GIN’S THE WORD: INTRODUCING HOUSE OF COMMONS GIN

The resurrection of gin in the last few years has excited all beverage lovers and experts from home connoisseurs to professional mixologists, and the introduction of Sipsmiths House of Commons Gin is giving us a chance to try something truly historic.

Sipsmith has stepped into its distillery to create a bespoke House of Commons gin, bombarded with deep juniper notes, floral tones, sandalwood and sweet clementine scents. The taste includes elderflower, lychee and walnut with a hint of black pepper spice and soft pine finish.

For centuries gin has been enjoyed by kings, queens and the general public alike. In 1689, King William of Orange dropped the taxes on spirit production for the health of the nation’s finances. This act gave the green lights to British distilleries in the production of gin.

Almost two centuries later, Britain saw the birth of the Gin and Tonic. ‘As the British Crown took over the governance of India, British immigrants began to struggle with the ravages of malaria. A local cure came from the bark of the chinchona or ‘fever’ tree, which contained the notoriously bitter quinine. To make it more palatable, sugar, lime, ice and gin were added – and the G&T was born.’ – Sipsmith.

In 1953, Ian Fleming, creator of the world-renowned James Bond novels, crafted his very own, Vesper Cocktail which is a variation on the martini cocktail. With an air of sophistication about it, this purely British cocktail has been enjoyed for generations in London’s top hotel bars and formed the quintessentially British gin cocktail which has aired a sense of sophistication for years to come.

Forty-years later, gin became ‘cool’ again! – Now a renowned nightclub cocktail, mixologists all over the world began to create numerous variations of the spirit, often drowned in tonic or fruit juice to create simple yet elegant tipples for all to enjoy.

Post 1990’s gin began its reputation of being the tipple of choice for the slightly older British community. However, its re-resurrection in 2015 brought gin back to life. With various cocktails embracing the historic spirit, gin is now seen as upmarket and trendy, the perfect pastiche on a much-loved beverage.

As the winter blows in, this year we can look forward to hot toddies with the surprise use of gin instead of conventional whiskey. Here’s a few warming recipes…

Mulled Apple with V.J.O.Pmulled-apple

You will need:

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Peel of 1 large orange
  • Peel of 1 large lemon
  • Small knob of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 litre carton apple juice
  • 2 tsp runny honey
  • 50ml Sipsmith VJOP per person
  • 1 orange wedge per person

Directions:

  • Add the cinnamon stick, orange and lemon peel, and a sprinkle of the grated ginger to a large saucepan.
  • Pour in the apple juice and place the pan over a low heat, simmering for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.
  • Stir in the honey
  • Strain the mixture into a jug
  • Pour into glasses filled with 50ml of gin
  • Garnish with orange wedges

 

Hot Gin Skinhot-gin

You will need:

  • 1 spoonful of honey
  • 50ml Sipsmith London Dry gin
  • 3 dried cloves
  • ½ measure of lemon juice
  • 1 lemon slices
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Directions:

  • Warm a glass
  • Add a spoonful of honey, as well as your gin, cloves, and juice
  • Top with boiling water and stir until the honey has dissolved
  • Garnish with lemon slice and cinnamon stick

 

Purl Royalpurl-royal

You will need:

  • 150ml London Dry Gin
  • 1l of Madeira red wine
  • 100ml cloudy apple juice
  • 100ml satsuma juice
  • 90g demerara sugar
  • 5g of hops
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 dessert spoon of honey
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Orange wedges

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients (bar the cinnamon stick and wedges) in a large pan and bring to a simmer
  • Keep on the heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for a few minutes – you want it to be a drinkable temperature
  • Strain it into glasses
  • Garnish with orange wedges and cinnamon stick, if desired