“In the grand and disorderly pursuit of life, perfection is ill-advised except in the case of cocktails”
Lord Penfield 1867
So proclaims the ‘unassuming little cocktail book” that was enclosed in my box of Hendricks gin, and I am inclined to agree. Waitrose sent me the bottle of Hendricks as I am involved in a little debate ‘Hot vs. Cold – how do you like your gin’?
I have to admit that I love a hot toddy but haven’t tried it with gin… yet. But I know without a smidgeon of a doubt that I adore my gin cold either in a gin & tonic or an ice-cold dirty martini or pretty much any of my own concoctions (try a Cucumber Martini or a Mixed Berry Collins).
Hendricks gin has a very distinctive taste – slightly flowery with citrus notes. The cocktail book suggests you serve a Hendricks gin & tonic with a slice of cucumber and it really does make a very refreshing drink (a new favourite in fact). I started to experiment with a gin Cosmopolitan and that led me to the creation of The Red Queen.
I recently went to see Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland at the Royal Opera House (I can’t recommend this ballet highly enough – an absolutely stunning production) and the bottle of Hendricks just reminded me of something out of Lewis Carroll. Don’t you think it should come with a little label saying ‘drink me’? Their whole aesthetic is very Alice in fact. And the Red Queen cocktail is a gorgeous ruby red which looks beautiful, capricious and just a little bit dangerous.
This is a perfect festive cocktail – just the thing to get a party started. Both St Germain and Hendricks are available through Waitrose and Ocado. The recipe was developed for Waitrose Christmas Drinks feature – go to link for more festive drink inspiration.
- 100 ml | 3 fl oz cranberry juice
- 80 ml | 2.7 fl oz 1/3 cup Hendricks gin
- 40 ml | St Germain Elderflower liqueur
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- fresh cranberries threaded on cocktail sticks to garnish
- Fill your cocktail shaker with plenty of ice and add all the ingredients (apart from the fresh cranberries). Shake until a frost forms on the shaker – about 30 seconds.
- Pour into chilled martini or coupe glasses and garnish with the fresh cranberries.