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.

Gin egg nog

Traditionally, egg nog is served warm, and sipped while you toast your toes in front of a roaring log fire, which would be fine, if I wasn’t living in Australia where you can cook your eggs on the pavement during December

Still, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without egg nog, and although rum, brandy or bourbon are the usual spirits. I’m making mine with…SURPRISE! gin!

The first Egg Nog recipe can be served warm or cold, in fact mine is chilling down in the fridge as we speak. The second recipe is almost a flip rather than an egg nog, but is a good option if you are pressed for time.

If you are concerned about raw eggs in cocktails, Bartender magazine has an interesting explainer article here. Also, for my vegan friends, this looks like a good option.

gin egg nog
Adding a little nutmeg.

Traditional egg nog (adapted from this recipe)

Ingredients

170ml Four Pillars Christmas Gin
500ml Milk
250mL Cream
3 Eggs, separated
1/2 Cup of sugar
Cinnamon
Nutmeg

Method

  1. Whisk the egg yolks with sugar in a mixing bowl
  2. Gently heat milk and cinnamon in a saucepan over a low heat for 5 minutes
  3. Add the egg yolk mixture to the saucepan, slowly folding it in
  4. Stir constantly and don’t allow to boil
  5. Slowly add the gin, cream and nutmeg, stirring continuously.

 

Serve hot garnished with a cinnamon quill, or refrigerate overnight and serve cold over ice topped with a sprinkle of nutmeg or brown sugar.

Quick egg nog

Ingredients

30ml Citadelle No Mistake Old Tom gin
15ml Cognac
20ml simple syrup
90ml Almond milk
30ml Heavy cream
1 Egg

Method

Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker without ice and shake vigorously. Add ice and continue to shake until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass and garnish with star anise.

The Gin Queen’s Christmas Gift Guide 2017

In another life, I’d be a professional shopper. I love seeking out the perfect gifts for friends and family. If you haven’t finished (or started) your Christmas shopping yet, my Christmas Gift Guide might be what you need! As ever, I’m not paid to promote these, I’ve just picked things I’d love to see in my stocking on Christmas morning!

Something to read

Mr Lyan’s Good Together

If you enjoyed Ryan Chetiyawardana’s first book; Good things to drink, you’ll love this. It’s chock-full of fabulous drinks and food pairings for you and your friend stop enjoy.

RRP: $30.75 Order via Booktopia 

Meehan’s The Bartender Manual

 

 

Jim Meehan has been at the top of the cocktail game since opening his bar PDT in New York. The PDT cocktail book is one of my favourites, but is about to be replaced by his latest book, Meehan’s Bartender Manual. It crammed full insights into bartending, includes contributions from esteemed colleagues and lots of recipes of you to try. Perfect for the bar geek or enthusiastic amateur.

RRP: $49.95 Order via Booktopia 

Rich Woods: The Cocktail Guy

 

I had the goof fortunate to interview Rich a couple of years ago and try several of his drinks. Incredibly creative and innovative (Nutella negroni anyone?), Rich’s drinks are a little out of the reach of most home-bartenders, but this book is still a fascinating read. Now, to start saving for a Rotovap…

RRP: $30.25 Order via Booktopia 

Something to wear

Esa Evan Gin necklace

 

Esa Evans Gin Necklace

 

RRP $35 Order here

Gin Commodity Fragrance

I’ve been wearing this at every opportunity this year! Commodity Gin Eau de Parfum is part of Commodity’s Black Collection, which includes scents that are complex, intense, and moody. This is a fresh and woodsy scent that can be worn by men and women.Key Notes: Juniper Berry, Lime, Ginger Leaf

RRP $29.95 (30ml) Available instore from  Sephora

663toZERO T-shirt

Spoiling our loved ones is part of Christmas, but how about sparing a few dollars for a good cause? Mitch Horrocks, launched 663toZero this year to focus on helping Ugandans have access to clean water. Sales from this T-shirt go directly to support this initiative.

RRP $40 Order here.

Something to use

Gin Cushion

This fun cushion from Kelly Connor Designs can be personalised. There is also an awesome tote bag available too!

 

$43.50 + free AU shipping. Order here.

Waterford Crystal Lismore Black Cocktail Pair

My inner-goth swooned when I spotted these beauties. A little Morticia Adams? Maybe, but I would love to sip a martini from these.

 

RRP: $399 David Jones

Waterford Crystal Elegance Optic Champagne Belle Coupe Pair

Beautiful, contemporary design, perfect for martinis, Bees Knees, French 75s…you get he idea

RRP $99.95 Waterford Crystal

Tiffany Sterling Silver Crazy Straw

 

Yes, yes, it is a CRAZY amount to spend on a straw. But it *is* from Tiffany, plus you’ll be doing your bit for the environment! WIN WIN!

RRP $415 from Tiffany

Something to drink

 

TRUE NORTH SPIRIT KITS

Have a spirits geek in the family? Why not gift them a special spirit kit from True North? Beautifully packaged and carefully curated, you can choose from Whisky Voyager or Gin Voyager. Each kit contains 5 x 50ml samples and information on each.If you really want to make an impression you can sign up as a member to receive exclusive monthly spirits kits.

RRP $99.99 from True North

The Antique Collection ~The Everleigh Bottling Company

A truly special gift. The Antique collection showcases classic drinks made with specially sourced antique spirits from 1950 to 1980. Featuring a 1950s martini, a 1960s vesper, a 1970s negroni and a 1980s Robbie Burns. This is a limited edition set so be quick.

RRP $249 from The Everleigh Bottling Co.

Pearly Negroni

Ryan Chetiyawardana is renowned for his stylish bars (Dandelyan, White Lyan (now closed), Super Lyan and his new restaurant/bar Cub) and incredible cocktails, but he’s also got a lovely way of putting food and drink together.

His new book, Good Together is dedicated to creating the perfect gathering at home, surrounded by friends, delicious food and tasty drinks. Many of the drinks (including this one) can be pre-batched in advance giving you more time with your guests.

With the summer here and Christmas around the corner, the Pearly Negroni is the perfect cooler and would make an excellent welcome drink for party guests.

Best of all as the base is pre-batched, you’ll also have white negroni ready to go at a minutes notice!

Pearly Negroni

Ingredients (makes 1 bottle) for Pearly Negroni

300ml London Dry Gin (I used Jensen’s London Dry)

1 unwaxed, organic lemon

150ml Lillet Blanc

200ml Suze (or other gentian liqueur)

Chilled grapefruit soda

mandarin or other aromatic citrus to garnish

How to make Pearly Negroni

Infuse the gin with the zest of lemon for 2 hours, then strain

Add Lillet Blanc and Suze, then bottle

To serve, use small glasses, add ice and mandarin slice. Add 40ml of the negroni base to each glass and top with grapefruit soda. Garnish with more citrus.

Enjoy!

Gin Gifts for Dad

Father’s Day is coming up in Australia, so I’ve put together some ideas for Gin Gifts for Dad.

Liquid-Intelligence-by-Dave-Arnold

Tatty Devine Gilbert and George Gin Cufflinks

Carry -On-Cocktail-Kit-Gin-and-Tonic

 

Gilbert-and-George-Cufflinks-by-Tatty-Devine

GILBERT AND GEORGE GIN BOTTLE CUFFLINKS BY TATTY DEVINE

Inspired by art duo Gilbert & George and their artistic approach to drink, these cufflinks are a button-through style, with a Tatty Devine plectrum fastening. Also available as a necklace.

Via The Gin Queen Shop.

Enright’s Gin Company Grooming Kit

Featuring gin scented hair paste and hand wash.

Available from Enright’s Gin Company

Calibrate Gin and Tonic Pocket Square

Dad will look super fancy wearing this divine pocket square (Available from Nordstrom)

gin gifts for dad

Negroni/Martini pins from Love and Victory

These pins have been flying out of the Gin Queen store since I began stocking them. Dad will love one or both of these on his lapel.

 

Available from The Gin Queen Shop

 

NEVER NEVER GIN

The newest Australian gin  from Adelaide will not disappoint if your dad is a juniper junkie like me.  I’ll be doing a review in the coming weeks, but all you need to know right now is that Triple juniper gin is freaking delicious! (the juniper is treated in three separate ways, partially steeped, partially in the pot and partially in the vapour, hence the name!

Available from Never Never Distilling.

gin gifts for dad

 

Jo Malone Black Cedarwood & Juniper Cologne 100ml

Described as Midnight rain. Seductive with the carnal touch of cumin and chilli leaves. Dark with cedarwood. Humid with moss. Modern and urban.

Via David Jones

gin gifts for dad

Gumball Poodle Gin Crew Socks Blue/Yellow

OK, so socks for Dad are a bit passé, but how great are these?

gin gifts for dad

Via Dugg.com.au

 

 

NACHTMANN
Punk Long Drink x4

I adore these The Nachtmann NextGen line PUNK highball glasses which have has been developed in cooperation with the world-famous arts and design college Central Saint Martins in London. An edgy way to serve up your G&Ts!Available from David Jones.

gin gifts for dad

(NOTE: I HAVEN’T BEEN PAID TO ENDORSE THESE PRODUCTS, THEY ARE JUST THINGS I THOUGHT YOU’D LIKE!)
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grapefruit-and-rosemary-gin

Grapefruit and Rosemary Gin with Ginger Ale

Gin is a fantastic spirit for making infusions (try my Earl Grey Tea, Raspberry or rhubarb gin recipes) and this Grapefruit and Rosemary Gin with Ginger Ale from Ryan Chetiyawardana’s book Good Things to Drink is another to add to your repertoire.

Grapefruit and rosemary often pop up as gin botanicals (Melbourne Gin company and Gin Mare are examples) as well as making fantastic garnishes in a G&T. Together they make a fantastic infusion and on a cold winter day in Melbourne I felt positively mediterranean sipping on this!

The best thing about this particular infusion is that it doesn’t take too long for the flavours to be extracted, in fact, Ryan suggests no more than a day. As someone lacking in patience, I was very happy with the result after a couple of hours!

grapefruit-and-rosemary-gin

Ingredients for the Grapefruit and Rosemary gin

3 grapefruits

100g sugar

2 sprigs of rosemary

1 bottle of London Dry gin

Method

Peel the grapefruits. Add peel to a clean, airtight glass container with the rosemary, sugar, and gin. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Leave to infuse for a few hours (no more than a day), then strain into a bottle and keep refrigerated.

Serving Grapefruit and Rosemary Gin with Ginger Ale

Add 50ml to a Collins (highball) glass and add ice. Top up with chilled ginger ale (I used Fentimans ginger beer as I had some to hand) and a grapefruit slice.

Enjoy!

Too Soon

If you haven’t yet bought a copy of Sasha Petraske’s book Regarding Cocktails, then do it now. It’s full of exquisite cocktails created by Sasha and the many renowned bartenders who worked and learned with him at Milk and Honey.

Too Soon was created by Sam Ross (Attaboy, New York and creator of the world-famous Penicillin) and features the underrated Cynar, an aperativo that I’ve been learning to love. This bitter-sweet Italian liqueur is made with 13 herbs and botanicals, with artichoke being the predominant flavour. Don’t that put you off though! This cocktail is deliciously fresh with sweetness of the orange balanced nicely with the Cynar.

Too Soon

Ingredients for a Too Soon

30ml gin

30ml Cynar

22 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

15ml simple syrup

2 thin slices of orange

Too Soon

Method

Shake all the ingredients in an ice-filled shaker until cold. Strain into a chilled coupe.

Enjoy!

Sloe Gin and Tempranillo Negroni

Sloe Gin and Tempranillo Negroni

Melbourne winters are brutal and this one seems to be more bitterly cold than usual. From someone who withstood years of English winters, this is saying something. Sloe gin is my go to in winter and this rich spiced Sloe gin and Tempranillo Negroni by Dan Jones in his book Gin: Shake, Muddle and Stir is perfect for cold evenings. You could even heat it up a little to keep your hands warm!

Ingredients for Sloe gin and Tempranillo Negroni

30ml Sloe and Star Anise Gin

30ml Tempranillo reduction

60ml campari

orange peel/star anise to garnish

Method

To make the Sloe and Star Anise infused gin

For his recipe Dan has created a sloe and star anise gin from scratch, using fresh ripe sloe berries, as they are easier to come by in the UK. Fortunately I had some delicious McHenry sloe gin to hand so, I added some star anise to the sloe gin and infused for three days.

Sloe Gin and Tempranillo Negroni

To make Tempranillo reduction 

Ingredients

200ml Tempranillo wine

pinch of crushed star anise

100g of dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon of corn syrup or golden syrup (optional)

Method

Simmer the wine and star anise in a non-stick pan and slowly add the sugar. Turn down heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until all the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has reduced by a third. Turn off the heat and leave for 20-30 minutes to cool and for the flavours to infuse. Adding the corn syrup to the finished product will keep the reduction smooth.

To make to Sloe Gin and Tempranillo Negroni

Stir the ingredients in a  mixing glass over ice. Strain into a rocks glass filled with a large ice-cube. Garnish with the orange peel and or star anise.

Sloe Gin and Tempranillo Negroni

Nuked Negroni

Ryan Chetiyawardana’s Nuked Negroni

Microwaves are a waste of time when it comes to enhancing the flavour of food. Mine is rarely used, except for heating up porridge or the endless cups of tea and coffee that I let go cold when I’m busy with the website. However, Ryan Chetiyawardana’s Nuked Negroni (from his excellent book, Good Things to Drink) shows what a useful tool it can be for making drinks!

Heating the ingredients for a Nuked Negroni draws out the flavours and adds depth to the drink that isn’t there when you simply stir it down.

It was a particularly cold afternoon in Melbourne when I was playing with this recipe and, impatient as I am, I couldn’t wait for the drink to cool, so enjoyed it warm. And do you know something? It was the best thing since mulled wine. Warmed Negroni for the win!

Nuked Negroni

Ingredients for a Nuked Negroni (makes 6-10 depending on your generosity levels!)

1 grapefruit

300ml gin (I used Melbourne Gin Company)

300ml sweet vermouth

300ml Campari

6 blackberries

sprig of rosemary

Nuked Negroni

Method

Remove a strip of zest from the grapefruit with a peeler. Add this to a microwave proof bowl with the other ingredients. Cover and microwave on high for 3 mins. Allow to cool, and strain into a bottle. To serve, add a generous measure to a rocks glass, add ice and a slice of grapefruit.

OR for a winter warmer

Allow to cool to a drinkable temperature and serve with a grapefruit twist. Enjoy!