There’s a day for everything now – Blueberry Day, Welsh Rarebit Day, the list goes on – but if ever something needed celebrating it is gin.
World Gin Day conveniently falls on the weekend, with Saturday 10th June providing the impetus for juniper-based celebrations across the globe. Run by Emma Stokes (Gin Monkey on twitter) it is now in it’s 9th year and popularity is only increasing.
There’s GinStock, Junipalooza, a Beefeater House Party just in London; a Gin Bar-on-a-Bike in Cambridge as well as a World Gin Month in the Philippines, a Gin Festival in Hamburg and even more scattered across bars, restaurants and event spaces worldwide – Australia it turns out is particularly keen, with The Gin Queen become Global Gin Ambassador for World Gin Day in Australia this year. Going further afield the National Space Centre is even holding an all-day gin event with tastings, talks and the chance to sample some juniper-y delights this year.
But Why Gin?
No one can have missed the boom in gin’s popularity in recent years, with the number of distilleries growing month on month since the guys behind Sipsmith changed the licensing law and invigorated the category in 2009. There are now gins available from all corners of the globe with a variety of flavour profiles and styles – giving consumers a chance to try something new and different, working for every palate.
Gin is also widely regarded as lower in calories than some popular alternatives – a 25ml measure of gin (no tonic) is only 110 calories, stacking up against a pint of 4% beer at 180 calories, and a small glass of red wine at 160!
So why not try something different this year…
Pink Pepper Gin
Produced in Cognac by Audemus Spirits, Pink Pepper is a premium gin with a refreshing taste born of the pink peppercorns used as one of the botanicals, with no citrus this works with an array of tonics such as FeverTree Mediterranean for something a little different.
Ki No Bi
Made using a rice spirit base this hails from Kyoto, Japan and uses locally sourced botanicals such as yuzu, bamboo leaves and tea for an exciting, complex finish. Serve straight up over ice with a slice of grapefruit.
All the way from New Zealand with notes of spicy juniper and clove that are balanced by refreshing lemon hints.
Serve with regular tonic water and a squeezed wedge of lemon.
Rhubarb infused gin from Harrogate that uses the town’s famous mineral water to give balance and a smooth, clean taste.
Packed full of flavour this makes a great twist on a gin rickey using Slingsby Rhubarb, sparkling water and a squeeze of pink grapefruit.
Warner Edwards Elderflower
Using locally foraged elderflower (being picked at the moment) and a little sugar this is a summer-sweet gin with a long, finish that matches perfectly with prosecco on a warm day.
If you’re really on board with gin in your life then why not try your hand at one of these unusual recipes as well?
G&T Ice Cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons gin – something like Old English (a sweeter, old tom style) or savoury like Gin Mare works well
- 125ml tonic water
- 600ml cream
Stir the first four ingredients until the sugar starts to dissolve. Add the cream and whisk until it thickens (like a good milkshake). Transfer to a container and freeze. Serve with strawberries and mint.
For the cake
- 180g plain flour
- 150g caster sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 125g butter
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup milk
- 50ml gin
- Juice and zest of a lime
For the icing
- 100g butter
- 220g icing sugar
- 50ml gin
- juice and zest of a lime
Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the lime juice, zest, milk and gin. Gradually add in the beaten eggs and mix for a few minutes. Using a spatula fold in the flour, salt and baking powder. Bake at 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes – until lightly golden. For the icing whisk all the ingredients until creamy and pipe onto the cooled cupcakes. Garnish with a slice of lime.