza in 2016 where they were busy conducting research for their distillery. Since then I’ve caught up with them a few times and followed their journey to opening the first distillery on the Bellarine Peninsula, where they are both from. I recently visited, and fell in love with the beautiful location, the gin, and of course, Teddy!

The tale of how they found the property is a little spooky! During a drive around looking at properties, Lorelle saw a ‘for sale’ sign, but little else as it was completely surrounded by dense pine trees. She told me that she “just had a feeling” about the place, which was a formerly a chicken farm. Russ stopped the car and they approached the house to speak to the vendor…and this is where I get goosebumps…the gentleman selling the land, whom neither had met before, turned out to have been the best man at Lorelle’s parents’ wedding. Talk about fate!

It’s taken months and months of clearing the land and digging trenches for the various amenities. They’ve unearthed an old watering hole for coach horses, almond, fig and walnut trees and the perfect spot for their distillery.

 

Wide open space and the distillery hiding behind the remaining trees
The distillery housing their Bellarine Whisky still (named Ronald after Lorelle’s late father) and a small ‘Stilldragon’ for making gin.

The plan was always to create a tasting room and a space for people to have a bit to eat. The only existing building was a corrugated tin shed, which needed some serious attention.

The Whiskery, (named after Russ’ impressive moustache) is the cosiest of cellar doors!

(image supplied)
(image supplied)

The Bellarine Distillery will launch whisky in the next year or two, but in the mean time, Lorelle and Russ have been busy creating their gin, Teddy and the Fox.

They named the gin after their beloved dog because during all the building work a fox caught Teddy’s eye and he did a daring dash across the field (and the road!) in hot pursuit. The image caught both Lorelle and Russ’s imagination and makes for a stunning label!

The Teddy and the Fox gin label artwork is featured over the Whiskery fire place

 

TEDDY!

Teddy and the Fox gin

Lorelle’s uses fractional distillation (all the botanicals are distilled separately before being blended together)and grape based spirit ( Melbourne Gin company also uses this base) which gives a great mouth feel and a super neutral canvas that allows the botanicals to shine.

The botanicals are juniper, orange, lemon myrtle, coriander, star anise and orris root.

On the nose the orange aromas abound with sherberty lemon myrtle in the background. To taste the orange and juniper are at the fore before more citrus zest notes from the coriander and lemon myrtle evolve. There is a good dose of warmth and spice on the lengthy finish. It’s well-balanced, with a great mouthfeel.

orange-blossom-cocktail
Orange blossom cocktail
Florodora
Florodora

Drinking Teddy and the Fox gin

It works well in a gin and tonic garnished with rosemary – fennel would also work.  Try it with soda as this would open out the flavours even more. Martini (with an orange twist) and negroni are fabulous, but if you really want to play up the orange notes go for something like an orange blossom cocktail or a Florodora.

Lorelle, Russ and Teddy (this was SUCH a tricky photo to take..!!)

Lorelle and Russ set a great example to future Australian distillers with their passion, tenacity (dealing with councils is no easy ride) and attention to detail. I cannot wait to get back and sit out on the deck.

Teddy and the Fox gin is available direct from the distillery at the moment, but you can contact them via Facebook and instagram to place an order, while they finish their website.

Alternatively, you can meet them at Bad Frankie’s Victorian Spirits Tasting on 25th March, or at Junipalooza 2018!

ABV 42%

Price: Medium

You can follow The Whiskery on Facebook or instagram.

Gin Queen on Tour ~ Animus Distillery and Patient Wolf

Gin Queen on Tour ~ Animus Distillery and Patient Wolf

I am so excited about the first Victorian Gin Queen on Tour 2018!

First stop is newly opened Animus Distillery in picturesque Kyneton, where we’ll hear from the team about how they came up with the idea for Animus gins, while tasting all three! before enjoying lunch from one of the local Piper Street eateries!

Gin Queen on Tour ~ Animus Distillery and Patient Wolf
(image from Animus Distillery)

Then it’s back on the gin bus as we head off to meet the boys at Patient Wolf. Matt and Dave are super excited to share a Gin and tonic with everyone as they share their story.

And if that isn’t enough excitement, we’ll be rounding off with a mini-martini at Bad Frankie, Melbourne’s number one destination for all things Aussie Spirits!

Gin Queen on Tour ~ Animus Distillery and Patient Wolf

Full itinerary for Gin Queen on Tour ~ Animus Distillery and Patient Wolf

  • 10.00am meet the Gin Bus at Federation Square
  • 11.30am arrive at Animus Distillery get up close with their still, enjoy a tasting three of the gins produced and enjoy a light lunch.
  • 1.30pm Depart Animus Distillery
  • 2.30pm Arrive at Patient Wolf for a G&T with Matt and Dave
  • 4.00pm Depart Patient Wolf
  • 4.30pm Arrive at Bad Frankie

What’s included in the ticket price?

  • Fully escorted tour hosted by Caroline Childerley, The Gin Queen!
  • Luxury Bus Charter from Federation Square to Animus Distillery, and then Patient Wolf before finishing the tour at Bad Frankie.
  • Meet the distillers at two of Victoria’s newest distilleries
  • Gin tasters
  • Gin and tonic on arrival and lunch at Animus Distillery (limited dietary options available)
  • Gin and tonic at Patient Wolf
  • A mini-martini at Bad Frankie

When are we going?                                        

Saturday 24th February 2018

How much?

$150 will get you a spot on the tour.

Terms & Conditions

Attendees must be over 18.

No refunds or exchanges.

Please drink responsibly.

Japanese Gins

The gin craze is still booming and new markets are entering the fray (keep your eyes on South America and India). With massive success in the whisky sector, it’s no surprise that Japan is creating gin. What’s so fantastic about new countries taking an interest in gin is their use of local botanicals.
I’ve taken a look at four Japanese gins, their ingredients and production processes – all of which are remarkably different.

Nikka Coffey Gin

This gin is named after the “Coffey Still”, a traditional continuous still that Nikka uses to produce its signature grain whiskies.
Coffey still at Killbeggan Distillery

Botanicals

Yuzu
Nikki Coffey gin has 11 botanicals, traditional; juniper, angelica, coriander, lemon peel, orange peel and local- yuzu (like a cross between a lemon and mandarin), kabosu (related to yuzu and used instead of vinegar in some dishes), amanatsu (another citrus), and shequasar (a sort of flat lemon) apple juice and Sanshō pepper.
Citrus dominates the aroma and flavour of this gin. It’s a complete full-bodied, punchy flavour bomb. Juicy and peppery. Ideal in a gin and tonic.
ABV: 47%

Roku – Suntory

Suntory owns some of the best known whisky brands in the world but in Japan, they’re behind Hakushu, Hibiki and Yamasaki.  Yamasaki put Japanese whisky firmly on the map when whisky critic, Jim Murray, declared it the “best in the world”.
‘Roku’ means 6, referencing the 6 botanicals used to make the gin. Suntory owns a craft distillery called ‘Liquor Atelier’  which own four different types of pot stills. Each botanical is distilled separately and in keeping with their character. For example cherry blossom is distilled using vacuum distillation to protect the delicate flavours, while yuzu is distilled in a traditional pot still to extract maximum flavour.
Cherry Blossom

Botanicals

Juniper, coriander angelica(root and seed), cardamom, cinnamon, bitter orange peel, lemon peel plus sakura (cherry blossom) flower and leaf, Sencha tea, Gyokuro tea (green tea grown in the shade rather than full sun), Sanshō pepper and Yuzu peel
Citrus is still obvious on the nose but the flavour is balanced with the cherry blossom and the earthier botanicals. It has a great peppery finish too. It’s a more complex gin than Nikka Coffey and would work across a variety of cocktails, particularly in a martini.
ABV 43%

Ki No Bi

Ki No Bi gin (‘The Beauty of the Seasons’) comes from The Kyoto distillery which was only founded in 2015, but is already making a name for itself. Head Distiller, Alex Davies, has a strong gin pedigree. After finishing his studies at Heriot Watt he went on to Chase and then Cotswold Distillery before heading off to Japan.

It’s the first Japanese gin made in Kyoto and the team wanted to create a gin using native ingredients  wherever possible. As a nod to the heritage of the area, they use a rice spirit base from the famous sake–brewing district, Fushimi. Their botanicals in to six different categories: Base, Citrus, Tea, Herbal, Spice and Floral. Each category is distilled separately and then blended together.

Ki No Bi Botanicals

Juniper, orris root, hinoki (Japanese cypress) wood chips make up the base botanicals. Lemon and Yuzu are the citrus. Gyokuro ( a type of tea grown in the shade) is obviously in the tea group. Ginger is the spice component, while  red shiso and bamboo leaves are the floral botanicals. Sanshō pepper and Kinome (a Japanese herb in the same family as Sanshō) fall under the herbal category
Juniper is more pronounced (hooray!) in both aroma and flavour than the other gins in the group. Yuzu is there with hints of bitterness from the tea. The full-bodied flavour is rich and it has a  lengthy dry finish with plenty of heat and spice.
ABV: 45%

Wa Bi gin

Wa Bi Gin (‘Japan Beautiful Gin’) is produced at the Tsunuki distillery, owned by Hombo Shuzo, who also own the Mars Shinshu distillery. They also use a base of rice spirit which has been twice distilled.

Botanicals

Juniper berries, cinnamon leaf, shell ginger, bitter orange, yuzu, kumquat, lemon, ginger, green tea leaves, and perilla (part of the mint family).
This one took me a couple of times to get my head around. Initially, I was getting a lot of malt on the nose and palate but on revisiting (and after tasting some sake for comparison – tough gig!) I think that it’s the rice spirit pushing through the botanicals a little. Definitely one for the citrus gin lovers among you, the inclusion of ginger creates a lovely warming finish. Not my favourite of the four, but I’ll be giving it another go for sure!
ABV: 45%

Drinking  Japanese gin

Most of the gins I tried are citrus forward so work well in gin and tonics and sours. However, the drier styles would be great in a Saketini (yep, a martini made with gin and sake) or a Yuzu Collins.  You could also take a look at these Sencha tea and gin cocktails.
Gin Saketini
Yuzu Collins

Verdict? My pick of the bunch has to be Ki No Bi, followed closely by Roku. It will be interesting to see what Japan will bring to the gin category over the next few years as the existing whisky distilleries expand their portfolios.

Which Japanese gins have you tried?

Yuzu Collins

I wasn’t familiar with yuzu until I began exploring Japanese Gins. A type of citrus, yuzu is common in Japanese cooking and is one of the key botanicals in Japanese gin. The flavour is part lime, part grapefruit and you know how much I love grapefruit and gin together!

Yuzu

The Collins is a classic cocktail from the  late 1800s having been first recorded in Jerry Thomas’ Bartender’s Guide in 1874. A Tom Collins is usually made with gin and lemon juice , but I thought a yuzu collins made with Ki No Bi Japanese gin would work well. And I was right!

Ingredients for a Yuzu Collins

45ml gin (I used Ki No Bi)
30ml yuzu juice (found in Asian supermarkets)
15ml sugar syrup
60ml Soda

How to make a Yuzu Collins

Shake the gin, yuzu juice and sugar syrup together in an ice-filled shaker. Add ice to a high ball glass, strain contents of shaker into the glass and top up with soda water. Enjoy!

rosie-lee-cocktail

4 Valentine tipples to woo your (gin) lover

I’ve never been one for Valentine’s Day, so I’m celebrating my one true love, gin, with four Valentine tipples to woo your (gin) lover.

Rosie Lee (main picture)

Infusing gin is a not-so-secret hobby of mine (check out my recipes for Earl Grey tea infused gin or Rhubarb). This stunning cocktail inspired from a recipe in the PDT cocktail book uses rose tea infused gin.

The Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects

I love martinis, but not everyone does. This version from Hendrick’s has the addition of Lillet Blanc, making it much more approachable.

Chocolate Negroni

Who doesn’t love receiving chocolate on Valentine’s Day? Choose from either a Chocolate Negroni or a 20th Century cocktail for your sweetheart.

Twentieth Century Cocktail

What’s your favourite Valentine’s Day cocktail?

Chocolate Negroni

 

My obsession with Negroni continues and this Chocolate version by industry legend, Naren Young (owner of Dante in New York) is particularly good – rich without being overly sweet.

Ingredients for the Chocolate Negroni

30ml gin (I used Beefeater)
¾ oz Campari
¾ oz sweet vermouth (I used Antica Formula)
2 dashes chocolate bitters (optional – I used orange bitters)
¼ oz white crème de cacao
Orange twist and/or a wedge of chocolate orange (for garnish)

Method

Stir down the ingredients over ice. Strain into a rocks glass and garnish as preferred.