“Of all the skills you might acquire in life, learning how to make strong, effective cocktails is the least likely to be a waste of your time”. So begins the introduction to Richard Goodwin’s The Spirits book (still a bit of time to enter my giveaway to win one of three copies) and I could not agree more. With the festive season upon us there’s never a better time to master said skill and no one will complain if you show up at a party with a bottle of gin and a shaker under your arm – I speak from experience!
I have partnered with Sloane’s gin to bring you a festive recipe (or two) and there’s also a chance to win a bottle if you scroll down to the bottom of the post. If you are not familiar with Sloane’s gin it may be because it hails not from the UK, as the name might suggest, but the Netherlands. Named after Sir Hans Sloane, a famed botanist, Sloane’s Gin is crafted in small batches using fresh citrus fruits and individually distilling the botanicals. Whatever the process it is definitely working – Sloane’s won ‘World’s Best Gin’ at the San Francisco World Spirit Competition in 2011.
I mixed my Sloane’s with cloudy apple juice in a fit of cocktail experimentation and it was an unexpectedly lovely match – say hello to the Lady Sloane. She is simple yet sophisticated and requires few ingredients – in many ways is the secret to cocktail success. But Sloane’s was also lovely in a Vesper (gin, vodka, Lillet Blanc) – a favourite of Bond, James Bond. I am excited to try it in a White Lady too… better get a few more bottles first though.
2 measures Sloane’s gin
4 measures cloudy apple juice
2 generous dashes Angostura bitters
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp agave syrup
sprig of rosemary to garnish
chilled soda water to top up (optional)
- Add the lemon juice and agave syrup in a mixing glass or your cocktail shaker. Mix together
- Add the gin, apple juice and bitters and plenty of ice. Stir together until very cold – about 30 seconds.
- Strain into a glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a fresh rosemary sprig and top up with soda water if you prefer a longer drink.
45ml | 1.5oz Sloane’s gin
30oz | 1oz vodka
15ml | 1/2 oz Lillet Blanc (or Cocchi Americano)
small strip of lemon peel
- Place a martini glass in the freezer or fill with ice cubes to chill.
- Stir all the ingredients in an ice-filled glass for 30 seconds until very cold.
- Strain the cocktail into your chilled glass (discarding the ice first, if using).
- Twist the lemon peel over the glass and add to the drink.