There are many national food days, weeks and months throughout the year and I find some more inspiring than others. For some unknown reason I’ve been really drawn to National Gin Day. It’s an unknown reason because until a couple of weeks ago I’d never tried gin. I simply decided that it’s something that I should like and wanted to try, and once I’ve got an idea in my head it’s very difficult to kick it back out again. The result is that the last couple of weeks have become a little gin obsessed in my household (the grown ups only obviously!).
It all started with my admission on Facebook that I’ve never tried a gin and tonic. I was given plenty of suggestions of which was best and the general consensus seemed to be Hendrick’s Gin and Fever Tree Tonic.
So off I went to the supermarket to stock up. I even shared a picture of my basket despite looking like a bit of a complete idiot taking it in the middle of the alcohol aisle at 9 o’clock in the morning.
So how did I like my first gin and tonic?
The back of the Hendrick’s bottle says “It’s not for everyone” and that includes me. It was nice, but not as nice as I was expecting, a touch on the bitter side. So the next day I was back in the supermarket at 9am again buying up some Bombay Sapphire (I’m a bit worried I might get a reputation!). It’s slightly sweeter than Hendrick’s so more suited to my taste (my favourite alcoholic drinks are Baileys and Tia Maria and Coke just to give you an idea of my sweet tooth), but it still wasn’t quite right. At this point I decided that the Fever Tree tonic was the problem. So off to Tesco’s again, and a complete impulse buy of Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic. I had no idea if it would go, but I love the flavour of elderflower and I figured that they wouldn’t put it in tonic unless they meant you to put it with gin.
It was delicious. The hint of sweetness from the elderflower perfectly complimented the gin (regardless of which one you use – I tried it with both just to make sure!).
If you fancy recreating this deliciousness at home then you’ll need
- 25ml gin (that’s one shot)
- 100ml Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic
- Plenty of ice cubes
- A slice of cucumber
Simply put it all in a glass, give it a quick stir, and… enjoy!
I like to have 1 part gin to 4 parts tonic, but I’m a bit of a lightweight so if you like your drinks to have a bit more of a kick then reduce the amount of tonic a bit.
I tried it with both lemon and lime instead of the cucumber but I found the flavour of them over-powering. The cucumber adds a subtle extra flavour which perfectly compliments the gin and elderflower.
18 Amazing Foods to Cook with Gin
Now I’ve got quite a lot of gin in the house I started thinking about what to do with it all. The obvious choice was to drink the lot. However, I remembered seeing this recipe for Gin and Tonic Cronuts by Angela at Patisserie Makes Perfect and it got me thinking about other foods that can be made with gin. After a bit of searching and asking for suggestions on social media, it turns out that there’s plenty of fabulous things to make with gin.
So I thought it would be fun to round a few up for you.
The question is which to make first, what do you think?
These Cucumber Gin and Tonic Popsicles by Port and Fin take the simple gin and tonic and turn it into a grown-up frozen treat, perfect for a summers day.
Other summer’s day recipes include these Bramble Jelly Shots by The Jelly Shot Kitchen – a place choc-a-bloc full of jelly shots and and all just as beautiful.
There’s also this recipe for Vegan Gin and Gooseberry Jelly by Family Friends Food. Clearly I’m not the only fan of the gin and elderflower combination as it features here too.
What’s jelly without ice-cream? So how about a big scoop of Gin and Tonic Ice-cream by Scoop Adventures to go with it. Dad, if you’re reading this – you’d like Scoop Adventures, it’s a blog solely devoted to ice-cream!
If you’re into baking then why not try this White chocolate, Gin and Blueberry Cheesecake by Cate in the Kitchen. Not only is it full of gin, it’s also covered in gold chocolate spoons. It was made for her sister’s 18th birthday celebrations. What better way to celebrate than cheesecake with plenty of alcohol in!
If you’re up for a baking challenge and love pretty food then why not try these Salted Grapefruit Macarons with Gin Buttercream by Baking the Goods. A little trickier to make than some of the other recipes here but there’s plenty of tips and tricks in the recipe to help you along the way.
Staying on the macaron theme, there’s also these Gin and Rose Macarons by Hannah Bakes Things which are inspired by her obsessions for rose lemonade and gin.
A trifle just isn’t complete without a decent splash of alcohol and this recipe for raspberry gin trifle by Foodie Quine replaces the traditional sherry with gin.
For a more traditional cake then why not try this Gin and Tonic Loaf Cake by Pudding Lane. When I was searching for gin cakes, plenty of suggestions came up. However it turned out that everyone was simply baking this loaf cake and sharing how lovely it is. A very popular choice.
If you prefer a round cake then there’s also this boozy bramble cake by Jen’s Food flavoured with gin, lemon and blackberries.
You could always fill a cake (or sandwich, or scone) with this Damson Plum & Gin Jam by Love and Olive Oil, inspired by damson plum infused gin. There’s even pretty printable labels for your jars so they can look as lovely as this picture (aren’t they pretty!)
You don’t just have to stick to sweet things when cooking with gin. There’s plenty of inspiration in the savoury front too. How about this Drunken Salmon Gravlax by Moving Out…Eating In, perfect if you’re cooking for a crowd as a main course or as a canapé at a party.
If you simply fancy adding a little something to your mid-week dinner then how about this gin penne pasta by Macheesmo.
Another great light meal is this tomato soup in a flash by what’s for tea tonight dear? It’s got a secret ingredient – can you guess what it might be?
I’ve never tried alcohol as a salad dressing and then I came across this Scottish Barley and Smoked Salmon Salad with a Whisky Dressing by Foodie Quine and then this cucumber salad with gin dressing by the eat more food project. I’m starting to think that alcoholic salad dressings are a thing I should be doing – tomato and baileys anyone?
There’s also gin snacks too, and if you’re after something really simple then how about these Gin Marinated Olives by Lydia’s Flexitarian Kitchen. Simply mix the ingredients and pop them in the oven. If you’re wondering what a flexitarian is (first time I’ve come across it) then take a look at their “about” page while you’re there.
Still on the snack theme, there’s also this gin popcorn by Kate Garrigan at The Gin Is In, an oracle of all things gin.
Well that’s it, my round up of 18 fabulous gin recipes. A huge thank you to everyone featured for agreeing to appear x
Do you know of any fabulous gin recipes I’ve missed? Which one would you most like to try?
Images used with the kind permission of…
Cucumber Gin and Tonic Popsicles – Port and Fin, Bramble Jelly Shots – Jelly Shot Test Kitchen, Gin and Tonic Loaf Cake – Pudding Lane, Damson Plum and Gin Jam – Love and Olive Oil, White Chocolate, Gin and Blueberry Cheesecake – Cate in the Kitchen, Gin Marinated Olives – Lydia’s Flexitarian Kitchen, Gin Popcorn – Kate Garrigan, Gin and Tonic Cronuts – Patisserie Makes Perfect, Drunken Salmon Gravlax – Photo P. Tang styled by G. Lush, Salted Grapefruit Macarons with Gin Buttercream – Baking the Goods, Gin Penne Pasta – Macheesmo, Cucumber Salad with Gin Dressing – The Eat More Food Project, Gin and Tonic Ice-cream – Scoop Adventures, Gin and Rose Macarons – Hannah Bakes Things, Raspberry Gin Trifle – Foodie Quine, Vegan Gin and Gooseberry Jelly – Family Friends Food, Boozy Bramble Cake Jen’s Food, Tomato Soup in a Hurry – What’s For Tea Tonight Dear?
All other images are my own