Gin Lane

Four gallons of best gin? Thats around 16 litres or 21 75cl bottles. Best gin will set you back from £25 to £40 a bottle (at least) so you’re looking at £840 worth of gin to make this recipe from the 1920’s. Phew! But don’t worry chaps, it is possible to satisfy your flavoured gin cravings on a budget!

Last year (the equivalent of) 1.12 BILLION G&T’s were consumed in Britain alone, and it’s worldwide popularity continues to rise. Small distilleries, craft gins and a wider choice of tonic waters have made “mother’s ruin” into the foodies drink of choice.

Part of the beauty of gin is the variety, even with juniper as the universal base flavour –  there are endless combinations of botanicals to experiment with. Gin is also easy to make, leading to hundreds of small craft distilleries opening in recent years. I love a gin with a good heady scent of angellica, such as Burleigh’s* 

*I am not paid to endorse Burleigh’s gin, though if they wanted to send a bottle or two my way I’m sure I might to moved to tell you just how good it really is…..please?

Flavoured Gin Liqueurs

Soft fruits work the best. As a general rule use 150g of sugar and 300g of fruit for each half litre of gin. Mix it all togther and leave for two weeks, stirring once a day for the first week. Strain through a seive or jelly bag into a bottle. I don’t know how long it will keep because we drink it up fairly fast! Please, please use a good tonic water such as Fever Tree or Fentimans, don’t spoil your efforts by filling up the glass with supermarket slimline tonic! Supermarket gin is fine for these recipes though.

Watch out for the upcoming recipe for Strawberry and Cucumber gin. Other successful flavours have been raspberry, aniseed and chocolate, yes chocolate! Made by steeping cocoa nibs in the gin, a little bottle of this would make your chocoholic friends very happy!

The phrase “Dutch Courage” is belived to have derived from the practice of soldiers during the Eighty Years War (1568-1648) drinking Genevre (the precursor of gin) to calm their nerves before battle.