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Two Cool Cocktails to keep you warm!
I hate this time of year; it’s cold, dark, and more often than not, raining. Whilst a hot toddie is a great antidote to the British weather, sometimes something more sophisticated is desired. I have a small amount of Scottish heritage, one grandparent being a Mackenzie, and my father is a lover of single malt making it his life’s mission to sample as many as possible. So it was lovely to be sent a bottle of Bruichladdich (pronounced brookh-lad-dee) hailing from Islay. This isn’t one of the peaty whiskies, so it’s easier to find complementary ingredients to make cocktails.
I was sent a recipe to try, it was rather vague, to be honest, so this is my best guess at how to make it. I started with the stinging part of the cocktail by making the nettle infused sugar syrup (dried nettle leaves are available from eBay or from health food shops). I added 1 cup of water to 2 cups of sugar in a saucepan and heated gently until the sugar dissolved, I then added 3 tablespoons of the dried nettles and simmered for 15 minutes, took off the heat and allowed it to cool and seep for a couple of hours. I then strained it and ended up with this:
I decanted into a clean empty bottle, and it will keep for quite some while.
The finished cocktail was warming and had a bitter citrus note, it slipped down rather too easily! The recipe is shown below.
A warming winter cocktail with a hint of bitter citrus.
- 3 Kumquats
- 1 stick Rosemary
- 20 ml Nettle reduction
- 50 ml Bruichladdich
- 2 dashes Orange bitters
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
Peel one of the Kumquats for a garnish.
Juice all the other Kumquats and add to the shaker
Add all the other ingredients
Shake and pour into a martini glass
Decorate the glass with the rosemary stick and Kumquat peel
We were left to our own devices with the Botanist gin from the same distillery on Islay. It’s a drink we first came across at an event with Sager and Wilde
And so on another evening we were feeling the need for something fun and fizzy and came up with our version of a lava lamp: Botanist gin, 100% pomegranate juice (don’t buy the less expensive juice drink), topped up with a chilled bottle of fizz and pomegranate seeds. I used Cava in this case, but Prosecco would work too if you like a slightly sweeter drink. The pomegranate seeds bob up and down in the champagne glass like your very own alcoholic lava lamp!
Botantist Gin with Pomegranate and Champagne
- 50 ml Botanist Gin
- 100 ml Pomegranate juice I used Pom Wonderful
- 100 ml Champagne Cava or Prosecco would also work
- 20 pomegranate seeds
Pour half the gin into each glass
Pour half the pomegranate juice into each glass
Top up with the champagne and swizzle to mix
Pop in a few pomegranate seeds
I think that another version of this that would be nice, would be a gin and tonic with a splash of pomegranate. Or using more Scottish ingredients, use raspberries instead. Why not have an experiment yourself?
For more about Bruichladdich check here
And about The Botanist check here