Saturday 10th June 2017 by Lynne
It’s World Gin Day today and I am officially excited about it! To mark the occasion, the lovely people at The Fitzwilliam Hotel in Belfast invited me to a special gin tasting and Cocktail making masterclass in partnership with Jawbox Gin. An invitation I couldn’t refuse!
I love gin and love experimenting with flavours so this was the perfect event for me. On arrival at the stunning Fitzwilliam Hotel, we were served a refreshing Jawbox Gin with ginger and given a warm welcome to the hotel by Sales & Marketing Director, Siobhan O’Sullivan. Jawbox’s creator, Gerry White then took to the floor to tell us more about how his gin was developed . Did you know that the Jawbox was how the kitchen sink used to be referred to, mainly because everyone gathered round the sink in the kitchen, the warmest room in the house. We still do that today!
On 22nd February 2017, Jawbox celebrated its first anniversary and what a year it has been for the brand. It has been introduced to more and more bars and its popularity is soaring! It is produced in a pot still in Kircubbin. As part of the brands 1st anniversary celebrations, the pot still was christened Maisie after Gerry’s Grandmother – what a nice touch! The brand’s popularity continues to soar and it has even reached the shelves of gin bars in Hong Kong and Canada!
After being “inspired” by Gerry, the Hotel’s head mixologist, Brian showed us how to make the perfect Belfast Bramble before inviting us up to create our own cocktails. With a tempting range of spirits, mixers and ingredients I was overwhelmed by the choices. Brian’s top advice was to try to keep it simple and to think about the balance of the ingredients. I decided on a Cointreau themed cocktail (I love that stuff) I muddled (technical term for bashing about) some cucumber and mint before adding Cointreau, Jawbox gin, Saint Germain elderflower liqueur and ice. After a good old shake, I double strained the mixture and poured it into a tall glass with a slice of cucumber and topped with some soda water. Some ice and a garnish of orange peel and a mint leaf completed my cocktail. I will admit to being fiercely proud of my creation and was more than a little surprised that it was delicious even if it was strong enough to affect my vision!
To continue the World Gin Day celebrations, the Fitzwilliam Hotel’s expert mixologists have given me some perfectly balanced gin-based cocktails to share with you to experiment with at home. These classic cocktails have not only stood the test of time, but are also easier to make at home than you might think and with the ‘ginaissance’ still in full bloom, there’s never been a better time to enjoy gin!
There’s a gin cocktail to suit everyone. Whether you want a drink that’s long or short, refreshing or sweet, gin is the perfect all round spirit. Ok you can see I’m a bit biased but I urge you to give these a try.
35ml Jawbox Gin
25ml Crème de Mûre
15ml Gomme Syrup
20ml Lime Juice
Garnish: Fresh blackberries & lime
Method: Muddle & shake over ice, single strain and serve over crushed ice in a rocks glass
Cucumber & Elderflower Collins
35ml Hendricks Gin
20mls Lemon Juice
20ml Gomme Syrup
Topped with Soda Water
Garnish: Lemon Peel & Cucumber
Method: Muddle & shake over ice, double strain and serve in a tall glass
35ml Boodles gin
15ml Crème de Violet
20ml Lemon Juice
15ml Gomme Syrup
Garnish: Maraschino Cherry & Lemon Peel
Method: Stir over cubed ice until cold, double strain and serve in a Martini glass
40ml Shortcross Gin
20ml Lemon Juice
10ml Gomme Syrup
Dash of Peychaud’s Bitters
Garnish: Edible flowers
Method: Dry shake, double strain and then shake over ice, served in a Martini glass
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