Waaay before it was trendy – when ice and a slice was the norm – I have always liked a gin. It’s normally a Friday treat, but Thursday if it’s one of those weeks… or if I’m up late making buttonholes for a Wedding.
Now wherever you look there is gin based excitement – I have heard things about local Hampshire company Firsty Foal who do awesome Gin tasting, there are Mummy bloggers swigging it writing amazing books, and some of my friends are becoming super creative with the stuff. All of which I fully endorse!
This has got me thinking about a wonderful day when a friend and I went to The Bombay Sapphire Gin Distillery for a tour and a cocktail. It was the loveliest of days spent exploring the botanical greenhouses, sniffing things, chatting and tasting gin of course. I took lots of photos of the plants… and without sounding too daft I loved how many botanicals there were in plant form, and of course seeing loads of gorgeous familiar flowers.
After a little too much time at home, I’ve come to the conclusion that if you’re going to make a the effort to mix a good Gin and Tonic you may as well choose a beautiful tasty garnish to go with it. These also work for non-boozy drinks like an Elderflower spritzer or Seedlip cocktail:
These are my top Floral Gin Garnishes*:
When Mint goes to flower you get then prettiest spike of petals often white or lilac in colour… but if you can’t wait until the summer or buy your mint that the shops, the leaves work just as well if not better. My favourite mint for drinks is a floppy pale green variegated Pineapple Mint which adds a super fresh pip to your glass.
I’ll never forget my first taste of Prudence Gin… I imagined that it was nectar for Florists. For any Gin, a sprinkle of dried edible rose petals or freshly washed from the garden will give it a good lift of pretty. The brighter the colours the better, but a deep pink petal is my favourite.
A plant part of the Geranium family; growing these plants on a window sill is worth it just for the flavour potential. I have a few varieties, in pots outside our back door. These lovely plants, produce the prettiest delicate flowers – my favourite ones include a variegated Rose variety, a Citrus, and another (my favourite) that has the scent of Cola.
Flowers or Sprigs, a tangy statement in a drink but it lends itself so well when there’s some Elderflower like St-Germain involved in the mix. Buy plants or stems from the shop, or better still grow it in the garden or window box to get those purple and while flowers late to mid-summer.
Sometimes known as Nasturtian, I grew these little rays of sunshine in my mini garden as a little girl, famous for being delicious in salad, these often orange flowers have a sweet peppery taste. Nice in an Orange or Grapefruit Gin!
There are so many awesome Gin companies out there, but I have found that Sipsmith and the Craft Gin Club have some much more expertly listed pairings and ideas. If you’re not short of time, spending a spot of time browsing Pinterest will give you lots more ideas for how to make your drinks beautiful. You can find some boards on my page here.
*Note if you’re putting botanicals from your garden in your drinks and food, make sure they’re not sprayed with chemicals like weed killer and do give them a good wash too.
p.s. if you enjoyed this blog feel free to shout Sarah the cost of a coffee (or gin) over at her Kofi page.