This time of year is all about the wrapping up warm and planning your hibernation for winter. So why not plan for some of these fabulous gin cocktails too – they will see you through the Autumn and Winter!
Funkin Cocktail mixers
My lovely friend Kate works with Funkin and managed to snaffle me some samples of their cocktail mixer range. So far this year we’ve tasted the Elderflower Collins this Summer at some festivals. However I hadn’t tried their cocktail syrups until London Cocktail Week this year.
So I was looking forward to trying out some recipes using the fuller range of cocktail mixers that Funkin had to offer:
Their bramble single serve mixer pouch makes having this cocktail really easy… just add gin and ice, that’s it! I’ve garnished with some raspberries (as that’s what I had in the fridge) and used Bombay Star as my gin. They recommend Bombay Sapphire and whilst a bramble is classically made with gin, you could really use any spirit to mix with this.
We spiced this summery drink up for Autumn by adding the spicy flavourful Opihr gin with the Collins mixer and ice. Again this is really easy to make and as the cartons serve 10 drinks ideal for that festival or party!
Sloe Gin Sour
I do like sour drinks – like a Pisco sour for example – however sometimes the sour is too much for me.. This is where the sloe gin is perfect to balance out the sourness and also add an Autumn/Winter spin to this classic. Whilst Funkin recommend using whisky or Amaretto with the sour mix, you can definitely use gin! Why not try out some different ones to see what you prefer?
The top tip for a classic sour is to shake it up. Funkin include the traditional egg white in their sour mix, which gives the foam when shaken. I got my Funkin cocktail shaker at their stand at this year’s London Cocktail Week (such a great idea to serve cocktails in these!)
Peach Ice Tea
This one is a little different – to start with it requires more than two ingredients, so it actual feels like you are making a cocktail!
Whilst Funkin recommend making this with vodka, gin works perfectly well and I selected the Oliver Conquest gin as it was inspired by Earl Grey tea and this recipe includes the Funkin Earl Grey syrup. As you can’t easily get the Oliver Conquest gin, you could substitute The Teasmith or Half Hitch instead.
To make the Peach Ice tea cocktail you need:
- 50ml of gin
- 30ml of peach puree (I used peach juice)
- 15ml of lemon juice
- 20ml of Earl Grey syrup
- top with soda
I garnished with orange peel to give a zesty freshness – this works really well as an alternative long drink and you could swap out for a different flavour juice to mix things up.
Now this is super easy – just shake up a shot of syrup to two shots of gin (change it up if you prefer something more/less sweet). Ta da! Super easy! We also used the rhubarb syrup to liven up a glass of prosecco as an alternative to the Kir Royale.
For more Funkin recipes and products check out their website here – I recommend the Jalapeno syrup to spice up a passionfruit martini and I can’t wait to try the smoky syrup for some Winter cocktails!
Nelly Tickner cocktails
Now I’ve been following Nelly Tickner tonic syrup on Instagram and was intrigued to see what their tonic was like. Luckily they sent me bottle to try out, so I could recreate some of their amazing cocktails!
Nelly Tickner is much more fragrant as a tonic syrup. It doesn’t come across as bitter quinine heavy, but instead citrus led with orange on the nose and cardamom flavour. This makes it perfect for those more robust Autumn and Winter cocktails:
For this cocktail I chose a gin with a lot of character – Bertha’s Revenge. This has a heavy cardamom flavour not for the light hearted and definitely one that stands up to the robust mixers in a negroni. With the classic Campari and some Belsazar red vermouth, the addition of Nelly Tickner adds a depth of flavour and lightens this all booze cocktail up a tad!
I always garnish my negroni’s with orange peel and this works so well with the cardamom of the Bertha’s and the citrus of the Nelly’s. One well worth a try!
I had a small handbag sized bottle of Zacapa rum I had been saving from London Cocktail Week 2014, where I did the Zacapa sensory experience. After being inspired by the Nelly instagram account this was the perfect time to use it! And oooh how it worked.. I do love the combination of orange and the caramel sweetness from the rum. The addition of the Nelly tonic turns this from being an alcoholic slap in the face to a delightful drink. (Nothing wrong with an Old Fashioned style alcohol in the face mind.. just sometimes you don’t want it!)
Why not liven up your Mediterranean gin and tonic by using the orange led Nelly tonic in it? With the herbaceous Gin Mare the citrus works really well, this was a double measure of gin (that emptied my bottle!), with a measure of Nelly and topped up to taste with soda. Garnish with orange and the Mediterranean herbs of your choice!