There seem to be quite a few online subscription services out there. I recently reviewed Birchbox which deals with beauty product samples but there’s countless others from Degustabox, Foodies Larder and Flowbox (food) to PurrBox (toys for your cat – I kid not).
Little Tipples is a relatively new monthly subscription service and this one is right up my street seeing as it supplies miniature samples of spirits. That’s right – that’s Gin, Rum or Whisky right through your letterbox. Needless to say I approve of this idea wholeheartedly.
The idea is to introduce subscribers to lesser known or boutique brands of spirits. Each box comes with tasting notes which you can ‘unlock’ on the website and a tasting method to help you along. The sample pack of gin which I received contained 2x50ml bottles – one of Hunters Gin the other The London No.1 Original Blue Gin.
While I make no claims as a taster I know what I like and both samples where exceptional. I am happy to have discovered them and will happily buy full bottles having done so. Of the two, Hunters Gin with its citrusy, herby notes worked best in a Gin & Tonic but my favourite was the intriguingly hued London No.1. It packs a real punch at 47% and is delicately flavoured with bergamot and coloured with gentian. It was fantastic in the English Garden cocktail and I was very sorry when the mini bottle was empty.
The English Garden
Sometimes you look around and the ingredients you have on hand are simply perfect for a cocktail. My neighbour gave us a bottle of homemade elderflower cordial which I used here but there are several good brands available commercially. This cocktail is elegant, refreshing, sophisticated and would be just the thing to serve at a wedding reception. Me, I will happily have this at home in the garden. Now I only need to get hold of some London No.1.
1/4 cucumber, quartered and sliced into cubes
60ml | 1/4 cup | 2 fl oz London No 1 Original Blue Gin
30ml | 1/8 cup | 1 fl oz simple syrup
30ml | 1/8 cup | 1 fl oz pasteurised egg white
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp elderflower cordial
2 sprigs fresh lemon thyme
Thin strips of cucumber, sprigs of thyme to decorate (optional)
- Put the cucumber, lemon juice, thyme and cordial in your shaker and muddle with a muddler (affiliate link) or the clean end of a rolling pin. Try to get the juice out of the cucumber. Alternatively you can grate the cucumber on the large holes of a box grater and use your hands to squeeze the juice into your shaker.
- Add the gin, simple syrup and egg white and half fill the shaker with fresh ice.
- Shake vigorously until a frost forms on the shaker then strain into two chilled martini glasses (or use small elegant flutes as in the pictures).
- Decorate with strips of cucumber and a sprig of thyme.
Disclaimer: I received a sample pack of Gin from Little Tipples to review.