What a tart!

What a lovely lemon tart this is!

Are you looking for a simple recipe for a gorgeous G&T tart, drizzled with G&T syrup? If so, this might be the one for you. This little beauty is bursting with citrusy goodness and calls for a double-dose of gin for that extra kick. This easy dessert packs a real gin punch. In fact, most of the ingredients for this easy gin lemon tart recipe are probably in your fridge already, so no need to get anything exotic.

You can use any basic London Dry gin for this recipe, but you might also want to raise the game a little. Lemon flavoured gins such as Malfy Lemon or Lone Wolf Cloudy Lemon gin (from the folks at Brewdog) can be a nice alternative if you want to boost the lemoniness.

Cooking with gin is a whole new world for gin fans and a great way to impress your friends with your creative talents.

One for the chef…

And remember, for every measure of gin that ends up going into the tart, there should always be an extra one for the chef. Drizzle that G&T syrup over the sweet, tangy tart for the perfect ending.

So, let’s get this party started.

Ingredients:

Pastry:
  • 200g of plain, sifted flour
  • 1/4 cup sifted icing sugar
  • 75g of chilled, unsalted butter (chopped into a cube)
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup of cold tonic water
Tart filling:
  • 2 eggs
  • 150 mls of cream
  • 80g caster sugar
  • zest of one lemon
  • juice of 2-3 lemons to 100 ml
  • 30 ml of gin
G&T syrup:
  • 75g of caster sugar
  • 125 ml tonic water
  • zest of one lemon
  • 30ml gin (again!)
  • 3 juniper berries, lightly bruised

Method:

Pastry:
  • Add flour and icing sugar to the bowl of a food processor and combine
  • Add lemon zest and butter and pulse until mixture combines
  • Remove from food processor and wrap in plastic wrap
  • Place in fridge for 30 minutes
  • Preheat oven to 180c and lightly grease 8×10 cm loose bottom mini tart tins
  • Roll out pastry until 5 mm thick and cut circles that are 2 cm wider than the tart tin
  • Line each tin and trim excess pastry
  • Chill for 15 minutes before lining with baking paper and filling with pastry weights
  • Bake for 10 minutes before removing weights
  • Bake for 5 minutes more or until golden brown
  • Set aside
Tart filling:
  • For the filling, which together the eggs, caster sugar, lemon zest and juice
  • Add the cream and gin and whisk until combined
  • Divide the filling between the tarts
  • Bake for 7-10 minutes
  • Set aside to cool
G&T syrup:
  • While the tarts are baking, prepare the syrup
  • Place caster sugar, tonic water and lemon juice in a saucepan over a low heat
  • Stir to dissolve the sugar
  • Add the gin and juniper berries and zest
  • Bring to boil
  • Reduce to simmer until slightly thickened
  • Serve the tarts with a dollop of cream and a drizzle of syrup

Written by Steve (with a little help from Ruddles, the gin dog!)

Don’t forget to follow us on our facebook community page to join in the gin discussion.


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Tarquin’s Dry (England): a Cornish gin, handmade by Tarquin

As far as we know, Tarquin’s Cornish Dry Gin (paid link) was the first gin to be distilled in Cornwall for over 100 years. And we think it’s a real beauty. Tarquin himself builds his light, floral Cornish gin around the typical characteristics of a London Dry gin.  But he has added 12 carefully chosen botanicals to make this a delicious and unusual gin that really stands out from the crowd.

All of this love, effort and attention to detail makes it a very easy to drink gin – so you’d better watch out!

He bases his botanicals on Kosovan juniper and includes Devon violets, citrus zest and Bulgarian coriander to mellow the taste. And then for good measure, he throws in some orange, lemon and grapefruit zest to add a little citrus zing.  He rounds this all off with angelica root, almonds, orris root, licorice root and cinnamon.

The result – a really smooth and interesting drink.

Handcrafted on the wild Cornish coast

This fabulous gin is truly unique. He crafts each batch by hand, high up on the wild Cornish coast in a little distillery nestled on top of a windswept cliff and he passionately believes in the human touch.  He even picks the violets from his own garden. Tarquin then blends each batch of spirit with Cornish spring water (of course!) before bottling it at 42% in his own unique and beautiful bottles . Tarquin only makes this gin in small batches of 300 and he has built his reputation by doing things the old fashioned way.  It’s now a thriving, family run business with a proud tradition and the results clearly pay off.

Meet the ladies…

Plus, he likes nothing more than getting to know his customers. So, if you ever find yourself down Cornwall way, you might want to pay his little hilltop distillery a visit. He’ll offer you a distillery tour, before introducing you to his four beautiful ladies:Tamara, Senara, Ferrara and Tressa. These are the names he’s given his four copper stills. The tours include a Tarquin’s G&T, a talk on the history of Tarquin’s, a Botanical masterclass, a guided tour and a complimentary tasting of his 4 core gins.

Tarquin’s Gin School

So, if you’re in the beautiful Cornish town of Padstow, why not pop in to Tarquin’s Gin School and Shop? It’s only a 10 minute drive from the distillery itself and you can browse and buy the full range of Tarquin’s products. You can even enjoy a Gin Masterclass and even make your own gin.

We think this is a delightful, well balanced gin, presented in a beautiful bottle, built on a pure vision of what craft gin is all about. It’s well worth a try.

What’s not to like!

Perfect serve:  Tarquin serves his delicious gin in a beautiful blue bottle topped with a gorgeous wax seal. We suggest that you pour a large shot of Tarquin’s into a large copa glass. Pair it with a Fever Tree Mediterranean tonic, loads of ice and a slice or wedge of fresh grapefruit. Ooo,err! 


Written by Steve (with a little help from Ruddles, the gin dog!)

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What exactly is a Pink Gin?

Some people think that Pink Gin is just a gimmicky brand name or just a normal gin that’s been infused with something pink.  But, you couldn’t be more wrong.  Pink gin is a thing of its own and it has been for centuries.

So, how did it get its name?

Originally, it was drunk on board Royal Navy ships, where the sailors knew it as “Pinkers”. In those days alcohol was a vital medical supply, used to clean wounds and combat infection. As such, it became a mainstay in any ship’s galley. In the old days, gin was a much stronger affair, so the sailors tended to mix it with equal quantities of water to make it drinkable.

The days when we drank gin for “medicinal purposes “ are now long behind us but for old times sake, here’s a traditional pink gin recipe to try.  But remember, it’s not for the easily intimidated. These days, with such a huge selection of gins to choose from, all with different flavour profiles and characteristics, you might want to make your own pink gin at home. It couldn’t be any simpler and apparently it’s a good cure for seasickness. It seems we have a lot more to thank the Royal Navy for than we possibly imagined!

Pink Gin


Written by Steve (with a little help from Ruddles, the gin dog!)

Don’t forget to follow us on our facebook community page to join in the gin discussion.


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What shall we do with the drunken sailor?

Yo Ho, Ho! (and a bottle of gin)

Did you know that Royal Navy officers received a daily ration of gin until as recently as 1970? In fact, the Royal Navy’s worldwide reach is partly responsible for gin becoming a global drink.  As early as the 18th century, gin became associated with beneficial medical properties, offering cures for a variety of illnesses.  At that time, it became mandatory for Royal Navy vessels to set sail with specific quantities of medicinal gin on board.

Gin commissioning kits

In fact, from the 18th century onwards, all newly commissioned Royal Navy ships received something called a “Gin Commissioning Kit”. This was basically a wooden box. But, open the lid and inside, you would find two bottles of “Navy Strength” gin and accompanying glasses.  This gin tradition lasted for more than 200 years and only ended around 50 years ago.

The invention of the Gimlet

Gin was also used to ward off diseases such as scurvy, which was generally caused by a lack of vitamin C on long sea voyages. To counter this disease, the Royal Navy prescribed lemons as a cure.  After a few years they moved to limes, sourced from the Caribbean. This eventually led to the creation of one of the classic gin cocktails, the Gimlet.

So, thank you Sir Thomas Desmond Gimlette, Royal Navy surgeon, for creating a medicinal drink. Gin to “fortify” and Roses Lime Cordial to “immunise” – a combination that has stood the test of time. 

5 late summer gins to keep you cool

There’s nothing like a long, cool, refreshing gin on a hot summer’s day. There’s something about hearing the ice cubes plop into the glass. Watching the little bubbles of refreshment fizzing up inside. The smell, the garnishes – and that first taste! Bang!

So, here are 5 gins that we think are the ultimate way to cool down on a hot day. And these gins are perfect for that Indian summer that we’ve been hearing about. The gin’s are here, so let’s hope the good weather follows!

Choose one, put your feet up, add ice and your favourite mixer and drink. As always, serve chilled!

Chase pink grapefruit and pomelo gin (England); citrus zest – and so easy to drink!

This has fast become one of my favourite summer gins. Refreshing and well balanced, it combines the citrus tang of pink grapefruit and the fruity zest of pomelo to create a perfectly refreshing summer drink. Not too sweet, not too citrusy, it’s just a very easy drink to drink. Made in a copper pot still by our friends at Chase (near Hereford) this will brighten up your summer. Whether you like a cheeky pre-lunch aperitif or a long evening watching the sun go down in the garden, this is the gin you want by your side.

Perfect serve: Wipe a little of the grapefruit wedge around the rim of a large glass. Fill it to the top with large ice cubes and a premium Indian tonic. Then garnish it with a large, juicy wedge of pink grapefruit. Aaaah!

www.chasedistillery.co.uk

Puerto des Indias, strawberry gin (Spain): the taste of summer

This beautiful, fruity gin is from the south of Spain and (unlike Tanqueray Sevilla), so it’s not simply inspired by the hot sultry south – it’s actually made there. This exotic gin pays homage to Spain’s great trading past and is built on a solid citrus base. Once you’re through the carefully sourced strawberries, your palate will start to pick up even more citrus flavours like lime, lemon and orange – and even a little grapefruit.  So, all in all, this is a great summer gin, perfect to take on holiday.

Perfect serve: pour  50ml of Puerto des Indias strawberry gin into a long glass and top it up with 100ml of Mediterranean tonic water (or 150ml if you like a longer drink). Garnish with a strawberry wedge or a simple slice of lime for the ultimate poolside G&T.

www.ginpuertodesindias.com


JJ Whitley elderflower gin (England): a summer classic

JJ Whitley does it again. The Whitley family have been making gin in Cheshire since 1762 but this one has definitely been inspired by the British countryside. It could be the perfect gin for a gentle summer evening, this is the gin you want to be drinking poolside as the sun goes down. Built around the classic citrus taste of English elderflower, JJ Whitley have added a little twist of cinnamon for good measure. This quintessentially English gin retains its floral roots with a little sweetness and warmth that will tickle your taste buds all through the day and on into the night. With soft scents of juniper, coriander and cinnamon to round it off, this gin combines a fresh, floral bouquet with a velvety sweetness that you will find irresistible.


Perfect serve: Fill a copa glass with large ice cubes. Pour in 50 ml of Gin Mare, top it up with Fever Tree light or Mediterranean tonic, garnish a slice of lemon and sip slowly!

www.jj-whitley.com

Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla gin (England): where Spanish passion meets English elegance

Right now, orange flavored gins are everywhere. But Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla nailed it first. It is the orange gin that paved the way for the others but it’s still one of the very best out there. This beautiful summer gin with its classic Tanqueray London Dry botanicals blends effortlessly with the fresh citrus boost of Seville oranges. The result – a perfectly balanced, smooth orange gin that will instantly transport you to the hot orange groves of Southern Spain. But the best thing about Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla? It does it all without any of the unpleasant after tastes and synthetic sweetness in some other orange infused gins.

Perfect serve: Pour generously into a large copa glass. Fill to the top with large ice cubes. and add Fever Tree Mediterranean tonic water. Rub the rim of the glass with an orange wedge and drop into the glass. Pretend you’re in Spain.

www.tanqueray.com

Gin Mare (Spain): a true taste of the Mediterranean 

If you’re looking for the authentic taste of the Mediterranean, then you” love this award winning Spanish gin. Distilled in a 13th century chapel not far from Barcelona this has quickly become a Spanish classic. Made in the sunshine of Catalunya, Gin Mare has become a “go to” brand with summer written all over it.  An unusually savoury taste reflects its Spanish heritage. The gin features local Mediterranean ingredients such as olives, rosemary, thyme and basil. It’s also balanced by citrus and cardamom notes. Plus, its distinctive bottle looks great on your gin-shelf, any time of year.

Perfect serve: fill a copa glass with large ice cubes. Pour in 50 ml of Gin Mare. Top it up with Fever Tree Mediterranean gin and garnish with fresh orange or lemon slices. Or if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, a sprig of burned Rosemary. Then, simply sit back and enjoy!

www.ginmare.com

Negroni cocktail recipe – the Holy Grail

All good drinks should have a story attached and this classic Negroni cocktail is no exception.  Some time, way back in the 1920s,  Italian Count Camillo Negroni walked into a bar called Cafe Casoni in Florence looking for a drink that required freshness, acidity and a touch of bitterness.  He asked the bartender for an Americano (equal parts Martini Rosso and Campari, topped with soda water).  But he didn’t think it was quite doing the trick.  So, he took out the soda and put in a shot of gin. The rest is history.

In fact, the Negroni cocktail is the bartenders Holy Grail. Get it right and it’s a sublime drink. Get it wrong and it can taste a little bitter. But one thing is certain, it is a true cocktail classic – up there with the Old Fashioned (for Bourbon fans). That’s why it is so important for you to get the Negroni cocktail recipe right.

No more than 20 Negronis per day!

The Negroni  first became popular in the 1920s and has been an iconic, classic cocktail ever since. In fact, Frances Harper of London wrote a letter to the ailing Count in 1920 which was delivered to his hospital bed. It offered some valuable advice: “You say you can drink, smoke and laugh just as much as ever. I feel you are not too much to be pitied. You must take no more than 20 Negronis in one day!”

This classic Negroni cocktail is the perfect drink for before (and after) dinner, but (like the Count) you can drink it any time. Welcome to the king of drinks. Here is our version of the classic, simple  Negroni cocktail recipe that the Count inadvertently created back in the 1920s.

Negroni Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients:

Equal parts of gin, Campari and Italian red vermouth

Mix in an ice filled mixing glass

Method:

Stir gently and pour into an Old Fashioned glass or tumbler

Garnish with chunky orange wedge and drink.

Junipero (USA) – extra strength gin from San Francisco

Junipero (USA)

This month, we feature Junipero – an extra strength gin from San Francisco whose name says it all. Junipero weighs in at a hefty 49.3% alcohol (98.6 proof). Hand crafted and pot-stilled, this gin brand has been around since the 1990s and can rightly be called the forerunner of the current gin revolution in the USA.  Anchor Distillery on San Francisco’s Potrero Hill make this powerful classic. And with more than a dozen botanicals, this is a very juniper forward gin. 

Junipero (Spanish for Juniper) is a complex, crisp, clean gin with a subtle spiciness. It is a gin that will warm you from the inside. Look for notes of citrus and violets alongside the juniper and coriander. While the other exact botanicals remain a closely guarded secret, the result is a triumph.  Not for the faint-hearted, this over proofed powerhouse of a gin is a real belter. It tastes great in a classic G&T or a Negroni and also pairs well with Sicilian lemonade. This gin may not be for everyone, but if you like a strong gin with a big heart, this might be the one for you.

Perfect serve: Pour a large measure of gin into a copa glass and fill to the top with large ice cubes. Top up the glass with a premium tonic water such as Fevertree tonic water (or if you want to spice things up a little, serve with Schweppes premium pink pepper tonic). Garnish with grapefruit, ginger or lavender, according to taste. Then, sit back and enjoy!

www.junipero.com