A seasonal round-up of November News
Once the clocks go back and the nights draw in it feels like winter has truly arrived. The glorious autumn we had this year was perfect for being out and about picking sloe berries and rosehips.
But that seems like a distant memory already. With the rain and wind lashing at the window it is time to light the fire and crack open the Stones Ginger Wine. Yes, gin aside, I’m rather partial to a glass of the amber Stones.
Since my trip to Barcelona in October, I have been keen to try my hand at infusing gin. And when the early dark evenings with the curtains drawn invariably send me into the kitchen as the warmest and most comforting room in the house, it is inevitable that I will start messing around. Having tried infusing gooseberries earlier in the year to delicious effect I was keen to give it a go with more ‘winter flavours’.
The Usual Saucepans recipe for Apple Crumble Gin caught my eye. Using a good supermarket own brand gin, brown sugar, Bramley apples, allspice and cinnamon I loaded up my Kilner jar, gave it a good few swishes to dissolve the sugar and put it away in a dark cupboard. I will let you know the result. But if it tastes as good as it smells…
The full recipe can be found here on their website.
Allspice is one of my favourite spices, evocative of Saturday afternoons in the kitchen spent baking pumpkin pie and spiced fruit loaf. I’m particularly looking forward to cooking the Bramley apple pieces once they have worked their magic on the gin. Any suggestions for a boozy apple pud will be most welcome.
Sloe Gin Cocktails
With recipes in mind, I opened a bottle of homemade sloe gin and spent a happy evening at For the Love of Gin HQ crafting some delightful sloe gin cocktails.
Too impatient to wait for the sloes to ripen on the hedgerows this year, I had started a batch in July using dried sloes from our local homebrew centre.
Not knowing what to expect with dried sloe, if they would impart the same bitter almond flavour, I was surprised to find that the resulting sloe gin was actually rather good. To find out how to make sloe gin click here.
Having tried the homemade sloe gin out on a few guinea pigs, with a unanimous thumbs up, I thought it was good enough to go into a few cocktails. My favourite had to be the Gin Genie with its refreshing combination of lemon and sloe that just works.
But try them for yourself. Click here for some Easy Sloe Gin Cocktail recipes.
The Elusive Tanqueray Malacca
At the beginning of the month, I was also feeling particularly pleased with myself for remembering to buy a litre bottle of Tanqueray Malacca from the duty-free shop at the Barcelona airport. As you can’t get it in Britain for love nor money I made a determined beeline for it and ta-da! Here it is.
Read my review on this amazing gin.
Not so pleased with myself now at the end of the month with the bottle half gone. I really should have bought two or three.
Bullards New venture
Also this month I had the pleasure of meeting Peter Smith, Head Distiller at Bullards Gin, for my Meet the Distiller series (article to come soon) at his distillery in the Ten Bells pub in Norwich.
Bullards are currently crowdfunding to move to a ‘new’ building in the city (a grade II listed building) where they will set up their distillery together with a new 600L still which will quadruple their current output. The new distillery will have a bar and restaurant and be open for tours and tastings.
Speaking of which, I had the chance to try their latest expression Bullards Old Tom gin, launched this month; a rich Old Tom gin with sweetness from mango and Norfolk honey and citrus from grapefruit. With tonic added the citrus from the grapefruit peel really shone through. A very nice gin indeed.
If you would like to take part in their new venture click here.
York Gin Trio
As tomorrow is the first of December I really can’t ignore the fact that it’s going to be Christmas very soon.
I’m one of those people who think Christmas should be confined to December and not spread out all over November and October. It isn’t that I don’t like Christmas. I do. Just in its proper place: December.
Anyway, I’m not such a bah humbug to refuse a bottle of gin, or three, to review as Christmas gifts. Yes, I’m aware that makes me a bit of a hypocrite but York Gin sent me a cute little trio of their gins and they were too good to resist.
Their London Dry was the favourite here at For the Love of Gin HQ. The square bottles in their packaging would make any gin lovers eyes light up if they unwrapped them on the big day.
For my full review read here.
To try them for yourself click here.
Anyway, that’s enough for this month. I’m off to write my Ginmas List and hope that FC thinks I’ve been a good girl this year. Wish me luck!