Friday, 26 July 2013

Pinkster Gin

Back in June, you may or may not remember that I went to the wonderful, food and drink extravaganza, that is the Taste London Festival and although I did remember to eat something, it was a very gin-centric sort of day. One of the purveyors of gin that I met there, were the relative newbies, Pinkster, who were enjoying a fantastic response to their subtly pink and delicately flavoured gin. At the time, I was unable to take a bottle home and as yet, Pinkster is not available in stores, but can be ordered online and I am now happy to say that I have a bottle of my own and it has been well and truly tested - the results of which, I am of course, going to share with you all.

When I received my bottle in the post, simply, but attractively packaged, I wasted no time in breaking the seal, popping out the cork stopper and having a good sniff. There's no denying the hint of raspberry about the gin, but it's very subtle and should not be mistaken for a liqueur and is no way, akin to a sloe gin. The aroma and flavour of raspberry is predominant, but very delicate none the less.

In order to qualify as a gin, the predominant botanical has to be juniper, but other than that , there are not too many stipulations, hence, there are literally hundreds of different brands, all with varying flavour; some big and bold, like Old Raj or City of London Distillery, some very delicate like Bloom Gin. Pinkster is definitely at the subtler end of the scale, which will appeal to most and of course, the colour is very becoming. As a cocktail gin, it works rather well as it does not overpower other flavours and of course, anything that enhances that raspberry infusion is going to be a winner. I am rather pleased with all of the cocktails I have created and Mr TG and I have very much enjoyed sampling them - so much so, that the bottle is three quarters empty. Please do give Pinksters and these cocktails a try - I think you'll enjoy....

First up is the Pinkster, Summer Punch Mar(tea)ni. This is an adaptation of the Earl Grey Mar(tea)ni recipe, a drink I featured in my Mother's Ruin post and first accredited to Audrey Saunders, owner of the famous Pegu Club in New York. As with the Earl Grey Martini, the Summer Punch Mar(tea) requires infusing the gin ahead of time, with a teaspoon of Whittards Summer Punch loose tea. This tea is the perfect blend to use with Pinkster as it uses berry fruits and juniper, both of which enhance the gin's natural flavour.

To infuse the gin, first pour 2 oz into a clean receptacle, add a spoonful of tea and allow to infuse for 1hr and definitely no more than 2 or the flavour will become bitter and woody. Strain the gin into a cocktail shaker and you're ready to begin.

Pinkster Gin infusing with Whittard Summer Punch loose tea

 Pinkster Summer Punch Mar(tea)ni


2 oz Pinkster Gin infused with Whittard Summer Punch loose tea
1 oz lemon juice
1 oz simple syrup
1 egg white
1 raspberry to garnish

Add all of the ingredients to a shaker and dry shake (without ice), ensuring the lid is firmly on - dry shaking with egg white can cause a build up of gas in the shaker which can pop the lid off if you're not careful.

When the mixture is very frothy (about 20 secs) remove the lid, add ice and shake hard again until the outside of the shaker is properly frosted.
Strain the mixture into a martini glass or a small teacup if you prefer.
Garnish with a raspberry.

Next up is the Colonel's Summer Cooler, a refreshing drink, perfect for those hot, muggy nights in the Colonies...

Colonel's Summer Cooler

1 1/2 oz Pinkster Gin
1 oz freshly squeezed pink grapefruit
1/4 oz lemon
3 basil leaves
1/4 oz simple syrup
Dash of soda
Sprig of basil to garnish

Add all of the ingredients, except the soda, to a shaker with ice and shake hard
Strain into a tumbler or highball filled with ice and top with a little soda
Slap the sprig of basil gently between your palms to release the oils and garnish the drink

This next cocktail has some herbal ingredients but nothing that overwhelms the drink. The initial scent of rosemary is wonderful on the nose and adds to the gin's botanicals and the addition of a little Giffards Creme de Framboises, plays up Pinkster's natural raspberry flavour.

Pinkster Garden Party

1/2 oz lemon juice
Sprig of rosemary to garnish

Add all of the ingredients, except the garnish, to a shaker with ice and shake until the outside of the shaker is frosted.
Strain into a chilled martini glass
Slap the rosemary gently, between the palms of your hands to release the aroma and garnish the drink

This next cocktail is a great alternative to Pimms on a hot day as it is fruity and refreshing and simple to put together.

Lady Pinkster's Summer Cup

1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
Dash of soda to top up
3 raspberries on a cocktail stick to garnish

Add everything apart from the soda and garnish to a tall glass, half filled with ice cubes and stir to mix and cool down the alcohol.
Add more ice and top up with a little soda.
Stir again and garnish

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