Forget chocolate, people, this Easter, we’re going to tell you how to make a couple of delicious gin based cocktails that will make the weekend go with a delightful sense of stylish merriment. Our recipes also give you an excuse to visit junk shops and car boot sales in search of pretty decanter style jugs for serving.
First up, the magnificent and elegant Negroni, my cocktail of choice and as easy to make as it is to drink.
There’s nothing complex about making a Negroni, for the basics, you need Campari, Martini Rosso and Gin, equal parts of each, swirled in a glass and served over ice, with a curl of orange skin (no pith please, use a potato peeler for this).
However, we have our own show-off twist on the recipe here at TWR, which involves maturing your cocktail mix for a day or two and searching junk shops or the back recesses of your drinks cupboard for a glass jar or decanter, prefereably with a lid, so you can mature your Negroni mix days before drinking.
Matured cocktails are a new ‘thing’, basically it means mixing up your ingredients a while before and sometimes steeping them with bits of oak (as in oak barrel matured whisky and the like) or adding a few spices and flavourings to enrich the final drink. I’ve had lots of fun doing this, it’s very easy and with a bit of attitude, everyone will think you are an amazing mixologist that hangs around cool cocktail joints. it’s also quite Mad Men having jugs of cocktails around the place, although I’m not sure this is a good thing, when you think of what’s happened to poor Don.
The TWR Easter Spiced Negroni
1 cup each of Martini Rosso, Campari and a good gin, I suggest Gordon’s, Sipsmith or Hayman’s
1 cinnamon stick, a star anise, two long curls of orange peel
Make up enough of the mix until you can fill a nice glass jar. Failing something chic from the junk shop, try a measuring jug covered in cling film. Leave to mature for 24hrs. Remove star anise. Leave a further 2-3 days. Remove remaining spices and the orange peel and your mix is ready. Serve over ice, with two parts Negroni mix to one part freshly squeezed blood orange. Serve with a fresh curl of orange and if you are feeling rashly decorative, a stick of cinamon.
If you want to get really fancy, I suggest you order some Cinzano Orancio (which, BTW, is delicious served neat over ice, like a Martine Rosso) and adjust to the recipe below. No one has ever heard of Orancio, but everyone will love it when they try it and once again, your credibility as a mixologist of note will go sky high.
1 cup each of Martini Rosso, Cinzano Orancio and Gin
1/2 cup of Campari.
Proceed as before with spices, maturing and serving.
Delicious, but remember once you get the hang of this cocktail mixing, feel free to adjust the taste to how you like it, with more/less of your preferred ingredient.
The TWR Easter Gimlet.
A Gimlet is a classic, on which many gin based cocktails are based. Ours improves on the recipe by maturing the mix for a day or so with fresh peel. Another nice vintage glass jar is needed. I know, I know, just get yourself to a vintage flea/car boot sale this weekend.
2 cups gin, either Sipsmith, Gordon’s or Hendricks
1 cup Rose’s Lime Cordial
2 curls of fresh lemon skin, 2 curls of fresh lime, 2 bay leaves
Mix together enough of the cocktail to fill your jar or measuring jug. Marinate for two days. To serve, measure two large measures of the mix into your cocktail shaker, which you have filled with ice. Shake like your life depends on it. Pour into chilled cocktails glasses and add fresh curl of lime skin and a small bay leaf.
Happy Easter all.