This Saturday 13th June is World Gin Day – and if you’re a fan of cocktails this is VERY good news indeed!
Gin is such a versatile spirit that the list of cocktails you can make from it is pretty much endless. The finely balanced mix of “botanicals” (herbal elements) that give gin it’s distinctive flavour provide plenty of creative scope for bartenders.
Whether you prefer the savoury kick of a Dirty Martini, the citrus explosion of a Gin Rickey, or the delicately blue Aviation, gin cocktails have something to offer even the most demanding of drinkers.
I’ve only really discovered how wonderful gin can be in the last year, after having the opportunity to learn more about this at a gin tasting hosted by The Gin Queen at dutch Courage Officers Mess last year.
Since then I’ve been committed to making up for lost time by sipping my way through some of the best Gin cocktails Brisbane has to offer.
So whether you’re a die-hard gin fan or a novice wanting to take advantage of an opportunity to drink cocktails, here are my picks for where to go and what to drink to celebrate World Gin Day in Brisbane.
At the top end of town over looking George Street is Public. Just as well known for it’s elegant glass walled bar as it is for it’s exciting food, it also sports some luscious gin cocktails.
Start simply with Public’s take on the traditional G&T – lemon, black pepper and rosemary syrup are shaken with Aperol and Beef Eater Gin to create a tangy elixir which is then poured over ice and topped up with tonic.
The Space Gin Smash is another interesting creating, shaking red grapes with lemon, Beef Eater Gin and Elderflower liqueur.
Definitely one of Brisbane’s best kept secrets, The Laneway is tucked down a lane and nestled above The Euro restaurant on Margaret Street. It’s cocktail menu is reflective of the venue itself – small but perfectly formed.
Although you may be tempted by the house cocktails, keep going – it’s the Signature Cocktails you’re after. Here you’ll find two completely diffrerent but equally stunning creations…
The Ginception combines Tanqueray 10 with passionfruit and citrus oils… then blows your mind by being served in an ice sphere.
Tea Tippler #3 uses classic pairing of Hendricks and cucumber, but then takes it to the next level with a rose petal & liquid nitrogen teapot.
When it comes to gin, Dutch Courage is both alpha and omega. It has by far the most extensive collection of gin varieties in Brisbane, and in terms of educating your palate and discovering new gins there’s nowhere better.
But what about their gin cocktails? For my money, you can’t go past their Cafe Negroni.
Now Negronis tend to be quite polarising – the combination of the herbal gin overtones, with the bitter orange of Campari and the subtle sweetness of the Sweet Vermouth makes it a challenging, flavour bomb of a drink!
Dutch Courage’s addition of Mr Black coffee spirit seems to be the magic ingredient that brings all these competing flavours into harmony. They also use Four Pillars Gin which is a spicy Australian gin that’s got a strong orange aroma.
Be brave and try it…
A visit to Emporium Hotel’s super-luxe cocktail bar is more than just a drink – it’s an invitation to step through the looking glass courtesy of their Alice in Wonderland menu.
In contrast to the Laneway, the Emporium cocktail list is epic as the story it’s based on, which means you can can always find a cocktail to suit your mood.
Gin cocktails have a starring role in this fantasy brought to life. There’s the whimsical Mad Tea – a brew of gin, Turkish Delight liqueur, green tea and fig liqueur, and apple juice.
Those that prefer something robust can try the Smoked Rosemary & Olive Martini.
This cocktail uses Gin Mare – a savoury gin which uses botanicals such as olives, rosemary and time along with more traditional gin botanicals. The rosemary is burnt and the smoke captured in the martini glass, flavouring the drink and combing with the savoury gin and oils from the olives. Sophisticated and moreish!
It’s quite something to watch! Check out Emporium Bar Manager, Zac Hay, in action…
Now as a relatively recent convert to gin I am SURE that this list of gin-friendly cocktails and venues are by no means the only ones worth having.
So I’d like YOU to tell me: where else should I go? What other gin cocktails should I try?
If you have a favourite gin drink or even a favourite bartender hook me up so I can report back and add them to my list!!