Flavoured gins are a thing. Fact. 1) They’re Instagram gold. 2) They are super like-worthy on your feed and 3) They taste great. With bottles flying off supermarket shelves faster than you can say LIVEFULLBLOOM, we thought it was time we gave you a little background on our very own range of pink gin and flavoured liqueurs.
THE SPIRIT OF JO
When BLOOM’s Master Distiller Joanne Moore first created BLOOM London Dry Gin, little did she know she would be instrumental in changing the way we drink. As the gin industry boomed, so did Joanne’s creativity. And, with a pinch of poetic license, a large handful of talent and a dash of vision, four new gins were borne to the BLOOM gin range.
BUT FIRST … THE SCIENCE BIT. WHAT EXACTLY IS PINK GIN?
Traditionally speaking, pink gin was a 19th-century cocktail made with clear gin (usually London Dry) and mixed with Angostura bitter. The dark red of the Angostura turned the drink a lovely pink colour. Naturally, the ladies (and quite a few gentlemen) of the time thought this was quite the thing and pink gin suddenly became a popular choice among the upper crust
Fast forward 150 years or so and pink and flavoured gins are enjoying a comeback. But this time, forget about bitter mixers of the past and think flavours that boost (rather than mask) the quintessence of your drink. And it seems we can’t get enough of these pink perfections.
BLOOM JASMINE & ROSE
At 40% ABV, J&R (that’s Jasmine and Rose) is deliciously different from other pink gins on the market. Made with botanicals including rose petals from Morocco and Jasmine flowers from East Africa, the petals are distilled which give J&R its light pink colour and floral taste.
Unlike many other pink gins that use sugar and artificial flavours, our J&R is 100% pure and has zero sugar. This means that even though it is still a juniper-led drink, Joanne’s layering means that the distinctive aromas shine through every sip. The floral notes add complexity while the deliciously earthy finish packs a bit of a punch. It’s also gluten free and suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Mix with lemonade over ice for a burst of summer sun (whatever the season) or add tonic water for a more traditional tipple. Serve over ice and garnish with blackberries and a sprig of mint. Make mine a double.
While we think we should leave the real magic to Joanne, here at BLOOM we thought we might have a go at making our own flavoured gin. BBC GoodFood have created an easy step-by-step guide that will have you soaking, infusing and straining like the best of us. Don’t expect to be winning awards any time soon, but do enjoy being able to offer something unique the next time you entertain at home. Company and cocktails? now that’s living full bloom.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN FUN FLAVOURED GIN AT HOME
1. First of all, you will need a good base product. We’re not being biased but BLOOM London Dry Gin is the best!
2. Choose your flavours: if you want to make pink gin, you’ll need a flavouring of the same colour. We like rose petals (obviously) but also red fruits, pink grapefruit, rhubarb or blood orange. Herbs and plants work great too for something a little bit unusual: apart from elderflower, try ginger, thyme, lavender, violet, rosemary or of course sloe berries. The more you use, the stronger the flavour. Use around 200-400g of flavouring per litre of spirit.
3. Make sure your container is sterile, otherwise the gin will go off during the process. We used a large sealable Kilner jar, but as long as it’s clean and won’t let the air in, anything goes. Add your BLOOM gin then add your infusing flavours. Pop the top and leave to soak.
4. The longer you leave the flavouring the stronger the taste but be careful not to leave for too long as it’ll ruin the taste.
• Strong flavours such as citrus and chilli should take a day to infuse.
• Leave vegetable and spice infusions such as cucumber or black pepper for about a week.
• Fruity flavours can take around 3-4 weeks.
• Florals (or more delicate fruits such as apple or sloe) take at least a month.
5. Now comes the best bit. Taste to see if you’re happy with your drink, and strain to remove any sediment that may have formed.
6. If you’re doing a multi-layered flavour, you have two options. Either start the process again with your new gin base or add the second flavouring at the right time.
7. Transfer to a gorgeous bottle and store in a cool dark place. Give out as Christmas presents or keep all to yourself. Note that homemade gin infusions can keep for up to a year, but we’re guessing you’ll have finished the bottle long before that.
If you desire the taste but don’t have the time, view our flavoured gin recipes on our cocktail page.
Source: BBC Good Food