In honour of St George's Day, and all things English, we were thinking; "What gins would famous English characters drink?" Here are our answers.
Charming his way in first, is Bond. James Bond. Even if you don’t class yourself as an avid fan of Ian Fleming's novels-turned-Hollywood movies, you’ll certainly know how Bond likes his Martini. If you’re scratching your head in confusion, then shame on you. Fleming originally had Bond drinking, gasp, Vodka Martinis! He then came to his senses and realised that a character as smooth as Bond would quite clearly drink gin. If you find yourself re-enactingthe script as you watch Casino Royale for the 11th time, chances are, you’ll know about The Vesper Martini. If you don’t, then you’re about to.
Named after Vesper Lynd, his first love, Bond's signature drink works perfectly with;
Put it all a shaker and shake it (don’t stir it), until it’s ice-cold. Strain into a chilled martini glass, then add a large thin slice of lemon-peel. “Got it?”
What ho! Who isn’t familiar with Bertie Wooster, the endearingly generous English gentleman, brought to life in a series of books by P.G Wodehouse. Bertie, and his right hand man Jeeves, were known to brighten the days of many with their stories of mischief and fun. If you’ve read the books, you may recall Bertie deciding he would name his first child ‘Green Swizzle Wooster’ (Because, why not?). The Green Swizzle is a rum based cocktail enjoyed by Bertie, swizzle straw and all. Clearly, his tastebuds were yet to come across juniper.
We forgive you, Bertie.
If Wodehouse was around to write a sequel now, we’re certain Bertie would drink a Gin Swizzle instead. Make this with the Dictador Ortodoxy Gin; with its strong juniper, angelica and mint notes, and the fact that it’s aged in used rum barrels, it fits perfectly with Bertie's pre-existing tastebuds.
In a mixing glass with ice add the gin, lime juice, sugar syrup and bitters. Use a bar spoon to ‘swizzle’ the ingredients together. Strain it into a frosted collins glass, and top with soda.
A hero to many and a villain to fewer, Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Although declared an outlaw and thief, you couldn’t help but admire the Yorkshireman for his courage and generosity. With his group of merry men and his talent in archery, he rebelled against the establishment and the church. Even though Robin predates gin, which better gin would have fuelled this rebellion, than the citrusy sweet Sir Robin of Locksley, named after Robin Hood himself?
Or, having fought in the crusades, Robin may have preferred something a little spicier such as Opihr. This is an oriental gin, with burst of citrus and an underlying soft spice. Creating a warm mouth feel, it would have been the perfect comfort for Robin and his men off of the battlefield.
Both gins are best enjoyed neat, Robin did exist in the medieval days after all. However, if you would like to throw in a garnish, try pink grapefruit for the Sir Robin and bell pepper for the Ophir.
Practically perfect in every way, it’s hard not to love Mary Poppins. P.L.Travers portrayed the English nanny as a kind yet stern lady, full of magic. And how does she make the medicine go down? With a spoon full of sugar of course. Mixing Mary’s sweet tooth with her somewhat childish nature, we know that Zymurgorium Sweet Violet Gin Liqueur and it’s trip-down-memory-lane taste of Parma Violets would be ideal for her.
Avoiding the syrupy like consistency of most liqueurs, this gin has a sweet pastel flavour with a strong violet aroma. Top it with some Prosecco (to compliment her mischievous side), and you have the perfect combination. This is the kind of drink that would make a proper lady like Mary, partake in a tea party on the ceiling with Mr.Wiggs.
That’s what Roald Dahl brought to us all in his creative literature about Willy Wonka and his chocolate factory. A world of pure imagination. Therefore it would be completely out of character for Mr.Wonka to drink his gin like any ‘normal’ person, he would enjoy it as a glorious dessert. And we’ve got just the [golden] ticket.
An affogato, but with gin. An affo-gin-to?
Using Ely Gin Dark Chocolate (technically a juniper and chocolate flavoured spirit, but we’ll let that slide), we have upgraded the famous Italian dessert known as the affogato, by adding chocolate flavoured gin. The perfect balance between gin and chocolate allows this gin to be drunk neat, no tonic necessary. Or, you can let your imagination run wild and pair this with anything you would normally mix with chocolate. In this case, with a nod and a cheers to Wonka, we’ve gone with ice cream.
If you want to view, paradise, simply…
Serve the ice-cream in a frozen martini glass, pour on a shot of Ely Dark Chocolate Gin, and then add the espresso hot. Top with as many or little of your favourite ice-cream toppings. Think chocolate chunks, almond pieces, more Ely Dark Chocolate Gin.
In the words of Bertie Wooster, do you ever feel like throwing yourself out of the window and shouting that the world is a beautiful place? You do now.
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