For apple day we thought we’d collect some gins, gin cocktails and gin snacks that all celebrate brilliant British apples.
Nothing to do with that company that makes pods and pads, apple day is a celebration of the national British fruit in all its varieties. Apples, like gin, are an icon of British life, celebrated in art and literature, but native varieties have been too often overlooked recently in favour of cheaper foreign grown imports.That is until the last few years have seen people rediscovering the many delicious homegrown varieties available and gaining an appreciation of the skill, knowledge and passion of British apple growers.
Many of our favourite gins, such as Hunters and Williams Chase, are actually made from cider apples, grown on the distiller’s own estate. Growing their own fruit and making their own base spirit follows a long history of British brewing and distilling but, more importantly, it brings every aspect of the gin production process under the distiller’s control, helping to ensure a superb end result.
Ever on the hunt for new innovations in booze, our cocktail creator Maya recently came across a bar serving dried apple slices soaked in bourbon. While the apple slices were delicious, there was one obvious improvement to make; swap the bourbon for gin.
Step 1. Pick your gin.
It's best to choose a gin that matches the flavour profile of the apples; fairly mellow and earthy with a sweet fruity edge. We’ve opted for Hunters Gin which has all those qualities and is made from apples to boot, something we hope will amplify the apple flavour in the dried fruit. William Chase Extra Dry is also a great choice with spicy notes of nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger; all classic partners with apple.
Step 2. Combine and wait.
Sterilise a glass container in the oven at 140C/120C Fan/Gas 1 for an hour or through the hot wash cycle in a dishwasher.
Fill the container with dried apples, you can pick them up from any health food shop, and cover to the top of the apples with gin. No specific quantities are required, just ensure that the gin covers the apples.
If you prefer a sweeter snack, stir 2 -3 tbsp of sugar into the gin until it is dissolved and then pour over the apples.
Leave, covered, for the apples to soak up the gin. The apples are ready to eat after about 3 hours, but they will continue to absorb gin for a few days afterwards, gaining a much stronger juniper flavour.
Step 3. Serve.
You can eat them straight from the jar or try warming them in a microwave for 30 seconds and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. They’re also delicious served with Greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey.
A variation on the classic gin cocktail with apple liqueur and apple juice additions to a create a sweet and floral cocktail with a long dry finish.
Shake together the following:
1 ½ parts Hunters Gin
1 ½ parts Apple Juice
½ part Apple Liqueur
½ part Dry Vermouth
Fine strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a wedge of apple on the side of the glass.
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