Following the success of “The Pink ’un” – the gin cocktail concocted by House & Home in August to celebrate 125 years of the Financial Times, and which sold at the Ritz and the Dorchester – we have come up with five new cocktails, all perfect for winter and all including a garden theme thanks to a botanical ingredient.
The drinks were mixed by bartender Michael Petit from travelling cocktail bar the Gin Garden at Clifton Nurseries in west London.
by Jane Owen, editor of House & Home
50ml Caorunn Gin
25ml sweet vermouth
Half teaspoon of freshly squeezed ginger juice (chop the ginger and squeeze it through a clean tea towel)
2 pinches of fresh, finely-chopped chilli
1 whole red chilli to garnish
● Fill a martini glass with ice to chill while you prepare the drink. Add the gin, vermouth, lime, finely sliced chilli and ginger to a stirring jug filled with ice and stir 30-40 times. Empty your martini glass of ice before double straining the drink into it. Garnish with a whole chilli. Don’t cut the chilli because it will release too much heat.
Michael’s verdict: 5/5
“It’s quite a potent cocktail. The gin and the sweet vermouth complement each other well and there’s a nice lot of heat from the ginger and chillies. It would make a great aperitif – perfect if you’re coming in from the cold.”
by Hannah Bishop, pictures, House & Home
60ml No. 3 London Dry Gin
40ml pear and cinnamon purée
20ml rosemary syrup
A little squeezed lemon
● Mix the ingredients in a shaker and shake vigorously. This will help to put air into the drink. Pour the mixture over ice and listen to the satisfying crackle.
● Then garnish with a sprig of rosemary (or a cinnamon stick) and stir to release the garnish flavour into the drink. Top up with a little tonic water.
Michael’s verdict: 4.5/5
“The flavours in this interesting drink blend extremely well and it just tastes great, the true mark of a really good cocktail.”
Vitamin Pill (to be taken daily)
by Laura Battle, deputy editor of House & Home
30ml The Botanist Gin
1 freshly squeezed orange
½ a squeezed lemon
30ml sugar syrup
2 dashes of orange bitters
Sugar to rim the glass
● Juice the orange and squeeze the lemon into a shaker with some ice. Run a slice of the orange around the rim of the glass and then upturn it into the sugar to create the sugar rim.
● Add the gin and sugar syrup to the shaker with a couple of dashes of bitters. Shake vigorously and pour into a short glass over ice. Slap the rosemary garnish to bruise the leaves and release the oils.
Michael’s verdict: 4/5
“We loved this drink; a perfect alternative to run-of-the-mill Buck’s Fizz. Bitters are a great way of adding depth of flavour to a simple cocktail.”
The Nutty Punch
by Jason Woodward, production editor of House & Home
60ml Caorunn Gin
90ml apple juice
12ml lemon balm tincture
15ml sugar syrup
Cinnamon sticks to garnish
● Put the ingredients into a shaker with ice and give it a good shake to get some air into the drink – this helps to blend the apple, gin and amaretto nicely. To lift the sweetness of this cocktail, add 12ml of lemon balm tincture. Pour into a glass over crushed ice. Add two cinnamon sticks and stir the drink with them several times to give a delicate background cinnamon taste.
Michael’s verdict: 4/5
“This drink lives up to its name with the cinnamon, apple and amaretto giving it a lovely festive nutty taste, while the double gin provides the punch. This cocktail is well balanced, though more for those with a sweeter tooth.”
Star of the East
by Serena Tarling, commissioning editor, House & Home
50ml Opihr Oriental spiced Gin
25ml cloudy apple juice
A squeeze of lemon
● Start by squeezing the lemon into a flute glass, making sure that no pips fall in. Add the gin, then the apple juice, and top up with the prosecco. Stir gently with a long spoon to make sure the ingredients have mixed well. Garnish with an orchid flower for a touch of oriental glamour.
Michael’s verdict: 3/5
“An interesting drink, we loved the inspired choice of spiced gin as the base and who doesn’t love a flower garnish?”