Newsletter – Wednesday 24th June
Happy Wednesday Team
How are we doing this week? Hope you’re all keeping well out there! This week we’re doing something slightly different. We will still have some drinks for you to try, but today it is Upcycle Day, so we thought it would be a great opportunity to share some brilliant ideas of what to do with those used bottles of yours. And, this is also a great opportunity to talk about sustainability in the distilling industry.
Sustainability is a buzz word in the distilling industry right now. As we become more environmentally conscious, being sustainable has not only become something desirable to a distillery for its efficiency, it’s also become a great selling point as more and more customers become more aware and look for sustainable processes in their products.
I recently investigated sustainability for an article in Gin Magazine and it was quite amazing to see the creative solutions that were being implemented into distilling processes. Once improvements are recognised and made to reduce the carbon footprint as much as possible, the remaining can be offset by contributions to factories that remove carbon dioxide from the air by a process called direct air capture, making certain distilleries carbon neutral and even carbon negative, meaning that with their continuing production, their impact on the environment is that carbon is removed from the air. Not everyone can afford to do this and for those smaller craft distilleries getting onto their feet, there are lots of little things that can be done, from eco friendly packaging, to sending gin in recyclable pouches as opposed to bottles.
But we do like a bottle. It’s the collectors trophy, something to keep once the spirit has gone. There are some wonderful ‘shelfies’ about, showcasing a collector’s pride and joy. There are some enormous collections out there. Not all of us want a collection of empty bottles, and there are some that are just too beautiful for a bottle bank. I find they work well as bookends to fill gaps in bookcases and I don’t even need to do anything crafty for that. However, people go mad for a bit of upcycling. So, if you’ve got a creative streak, or know someone who has, here are some great little ideas for upcycling your bottles into something fantastic.
Let’s start with the simple, keep it easy. Here are 10 great ideas for upcycling gin bottles.
And for something a little more involved. Here’s an article that doesn’t just include gin, but wine and beer bottles as well.
Cor, that all looks like thirsty work. And I’ve not even shared a cocktail yet, how rude of me! Well, rest easy, I don’t like to let people dry out. And, it’s also Praline Day today, so let’s get fixed up with a few delicious praline based cocktail, centred around the delicious confectionery. Yes, praline is a confectionary. Confession, I didn’t know this until I did some research. So, thought perhaps we could start with a recipe for making praline. It could be an excellent side to your cocktail.
Delicious! And now we’ve got a good handle on what praline is, how about we get onto some praline cocktails. Now, I’m normally very careful to share gin and rum cocktails as that’s what we like, right? However, gin and rum seem to sit back and let other liqueurs do the work with praline. I’ve shared some recipes I find interesting, I would also be really curious as to what would happen if we replaced some of these spirits with rum.
Tequila and praline? Are you mad? Absolutely not, this drink is a real game changer.
What an extraordinary cocktail. And I’m sure it will taste incredible.
And what rum would you try with these? There’s one in particular that really stands out to me.
Queen Cleo Spiced Rum: Queen Cleo Spiced Rum begins it’s journey as a smooth dark rum, run in from the Caribbean. It is then fearlessly spiced in the UK using a bold mix of botanicals; a luscious blend of caramel, pecan, vanilla, hidden spices and refreshing lime. Buy it here
And there we have it! Lots for you to do this week. Hope you enjoy it and see you next Wednesday!
Newsletter – Wednesday 6th June 2020
Happy Wednesday Team!
Strap yourselves in. This week is something special. Because on Saturday, we all get to celebrate WORLD GIN DAY! Woooooo!!!
World Gin Day was set up some 6 years ago by a top notch lady called Emma, otherwise known as the Gin Monkey. You can find her on this handle on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as well as her blog at http://www.ginmonkey.co.uk/. She is one of the leading gin bloggers and she knows her juniper! Do give her a follow, a tweet, a like, and strap yourselves in for a fantastic celebration of everything that is gin.
As with everything right now, World Gin Day is going virtual with it’s celebrations. But fear not! There is a wealth of stuff to do, from distillery tours to tastings to gin runs. There are some great distilleries involved. It’s all about getting together and enjoying the lovely stuff. My advice? Check out https://worldginday.com/whats-on/ for a full list of what’s on through the day and what great things you can get involved in. An extra bit of advice, check it soon and get in any supplies you might need for a marvellous day of gin and gin-based cocktails. All I ask is if you’re making gin-based cocktails, or you’re celebrating gins then you share those pictures with the hashtag #WorldGinDay. Likewise you can search that hashtag to see what everyone else has been doing to celebrate.
Are you thinking of making a few cocktails for the weekend? My cocktail shaker is a damn good friend of mine and we’ve had many a good night together. A cocktail shaker is very important. Though, if you don’t have one, you can make do with stirring. Martinis can be stirred, not shaken, you know? There are differences in preference, but at the end of the day, it’s your drink, you make it how you like it.
So with that, I wanted to give you some recipes from the two king of gin cocktails to try and as always, some gin recommendations from our shop to get your drinks a’clinklin..
The Martini. So, I share a lot of martini recipes and the thing is, it’s such a versatile drink. Gin and vermouth right? But gosh, it is not that simple. You can shake it or stir it. Some people will stir/shake the vermouth with ice then drain it and shake the gin with the ice. Some people will use a small amount of vermouth and mix it in. And then we have the astounding variety of gins and vermouths to use so your palette so to speak is just massive. Try and match flavours. Think about what works and what doesn’t and the fun part, try it out! Here’s something to get you started:
The Negroni. Gollygosh a Negroni is a special piece of work. The villain to Bonds Martini, a Negroni is fierce, intense and bitter. There are bouts around the world as to whether the Martini or Negroni is King of the cocktail. Maybe you could try your hand at both and have your own tournament. Here’s a great selection of recipes just for you:
So as we always do, here are some recommendations for some great gins that are going to make some really good gin cocktails with a little bit of edge. Also, this week they are taken from our World Gin category, to celebrate World Gin Day.
Sloanes Dry Gin: Named after the 18th century botanist Sir Hans Sloane, who is said to have discovered many of the plants used to flavour gins today. Botanicals include iris root, coriander, angelica root, cardamom pods, liquorice root and whole vanilla beans. Buy it here
Scapegrace Gin: Now, this is a particular favourite of mine in the gin world. Scapegrace Gin comes to us all the way from New Zealand, featuring a selection of 12 botanicals, jjuniper, coriander, nutmeg, cardamom, lemon peel, orange peel, orris, cinnamon, cassia, angelila and liquorice. Lovely stuff. Buy it here
Glendalough Rose Gin: Wild Rose from the Wicklow mountains. Large, fragrant Heritage Roses and the ancient prized Damask Rose make up the rose gin. All of which come together to make this a naturally pink and very floral gin. Why did I go for this? It’s niche, it’s particular, there are a lot of cocktails it won’t work in. But if you have a love for floral flavours and fancy making some floral cocktails then this could be the one for you. It’s always worth thinking about how those spirits are going to work with everything else in there. Buy it here
So, once again, there we are! I am so super excited for World Gin Day. I can’t hype it enough! It’s a great event and Emma has gone to great lengths to ensure that despite the lockdown we can all celebrate in style so get yourselves involved and have a fabulous time!