Happy World Gin Day!
I know. It really should be World Gin Day every day.
Sounds like Portugal and Spain were pretty special. Breakfast beer snacks? I think you’re onto something. But I think they should stick to their beer and maybe wine. Gin & Tonics in Spain? Maybe it’s better than some of the overpriced, rather simple versions you are subject to in SE Asia?
Winter is upon us, but we live in constant fear of those pesky (possibly) disease carrying mossies. Luckily there haven’t been any reported cases of malaria in some time, but I put that down to herd immunity. My efforts alone should be enough to protect vast swathes of the community. It’s my little bit for the greater good.
There has been a surge in the interest in gin here. So much so I would put some of the local gins up against most any others. My personal favourite is from Yarra Valley, Four Pillars (www.fourpillarsgin.com.au), though the newer Melbourne Gin Company (www.melbournegincompany.com) from right here is also more than acceptable. While the “standard” fare have beautifully balanced botanicals, the Four Pillars Barrel Aged has a little vanilla toastiness that makes it perfectly fine to sip over some ice…no tonic needed.
I was lucky enough to be treated to some very special gin from Scotland the other day courtesy of Alex & Amanda. Sipped over some ice, the Caorunn packed a juniper punch that almost gave you “cat’s bum” perse. Smooth as a well-worn…sporran! The NB was a little rougher around the edges. Good, but not as good.
So much for the gin. Let’s get to the tonic. No, I don’t mean overpriced, genuine imitation quinine and sugar filled soda water. I mean the real McCoy! Tonic syrups have been a revelation for me over the last 12 months. They all have their own quirks, it’s worth having a few in the fridge ready to go.
Made with actual quinine, a bunch of botanicals and unrefined sugars, these things pack a healthy bitter punch. Want more bite, merely add a dash more. Oh, having a Soda Stream or the like is ideal. Then there isn’t even a need to buy soda water for the spritz.
What I find strange is that many of these are made in the US. Not somewhere I normally associate with G&T’s.
My favourite syrup at the moment is C & B’s. My preference is a 1:4:1 mix with soda water and gin.
Only Bitters in Melbourne (www.onlybitters.com) carries a pretty good range.
It’s a cool day today and I’ve picked up some awful lurgy on public transport, so I am forced to be a philistine and not have a gin. I feel bad not being able to celebrate gin on this auspicious day.
Need to keep moving. Slow braised beef is nearly ready to put a pastry top on it and throw it back in the oven. Might even light a fire tonight…to keep the mossies away of course.