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12 April 2017


if there's one thing i'm really good at, it's drinking cocktails. if there's something i could use help doing, it's making them. i guess it's just my luck then that my patient new man-friend ben is a professional cocktailer. or, mixologist, i guess is the correct term. so, when amara living challenged me to whip up some fabulous cocktails for spring, i had to rope him in as the official maker, leaving me as the official taster. how unfortunate for me... the one thing i insisted on from him was that they be made from british ingredients, because although i might be be borderline alcoholic, i'm also patriotic as heck.

because i'm a massive fan of the stuff, i also declared that each cocktail  had to be gin based. and because i'm nothing if not on brand, they then all had to be pink-gin-based too because berry distilled gin is my absolute favourite. luckily, pinkster gin's range of botanicals includes raspberries - among other things. they're also distilled in the english countryside, so tick, tick, and tick. the first cocktail off the ranks this spring is going to be: strawberry and black pepper gin fizz, to quench the thirst of a big day spent getting burned in the wonderful sun.

strawberry and black pepper gin fizz

2-3 large fresh kent strawberries
freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)
bottle of fizz (or tonic water, if you're not brave)
50ml pinkster gin

>> muddle the gin, cracked pepper and strawberries in a cocktail shaker until the berries are smooth. not too smooth, though; funky, not chunky.
>> fill a short tumbler with ice, and pour the muddled mixture over the cubes.
>> fill the glass with fizz (or tonic water) and "lift" the muddled berries from the bottom of the glass with a long spoon until mixed through.
>> garnish with a fresh strawberry on the side of the glass.
>> grab it off the tray and drink that spicy strawberry sucker immediately!

another of pinkster's wonderful products is something that's fairly new to the market, and came about a bit by chance: gin jam. not wanting to waste the leftover berries from the distilling process, some clever cookie decided to preserve them instead. so yeah, it's a bit boozy, but not too much, and makes a wonderful addition to any fizz-based drink. so, naturally the next cocktail was one ben invented for me, based on what i like to drink: prosecco. or, english sparkling wine, in this case. this fizzy and fruity cocktail is fondly named: you're my jam, babe.

you're my jam, babe

35ml pinkster gin
tablespoon of gin jam
fresh english raspberries to garnish

>> shake the gin and jam with a looooot of ice (it's important, trust him) in a shaker, to chill the spirit and mix the ingredients together.
>> strain the mixture into stem flutes, and top with your favourite fizz.
>> put waaaay too many raspberries on the top to float, and piss off your perfectionist boyfriend.
>> draaaaank that tasty thing, babes. it's ready.

the last of the three spring cocktails is beer-based. hear me out! i went to a cocktail masterclass once and they used an ipa reduction to make a really, really tasty drink. ben too has been working on a ipa-based cocktail, so we compromised. the clever lads over at gipsy hill brewery have just launched a new range of ales, so when the opportunity to sample one of the newbies - in particular a fruity american pale from the east coast, came up: ben already knew what he'd do with it. without further ado, let me introduce to you the hops collins.

hops collins

50ml pinkster gin
25ml fresh lemon juice (about 6 lemons!)
25ml sugar syrup (hot water and sugar mix)
indian or american pale ale of choice
lemon and blackberries to garnish

>> shake the gin, lemon juice, and sugar syrup with loooots of ice - for about 20 seconds. yes, the time spent shaking truly makes a difference.
>> strain the mixture into ice-filled tumblers, until the ice is covered.
>> top glass with 75ml (i suggested he free pour, and was scolded) pale ale.
>> add some citrusy garnish, and devour that drink!

*many, many items gifted for this post, but all recipes are ours!

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