SATURDAY June 10 is World Gin Day.
With its earliest noted medicinal use in the Middle Ages, gin – a distilled spirit deriving its flavour from the Juniper berry – now finds it primary purpose as a mood adjuster in pubs and clubs across the globe.
Usually encountered in tandem with its long-term partner tonic, gin has been striking out on its own in recent years, thanks to a host of boutique gin bars popping up nationwide.
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To celebrate World Gin Day, we asked Juanita Anselmo, manager of gin specialists Frisk Small Bar in Northbridge, for some simple but flavoursome cocktail ideas our readers can try at home.
So, get yourself a shaker, strainer and a bar spoon, crank up Kokomo and get to work.
Ingredients: 30ml Campari, 30ml sweet vermouth, 30ml gin
A European twist on the Americano (Campari, sweet vermouth, and club soda), our Italian friends simply replaced the club soda with gin. Now that’s thinking we can all get behind.
Juanita recommends pouring over ice, stirring it down, and garnishing with a bit of orange peel.
“It’s great before a meal,” she said.
Sloe Gin Fizz
Ingredients: 45ml sloe gin, 30ml lemon juice, 20ml sugar syrup
Sloe gin is a red liqueur made by macerating sloe drupes (a fruit similar to a plum) into the gin.
“It ends up sweeter, but some sloe gins can be a little bit tart as well,” Juanita said.
It’s available from big bottle shops, but it’s not cheap – with a 700ml bottle of Hayman’s Sloe Gin retailing for $57.99.
The sugar syrup can be made yourself, using equal parts sugar and water to make the syrup.
This one is shaken, so you can even practise your Tom Cruise/Bryan Brown moves.
Simply shake, then strain into a chilled glass.
Juanita recommends garnishing your sloe gin fizz with some berries.
“You could try strawberries, blackberries – even some mulberries if you have any in your garden,” she said.
Ingredients: 20ml gin, 20ml Campari, 20ml Cointreau, 20ml lemon juice
Combine the ingredients into a shaker, then strain into a chilled glass.
Garnish with a slice of dehydrated grapefruit – or grapefruit peel if you don’t have any.