- Food & Drink
The Gin and Crumpets cocktail
I don’t accept many PR invitations – my commitment to lazy, keyboard-mashing amateurism prevents me from taking an interest in developments, trends or things that happen outside the dark fug of my living room. But when Bombay Sapphire emailed asking if I’d like to go to an evening of ginny cocktails in the Bombay Sapphire Blue Room at Vinopolis, there was only one suitable response: Yes, yes I would. And then I went and slept outside the entrance just in case some other blogger got there before me and managed to get their hands on more free gin.
The evening was lead by Bombay Sapphire’s Ambassador Sam Carter, who galloped us through a 1,000 years of gin history and the 10 botanicals that Bombay Sapphire gets wafted through on its journey from neutral grain spirit (wheat-based, since you asked) to gin.
Over the course of the evening I learnt that juniper berries taste like chewing a forest floor, angelica root is reminiscent of the scented paper liners in your grandmother’s unmentionables drawer and grains of paradise burn like the fires of hell. And taste a bit like mango.
Having skittered through the book learning, it was back to the bar and headfirst into the cocktails. Watching martinis, collins and aviations being shaken and stirred I was reminded why I go to bars for my cocktails (I never put the lid on the shaker properly and it goes all over the kitchen floor. Having to lick your pre-dinner cocktail from the lino takes the sophisticated shine off the whole process).
Nevertheless, I did invent a fantastic collinsy cocktail. I say I invented it. I mainly watched it being made and then drank it. But putting grapefruit in was definitely my idea and that makes it mine.
To make 1 Gin and Crumpet’s cocktail you need:
60-70ml gin (Bombay Sapphire if you want to recreate it with complete historical accuracy)
20–30ml elderflower cordial
1/4 pink grapefruit, chopped into chunks
1 sprig rosemary, leaves stripped from the stem, plus extra to garnish
Pared grapefruit zest, to garnish
The measurements are approximate – we just free poured it into a shaker, but it definitely does need slightly more than a double measure of gin (quelle surprise).
To make it, put the gin, elderflower cordial, grapefruit and rosemary leaves into a shaker and muddle them with a pestle or a fancy bar muddler tool to squash the juice and oils out of the rosemary and grapefruit.
Add a tonne of ice cubes, stick on the lid and shake it until you go cross-eyed. Strain it into a tall glasses filled with more ice cubes (your glass should be around 3/4 full) and top up with soda water.
Take a strip of grapefruit peel (white pith removed) and twist it over the top and sides of the glass to lightly cover it in more grapefruit oils. Then stick the zest in the top of the glass with a sprig of rosemary to garnish. Knock back while loudly exclaiming: “This is brilliant. I’ve definitely invented the best cocktail. Your cocktail is nowhere near as good as mine.” For an authentic Gin and Crumpets experience, refuse to share it and threaten to fight anyone who comes near it with a straw.
In spite of being well refreshed, the muses didn’t descend and I failed to come up with a good name for it. Underneath The Arches? The Stoney Street Special? Gets Your Drunk And Makes You Do Inappropriate Things? These all seem like crap names. If anyone has a better suggestion, it’d much appreciated. Otherwise, I shall continue to refer to it as MINE.