From the classic beer-battered fish & chips to the decadent rum cake, we humans have had consistent success tapping into true decadence by incorporating our favorite boozy drinks into our meals and desserts. After the stresses of life have had their toll on the body and mind during the day, the sweet or savory indulgence of a spirited meal is a wonderful way to relax and unwind, especially when your table is set for friends and family. Though few think to incorporate gin into their favorite foods due to its bold flavor and botanicals, several skilled culinary minds have smashed the book of expectations and created some truly delectable foods that meld familiarity and adventure for a treat that will make your mouth water.
Liverpool Gin Fish and Chips
by Aiden Byrne
A truly unique take on the beloved fish & chips, this recipe uses common flavors and spices found in gin to craft a memorable and contemporary take on a classic meal. Simple to make by yourself or with a partner, this dinner offers a delicious and fun opportunity to explore a flavor palate that will compliment your favorite gin cocktail and open your mind to the possibilities of spirit-based cooking.
500 grams of trimmed cod cheeks
200 grams of plain flour
150ml Lamb and Watt tonic water
50ml of Liverpool Gin
Pinch of salt
17 grams of fresh yeast (or 7 grams of dried yeast)
15 grams of coriander seeds
5 grams of juniper berries
Peel of 1 lemon (dried out)
Vegetable oil for deep frying
1 kg Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cut into chips (approx. 2 × 2 × 6cm)
Groundnut oil for deep frying
Place the coriander seeds into a small pan and toast in the oven for 10 minutes on 160oc, pound with a pestle and mortar with the dried lemon zest and the juniper berries and crush to a powder. Dissolve the fresh yeast with the salt and the tonic water. Whisk in the flour, the crushed botanicals and leave in a covered bowl in a warm area (ideally above an oven to ferment). The batter will begin to bubble and exude the aromas from the botanicals and yeast. Place the cut chips into a bowl under running water for five minutes to wash the starch off. Place 2kg cold water in a large saucepan and add the potatoes. Place the pan over a medium heat and simmer until the chips are almost falling apart (approximately 20 to 30 minutes). Carefully remove the cooked chips and place them on a cooling rack to dry out. Place in the freezer for at least one hour to remove more moisture. Heat a deep-fat fryer or a deep pan no more than half filled with oil (to a depth of around 10 centimetres) to 130ºc. Fry the chips in small batches until a light crust forms (approximately five minutes), remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper. Put the potatoes on a cooling rack and place in the freezer for at least one more hour. Heat the vegetable oil to 170oc. Coat the cheeks in the batter and deep fry until golden brown and crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Remove the G&T battered cod with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Meanwhile heat the oil in the deep-fat fryer or deep pan to 180ºC and fry the chips until golden (approximately seven minutes). Drain and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve with crushed peas and tartar sauce.
J.J. Whitley Elderflower Gin, Green Apple and Coriander Jelly with Cinnamon Panna Cotta
by Aiden Byrne
Satisfy your sweet tooth with this delicious gin and gelatin based dessert. Light and fruity, the green apple and coriander jelly offers delightful spice to be smoothed out by the creamy cinnamon essence of the panna cotta. The perfect way to end a meal, this decadent treat won’t leave you feeling overstuffed or ill; rather, you’ll be having sweet dreams for the rest of the evening, with apple notes wafting on the breeze.
Green Apple, Elderflower Gin and Coriander Jelly
300ml freshly squeezed granny smith apple juice
75ml J.J. Whitley Elderflower Gin
125ml elderflower cordial
50g coriander (keep a few leaves aside for garnish)
4 leaves gelatin
Blend the apple juice with the coriander until the apple juice takes on a nice green color, pass through a fine sieve. Soak the gelatin leaves in cold water until they soften. Warm the gin in a pan and dissolve the gelatin leaves into it, then add the cordial to cool it down. Add this to the apple juice and mix. Pour the apple mix into your glasses and leave in the fridge to set.
Cinnamon Panna Cott
750g double cream
3 leaves gelatin
1/2 g ground cinnamon
Soak the gelatin leaves in cold water until they soften. Mix the caster sugar and the cinnamon. Put the cream, sugar and milk into a pan and bring to the boil. Take off heat and dissolve gelatin into it. Pass into a bowl and cool over ice so mix is still runny but room temperature. Pour carefully over the jelly in your glasses and set in the fridge.
OPTIONAL: Cinnamon Microwave Sponge (you will need an espuma cream whipper)
200g whole egg
20g caster sugar
16g plain flour
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
Blend all the ingredients together and fill a cream whipper canister. Screw on the lid and gas with two nitrogen charges. Using disposable coffee or tea cups, puncture a few little holes in the bottom of five cups. One at a time, half fill with the sponge mix and microwave for 40 seconds each up. Cool, then cut the base off each cup and unpeel the cardboard from around the side of your sponge. They are very delicate so take care not to crush. The dessert can be garnished in any way you choose. I have used an oat crumble, elderberries, diced apple, a macaroon and some of the jelly from the base that I set in a tray and diced up.
Crème Brûlée with Spiced Peach Compote and Whitley Neill Rhubarb and Ginger Gin
by The Gin Baker
As if the standard crème Brûlée could get any better, The Gin Baker takes it to the next level with the addition of Whitley Neill’s Rhubarb and Ginger gin, truly opening up the potential of this decadent custard. The spiced peach compote atop the caramelized sugar offers a symphony of textural complexity to the senses, with the soft, spicy peach pieces oozing with flavor atop the delicately crisp layer of sugar. Make a set of these custard delicacies for your next dinner party, and your company will sing your praises for months to come!
250 ml Double Cream
75 ml full-fat Milk
1 Vanilla Pod, scraped
4 Egg yolks
3 tbsp Caster Sugar, plus extra for the topping
3 Peaches, halved, pitted and chopped into 1/2-inch slices
200 g Dark Brown Sugar
75 ml Whitley Neill Rhubarb and Ginger Gin
2 tbsp Ground Ginger
Pinch of ground Cloves
Heat the oven to 140C / 120C fan. Add the cream, milk, vanilla pod seeds and split vanilla pod to a pan and set over a medium heat. Bring to the boil before reducing the heat and simmering gently for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, beat the sugar and egg yolks together in a heatproof bowl until pale and fluffy. Bring the cream mixture back to boiling point. Pour the cream mixture over the egg mixture, whisking continuously until thickened. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a large jug, getting rid of the vanilla pod. Pour the mixture into six ramekins to about two-thirds full. Place the ramekins into a large roasting tray and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up their outside. Place the roasting tray into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the custards are just set but still a bit wobbly in the middle. Whilst the crème brûlées are in the oven, make the spiced peach compote by adding the peaches, sugar and gin to a heavy-based saucepan and setting over a high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the ground ginger and ground cloves. Leave the peach compote to cool completely. Once the crème brûlées have baked, remove from the oven and remove the ramekins from the water. Set aside to cool to room temperature. When ready to serve, sprinkle one level teaspoon evenly over the surface of each crème brûlée then caramelize using a chef’s blow torch. Once the sugar has caramelized and hardened, top with a generous spoonful of the peach compote before serving.
Marylebone Gin Profiteroles
by The Craft Gin Club
Zesty and floral, the profiteroles made with Marylebone Gin by The Craft Gin Club are a citrus-forward delight, touting striking flavors of orange, grapefruit, and pink peppercorn. With sweet gin cream stuffed inside a dainty pastry shell, these delicatessens speak to the European in anyone who eats them, conjuring images of the Mediterranean coast and French Riviera, yet reminding us of home and the healing comfort of cream puffs from the local bakery.
225ml Cold Water
115g Unsalted Butter, cubed and at room temperature
130g Plain Flour
2-3 large eggs, beaten
Pinch of salt
1tbsp Caster Sugar
Gin and Citrus Cream Filling
150ml Whole Milk
80ml Double Cream
60g Caster Sugar, plus 1 extra tablespoon
3 large Egg Yolks
30g Unsalted Butter, cubed and chilled
1/2tsp Red Grapefruit Zest
1/2tsp Orange Zest
1tbsp Fentimans Pink Grapefruit Tonic
3tbsp Marylebone Gin
4tsp Red Grapefruit Juice
4tsp Fentimans Pink Grapefruit Tonic
3tsp Marylebone Gin
150g Icing Sugar Pink Peppercorns, to decorate
To start, make the gin and citrus cream filling by adding the milk, cream and sugar to a heavy-based saucepan and simmering over a medium heat. Stir occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Do not allow the dairy to burn on the bottom of the pan. While the milk mixture is heating, add the egg yolks to a bowl with the tablespoon of caster sugar and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Add sifted cornflour and whisk thoroughly. When the milk mixture has reached a simmer, remove the pan from the heat and slowly whisk into the yolks, a little at a time. Once all the milk mixture has been added to the yolks, return the mixture to the pan. Set over a medium heat and add the citrus zests. Continue heating and whisking the cream until it begins to thicken and is just starting to bubble. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cold butter until it has completely melted and mixed in. Stir in the gin and grapefruit tonic water, mixing thoroughly to combine. Press the whole mixture through a fine sieve and then scrape the cream into a bowl. Using cling film, cover the top of the bowl, making sure the wrap is fully in contact with the surface of the cream so that a skin doesn’t form. Refrigerate the cream mixture for about 3 hours. To make the choux pastry shells, preheat the oven to 200C / 180C fan. Place the water, butter and sugar in a saucepan and set over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the butter has melted and the water is starting to boil, and the flour and salt in one go. Remove the saucepan from the heat and beat vigorously until the flour absorbs all the water and the dough begins to come away from the sides. Transfer the dough to a bowl and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes. Once the dough has cooled, slowly add the beaten eggs, a little at a time. Mix well with a hand-held mixer or whisk ensuring the egg is well combined. Continue adding the beaten eggs slowly and combining until the dough has a glossy sheen and has a pipeable consistency. Prepare a baking tray with parchment paper and mist the surfaces with a little water. Pipe small balls of dough about the diameter of a £2 coin and about an inch high. The dough should hold its shape. With a damp finger, flatten the apex. Place the pastry shells into the center of the preheated oven and bake for between 25-30 minutes, or until the shells puff up and are golden brown on top. Once baked, remove from the oven and prick the bottom of each shell. Turn off the oven before putting the shells back in upside down for a further 5 minutes. This will help the pastry shells crisp up on the inside. If you are not going to fill your profiteroles straight away. When you are ready to fill your profiteroles, make your citrus glaze by adding all the ingredients to a bowl. Using a whisk, combine the ingredients until you a smooth, glossy glaze and then set aside. Fill a piping bag with the gin and grapefruit tonic cream filling and using a small nozzle, pipe the cream into the pastry shells until the cream is oozing out of the shells. Dip each profiterole into the glaze before arranging on a plate. Continue this until all the pastry shells are filled and glazed. Using a pestle and mortar, crush the pink peppercorns before sprinkling over the glazed profiteroles. Keep in the fridge until you are ready to serve. These Gin and Grapefruit Tonic Profiteroles are best enjoyed on the day that they are made, but they will keep in the fridge for up to one day. You can make the pastry shells and the cream filling a day in advance, but these pastries should be kept in an airtight container and the cream filling should be covered in cling film. If you find the pastry shells are slightly soggy after being in the fridge, you can place them in a 200C / 180C fan over for a further 5 minutes to crisp up before filling.
Whitley Neill Rhubarb and Ginger Gin Sausages
by Stirks Butchers
The next time you roast or grill sausages, swap out your tired go-to brand with a package of Whitley Neill Rhubarb and Ginger sausages by The Stirks Butchers. The rhubarb, juniper, and ginger work complimentary wonders on the pork meat, adding lightness to the savory and fatty flavors that already tantalize the taste buds. Simmer these sausages in your next pot of tomato sauce to top your pasta for a truly unique meal rich in flavor, smiles, and good times.