snacks

Gin snacks: 5 amazing recipes to spice up your gin and tonic

There’s only one thing better than sipping on a freshly made G&T, built with care and garnished with love and that’s having the right snack available as you sip on our favourite drink. So, we thought we’d suggest some simple, nutty accompaniments which will make your G&T go down a treat. From sweet almond nibbles to a simple chickpea Bombay mix that you can make at home, these are the treats that will make your cocktails shine.  We love the spicy chili lime peanuts and the sweet spicy rosemary nuts the most.  But everyone’s different, so it’s up to you.

Because these are so moreish, we suggest that you make up a batch of these in advance and store them in a jar with a lid.  That way, you’ll always have something handy for happy hour (or any other time!)

Here are our 5 favourite snack mix recipes to help your G&T go down – you decide which one’s the best.

1. Honey sesame almonds: keep everyone sweet

Sometimes you want sweet. Sometimes you want savoury. Sometimes, it just depends on what kind of mood you’re in or what you’re drinking at the time. But if you like the best of both worlds, then here’s a perfect little 15 minute honey sesame almond recipe that blends honey and almonds together for a sweet, salty, spicy nut mix.  This delicious blend of sweet and savoury is just perfect for nibbling alongside your favourite cocktail. Plus, it’s full of healthy, natural goodness and it’s really easy to make. You can whip a portion up in no time and dispense them as you please.  These little beauties are simply delicious and they’ll work with a range of gins and cocktails. They’ll also pair well with gin liqueurs.

Best with: Hayman’s Old Tom

We think the sweet, nutty flavours here would complement a similarly sweet gin such as Haymans Old Tom gin with its notes of nutmeg, cinammon, cassia bark and licorice. Haymans led the Old Tom revival and we think these softer flavours will work really well with these honey sesame almonds.

2. Curried cashew nuts: heat things up with a taste of the East

As you’re sipping your perfect G&T, allow your imagination to transport you in the direction of the exotic far east. You’re sitting on a white verandah, sipping on a freshly made gin and tonic. The air is thick with humidity and the smell of rain and flowers sprinkles it’s exotic incense for us all to enjoy. Crickets chirp and parrots squawk in the background and the moon is lighting up the scene from on high.  The only thing that could improve this scene is the addition of a perfect snack to complement your gin. And here it is! Curried cashew nuts are the perfect snack. You can whip up a batch of these tasty treats in around half an hour using three simple, easy to find ingredients – curry powder, lemon juice and cashew nuts.

Best with: Bombay Sapphire

This classic colonial concoction can be found from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and from Delhi to Dubai.  Spicy nuts with a citrus cut-through make this combo especially delicious alongside a high quality standard London Dry gin such as Bombay Sapphire or Beefeater.

3. Chickpea Bombay mix: an easy 3-ingredient spice mix to tickle your tastebuds

All you need is three simple ingredients to make this delicious gluten-free Chickpea Bombay Mix. This may not be the classic Bombay Mix that contains fried chickpea flour noodles known as Sev.  Sev is hard to find and harder to make, so this recipe dispenses with it entirely, in favour of curried chickpeas.  And you’re going to have to make those first. This will take around 25 minutes. Then, you’ll need to add the chickpeas together with salted peanuts and raisins and pop them all into an oven to roast them to perfection. It takes less than 15 minutes to make this delicious, healthy snack. If you can’t live without your Sev, then you can buy pre-fried Sev from most Asian grocery stores.

Best with: Opihr

We think this might work well alongside a similarly spicy beverage. Opihr is one of those gins that divides opinion.  Some are put off by what is described as a “whiff of curry”.  But for those who think that’s a good thing rather than a bad thing, these tasty snacks, with their curried flavours, might be just the thing you’re after to keep your tastebuds in balance.

4. Sweet and spicy rosemary nuts: honey and heat to make your mouth water

These gorgeous snacks are just completely irresistible. I first fell for their charms in my favourite (now defunct) Barcelona cocktail bar, Toto.  They served these sweet and spicy rosemary nuts in a small dish, (beautifully flavoured) alongside a few thin triangles of manchego cheese.  It was love at first taste.  So, we thought we’d share a recipe that replicates that experience.  All you’ll need is a ration of mixed nuts, some honey, a little brown sugar, some cayenne pepper, a twist of sea salt and the most important ingredient of all, fresh rosemary.  The result is a totally irresistible mix of sweet, spicy, crunchy and salty.  These are so moreish that we think you ought to mix up a large batch of them to store for the holidays.  We don’t want you running out on Christmas Eve, do we!

Best with: Gin Mare

Gin Mare is a Mediterranean favourite and we love it. With its savoury olive notes and the gorgeous Mediterranean flavour of fresh rosemary, we think this is a match made in heaven. And that little twist of cayenne pepper just amps it all up a little bit.  The result is an addictively delicious mix that you can whip up in no time.  They’re addictive, so don’t say we didn’t warn you!

5. Spicy chilli lime peanuts: so addictive, you’ll keep coming back for more!

These spicy chilli lime peanuts are the snacks that have it all.  Peanuts for a little nutty protein, the spicy heat of chilli and the sharp cut through of fresh lime make this little mix an intriguing concoction.  And they’re so moreish, we think you’ll keep coming back for more.  It shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes to whisk up the basic mix.  Then simply pour the mix onto a baking tray and heat in the oven for around 30 minutes.  You’ll start to smell those wonderful flavours as the oven brings them all together.  And I wouldn’t blame you if you chose to mix a drink while you wait in anticipation for these little beauties to be served. They also work really well with an ice cold beer or even a Tom Collins

Best with: Tanqueray Rangpur

The spice and lime in this snack is a perfect match for the citrus notes of Tanqueray Rangpur.  The citrus notes of the Rangpur lime blend well with the juniper forward flavour of this London Dry gin make it one of the purest and most refreshing gins around.  So, a little bit of citrus heat is just the thing to keep you sipping your G&T.  It might also work well with Brewdog’s Lone Wolf Cactus and Lime gin or Sipsmith’s Chilli and Lime gin.  Whatever you choose, you’re going to love these nuts.


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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Franklin & Sons

Franklin & Sons: mixing it up with a good tonic water

There was a time when choosing a tonic water was really simple. Historically, there were only a few major brands on the market and most of those had been changed beyond all recognition from their original recipes. As tonic water became a mass consumption product in the hands of the big corporates, the recipes changed and more sugar was added, which radically altered their taste. Artificial flavours began to appear alongside a list of chemicals and artificial ingredients as long as your arm. 
And then along came the craft gin revolution, which changed everything and helped tonic water to rediscover its roots. A certain brand saw a gap in the market and made this their clarion call: If 75% of your drink is tonic, make it a good one. 

And they had a point.

Welcome to Franklin & Sons

Since then, there has been an explosion of new tonic water brands and a renaissance of some old ones. We are almost at the point where there’s too much variety on the market. 
So many choices and flavours everywhere we look that sometimes it’s just hard to make the right choice. But it’s an important choice – as they say, why ruin a great drink with an average mixer?
So, we thought we’d help you out a little.  Over the years, we’ve tried many of the famous mixers out there and the jury is in. We have a current favorite.  Welcome to Franklin & Sons.

135 years of experience

Never heard of them?
Well they’ve been around for 135 years and here’s their story.  There were three Franklin brothers – all confectioners by trade.  Inspired by their Dad, who returned to London from the United States in 1886 with tales of innovative carbonated drinks, they decided they’d give it a go at their little sweetshop in Rickmansworth.  And all these years later, they’re still making a premium range of tonics and mixers that will add flavour, sparkle (and a touch of class) to whatever gin you’re drinking. They source only the finest ingredients and hand pick their fruits at the perfect point to ensure maximum flavour.  

Exceptional ingredients

Wherever possible, they use local fruit, roots and herbs in support of their local farming communities. Plus, it’s the best way to make a mixer – fresh and by hand.  They pride themselves on using exceptional ingredients and they only use natural flavours, extracts and colours. And they never use sweeteners or preservatives. The result is a delicious and unique range of mixers and soft drinks that have won industry awards all over the world.  

According to Alf (their irrepressible Brand Ambassador) all Franklin and Sons drinks use only natural extracts and colours. And they never include artificial flavours or sweeteners, so you can always be sure of a clean, natural taste. It all started with a home made ginger beer. Now there is a full range with something to suit all tastes.

It’s only natural….

Franklin and Sons’ range of mixers are made from the finest ingredients using natural spring water from Staffordshire, England. The high mineral content of this water makes it the perfect base to bring out the natural flavours and botanicals in the spirits. The result is one of the cleanest, crispest and most natural tonic waters around. The Franklin and Sons range has been awarded 5 stars at The Great Taste Awards (the Oscars of the food industry). The tastings were done blind and the results speak for themselves.

The taste test

Recently, on a visit to our friends at Corpen gin, we had a tasting of the Franklin & Sons range right here in Barcelona. They are now available in 56 countries around the world.  In addition to their classic Indian Tonic water, we tried some of their other award winning drinks.  With more than 15 flavours available, we can’t review them all. But we’ve picked out a few favourites – the ones that we think will go best with a high quality gin.

Franklin & Sons: the verdict

Natural Indian tonic water

This was a delight. The light effervescence of the Staffordshire spring water is mixed with Ecuadorean Cinchona bark and British sugar. The result is a crisp, clear tonic with a subtle bitterness that is carried across the palette by natural carbonation. This is a great tasting, natural and pure tonic water. It rightly belongs in a classic G&T, preferably a classic London Dry gin such as Sipsmith. With the perfect blend of fizz and flavour, this will elevate any good gin to a higher place. Pure class in a glass!

Natural Light tonic water

This one uses the same ingredients as the regular tonic water, but it relies on only half the sugar. The result is an easy to drink mixer with a slightly more bitter edge to it. We think it works really well with floral gins such as Silent Pool or Bloom. You could also use it as a mixer for sweeter gins such as Old Tom – its natural bitterness offers a nice counterbalance.

Sicilian Lemon tonic water

Now this is where things change up a gear. This unique blend of Staffordshire spring water and gently pressed whole Sicilian lemons is a revelation. They use all the peel and flesh of the fruit ensuring that every last drop of zesty oil is captured and the flavour balance is just the right blend of sweet and sour. This works really well with a traditional London Dry gin such as No.3 London Dry and it even peps up a Sloe gin, if you’re in the mood for something a bit different.

The Flavour Collection

Franklin & Sons have recently introduced their Flavour Collection with four unique dual-flavoured mixers made to the same high standards as their normal tonic waters. Developed in collaboration with some of the world’s best mixologists, each one has been specially created to complement the best spirits in the world and are highy carbonated to lift the lid on the most delicate flavours.

Pink Grapefruit Tonic with Bergamot

Grapefruit gins seem to be having a moment right now, so this blend of natural sparkling spring water, natural bergamot and pink grapefruit which results in a high quality, citrusy mixer that suits floral gins such as JJ Whitley Elderflower gin or tea-based gins such as Drumshambo, which will help to bring the bergamot to the fore.

Rosemary Tonic with Black Olive

This is the one that stands out from the crowd. Rosemary Tonic water with Black Olive has a gorgeous, savoury, briny taste that is unmistakably unique. Its savoury notes make it the perfect match for both savoury gins such as Gin Mare and sweeter gins such as Haymans Old Tom. It has a unique flavour that brings you immediately back to the Mediterranean making you think of olive groves, al fresco dining and good times. This was unusual and stunning and we can’t recommend it highly enough!

Rhubarb Tonic Water with Hibiscus

For those who enjoy a bit of tartness, this Rhubarb Tonic Water with Hibiscus offers the perfect balance. The sharpness of the rhubarb is tempered by the subtle sweetness of the hibiscus flower. This pink-hued tonic works really well in spiced gins or ginger-flavoured gins. We think it could be a perfect match for Ophir lovers, but we’re sure you’ll find the pairing you like best.

Elderflower Tonic water with Cucumber

This one is quite unique – a subtle blend of elderflower, tonic water and cucumber which manages to be both light and naturally sweet. The result is a refreshing tonic water that brings the best out of any mixed drink. It has a hint of cucumber sweetness that cuts through the bitterness of the quinine making it the perfect match for citrus forward gins that favour lemon, lime or grapefruit notes. we think this is a perfect match for a summer citrus gin such as Malfi Limone from Italy

So, there we go – a fantastic, natural mixer range designed for gin lovers. It’s time for the tasting to begin. And when we’ve worked our way through this little lot, we can’t wait to try their ginger beer and ginger ale. But that’s another story, for another day.


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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