Don’t be fooled into thinking gin is solely for summer - lightly spiced and warming, there are plenty of gin cocktails perfect for autumn or winter.
It’s grey, it’s wet, it’s windy - it’s a very British autumn. The urge to wrap up is strong and a nice warming drink is a perfect accompaniment to blankets and hot water bottles. Especially one with a good glug of gin in it! Dark spirits, like whisky and brandy, are traditionally used as the base of winter warmers but gin’s aromatic, gentle heat works equally well.
Instead of mulled wine why not try something new with one of these seasonal warm gin creations!
The most traditional of hot gin drinks, Purl is a kind of mulled ale and gin drink, spiced and scrumptious! That said, it can be taken a step further and made even more delicious by mulling gin with wine instead of beer.
For a homemade Purl Royal, add to a pan: 150ml of gin (something sweet with a touch of earthiness, like Old English), 1l of red wine, 200ml of cloudy apple juice, 90g of demerara sugar, 5g of hops, 2 cloves, 1 dessert spoon of honey, 2 dashes of Angostura bitters and 1 star anise.
Simmer for 20 minutes, leave to cool then strain. This will make approximately 6 servings. Garnish with pieces of satsuma and a cinnamon stick.
With hot water, cloves and a dash of honey you might be thinking that this sounds a lot like a Hot Toddy. Except this is better, it has gin in it! All of the lovely warmth of the original but, thanks to the use of gin rather than whisky, it’s light and aromatic.
To make it, place a spoonful of honey in a warm glass, add a double measure of gin (we recommend Brighton Gin or Burleighs), 3 dried cloves and ½ a measure of lemon juice. Top with boiling water and stir until the honey has dissolved.
A long, rich berry drink that’s perfect for sipping as the nights grow colder, a Hedgerow Sling is bursting with autumnal flavour. Sloe gin and creme de mure combine beautifully, bringing forward images of idyllic countryside walks.
To make a Hedgerow Sling at home, pour a single measure of a good, London Dry and a single measure of a classic sloe gin into a tall, ice-filled glass. Add a measure of fresh lemon juice and ½ a measure of sugar syrup then top with soda. Drizzle creme de mure (that's blackberry liqueur if your French is rusty) around the edge of the glass then garnish with seasonal berries and a slice of lemon.
A wintry twist on summer’s quintessential drink. The cranberry and thyme complement the dry, aromatic nature of gin whilst adding a splash of warmth. A Cranberry & Thyme G&T hits the spot for a warming, yet light, drink.
Before making the drink, you’ll have to whip up a batch of the cranberry thyme syrup. Add 150g of cranberries, two pinches of dried thyme, 50g of caster sugar, 100ml of water, a splash of orange juice and ¼ tsp of vanilla extract to a small pan. Simmer on a medium heat for 5 - 7 minutes, making sure to press a spoon against the cranberries to pop them. Take the pan off the heat, allow the mixture to cool and strain the syrup, getting rid of all solids.
Now, on to the good stuff! Fill a rocks glass with ice, pour in a single measure of the cranberry thyme syrup, a double measure of a well rounded, fruity gin, Brockmans is ideal, and a single measure of BTW Tonic Syrup. Top with soda water to taste and garnish with a couple of fresh cranberries.
Originally a Swedish drink, a Hot Gin & Tonic is a labour of love that’s perfect when you’re craving the classic combo of gin and quinine but your hands are too cold to hold onto an icy glass. With a good Old Tom style gin, warm tonic and a juniper-infused cream, a Hot G&T ticks all the boxes!
Heat 80ml of tonic water (per serving) on a gentle heat until all bubbles have dissipated. We recommend completing this step first as it can take a couple of hours. One all the bubbles are gone, allow to cool to roughly the temperature of tea.
To make the juniper cream, heat 100ml of single cream per serving until it is hot but not boiling. Add one tbsp of lightly crushed juniper berries (multiply this for additional serves) to the pan. Continue to heat for a few minutes but remove from the heat before the cream boils. Leave to cool for approximately 30 minutes then strain the cream as finely as possible.
Pour the tonic into a coupe glass, then add just a little bit more than a single measure of an Old Tom (such as Jensen’s or Bathtub) into a cocktail shaker. Add a dash of sugar syrup, 100ml of cream and some ice. Shake thoroughly and pour onto the tonic. Do this slowly and from fairly close to the glass to ensure the cream floats.
There you have it! A fantastic range of gin drinks that show that gin’s for life, not just for summer!
Lucky enough to have a new Gin Festival In A Box? Try using them to make our favourite Gin Festival cocktails at home.
For National Curry Week we wanted to look at pairing curry with gin cocktails, so we visited Indian Street Food bar Bundobust, in Leeds, to see how it’s done.
6 O'Clock Gin is our Gin of the Month, so we sat down with Michael Kain, head distiller at Bramley and Gage, to chat about this superb modern gin.
If you are a bit of gin lover or interested in finding a gin that you really like then the Gin Festival would be a perfect event for you.