In anticipation of having a Halloween party this year, me and my partner-in-refined, Grace, got together for an evening trying and testing out some gin based cocktails.

How gruelling I hear you cry! Not usually gin drinkers, after spending the night with Tanqueray we are most definitely gin converts. And semi-alcoholics. (We’re in the denial stage).

The word “muddle” is essentially the cocktail connoisseur’s lighter version of what a chef would do with a pestle-and-mortar. I nearly typed mestle-and-porter, now I’m in a muddle!

We had a lot of fun with a range of ingredients at our fingertips and a list of recipes. Here are a few of our favourites we had fun with. I should probably tell you all to drink responsibly…

To make simple syrup; combine 1 cup water & 1 cup caster sugar in a saucepan and heat gently on a medium heat. Stirring all the time until the sugar has dissolved. You’ll want to use this once it’s cooled. If you happen to be cooking something at the same time, keep the sugary spoon well away, as we ended up with a very sugary Bolognese that evening!

 

SOUTHSIDE

Fill a cocktail shaker (I didn’t actually have one so I used my protein shake cup!) with ice.

Add the gin, lime, lemon, simple syrup, and mint leaves- shake it like a Polaroid for 10 seconds. Strain into an ice-filled glass, garnishing with mint.

 

BLUEBERRY BASIL GIN

¼ cup blueberries

4 torn / shredded basil leaves

45ml gin

10ml lime juice

10ml simple syrup

Lime, to garnish

 

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In a shaker, muddle the blueberries, basil, simple syrup, and lime juice. Add crushed ice and gin, shake it. Strain it. Drop in as many blueberries as you like (think of those antioxidants!). Garnish with lime and more basil, if you like.

 

CHERRY GIN

In a glass, muddle together the cherries, simple syrup, and lemon until the cherries are a little bit squishy. Fill the glass with crushed ice, pour oven the gin and stir. Top up with soda water and garnish with a few more dried cherries. A good tip to remember in general is 30g of dried fruit counts as one of your 7-a-day.

 

ELDERFLOWER GIN

50ml gin

30ml elderflower cordial

100ml tonic

1 lime wedge

 

Fill a tall glass with crushed ice. Pour over the gin, cordial and tonic. Stir & serve with a wedge of lime.

POMEGRANATE GIN

Add the rosemary and a drop of gin with a tablespoon of ice into a shaker and bash it about a bit. Add both fruit juices and the gin, and shake. Pour into a glass through a strainer and top with ice and a few pomegranate seeds if you have them.

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