Yes, that’s right, yesterday was World Gin Day! In case you don’t already know, I’m quite a big gin fan, so I don’t think I don’t have to tell you quite how enthusiastic I was about a whole day dedicated to gin… (By the way, if you don’t like gin, I wouldn’t really bother with the rest of this post.)
I obviously wasn’t going to let World Gin Day slip away without making something gin-related. I was originally going to do something in the form of baked goods (for a change), but none of my fellow gin-lovers are currently here in St Andrews, and I feel that eating an entire batch of gin-packed baked goods of whatever description all by myself smacks somewhat of alcoholism and very much of loneliness. So I’ve had to change my plans a little. Never fear though, I’ve still got something exciting for you…
I needed to find something that could either be made in an individual portion or could be stored for a while. I was drawing a blank on something that I could make an individual portion of, which left finding something that I could make and have a little bit of today and then store for a while until everybody gets back. I decided to make a Gin & Tonic granita, which is basically a Slush Puppie (remember those? I haven’t one in forever!) but alcoholised. With the bonus that it can be stored in the freezer, though it might require some vigorous stirring to break up the crystals after a few days.
As I was looking up G&T granita recipes, a rather genius idea hit me: I could add some of the cucumber liqueur that I’ve not really sure what to do with. It goes wonderfully with regular G&Ts, so there’s no particular reason why it wouldn’t work in a granita. This turned out to be a rather inspired idea, if I do say so myself… I thoroughly enjoyed my portion of the granita, and the rest is currently sitting quite contently in the freezer, waiting for Kat and Craig to drop by, or anybody else with a penchant for gin. I only ran into one issue whilst making this: it took forever. The recipe that I adapted stated that it required 2 hours of total freezing time. However, the extra alcohol in the liqueur in addition to the increased quantity of gin that I used meant that the first ice crystals started forming in the granita about 4 hours after going into the freezer. I totally forgot to take the higher alcohol content into account, and in total, the granita required a stint of about 9 hours in the freezer. Nine hours. Which is why this post is going up today rather than yesterday (I didn’t have time to sort the photos out last night). Woops. On the plus side, at least that means that you can just pop in the freezer and go about your daily business and just check on it from time to time when you’re home, without worrying about it.
Gin & Tonic granita
Makes about 1 litre
Adapted from delicious. online
The granita takes a while to freeze, so it would probably be a good idea to make it the day before you’re planning on serving it and then just stir it up enthusiastically just before serving up. Although I’ve suggested serving it as a dessert in martini glasses or tumblers, the granita would also work perfectly served as an amuse-bouche in shot glasses. It’s also quite yummy to drink when it melts. Obviously, make sure you use a good quality gin because you’ll definitely be able to taste it – I chose Bombay Sapphire because it’s very aromatic.
200g caster sugar
175ml gin (I used Bombay Sapphire)
75ml cucumber liqueur
500ml tonic water (without saccharin)
Cucumber slices, to garnish
1. Heat the water and sugar together in a large saucepan for about 5 mins until all the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and mix in the gin, cucumber liqueur and tonic. Allow to cool a little before pouring into a freezer-proof container and allowing to cool fully to room temperature before freezing.
2. After about 4 hours, remove and break up any ice crystals that have formed using a fork, before returning to the freezer. After about 1 ½ hours, remove the granita and once again break up any ice crystals up with a fork before returning to the freezer. Repeat after 1 ½ hours, and once again after a further 1 ½ hours. Just before serving, break the ice crystals up to Slush Puppie consistency, and serve in martini glasses or tumblers, each garnished with a slice of cucumber.
Enjoy! (And just pretend it’s still World Gin Day!)