Distillers Table - 'Summer'

Summer invokes memories to many of visits to the beach, sunny holidays and of course ice cream but it also reminds me of childhood picnics with my family. So with that in mind I created this months drinks with some nostalgic English picnic inspiration.

#1. I wanted to start on something light, fresh and floral so started with a classic French 75 recipe. Elderflower grew everywhere where I was a child and feels like a classic summer ingredient so I swapped the simple syrup for a home made elderflower one instead. Small bar gin (green cardamom, elderflower and lemon zest) was the gin for the job with it fresh green and floral notes. Then 50/50 fresh grapefruit and lemon juice and topped with Mumm champagne. Served alongside a classic cheese and cucumber sarnie on sliced white bread!

#2. Robinson's squash was a staple in our picnics when I was young so I wanted to make an adult version for the second drink. I started by making a triple citrus shrub (orange, lemon and grapefruit). Unlike a syrup, shrubs use vinegar giving it more of a tang to the final taste (as well as making it last longer if you fancy making your own at home). I choose Old Tom for the gin as it has a sweeter, richer taste by nature but ours also features fresh grapefruit as a botanical. Then topped with soda and garnished with a slice of each citrus. Served alongside home made sausage rolls and apricot chutney (mine are still not as good as my Mums, but they are getting pretty good if I do say so myself).

#3. What is more of an English edible treat than strawberries? So I knew I couldn’t leave them out of the line up for this months drinks and a sweet Martini seemed like the perfect drink. I infused fresh strawberries in an oxidised white wine then blended it with Del Professore dry vermouth for balance. I used our Summer seasonal gin ‘Hathor’ (pomegranate, heather flower and fig leaf) the sweeter fruit and floral notes paired great with the ‘strawberry wine’. It wouldn’t be summer without some kind of ice lolly so we cracked out a box of Fab’s (who have been around for 50 years!!) to finish off our summer selection.

Next up in our Distillers Table series is 'Tomato' on Saturday September 1st. We can't tell you what the drinks are yet but we do promise it won't be what you are expecting (not a Bloody Mary in sight!)


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