The Chanticleer Cocktail is a pre-WW2 cocktail that I came across in my newly acquired 1935 reprint Waldorf-Astoria bar book. It was made to celebrate the opening night of Edmond Rostand’s Chanticler (which wasn’t liked as much as the cocktail).
The original recipe uses orange gin (1929-1988) which was popular at one time, as was lemon gin (1931-1988). These are rare gins indeed and you can expect to pay over $400-$500 for a bottle! (Check out The Rare Spirits Company).
Sadly, my budget doesn’t quite stretch to an original, but fortunately, I have a bottle of the wonderful Stone Pine Distillery Orange Blossom gin to hand. This super-limited edition gin has long since sold-out, but I am hoping distiller Ian Glen puts on his foraging gloves again in Spring, so you can all have a taste.
Ingredients for The Chanticleer Cocktail
45ml Stone Pine Orange Blossom Gin
45ml dry vermouth
egg white (optional)
(original recipe suggested a Cock’s comb as a garnish, I’ve opted not to pluck a cockerel and am using orange peel instead.)
If you don’t have any orange gin, you could either be extremely patient and make up an infusion, or reduce the gin by 15ml and replace with 15ml of triple sec or even Cointreau)
Dry shake (without ice) all the ingredients together until thoroughly mixed. Add ice and shake again until cold.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish.
I am often asked what I love most about gin. After “its deliciousness”, I invariably say the rich history that surrounds it. Reading about gin and cocktails is the next best thing after drinking them and I do enjoy coming across old recipes and giving them a try. Purl is one such drink.
The original Purl began life in the 17th century as a “sharply bitter ale infused with wormwood” (D. Wondrich, Imbibe), pre-dating gin by around 100 years. Hops weren’t used as a preservative back then, and beer was quick to spoil and a bit tasteless. People would add herbs and spices to boost the flavour, in particular wormwood. This beverage would be drunk in the morning and was said to settle the stomach.
With the advent of gin in the 18th century, Purl evolved into mixture of hot ale, gin, and sugar. It’s mentioned in several Dickens’ novels as well as Samuel Pepys’ diary.
Can you think of a better winter warmer?
Loch Brewery and Distillery makes both gin and ale, so it was a wonderful opportunity to put their new gin, The Weaver together with their dark ale. I recently purchased a copy of Tristan Stephenson’s book, The Curious Bartender’s Gin Palace, and it’s his recipe I have adapted. Like most drinks of this nature, they evolve, so have a play with the ingredients in the infusion as well as the types of beer.
How to Make Purl
Warning, some patience required!
For the infusion
150ml Loch “The Weaver” gin
3g crushed black pepper
3g bay leaves
1g gentian root
1g star anise
Put all the ingredients together in an airtight jar or bottle. After 2 weeks, strain and reserve the liquid.
For the drink (makes 700ml)
150ml of the infusion
500ml Loch Dark Ale
50g soft brown sugar
50g caster sugar
Place all the ingredients together in a glass bottle, ensuring the sugar is dissolved. Add more sugar if desired. Warm gently and serve.
I am so excited that Olivier and Emile Ward, founders of Gin Foundry have partnered with me to bring their popular “Junipalooza” to Australia for the first time. Olivier and Emile have just completed their 3rd Junipalooza in London, the twin edition in Melbourne is a testament to the country’s rapidly expanding gin scene and the burgeoning craft distilling movement developing in all corners of the globe.
Junipalooza Melbourne will be hosted by the Meat Market over Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd October from 12-6pm. Guests will be able to sample gins neat, in mini G&T’s, as well as buy cocktails, participate in masterclasses and purchase bottles to enjoy at home. Making sure the fizz bubbles throughout the day – Capi will be sponsoring the festivities with more partners soon to be announced.
Olivier says “We’ve been watching the Australian gin industry grow for a while and are huge fans of what has been made and are always impressed by how passionate makers are about what they create. Combined with the first class cocktail culture and award-winning bars like Black Pearl, Melbourne is a natural fit for Gin Foundry’s Junipalooza”
You know how much I adore our Australian gin distilling industry and how proud that they’re taking on the world. I’ve wanted to work with Gin Foundry for a while and this joint project is something we are all very excited about. We will be hosting over 26 gin distillers from both Australia and overseas providing a really unique “Meet the Maker” experience for attendees.
If you want to have a small glimpse into the world of Junipalooza, here’s a short video from London 2015.
Four Pillars Gin are just one of the distillers participating: “We’re great mates with the Gin Foundry team – they’ve been awesome supporters of ours since we launched. Junipalooza is such a renowned event, when Caroline called us to say she was working with them to bring the festival to Australia we jumped at the chance to be involved. Four Pillars and The Gin Queen have worked together many times in the past so we’re excited for what will no doubt be a fantastic weekend for anyone who enjoys their gin!”
Other distillers confirmed (more to be added) include:
Australia: Four Pillars Distillery / The West Winds Gin / Great Southern Distillery / Archie Rose Distilling / Poor Toms Gin / 78 Degrees Gin / Shene Estate Distillery / Bass & Flinders Distillery / Mt Uncle Distillery/ Distillery Botanica / Lark Distillery / Young Henrys Distillery / William McHenry Distillery / Hippocampus Distillery / Animus Distillery / Melbourne Gin Company
New Zealand: Broken Heart Spirits
UK: Tarquin’s Gin / Pinkster Gin / Makar Glasgow Gin /Pickering’s Gin / Dodd’s
US: St George Spirits
EARLY BIRD tickets now on sale.
Please note, tickets will not be available for purchase on the door, YOU HAVE TO BE OVER 18 to attend this event. Please bring a valid form of identification with you on the day. (Passport or driving license).
My favourite day of the year celebrates its 8th birthday on Saturday 11th June. World Gin Day 2016 is a global celebration of the juniper juice, with the simple idea of getting people together to drink gin.
As if we need an excuse!
As Australian Ambassador, I’ve been busy updating the global website with all the fantastic Australian events that are happening. You can see the full list here, but I’ve selected my pick of the bunch, to help you plan your day!
Forgive the bias, but my home town has always been fantastic at organising World Gin Day events. There is a lot going on, but these are my favourites.
Visit Four Pillars Gin Distillery ~ 10.30am-9pm
There is nothing like visiting a distillery to understand and appreciate the work that goes into making a bottle of gin. The masterclasses on the day are now sold out, but you can still pop in and enjoy the festivities, sample a gin or two and purchase something delicious to take home. The Bloody Shiraz or Cousin Vera‘s gins are my recommendations if you can’t choose!
Gin Extravaganza at Gin Palace ~ 12pm-3am
The Grande Dame of Melbourne will be the place to be on World Gin Day. Offering a unique celebration of all things gin, there will be buy one get one free Gin and tonics, Negroni and Martinis until 10pm, a $5 Mini Martinez table served by a Tom Cat, Plymouth Martini massages in the Harem and a Gin inspired dessert table from 6pm.
Experience Fresh Gin at Craft & Co ~12.30-3.00pm
I’m a huge fan of Craft & Co, an exciting venture that opened earlier this year that celebrates all Australian food and drink. With a brewery, distillery, delicatessen, restaurant and a bottle shop all on site, its heaven!
Bartending legend Sebastian Reaburn (formerly of Lui Bar, 1806 and co-owner of Heartbreaker) has recently taken the helm at Craft & Co as the distiller. World Gin Day will see the first run of gin come off the still, and you can be there to enjoy it!
Running from 12.30pm-3.00pm the Craft & Co event will offer you the opportunity to taste gin straight from the still, hear Sebastian talk about gin production, take you on a guided tour of the distillery before you taste a delicious Martini made with fresh Craft & Co. gin.
Archie Rose Distilling Co., The West Winds Gin & Four Pillars Gin will also be there offering tastings of their gins.
Tickets are $48 and are limited to 50 places. Book here.
One Botanical at a time at Bad Frankie ~1-3pm
You’ll have an opportunity to handle, smell and taste each botanical individually, understand the effect on your palate and how all the ingredients work together.
Tickets are $30 (includes a taste of each botanical and two Melbourne Gin Company Gin & Tonics, one on arrival and one half way through). Book here.
Bass & Flinders Launch Angry Ant Gin at Pilgrim Bar ~ 2pm & 4pm
Angry Ant gin is the latest gin from Bass & Flinders Distillery. The botanicals were hand-picked at the sustainable Wooleen Station in Central WA and include Mulla Mulla, and Purple Vetch flowers,native lemongrass and sandalwood nuts, the currant bush and ANTS.
Hear about this fascinating project from co-founder Wayne Klintworth at this Talk & Taste session.
Negroni Masterclasses at Nieuw Amsterdam ~ 2pm & 4pm
Negroni food pairing? Yes please! Nieuw Amsterdam will take you on a trip through the wild and wonderful history of this global classic, its most popular spin-offs and show you how to make a Negroni for any time of day.
Made in Britain Revisited at The Barber Shop ~2-4pm
In celebration of the Queen’s Birthday weekend & World Gin Day, The Barber Shop Team will take you on a journey of Cocktails that were created and served in Britain over the last few Centuries.
$69 pp includes:2 cocktails, 2 G&Ts and charcuterie and cheese boards. Book here.
Australian Gin Masterclass at Gin & It ~ 2-4pm
Ian Glen from Stone Pine Distillery and Petr Dvoracek take you on a journey through the history of gin and Australian craft gin production.
$69 pp and includes: Cocktail on arrival, 8 Australian gin tasting, gin and tonic of your choice, charcuterie and cheese boards plus a trivia quiz with prizes.
Tailored Gin Experience at Archie Rose Distillery ~ 6-7pm
For gin lovers who are after something personalised! You’ll have the opportunity to select and balance botanical distillates with guidance from the Archie Rose team to create a one of a kind gin. Once you’ve made your selection your ‘Tailored Gin’ will be made by hand right then and there in the distillery.
$120pp. To book, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Gin-Tastic fun at The Howling Owl ~4pm- late
So many things to do at The Howling Owl! A GIN WHEEL OF FORTUNE (I want one) to win Gin prizes! Happy Hour specials, a Hendrick’s Bar and live DJs.
Make your own gin at the Bootlegging Gin Master Class with Jon Lark from Kangaroo Islands Gin Distillery ($90 pp booking essential for the masterclass email@example.com).
Australian Gin dinner ~ 6-10pm
The Pialligo Estate culinary team have partnered with the Martini Whisperer, Phillip Jones, and craft spirit distributors Nip of Courage to present a special menu with bespoke cocktails that showcase some of Australia’s award winning craft gins to celebrate World Gin Day.
You’ll experience a Martini on arrival, learn how to make the perfect one yourself, and have the opportunity to sample a range of craft gins from around Australia.
$155 pp. Book here.
Dutch Courage Officer’s Mess ~ 11am til late
5, yes 5 gin masterclasses! Book in for the session of your choice, or do them all with an all-day pass for just $40. Featuring a Tanqueray Bloody Mary Brunch, Gin Mare & Botanist, Pinkster & Bloom, Four Pillars and Hendrick’s.
Book via firstname.lastname@example.org
Gin Masterclass at Hippocampus Distillery ~ 4-5.30pm
Sip on a classic gin cocktail (martini anyone?!) while learning about the hand-crafted distillation process that makes Hippocampus Gin before embarking on a tasting session of different gin styles.. Master distiller, Alex, will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.
$35 pp.Book here.
A Gin-inspired evening of gin and food ~ 6.30-10pm
Hippocampus Gin has partnered with Gordon Street Garage for a special evening of gin and fine food. You’ll begin the evening at the distillery bar with a guided gin tasting and cocktail before moving across the road to Gordon Street Garage for a gin-inspired sharing menu – think freshly shucked oysters with high pour of gin and woodfired pork belly with a juniper rub and includes a mini negroni for dessert.
$70 pp. Book here.
I hope you’ve got some ideas on how to spend World Gin Day. You can follow my adventures on instagram and snapchat (theginqueenau) or check out the #worldginday hashtag to see what everyone is up to.
It’s a fantastic day, so please drink responsibly.
The Inception Negroni combines two of my favourite versions of the same cocktail, a classic Negroni and a white Negroni in one.
“Whuuuut?”, you say?
Yes, Robyn Gray, the genius Head bartender at Rosewood Hotel Georgia’s Prohibition Lounge in Vancouver, has encapsulated the classic Negroni in a hollowed out ice sphere before pouring a White Negroni over the top to create the Inception Negroni.
Of course, as soon as I saw it on instagram, I knew had to try to make one at home. Enter Mr GQ, who amongst other skills is a dab hand with a power drill. Oh yes, you’ll be needing one of those.
Equipment needed to make an Inception Negroni
Spherical ice mould
Ingredients for the Classic Negroni
(Quantity may vary depending on
Ingredients for the White Negroni
30ml Lillet Blanc
Pour 150ml of water into the spherical ice mould and secure the lid before placing in the freezer for 3 hours at -19C.
Heat the drill bit (we used a 3ml bit). Your spherical mould should have a small hole in the lid for excess contents to spill out. Use this to drill a small pilot hole. (See 1. in image above)
Remove the flexible plastic lid of the mould and using a heated 8ml drill bit, make the hole wider.(2.)
Drain the ice ball out and by pouring the liquid into a measuring jug so you can see how much liquid you need to replace. We poured out 75ml of water.
Place empty frozen sphere back into the freezer at -19C while you make up the classic Negroni. We used 25ml gin, 25ml sweet vermouth and 25ml campari to replace the 75 ml of water we drained from the sphere.
Put your made up Negroni in the fridge for 45 minutes.
Take out sphere from freezer, and carefully pour the classic Negroni into the sphere (we used a small funnel from a hip flask (3.). Plug the hole at the top of the ice sphere with crushed ice and some water to create a seal which should close the hole after an additional 45 minutes in the freezer. (4.)
Building the Inception Negroni
Make up your white Negroni and chill in the fridge while you wait for the classic Negroni sphere to finish off in the freezer.
Invert the spherical mould and pour warm water into it so the classic Negroni sphere pops out easier. BE PATIENT. We cracked one sphere trying to remove it from the base of the mould.
Carefully place it in a chilled rocks glass and pour your White Negroni over the top.
Admire your handiwork briefly, before drinking your Inception Negroni.
I have a confession to make, I’ve always preferred to drink my gin rather than bake with it (Gin Queen? Yes. Domestic Goddess? No.) but with Negroni week coming up and looking for another way to indulge my obsession with this cocktail, I decided that the best no-cook option was the good old British trifle, well an Italian trifle ~ I present: The Negroni Trifle.
Yes, you can give me an Australian passport, but I will always choose trifle over Lamingtons (Sorry Aussie mates), particularly when it’s as boozy as this one.
The Negroni is made with 3 ingredients, Gin, Campari and Sweet vermouth. A traditional trifle has several components. Booze soaked sponge, jelly (fruit optional), custard and sweetened cream.
My challenge was to impart the essence of the Negroni into the trifle in as many ways as I could. I think I cracked it.
How to make a Negroni Trifle
As with all cocktails, feel free to make it your own. The measurements were determined by me (and Mr GQ), as we thoroughly taste-tested each stage. Yes, I took one for the team, this is SUCH a tough gig.
Negroni Trifle Layer One
For the booze soaked sponge, I added about one and a half sponge fingers to the bottom of the glass and poured over 30ml of sweet vermouth and 30ml of Campari. Leave to soak in thoroughly before moving on to the jelly layer.
Negroni Trifle Layer Two
I used a packet jelly and made the jelly up using half the liquid recommended on the packet, to avoid the alcohol interfering with the setting process. Once the jelly crystals were completely dissolved I added 60ml of Four Pillars Spiced Negroni gin, poured it over the Sweet vermouth and Campari soaked sponge and left to set.
Negroni Trifle Layer Three
While the jelly was setting I started on the custard. I wanted to tone down the vanilla flavour a little, so I stirred 30ml of Cointreau into 70g of custard. Once the jelly has set, I poured over the custard mixture and returned to the fridge to chill.
Negroni Trifle Layer Four
To make the sweetened cream, I added 30ml of Kangaroo Island Spirits Old Tom gin to 150ml of cream and whipped until it formed peaks. This was spooned over the top of the custard and chilled in the fridge for another hour.
Before serving I grated some orange peel on the top. I admired it briefly before Mr GQ and I attacked it with a spoon.
And if you still prefer to drink your Negroni , remember Negroni Week is on 9-12th June.
I know you might be thinking, “great a whole week of drinking negroni”, but there is a little more to it than that.
It was launched in 2013 as a collaboration between Imbibe magazine and Campari as a way to celebrate one of the world’s most loved cocktails, but also to raise money for good causes worldwide. Starting with just 100 venues participating in 2013, it grew to 3,500 venues in 2015 and raised a whopping $320,000 (USD) for charities globally. This year they are hoping to raise even more.
So they you are, enjoy a drink at participating bars and do some good while you are at it!
You can check out participating venues here.
As part of my foray into the world of cocktail making, I’m developing an unhealthy obsession with cocktail books, particularly those written by some of the industry’s greats. I’m currently working my way through Gary Regan’s The Joy of Mixology.
One of the great things about this book is the way Regan has categorised the cocktails, allowing a relative novice like me to remember the recipes as well as come up with ideas of my own (still a work in progress).
Regan includes recipes from some of the classic cocktail books as well as recent drinks that have become renowned. In spite of owning Harry Craddock’s 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book, the Maiden’s Blush hadn’t caught my eye before now.
It’s part of the Sour cocktail family and uses grenadine (pomegranate syrup) for colour as well as softening the gin slightly. Obviously, fiddle with the quantity of grenadine to suit your tastes, I erred on the side of caution and only used about 8ml and I think I’d use less next time.
If you like Aviations then I think you’ll enjoy this one too.
Ingredients for the Maiden’s Blush Cocktail
60ml gin (I used Süd Polaire)
20ml triple sec (you could use Cointreau)
15ml fresh lemon juice
grenadine to taste.
Shake all the ingredients together in an ice-filled shaker. Strain into a chilled coupe. Enjoy!
As my Scottish in-laws would say, it’s a dreek night in Melbourne, so was looking for a something to warm my cockles as I wrapped myself in a blanket.
Negronis are always fabulous on a cold, dark night, but as I’d recently purchased a bottle of Cynar at my friend JD’s new shop, The Bitters Lab, I wanted to use it in a cocktail. The Cin-Cyn cocktail ticks both boxes. Instead of Campari in your Negroni, you use Cynar.
What is Cynar?
Cynar is a bitter Italian liqueur (within the amaro family), infused 13 plants and herbs, that was launched in 1952. The dominant ingredient is artichoke, Cynara scolymus, which is where it gets its name. Because of this ingredient, is can be used as a digestif and an aperitif. Like Campari it is bitter, but not as sweet and has a pleasing herbaceous edge.
Ingredients for The Cin-Cyn Cocktail
30ml gin (I used Tanqueray Bloomsbury)
30ml Sweet vermouth
Stir all ingredients over ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a twist of orange if desired.
Fans of Botanic Australis Gin will be delighted to hear that Mark Watkins has developed a Botanic Australis Navy Strength. Mark had been busy perfecting the recipe when I visited in December, but he wanted to wait until he was completely happy with it, before sharing it with me!
Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait too long and it was certainly worth the wait. I was intrigued to see how Mark would match those bold native botanicals with an equally bold ABV (Navy Strength must be at least 57%). Working with native ingredients is a delicate balancing act and the original Botanic Australis recipe required some fine tuning to work with the stronger alcohol.
Mark explained “In the original we replaced the lemon peel component with lemon myrtle and lemon scented gum. The reason for this is that lemon myrtle is heavy and tends to hang on the palate, while lemon scented gum is very aromatic yet doesn’t stay on the palate. Combining the two you get a very balanced “lemon peel” like effect. So in the Navy strength we ramped up the lemon scented gum so you get a big lemon nose which fades away on the palate quickly to combat the higher ABV. We also increased the level of Bunya Nut which gives the Christmas fruits and spices flavour, as well as the ginger and pepperberry”
While Botanic Australis Navy Strength has it foundations in the original, it certainly has a different flavour profile. On the nose, as Mark wanted, there is plenty of lemon, but this fades quickly on the palate. We being with piney juniper and bright citrus notes , with a small spike of the river mint and eucalyptus, leading on to spicier notes from the peppery berry and ginger through to a lingering warm finish. Some of the more herbaceous and earthy notes found in the original Botanic Australis have given way to a more citrus forward gin.
It makes a wonderfully refreshing gin and tonic. You’ll note in the image above, the louching (cloudiness) that comes with an increase in oils from the botanicals.
I also gave it a whirl in a Southside and it worked brilliantly with the lime and mint. I should warn you that it would be very easy to forget the higher ABV!
This is a very limited edition gin and certainly worth
Origin: Walkamin, Queensland
Available from Mt Uncle Distillery
One of the things I enjoy about my new homeland is the different fruits and vegetables available, some of which I’ve never come across before. Persimmons caught my eye recently, I loved the vibrant colour and tomatoey shape. There are two types of persimmon, one astringent (yuk) and this sweeter variety that was introduced to Australia in the ’70s. The sweet persimmon (also known as the Fuyu fruit) has a firm texture and a subtle, sweet flavour.
I had no idea what to do with persimmons, so bought a bag, hoping to make a seasonal cocktail. I came across a few recipes for a persimmon sour which seemed like a good place to start.
To make the Persimmon sour, you first need to whizz the persimmons up in a blender to create a puree as they are too firm to smash or muddle as we would do with softer fruits. I blended mine with the juice of half a lime.
Ingredients for a Persimmon Sour
40ml persimmon puree
juice of a freshly squeezed lime
10ml sugar syrup (or to taste)
Shake all ingredients together in an ice-filled shaker until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass and garnish with lime. Enjoy!