Three easy gin cocktails to make at home
After two years of lockdowns, COVID restrictions and limited options on travel we decided our first distillery cocktail demo would feature three gin cocktails inspired by previous holidays.
It was wonderful to welcome so many people back into the distillery to watch Ben demonstrating how to make the gin cocktails and of course to sample each one. The combination of botanicals in our English gins complement the other ingredients in each cocktail to evoke memories of visiting such amazing destinations and meeting new people. They bring the flavours of each country alive.
We chose to focus on three Campfire cocktail recipes inspired by our travels to Kenya, Costa Rica and Australia.
Cocktail making techniques
During each distillery cocktail demo we try to incorporate different cocktail making techniques – from the simple such as making syrups to the more complex such as using egg white. Our belief being that if we, who are definitely not mixologists, can make these gin cocktails then so can everyone else!
This cocktail demo also covered techniques such as dry shake (no ice), wet shake (with ice) and muddling. The Melbourne Mess cocktail is based on a Ramos Gin Fizz which technically requires a 12 minute shake – that’s some arm power required! We cheated slightly and brought out the Nutribullet. Sure does make it faster bringing the time required down to 12 seconds!
Gin, honey, cardamom syrup, lime and coconut water cocktail
Gin Dawa Sour
This is a great summer gin drink. The Dawa cocktail was first served at the famous BBQ restaurant The Carnivore in Nairobi, Kenya. It was here that we tried our first Dawa too. The cocktail is usually made with vodka but as we’re a gin distillery and gin is the original cocktail spirit then of course we recommend using gin – our Campfire London Dry Gin to be specific.
On a more recent trip to Kenya we tried (at breakfast) madafu (Swahili for coconut water). The water is found in young coconuts. As the coconut ripens on the palm the water turns into the fleshly part of the coconut. The addition of cardamom in the sugar syrup is a nod to the spice trade on the East African coast.
Honey and lime are ingredients in an original Dawa. Keeping beehives and collecting the honey can contribute to a household’s income stream in Kenya. Keeping beehives can also have another purpose – warding off elephants from trampling veggie patches! Wire fences are erected around the veggie patch and beehives suspended from them. When an elephant wanders close to the fence in order to munch on some tasty vegetables they knock the wire fence which causes the beehives to swing, thereby waking the bees who fly out the hive and annoy the elephant. Elephants don’t like bees and move away from the veggie patch. Not only does the household have veggies to eat and sell but they also have honey to sell!
35ml Campfire London Dry Gin
35ml Coconut water
10ml Cardamom syrup
10ml Fresh lime juice
Lime for garnish
To make the cardamon syrup
Add 50g castor sugar and 50ml water to a saucepan, heat gently and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add five cracked cardamom pods (not fully crushed). Pour into a sterilised bottle and allow to cool. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Strain into a fresh sterilised bottle to remove the cardamom pods. It will keep for one month in the fridge.
Mix all ingredients except the honey and lime in a mixing glass (we use a Mezclar tulip mixing glass) filled with ice. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass filled with fresh ice. Take a bamboo straw, dip into the runny honey and stir into the cocktail. Garnish with a slice of lime.
Thanks for another great demoDavid
Gin, absinthe, banana liqueur, dark crème de cacao, lemon bitters cocktail
The Tally Man
A few years ago we joined a group tour which travelled coast to coast in Costa Rica. We visited volcanoes in the central areas, zipped lined over rainforests, white water rafted on one of the best white water rivers in the world (so we were told!), cruised along rivers on the Caribbean coast and swam in the Pacific with parakeets and scarlet macaws flying overhead. Not a holiday to forget. We also visited coffee, pineapple and banana plantations and travelled past cocoa farms.
Our second gin cocktail featured two of these memorable foodie experiences – banana and chocolate. This cocktail was created by bartender Ryan Puckett but we use our Campfire Cask Aged Gin instead of a generic gin – it makes all the difference!
60ml Campfire Cask Aged Gin
5ml Absinthe for washing round the glass
30ml Banana liqueur
4ml Lemon bitters – we used Bitter Union Lemon, Hop and Herb bitters
2ml Dark crème de cacao
Star anise for garnish
Rinse a chilled coupe glass with the absinthe; pour out the excess. In a mixing glass, combine the Campfire Cask Aged Gin, banana liqueur, lemon bitters and crème de cacao. Top up the mixing glass with ice and stir well. Strain into the prepared coupe and float the star anise on top.
Gin, strawberries, citrus, egg white, cream, soda water cocktail
A trip to visit family in Melbourne, Australia, is the inspiration for this cocktail which is based on a Ramos Gin Fizz and strawberry pavlova. Australia is, of course, famous for creating the pavlova dessert in honour of ballerina Anna Pavlova. Great minds do think alike and the night before our cocktail demo I was scrolling through my Facebook account (which is mostly gin adverts) and up popped a Four Pillars advert for a very similar cocktail. It reminded me that on our Aussie trip we swung by the Four Pillars Distillery and received a very warm welcome from Cam and Stuart. We also tried a few gins too!
60ml Campfire Navy Strength Gin
2 Fresh strawberries (muddled not blended – for better flavour)
10ml Lemon juice
10ml Lime juice
25ml Sugar syrup
25ml Egg white
25ml Single cream
Add the Campfire Navy Strength Gin and chopped strawberries to a beaker and muddle. Strain through a fine strainer into a cocktail shaker. Add all the other ingredients except the egg white. Add a few cubes of ice and shake vigorously. Strain to remove the ice and return the liquid to the shaker and add the egg white. Shake again or use a food mixer to save time! Now the tricky bit… pour ⅔ of the cocktail into a glass while pouring in the soda water at the same time. Once the glass is just over half full pour in the remainder of the cocktail to ensure a thick foamy head. Garnish with fresh strawberries and sip through a bamboo straw.
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