LOOKING TO HEAT THINGS UP? CHECK OUT THESE HOTTIES
When you use ice to chill gin, the ice melts slightly, diluting the alcohol content and allowing the flavours of the spirit to be expressed without the ‘burn’ of alcohol. Interestingly, if you heat gin, you’ll begin to boil off the alcohol, leaving a more intensely botanic mixture. It’s a delicate art; heat too much and those amazing flavours will boil away, trapped in ethanol gas bubbles. Heat too little, and you’ll have flashbacks to college parties.
HERE ARE THREE WAYS TO HEAT UP YOUR COCKTAILS WITH THE MOST RELIABLE SUCCESS RATE
Cocktails have always had connections with medicines and remedies. The Navy drank Gimlets to ward off scurvy and Pink Gin to settle their stomachs, while bitters like Campari were designed to help with digestion. The Hot Toddy is another medicinal mix, traditionally made with dark spirits to aid the suffering of a sore throat. This warming cocktail can also be made with gin. A Ludlow Toddy is an incredibly botanical drink made by mixing 2 parts gin, 1 part lemon juice, a teaspoon of granulated sugar and 2 parts hot water in a heat-resistant glass (a pub wine glass is a good option). Stir to dissolve the sugar and garnish with a lemon twist balanced on the rim of the glass.
For a longer, silkier drink, try adding 3 parts hot apple juice, instead of water and sugar. Warm a premium apple juice, such as Colcombe House Apple Juice, in a saucepan and stir with gin and lemon juice. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Project X Affogato
I’m not sure whether this really counts as a cocktail. But it is such a tasty treat, that I think it only right you learn how to make it with a boozy twist. An Affogato is a gorgeous ‘fire-n-ice’ pudding, consisting of a scoop of ice-cream affogato (Italian for ‘drowned’) in coffee. The Project X Affogato involves warming up 2 parts of Wardington’s Project X coffee liqueur and pouring it over a scoop of premium ice cream. Shepherds of Hay-on-Wye make a delicious range of sheep milk ice creams which are perfect for this X-rated dessert. Garnish with whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder before you add the hot Project X and consume straightaway, while everything is still hot… and cold.
Mulled wine is a drink normally consigned to the decked halls of December festivities. And let’s be honest, it never quite has the kick needed to warrant listening to the same set of carols on repeat. Once you’ve been handed your glass of mulled wine, take a couple of mouthfuls and sneak off to the cocktail cabinet to make something really special. Add 1 part gin and 1 part Campari or Asterley Bros Dispense Amaro. Stir and seek out a slice of blood orange to garnish. Feel free to enjoy a Mulled Negroni year-round. It’s a great way to enjoy the dying embers of a summer barbeque, or the perfect body warmer after a dip in the British sea.