I wrote about just how much I like this book back in September when it came out, nothing has changed and I think it will make an excellent present for any of the gin lovers in your life (some of the gin lovers in my life might well find they’re getting copies this year).
The reason I like it so much is the 3 ingredient rule. It’s not that all the ingredients mentioned are likely to be on a supermarket shelf - some might need a bit of effort to track down, but the way it makes you think about a drink and how to build it.
There’s also a lot of things that only require the most basic ingredients, and everything in between. On the long list of things I do not understand sits the fashionability of Parma violet flavoured gin. In my opinion it’s altogether too much, violet being the kind of flavour you need to go easy on. Much better to buy a bottle of violet liqueur that can be used with discretion.
The Aviation is a cocktail for an occasion. It seems to have first emerged around 1911, and since then a few different recipes have sprung up. The Sipsmith take on it is as good as any of them, and I particularly like the suggestion of serving it with a roll of Parma violet sweets on the side. It’s a nice touch for an extra festive feel. It’s 50mls of a good juniper led gin, 10mls of lemon juice, and 10mls of crème de violette shaken over ice and strained into a chilled cocktail glass. A maraschino cherry adds a finishing touch.
The Hot Gin Twist doesn’t call for any special ingredients, and is just the thing to have after a cold walk. I don’t think we pay enough attention to hot alcoholic drinks, this one is apparently inspired by the Hot Gin sold during the London frost fairs. It’s simply 40mls of gin, 25mls of fresh lemon juice, and 25mls of simple sugar syrup (or a heaped tablespoon of white sugar) topped up with 100-150mls of boiling water and garnished with a twist of lemon peel.
To further get into the eighteenth century spirit I might serve this with some gingerbread. The light pollution in Leicester makes star gazing more or less impossible, even if I did have a garden, which I don’t, but next time I’m in the country on a clear night I’m wrapping up warm, making this, and heading outside.