Ruby Red Gin Quencher

IMG_5391 I have been lucky enough to be asked by Waitrose Cellar and Hendrick’s gin to develop a cocktail. There were two categories – hot or cold cocktails featuring gin. Fortunately for me I was assigned the chilled cocktail. I’m not the biggest fan of hot alcohol and would struggle to create one – however, I will test the recipes submitted for the challenge, as you never know I might change my mind after the right drink! Actually I was not the biggest gin connoisseur – but then again I’d only really drunk it as gin and tonic in the occasional pub or bar, which most probably didn’t use any premium gin. And I know the premium brands such as Hendrick’s offer much more reward in terms of flavour and refinement. This challenge has indeed opened my eyes. Hendrick’s gin is a flavoursome, fresh feeling, cucumber and rose-tinged delight. So, with my complimentary bottle of fine gin, I’ve spent a highly enjoyable festive season playing around with possible flavour combinations. I had initially thought of a gin and champagne-based cocktail as suitably celebratory for the festive season, but I found the combination too confused. Was it a cocktail? Was it a flavoured fizzy wine? That idea was quickly shelved. I am always a fan of using ingredients that most people are likely to have at home, rather than unusual additions that can only be sourced online or in very specialist shops. Clementines seemed a suitable choice as I’m sure most people have a few specimens hanging around in the fruit bowl after Christmas. Pomegranate may not be particularly everyday but does have a lovely festive red colour and is quite ‘now’. As it turns out it’s a really pleasant combination to use those two fruits and works equally with or without the gin. They are both on the sweet side, particularly as I have used a dash of grenadine so this needs a little balancing with lemon juice, and it’s mighty refreshing. Ice brings it all together. In the end I think my ruby red gin cooler is quite a stunner of a cocktail – fruity, quenching, fizzy, tangy and a bit sweet. Bottoms up and a Happy New Year to all!

Ruby Red Gin Quencher IMG_5387 For each cocktail

  • 1 measure (10ml) Hendricks gin
  • 1 measure (10ml) grenadine syrup
  • 2 measures (20ml) pomegranate juice
  • Juice of 2 clementines
  • Measure of lemon juice (to taste)
  • Lemonade to top
  • handful of ice

– Fill a glass with ice

– Pour in the gin (if using), pomegranate juice and clementine juice

– Add the measure of lemon juice, stir

– Pour in the grenadine down the edge of the glass so it settles at the bottom of the drink

– Top with lemonade, and adorn as you wish. IMG_5383

Clementine and Lime Cordial

If, like us, you have piles of clementines hanging around after Christmas and you’re a bit fed up with the whole festive thing, you need to use them up fast! Here is an excellent way of using up the soft squidgy ones, using all their lovely scented sweetness. This would make a fabulous base for any number of refreshing drinks.

Clementine and Lime (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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makes one bottle

– juice and zest of 6 clementines
– juice and zest of 2 limes
– 300g caster sugar
-300ml water

– place all the ingredients in a pan, bring to the boil and then simmer for 5-10 minutes until sticky.
– strain into a sterilised bottle.
– leave to cool, then cover and keep in the fridge.

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