When Tanqueray asked me if I knew how any warm/warming cocktails for this blight of cold weather we’ve been having recently, I was pretty excited.
Usually, Gin is seen to be a Spring/Summer drink. The skies need to be blue, the clouds non-existent and ice cubes big and clinking (or crushed if I’m having a Bramble).
But people have been drinking warm gin for a number of years.
Gin is for all seasons.
Quick note though. If you’re reading this, it means that there are no pictures below. This is because, in my infinite wisdom, I made everything, wrote down the recipes, drank the cocktails and then cleared away in the morning. Keen eyed observers will notice that I didn’t say anywhere in that “took a few photos for posterity”. My bad… I guess I’ll have to make them all again at some point and take some shots. This is what I do for you people.
Gin has all the things you need to be perfect for colder temperatures as well as warmer ones. It’s full of botanicals, aromatic, flavourful, alcoholic… what more do you need? These drinks aren’t just for winter either. They can be made for an evening al fresco meal or outdoor party. When the air’s a little cooler and you need a bit of extra warmth… and alcohol. If you just need warmth, put on a coat or something?
Actually, you probably need some cocktail recipes so you don’t end up just drinking a cup full of warm gin… which isn’t the worst idea I’ve ever typed.
This is one of those cocktails which has been around for years but few have ever heard of. It’s been written about by the likes of Samuel Pepys, Charles Dickens, Shakespeare… the list goes on.
It was sold on the banks of the River Thames when it would freeze over, it was drank in the morning before labourers would head off to work. So it will probably be able to keep a light sea breeze at bay…
Because it’s been around so long, there are loads of different recipes and theories as to where it originated. That’s not my concern right now. I’m here for a drink. All I know is that it involves beer, gin, wormwood (I had to Google that to make sure I wasn’t about to poison myself. Turns out, it’s used in absinthe) and a little bit of sweetness. The rest is all speculative.
It’s incredibly easy to make, which also means it is quite easy to mess up. Hypothetically…
All you need is:
330ml of beer. Not lager. Don’t go grabbing a 4 pack of tinnies out the fridge and hoping this will work. Trust me, it won’t. I actually went with an Earl Grey IPA from the wonderfully named “Yeastie Boys”. A New Zealand based company who make some incredible beers. I’ll not go into too much detail about this just yet because I want to review it properly at some point.
35ml Tanqueray Gin
10g Caster Sugar
A small dollop of honey
A tiny pinch of dried wormwood leaves. Please don’t over do this. This stuff adds a pretty potent flavour and too much means you’ll drown everything else out
A good chunk of cinnamon. I used bark for 2 reasons; 1, I had it lying around. 2, I couldn’t be bothered to strain all of this afterwards, which I would have been forced to do if I had used powder
Rose petals. Again, because I had it and because the gentle floral notes (don’t judge me, I couldn’t think of a better word) work really well with the bitterness of the wormwood
The rind of half a lemon
Now, all you need to do is:
Combine that lot in a pan and gently warm it up. Do not boil or you’ll lose both the flavour and a lot of the alcohol, rendering this entire operation moot.
Carefully pour into a mug, stare out the window as it blows an absolute gale and sip, with smug satisfaction that you have beaten nature. Suck it, nature.
T, T & Tea
No, I haven’t fallen asleep on my keyboard… yet. Making cocktails is exhausting work, or maybe I’m a little bit drunk. Probably a little column A, a little column B.
This is a Gin and Tonic, but with a twist or not as you know it or some other pithy cliche which just means I’ve done it a little bit different.
I’ll not go into a lot of detail about this because it speaks for itself. Suffice it to say, apparently they drink warm gin and tonic in Sweden and those guys know a thing or 2 about staying warm.
For the warm Tonic, you will need (per serving):
150ml Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic
Half a spoonful of a lovely, flavourful tea. There’s a little shop in Edinburgh called eteaket and they have an amazing range of teas. I called in there one day, on the way to work and found a Chilli Rooibos which ended up working perfectly in this
A honey simple syrup (equal parts honey and water, heated and then cooled). As much of this as you want, or more pretentiously, “to taste”.
Then, you just:
Put all of that in a saucepan over a low heat and gently warm it until it has slightly reduced and all of the bubbles have gone.
For the Gin:
The original recipe calls for a gin infused cream to float atop the warm tonic. Truth be told, I really wasn’t in the mood for that. Instead, I went with a simple gin and lemon shake and slowly poured it to float on top. I just couldn’t be bothered with cream that day.
35ml Tanqueray Gin
10ml Simple Syrup (sugar and water, not honey)
Put it all in a cocktail shaker with ice. Give it a fairly decent shake.
Strain it into a glass, throw away the ice and pour it back in the shaker.
Take the spring off your hawthorne shaker, if it’s removable. Don’t break it for the sake of this. Throw that into the shaker and put the lid on.
This time, throttle the thing like it owes you money. I mean really have at it.
Pour your warm tonic into a mug.
Take the spring out of the shaker and fine strain it on top of your warm tonic.
Drink like a Swede. Try not to sing Abba, I’m really not a fan of Abba.