Be careful with your tonic –
When I was given a Sandy Leaf Farm gin-making kit, I couldn’t just follow the suggested recipe, I had to have a tinker … Okay, so I soaked the juniper berries in the vodka for three days as suggested, then added the botanicals included in the kit.
But then I raided the larder for three extra cardamom pods, a cinnamon stick and around a teaspoon of black pepper – adding them to my brew, closed the lid and hoped it might vaguely taste ‘Ophir-ish’, which is one of my favourites. Oh, and I decided in advance to call it JJJ (Juliet’s Juniper Juice).
Four days later, we tried it – not bad on its own, my additions definitely gave it the spicy kick I was hoping for; my hubby and your fellow gin blogger, in fact, likened it to Aviation Gin, which made me feel flattered enough I suggested that we start our own gin distillery in the garage. I even looked on eBay to see how much a still costs, much to my man’s horror.
Boringly, my stoical other half subtly reined me in; and is quietly hoping, I suspect, that I will forget my dream of becoming a distiller … Anyway, he bought me a G&T down to the decking on the following evening, and I could see from the colour that it was my concoction. However, to be honest, it didn’t taste that good; a bit like those horrible sickly sweets you craved as a kid, but can’t stomach as an adult. Bubblegum crossed with gentian violets and marmalade. We were at a total loss to know what on earth had gone wrong.
JJJ was destined for the downstairs cloakroom as loo cleaner, without a doubt
With some reluctance, we had another the day after – being the couple of old sops that we are, we couldn’t countenance the kami-khazi option yet – I took a huge gulp, intending to finish it asap so that I could drown the taste with the more civilized ELG Gin I knew was lurking invitingly in the fridge door.
Well, this second triple-J G&T was very passable! We stared at each other, dumbstruck; a couple of idiots with mouths wide open. Our conclusion is that the flavour of tonic chosen makes more of a difference to your G&T than you would possibly imagine, knowledge that we will both tuck away as an important lesson learned on our gin journey: our first pairing of JJJ was with Fever Tree’s Clementine tonic, our second with the mixer masters’ Indian. Time to get back on eBay? (to be continued ….)
The flavour of tonic chosen makes more of a difference to your G&T than you would possibly imagine