Whether you’re a regular Gin drinker or have the odd G&T every other weekend, what makes Gin so diverse is its ability to be enjoyed with just about anything. Traditionally, Gin was used for medicinal purposes in the cases of scurvy and as an aid in preventing sea sickness in the early 13th Century. Of course, Gin has evolved dramatically over the years and so have its uses and flavour profile. Today, there are more classic cocktails that contain Gin than any other spirit in the world. While you may be familiar with drinking the zesty spirit, what you may not know is that Gin can be used as an amazing ingredient in desserts and savoury dishes such as jams, tarts and even as a curing agent. So if you haven’t yet had the chance to cook with it, we have listed some of our favourite dishes that use and infuse the spirit for you to try at home.
This one is a personal favourite and can be eaten on its own or, as we like to enjoy it, alongside a Gin and tonic itself on hot afternoon. This recipe doesn’t require you to have an ice-cream machine, just a strong arm and some patience (promise, it will be worth it). This ice cream isn’t overly sweet where the rich, spicy flavours carefully compliment the delicate floral tones that emerge in the Gin. So here we go:Ingredients: Serves 4-6
Begin by placing the milk, cream, Gin and vanilla into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once boiled, remove it from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes. Once cooled, use a blender or electric beater to puree the mixture to a smooth consistency. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and castor sugar until they form a pale mixture. Then, use a ladle to add the gin mixture to the eggs and castor sugar slowly making sure not to beat. Once the two mixtures have been combined place in a saucepan and gently cook ensuring not to boil as it will curdle. Once it can coat the back of a spoon, remove it from the heat and strain using a sieve. Then add the cinnamon, ginger, zest and orange juice. Mix well over a bowl of iced water using a whisk until cooled completely. Cover with a lid or cling wrap and place in the freezer. Every hour return to the fridge to beat with an electric beater until it becomes smooth and thick. Enjoy with crushed ginger biscuits, fresh orange zest and of course a large Gin and Tonic.
So this one may be on the more extravagant side but we have a feeling we’ll be able to entice you to try it. There’s nothing plain about this dish but it sure is simple to make. The salmon is cured, which means the ingredients actually cook the fish slightly over time and that is why we advise that it’s made the day before. Best served with crispy sweet potato and harissa fries and herby yoghurt dip. So let’s go:Ingredients: Serves 4
Begin by placing the sugar, salt, lime zest and gin in a bowl and mix well to combine. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the peppercorns and spices and then add to the sugar and salt mixture. Get a large dish and place half the rub on the bottom of the dish to coat. Place the fish on top of the rub skin side down and score the fish using a sharp knife making small cuts, cover with remaining rub making sure to massage the ingredients into the fish well. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge over night. Once the fish has been marinating for at least 12 hours, remove from the dish and set aside. Run the fish under cold water and pat dry. Using a sharp knife, run the knife along the side with the skin to remove, ensuring not to slice any flesh off. Using a vegetable peeler, cut the cucumber into ribbons ensuing not to include any of the seeds. Slice the spring onions in half and then half again, then length wise. Place the cucumber and spring onions in the remaining juices from the salmon rub and leave to marinade for a couple of minutes. Using a serving plate, place the cucumber ribbons and spring onion on the bottom and gently place the salmon on top. Alternatively, finely cut the salmon into equal fillets before arranging. Drizzle the fish with olive oil and sprinkle with black pepper, sea salt, mint and coriander. You can also finely slice a lemon or lime to decorate.
Yum is all we can say. What a fun way to feature Gin in a dessert. This one won’t actually get you drunk but you’ll definitely feel like you’re enjoying a traditional G&T when you take a bite. This one is on the trickier side as it requires the preparation of pastry but if that’s not your scene, you can always buy already prepared pastry tart cases. Here we go:Ingredients: Serves 8For the Pastry:
Start with the pastry, in the bowl that attaches to your food processor, combine the flour an icing sugar and blend. Then, add the zest and butter cubes and further beat until the mixture becomes what looks like fine bread crumbs. Separate the egg and add the yolk and tonic water and further beat until it all comes together. Remove from bowl and cover in plastic wrap, place in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes. While the pastry is chilling, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease your tart tins, we recommend 10cm loose bottom mini tins. Retrieve the pastry from the fridge and roll out using a rolling pin. Roll out to around 5mm and cut equally sized circles that are 2cm larger than the tins. Place the pastry circles in each tin and cut away the excess pastry from the sides. Place in the fridge for around 20 minutes. Once removed, blind bake in the oven using parchment paper and any pastry weights. You can also use dried rice, beans or lentils for this step. Once golden brown in appearance, set aside and allow to cool. Moving onto the filling, beat together the eggs, castor sugar, lemon zest and juice. Once well incorporated, add the cream and Gin and further beat. Carefully spoon the mixture into the cooled tart cases and bake for around 10 minutes, or until the filling has set. Cool. While the tarts are in the oven, make the syrup. Using a saucepan, gently mix the castor sugar, tonic water and lemon juice over a low heat and stir until completely dissolved. Then add the Gin, juniper berries and zest and bring to a slight boil. Reduce for around 10 minutes until it starts to thicken slightly. Once the tarts have completely cooled, drizzle with syrup, grate some lemon zest on top and sprinkle with icing sugar.This recipe has been adapted from Delicious Everyday.