It’s International Gin and Tonic Day today!
A day that is literally as exciting as my birthday and gives me a legitimate excuse to have a sip or five this evening (as if I needed one, let’s be honest).
In homage to this momentous day, here is a Gin cocktail recipe using one of my new favourites, British Cassis.
If you haven’t heard of this wondrous elixir of the British hedgerow, you have now!
I really can’t sing it’s praises enough. Taste wise, think Chambord, but not as sweet…oh, and did I mention it’s British? 😉
Who are White Heron and British Cassis?
“140 YEARS OF PASSION IN EVERY BOTTLE”
In the rolling fields of a Herefordshire farm, grows a tiny currant. Rarely seen and little known, this succulent fruit is harvested under the summer sun and carefully crafted into the very finest Cassis.
At White Heron. they use a technique similar to wine-making in order to perfectly capture the intensity of freshly picked British blackcurrants. Once the blackcurrant juice has fermented naturally with champagne yeast, they blend it with a little vodka to fortify it and then they add sugar to bring out the rich fruity flavour.
“As a fourth generation Herefordshire farmer, I believe in sustainability and the importance of knowing where our food and drink comes from. In many ways, life on Whittern Farm hasn’t changed that much in the 140 years my family has farmed it. In my youth, just as in my great-grandfather’s youth, summer days were punctuated by the blackcurrant harvest. Each year, we pick this delicious fruit from rows upon rows of vibrant green bushes. Over the decades, the currants have been made into jams, cordials and desserts. But, for me, nothing beats the incredibly special flavour achieved when we make cassis from them.
The name Whittern means white heron. These iconic birds (commonly known as great white egrets) used to breed at The Whittern. Nowadays, they are seen only infrequently. To me, they’re a symbol of the natural environment our blackcurrants are grown in, so it felt fitting to name our company after these elegant, sophisticated characters.”
Jo Hilditch, Founder
I first saw British Cassis on an episode of Countryfile (yep, I’m not ashamed to admit I love a bit of Countryfile on a Sunday evening – Hunter Welly Boots and Gilet’s at the ready!) and I kindly got bought some by my Mum last Christmas. They have since re-branded and I have to say, I LOVE what they have done with the bottle. The contents inside the bottle are still the same – a delicious, rich, blackcurrant liqueur – but it just looks a bit slicker and more befitting of the fabulous product inside it.
It’s best, in my opinion, on it’s own over ice, but it’s also perfect in a prosecco and just so happens to work very well with, yep, you guessed it, Gin!
You can buy British Cassis and find out more about it by visiting their website. You’d certainly make someone very happy at Christmas giving this as a gift (hint, hint, Hubster!)
It retails at £20.00 for 500ml (price correct at time of publishing. October 2016) which I think is really reasonable given the quality.
A recipe for British Cassis and Gin
I decided to use St Andrews Oak Gin by Eden Mill Distillery in this recipe. It’s a really unique Gin, which is slightly caramel in colour and, if drunk neat over ice, tastes slightly smoky. My husband really likes it and I think it is a strong enough Gin to stand up against the rich British Cassis in this cocktail.
Inspired by the change in the seasons, this Gin cocktail has hints of mulled wine about it, without the Christmas spice. A taste of Autumn.
I used Whisky rocks to chill the cocktail down in this one. We don’t want any ice cubes watering down the intense flavours!
(makes 1 tumbler)
25ml British Cassis
25ml Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Honey
Fever Tree Ginger Beer to top up the glass
Lemon and Mint (if you desire) to garnish
Crushed Ice (to shake the alcohol over)
– In a cocktail shaker, add the crushed ice, Gin, Lemon Juice, Honey and British Cassis.
– Shake well for 30 seconds.
– Add Whisky rocks to a tumbler and pour the contents of the cocktail shaker over them.
– Top the glass up with with Ginger Beer and garnish with a wedge of lemon and some mint.