Pick your Poison: Gin cocktails, featuring Pickering’s Gin
When I was recently contacted by the spiffing chaps and chapettes from Pickering’s Gin Distillery in Edinburgh, asking me if I would like to test a couple of their small batch Gin’s, I thought I had died and gone to my literal Spirit(ual) heaven. Gin, my first love of the alcohol world, and Scotland, the place my heart feels most at home, combining in one wondrous opportunity. So, I replied to them immediately and said, “no thanks”.
Of course I replied, trying to play it cool, and said, “well, if you’re sure, I’d love to”, that kind of thing. And so here we are!
I received 2 miniature samples of their Gin, a bottle of Pickering’s signature Gin and a bottle of original recipe, 1947 Gin, which was plenty to make about 6 cocktails.
I set about testing them (such a tough job but someone had to do it) and thinking of interesting ways to drink them, but in ways which were also going to do the Gin justice. Sometimes less is more where Gin is concerned. It’s already had so much love, care and attention paid to it, it often only needs a decent tonic to set it off nicely, or even on some occasions, just poured over ice.
I have to honest and say I do like to have my Gin with a tonic at least, but even in their pure state, these Gin’s by Pickering’s were smooth, full of citrus notes and easy to drink.
I was sent their signature Gin, as well as a minature of their original 1947 Gin, which is made to the exact recipe found on a scrap of paper from 1947 (see story below). The 1947 Gin contains Cinnamon which gives it a more frangrant and spicy kick, which I loved. I have to say, of the two Gin’s I was sent, I loved the 1947 Gin the most. Both Gin’s were delicious, and the signature Pickering’s was a much smoother, easy to drink Gin, but there was something a bit different and unusual about the 1947 which I thought was super.
“Who are Pickering’s Gin?”
Pickering’s Gin was founded in 2013 by friends, Matt Gammell and Marcus Pickering. They found a premises in Edinburgh, the Old animal Hospital Dog Kennel’s, and set about converting it from a decaying ruin to the beautiful distillery they now call home, Summerhall.
Pickering’s gin is based on an original Bombay recipe, handwritten on a fragment of paper dated 17 July 1947. It was kept as a family secret for over 66 years and it only resurfaced in 2013 when Matt and Marcus began distilling at Summerhall. I love that it has a history to it and a real family link.
They have spent time perfecting the recipe, finely tuning its balance of 9 diferent botanicals, so they can tweak it to suit the more contemporary palate people now have. The result is a smooth, refreshing and easy drinking gin. Perfect for a summers evening G&T.
“What bontanicals are in Pickering’s Gin?”
The 9 botanicals they use are juniper, coriander, cardamom, angelica, fennel, anise, lemon, lime and cloves. They are carefully measured and added to the grain spirit in a 500 litre copper still which they have named Gert, after one of Matt’s relatives.
According to Pickering’s, the secret of the gin’s smoothness is, “Gert’s ingenious, custom-designed bain marie heating system. This provides a gentle all-over-heat to the still. Thus the botanicals enjoy a luxurious simmer that coaxes out their subtle, soft, highly drinkable flavours”. In short, the botanicals have one of the most gorgeous, luxurious, bubble baths ever, and in turn, release all their flavour so we can enjoy a really rather lovely Gin. Magic.
“Can I visit Pickering’s Distillery?”
You sure can! As if Scotland, and Edinburgh, weren’t wonderful enough places to visit already, you can now pop in and have a look at how Pickering’s is created.
Their distillery is located within the Arts Venue, Summerhall (formerly the Dick Vet School), in central Edinburgh. You can find directions by clicking this link where you can buy some for yourself as well as have a distillery tour.
They even have a bar there where you can sample their gin in all it’s glory in their, “Perfect Pour”. You can also sample other Gin’s from other Distilleries and they even, wait for it, have gin on tap, pumped directly to their bar from the distillery next door! How amazing is that folks?!
“How do I get my mitts on this delicious Gin?!”
It retails at £29.50 for 70cl.
They have a large range of different Gin’s, as well as gifts, so make sure you swing by and have a peek!
Thank you Pickering’s for sending me my 2 minature samples! I’ve loved testing and experimenting with them!
So, here are my 2 recipes using Pickering’s Gin for you to try at home. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
Pickering’s Apple and Elderflower
This is a simple and refreshing cocktail, using easily available ingredients.
Perfect as an afternoon tipple to accompany a slice of Apple Pie with cream in the garden on a summer’s day.
50ml Pickering’s Signature Gin
100ml Apple Juice, the purer the better
50ml Elderflower Cordial
25ml Freshly squeezed Lime juice
1 – Place the Pickering’s Gin, Apple Juice, Elderflower Cordial, lime juice and ice in a cocktail shaker.
2 – Shake well for 1 minute
3 – Pour over some more cubed ice in a glass and serve.
Pickering’s with Earl Grey, Honey and Lemon
This is probably one of the most unusual tipples I’ve had but trust me, it’s delicious. It’s a take on a recipe I read in a booklet which was included in a Gin cocktail herb growing kit a friend got me for my birthday. The kit also came with a couple of tea bags which they suggest you infuse into your chosen Gin. One of the tea bags was Earl Grey & Blueflower which smelt beautiful! I love Earl grey so the thought of putting it with Gin was already a hit in my eyes and I decided to give it a whirl with the spicy 1947 Gin, because the recipe also called for a small amount of black pepper which I thought would sit nicely with the cinnamon spice.
Here is the recipe…
(for 2 tumblers of cocktail)
100ml Pickering’s Original recipe 1947 Gin
Earl Grey & Blueflower Tea Bag (You can buy a similar bag here, or just use a normal Earl Grey tea bag)
25ml Runny Honey
25ml Fresh Lemon juice
Tonic Water to top up
Freshly cracked black pepper if you wish
1 – Steep your Earl Grey and Blueflower Tea Bag in your Pickering’s 1947 Gin for 10-30 minutes, then remove.
2 – Add the honey, Gin, lemon juice and cubed ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake well for a minute or so.
3 – Pour into a glass and top with tonic water.
4 – Garnish with the freshly ground black pepper and some herbs/garnishes of your choice.
Disclosure: I was sent 2 free samples of Pickering’s Gin for review. All words and thoughts are my own.