Happy World Gin Day

Today is World Gin Day and judging from the notifications I’ve received from friends tagging me in World Gin Day-related posts on social media, my personal brand game is strong (and not at all concerning, thankyouverymuch).

I was introduced to the simple perfection of the G&T when I lived in England and I’ve remained loyal ever since. I love the different layers of bitter flavours in the gin and tonic, and how they play off the sour citrus flavour of the lime. Others may resort to soda to cut back on sugar (not mentioning any names, *cough* Shawn *cough*) but I refuse to deviate from my One True G&T (extra lime, fancy tonic, lots of ice but make it big so it melts slower we’re not animals).

My favourite gin changes from time to time. I love trying new blends from different distilleries, and contrary to what my social media presence may indicate, I don’t actually drink all that often, so I haven’t really had the opportunity to remain loyal to one gin. My current favourite is the Empress Gin from Victoria Distillers (a gorgeous indigo-coloured gin that changes colour when you add tonic and, uhh, also tastes great if you need your gin to do more than just perform visually).

The trick to making a great gin & tonic, in my humble opinion, is using giant ice cubes. Giant ice cubes look cool, yes, but they’re functional too. They melt slower which means your drink stays cold longer without becoming diluted. It’s science.  This is the ice cube tray I use.

Once you’ve figured out your gin and ice situation, you just need to decide what your mixer and add-ins will be. My favourite tonic water is Fever-Tree Aromatic Tonic but if you’re looking for a non-pink option that tastes more interesting than your standard tonic, their Elderflower Tonic is also great.  For my G&T accoutrement, I’m loyal to lime but I’ve been known to venture into the world of grapefruit (give me all the bitter). I’ve tried both cucumber and lemon but neither did it for me. Once I had a fancy restaurant G&T that had lavender in it and I spent the entire meal picking dried lavender buds out of my teeth. It was not a great G&T experience.

What’s your drink of choice? Are you a gin enthusiast? What’s your perfect G&T?

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Make Cold Brew Coffee Easily with a French Press

I love coffee. This is...not shocking news, I know. I love the taste. I love the smell. I love the ritual. I love how it makes me feel so loved when Shawn gets up early to brew me a cup. 

As we roll into summer, I start to crave cold brew coffee. Cold brew coffee is not the same thing as iced coffee. Iced coffee is coffee that's been brewed regularly (with heat) and then cooled down. Cold brew coffee doesn't introduce heat to the equation at all. Cold brew is less acidic, and tastes almost sweet. It's smoother than iced coffee. And it's ridiculously easy to make, especially with a French Press.

I blogged about my love for cold brew years ago but I've since simplified the process.

I use the Bodum Brazil 8-cup French Press. I put 1/2 cup coarsely ground coffee in the bottom, top it with cold water, give it a quick stir, pop the lid on (without depressing the plunger) and let it sit on the counter (at room temperature!) for approximately 12 hours. Then plunge and pour your delicious cold brew into a vessel that can be covered to store in the fridge (I put mine in a 1L mason jar).

To serve, pour cold brew over ice and top with milk. You'll have to play around to find your perfect ratio but I find 1:1:1 is a great place to start. Add sweetener or a splash of cream if you're feeling fancy. Enjoy! Preferably while sitting on the patio in a sunbeam. 

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The Gin Meow-er ... A Gin-Based, Cat-Themed Cocktail

My girl, Caitlin, had surgery this week and her hilarious husband took over her Twitter account to keep everyone updated. Hilarity ensued and resulted in me stating I would make a gin-based / cat-themed cocktail in Caitlin's honour. Because #love.

And so, I give you the Gin Meow-er. Like a Gin Sour but cattier.

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Ingredients

3 ounces gin (I used The London No1 because I find it quite citrusy and thought it would play well with the lemon and lime.)

Juice of 1 lime

Juice of 1 lemon

1 egg white (or 2 Tablespoons pasteurized egg white. You find this in a carton in the egg cooler at the grocery store. This is what I used because my mom read an article on raw eggs and salmonella in, like, 1989 and our family hasn't been the same since. Love you, Mom!)

1 ounce simple syrup (I made a rosemary lemon simple syrup because I am fancy like that. Recipe below.)

Directions

Fill cocktail shaker 2/3 with ice. Add all ingredients and shake vigourously for about 20 seconds or until you've got a nice froth. Strain into two glasses over ice. Garnish with rosemary springs and lemon wheels. Enjoy!

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Rosemary Lemon Simple Syrup

Put 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, zest from half a lemon, and 3 - 4 sprigs fresh rosemary in a pan. Heat over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a boil and sugar is dissolved. Turn heat off and let mixture steep for 30 minutes. Strain and store in the fridge. This syrup is great in cocktails but you can also use it to make an excellent alcohol-free beverage with the addition of lemonade and soda water.

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