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Thursday, 31 October 2013

Foragers Fancy - A Gin Cocktail

Gin was probably my first 'grown up' drink, it seemed very sophisticated to ask for a gin and tonic rather than the Cinzano and lemonade that started my foray into alcoholic drinks.  Good grief, that dates me squarely in the 1970s!  However time moves on and I was seduced away from drinking spirits by the increasing quality, and reducing price, of wine.  However, recently in an attempt to drink less (lets face it, once the bottle is open....) we have turned our attention back to the hard stuff.

It started with the bottle of vodka which had been given to my husband as a gift, but vodka has never been my spirit of choice,  so when Martin Miller's offered me a bottle of their Arctic Quality Gin I was more than pleased to accept.

The bottle is really very beautiful and shows the UK and Iceland, as the gin is distilled in England and blended with Icelandic water.  I also received a glossy 'coffee table' book with more information than you could possibly want to know about Martin Miller's Gin and a cocktail recipe book.  In the book there are some nice little quotes from Martin Miller e.g " I want my gin to have the scent of Oriental flowers at dusk and to have the fragrance of orange groves on a warm night in Seville" probably my favourite chapter is the one called 'Gin, Janes and Jazz' which tells you about the birth of the 'Cocktail Hour' which replaced afternoon tea in the Grand American Hotels at the start of the twentieth century, shortly followed by prohibition in the 1920s which gave gin attitude!

The flavour of the gin is very clean. It doesn't have the harsh 'scented' quality that some other brands seem to  have.  It felt as if you could taste each of the individual botanicals that go to make up the flavourings for this gin: Juniper, Coriander, Angelica, Lime Peel, Liquorice Root, Cassia Bark and Florentine Iris and it was very smooth, no harsh spirity kick probably down to the way it is distilled with only the 'heart' of the spirit being kept.  Or maybe it has something to do with the pollution free Icelandic water.  All I can say is that it is a very good gin indeed!
Having tried the Martin Miller's Gin with tonic, I thought I would make a cocktail.  But rather than use one of the recipes provided by Martin Miller's  I decided to create my own cocktail:

Forager's Fancy

Per glass
35ml Martin Miller's Gin
25ml Bramble Cordial
8 mint leaves
crushed ice
soda water
1 sprig of mint to garnish

1. Bruise the mint leaves in a mortar and pestle or with the end of a rolling pin to release the oils.  
2. Place the crushed mint and crushed ice in the glass.
3. Add the Martin Miller's Gin and the Bramble Cordial in the glass and stir to mix. Top up with soda water.
4. Garnish with the sprig of mint.

For the Bramble Cordial
1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries (brambles)
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 cups water

1. Place the ingredients in a saucepan and gently heat until the sugar has dissolved, simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the berries are soft and the liquid has reduced by about half.  
2. Strain through a sieve and leave to cool.  
3. Keep in a sterilised bottle or jar in the fridge until needed.

Chin Chin!

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At 2 November 2013 at 01:39 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love food blogs and just found you and "Cooking With Mr. C." on Facebook. When I find one I like, I follow it. I will tell everyone to check you out and check out "Cooking With Mr. C." on Facebook. I just "Liked" his page. Happy Holidays. Jean

At 2 November 2013 at 09:06 , Blogger Ivy, Phyllis and Me! said...

Good Morning Janice, I smiled when you mentioned your first drink was a Cinzano as mine was Babycham and I used to drink it out of those little glasses which had the little Bambi printed on.
I never liked gin until my son in law made me one, using Blue Sapphire Gin and from then on, I was smitten.
Foragers Fancy sounds interesting. I shall have to look around for it and put it away for Christmas.
Thank you for the cocktail recipe....I do love a nice cocktail.
Best Wishes

At 2 November 2013 at 09:50 , Blogger Antonia said...

We are huge gin fans and it is exciting that there are so many new ones to try. I haven't tasted this one yet and love the sound of your cocktail with bramble cordial!

At 2 November 2013 at 14:09 , Blogger Unknown said...

Mmmm... you can't beat a nice gin. We flavour our own as Christmas presents. The cranberry and raspberry one last year went down a treat!

Might have to indulge while preparing tea...

At 2 November 2013 at 22:00 , Blogger Janice said...

Jean - thanks for the recommendation
Daphne - glad you enjoyed the trip down memory lane :-)
Antonia - Enjoy!
Jerome - mmm Cranberry and Raspberry sounds lovely.

At 3 November 2013 at 11:53 , Blogger Susan said...

Vodka and lime was my first tipple, I couldn't drink it fact it might have been banned LOL. Never heard of this gin but I do like a nice clean crisp gin, and this combo does sound lovely. x

At 3 November 2013 at 16:05 , Anonymous Foodhuntr said...

Thanks for this nice post. i hope i will try soon

At 3 November 2013 at 20:55 , Blogger Unknown said...

Mmm sounds great - I love gin. We're currently drinking it with rose hip syrup. I can thoroughly recommend it :-)


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