1 September, 2016
Lifestyle

3 Gin Cocktail Recipes for Balmy Hong Kong Nights

1 September, 2016

Something ori-GIN-al!

 

Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, all favourites for summer… still, the berry I often long for on hot summer afternoons is the juniper berry. However, I love this berry in its fully processed liquid form, namely in the form of aromatic, full-flavoured gin. But seriously, who doesn’t? #amiright?

Gin is a marvellous liquor as it is one of the few cocktail ingredients that does not adapt to the flavour of the drink it’s mixed in, but rather maintains its own perfumed flavour. With balmy evenings here in Hong Kong, here are a few suggestions of easy to do gin cocktail recipes, perfect for entertaining. They require few ingredients and are easy to do but they are packed full of crispness, freshness and revitalisation.

The most important ingredient is of course the gin. There are many good quality gins available in Hong Kong and I would definitely suggest buying a high-end gin such as Tanqueray 10, Sipsmith, Plymouth, Berry Bros and Rudd No. 3 or Bombay Sapphire for the classic gin and tonic. However for these cocktail recipes I used Gordon’s London Dry as it is widely available and affordable. Not to mention the amazing versatility it has in terms of flavour profile with juniper berry, coriander seed, angelica root, liquorice, orris root, orange, lemon, ginger, cassia and nutmeg undertones. Two of these recipes are well-known classics, the third is a first-hand Hong Kong inspired refresher.

cucumber mint gimlet cocktail

Cucumber Mint Gimlet (Serves 2 standard martini glasses)

This drink is best served as cold as possible. It is herbaceous and refreshing, perfect for hot summer days.

Ingredients:
40 g English Cucumber (remember to use a vegetable peeler to cut one or two ribbons for garnish)
60 CC Cucumber Gin
½ Fresh Lime cut into 6 chunks (as triangular as possible)
6 Mint Leaves
Ice for shaking
Ice for service

Method:

  1. Steep the cucumber in the gin overnight or at least six hours before making the cocktail. (If you are in a pinch you can leave this step out and just muddle the cucumber with the lime and mint but I prefer making the cucumber gin in the morning for afternoon cocktails.)
  2. Prepare the glasses. Thinly slice long ribbons of cucumber using a vegetable peeler and drape them in or around the sides of your glasses. At five to six ice cubes to each glass.
  3. In the bottom of a shaker combine the lime and mint. Muddle together using a gentle pushing and twisting motion. If you have a muddler use this alternatively use the back of a wooden spoon.
  4. Fill the shaker with ice and add the cucumber gin. Cover the shaker and shake for 20 seconds or until the outside of the shaker becomes frosty.
  5. Pour through the strainer over the ice.
  6. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cucumber Mint Gimlet

iced lemon mong kok cocktail

Iced Lemon Mong Kok-tail (2 medium-sized cocktails)

There are few things more refreshing in summer than a lovely iced lemon tea from a Kowloon cha chaan teng. This recipe takes a Hong Kong favourite and gives it a kick to get you through those long Hong Kong summers!

Ingredients:

1 bag Lipton Yellow Label Tea
½ Fresh Lime cut into 6 chunks (as triangular as possible)
½ Fresh Lemon cut into 8 chunks
2 Tbsp. of Brown sugar or Demerara sugar
75 CC of London Dry Gin

Method:

  1. Brew the teabag in 250 ml boiling water for four to five minutes until it has a strong flavour and dark colour. Remove the teabag and allow the tea to cool in the fridge.
  2. Fill two tall glasses with ice cubes. Add two or three lemon slices on top.
  3. In a shaker add the lime, lemon and brown sugar, muddle these together using a pushing and twisting motion. The sugar doesn’t need to dissolve completely but it should start to melt into the lemon and lime juice.
  4. Fill the shaker with ice and add the gin. Shake the mixture until the outside of the shaker is frosty, about 20-30 seconds.
  5. Pour the mixture through the strained over the ice, enjoy!

blueberry fizz cocktail

Blueberry Gin Fizz (Serves 2 short ball tumblers)

This drink is fruity and sweet with a full berry flavour. The blueberries can be replaced with whatever is in season- just adjust the sugar syrup and voila!

Ingredients:

½  cup fresh blueberries
3 Mint Leaves
½ Fresh Lime cut into 6 chunks (as triangular as possible)
2 Tbsp. of Sugar Syrup*
60 CC London Dry Gin
2 cups of Crushed Ice
Ice for shaking
¾ cup Club Soda

Method:

  1. Prepare two short ball tumbler glasses by putting some fresh blueberries in the bottom and filling up with crushed ice.
  2. In the bottom of a shaker combine the blueberries, mint leaves, lime and sugar syrup. Muddle together using a gentle pushing and twisting motion.
  3. Add the gin and fill the shaker with ice. Secure the cover and shake until the outside becomes frosty and the mixture is well chilled (approx. 30 seconds).
  4. Pour the mixture in the glasses through the strainer.
  5. Top the mixture off with some soda and enjoy!

*Additional note: For a homemade sugar syrup simply add one cup of sugar and one cup of water in a sauce pan over a low heat. Stir until almost all the sugar is dissolved. Add another cup of sugar to this mixture stirring as you pour it. Optionally you can add 10ml of Vodka to preserve the syrup. Cool down and keep in the fridge for cocktail days.

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Enjoy your gin cocktails this summer with family and friends, girls!
Cheers!

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