Make the most of the most of your nights wrapped up warm this winter with this selection of gins with appropriately wintery botanicals!
Christmas has concluded. But winter is still very much here, folks. The shorter, darker days. The seemingly endless cold. The dreaded heating bills.
But winter has its upsides, too. It’s the time of year for thick, cosy clothes, roaring fires and who-cares-if-it’s-healthy comfort food. It’s also the perfect excuse to indulge yourself with a few seasonal spirits. Some of the finest gins around are packed with ingredients that appear as the cold sets in, or warming botanicals that are ideal for those frosty evenings.
That’s why we’ve created this gin-tastic round-up of tipples that will keep you feeling jolly in the post-Christmas winter months.
Now this here story I’m about to unfold is something you should all be listenin’ to. And listenin’ well. There’s a reward, you see. A reward of Drinks by the Dram Christmas Cracker sets, full of award-winning spirits and liqueurs, ready to be claimed by those with a keen eye for spotting the roughest, toughest cracker-pullers in the festive west…
Think you can identify the ace-highs from the crowbait? Throughout the first weeks of December we’ll be reliving the savage Cracker-Pullin’ Tournament of 1871. We’re giving away 10x sets of Drinks by the Dram Christmas Crackers per round, up to and including the grand Final, to folk who correctly guess the winner in each showdown!
This week on #MasterofCocktails we’re making a lesser known cocktail – the ‘Modern Cocktail No. 2’, taken from the superb reference tome that is The Savoy Cocktail Book.
Now – it’s worth remembering that Mr Harry Craddock, the author of this book, would have had access to very different ingredients to the ones we have today. For that reason, I’ve (hopefully lovingly) changed a few of the quantities and in one case omitted an ingredient. I’ll explain as we go.
“Hip hip hooray – new product day!
All the world was heard to say,
Because they knew with certainty,
Mulled wine was ‘fixed’, eternally…”
Ah mulled wine. The most Christmassy of drinks. Head and shoulders even above Eggnog. There’s really nothing like it to warm the cockles, instil a sense of bonhomie, and usher in the festive season properly.
Back in 2012 Professor Cornelius Ampleforth released his own unique version of the classic that is Sloe Gin, and he saw that it was good. Very good. So good, in fact, that everybody bought some… and then they bought some more for good measure. Then there wasn’t any left…. until now!
Introducing: Professor Cornelius Ampleforth’s Sloe Gin 2013! *cue rapturous, hearty applause*
One of the problems the Professor faced last year was securing sufficient quantities of high quality Sloe Berries in order to keep up with demand. (After all, almost half a pound of Sloes are used in the production of each and every bottle!) Excitingly though, he now seems to have a handle on it now.
I’m going to relay to you two phrases that I’ve uttered over the last few weeks which have genuinely made me chuckle maniacally to myself for about 5 minutes.
The first is unrelated to this post, but I think very pleasing anyway – “Look – all I need is for someone to find me a consignment of Fresh Sloes – how bloody difficult can that be” (incidentally, if anyone knows where I can get hold of a consignment of Fresh Sloes, there’s a bottle of something nice in it for you).