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09.06.2018

THAT’S THE SPIRIT

09.06.2018

Heather Taylor

Deputy food editor

THAT’S THE SPIRIT

Craft gin is for more than just cocktails: embrace this botanical spirit in the kitchen with these easy and elegant recipes

The gin revolution is showing no signs of abating. With independent distilleries popping up across the country, there’s a kaleidoscope of flavours to choose from, while the usual ice and slice has been replaced with ever-more-exotic garnishes and artisan mixers. Now, gin has found its way into our cooking too. From home-cured salmon to boozy berry jam, these recipes are perfectly suited to our mint and cucumber gin (available in store), with its zingy, herbaceous notes. Or try experimenting with one of our other gins, each of which has its own unique flavour. Pair with a round of gimlets (gin, ice, lime and soda) and you’ll be in the summer spirit in no time.
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“Think outside the cocktail this
World Gin Day with these
three FRESH ideas”

Gin-cured salmon on rye toast

Start making this delicious cured salmon the day before, then simply serve with crème fraîche, cucumber and dill for a sophisticated Scandi-style starter

Ingredients
Serves 4
50g fine sea salt
25g caster sugar
40ml mint and cucumber gin
A small handful of mint leaves and stalks, finely chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
2 salmon fillets
Rye bread, shaved cucumber, crème fraîche and fresh dill, to serve

Stir together the salt, sugar, gin, mint and lemon zest in a shallow dish. Add the salmon and rub the cure all over it.

Cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight. Depending on how strong you like the flavour, you can increase the curing time to 24 hours.

When you’re ready to serve, gently rinse the cure off with cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper.

Thinly slice the salmon and serve on toasted rye bread, topped with a dollop of crème fraîche, thinly shaved cucumber and a scattering of dill.

 

Summer berry and gin jam

Paired with scones and a glass of champagne, this sweet and tangy jam makes for a grown-up afternoon tea

Makes 1 medium jar

Ingredients
300g raspberries
300g strawberries, hulled, any larger fruits halved
200g caster sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
100ml mint and cucumber gin

Before you start, place a small plate in the freezer.

To make the jam, in a large pan sprinkle the berries with the sugar and lemon juice. Set aside for 30 minutes to allow the sugar to break down the fruit.

Place the pan over a low heat and warm gently until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a rolling boil for 3-4 minutes, or until it reaches a temperature of 105°C using a sugar thermometer.

To test the jam, spoon a little onto the frozen plate. If, after a few minutes, it wrinkles slightly when you push your finger through it, the jam is set. If it hasn’t set, return the pan to the heat, boil for another 2 minutes and repeat the wrinkle test.

Leave the jam to cool slightly in the pan and gently skim off any scum that rises to the surface.

Pour into sterilised jars while the jam is still hot, and serve with scones and a dollop of clotted cream.

 

Gin and tonic sorbet

Light and elegant, this palate-cleansing sorbet is the ultimate relaxed summer dinner party dessert

Ingredients
Serves 4-6
120ml mint and cucumber gin
200g caster sugar
1 tsp fennel seeds
150ml apple juice
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice and flesh of half a cucumber, blitzed with a hand blender
60ml tonic water
Cucumber and apple slices and elderflowers to garnish (optional)

Place all the ingredients, apart from the cucumber and tonic water, in a

small saucepan. Heat over a low heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring gently, then remove from the heat.

When the syrup has cooled, strain and remove the fennel seeds. Stir in the cucumber and tonic water.

Pour into a freezable container and freeze for one hour. Mix vigorously with a whisk. Return to the freezer for another two hours. Serve in chilled glasses, topped with cucumber and apple slices and a scattering of fresh elderflowers, if you like.

Deputy food editor: Heather Taylor / Photographer: Carolyn Barber / Stylist: Katie Giovanni / Art Director: Claire Coulthard

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