This is almost a post script for the edible/quaffable gifts I’ve been going on about previously in these pages. I would have posted it sooner, as it has a fairly long infusion period but frankly the recipient could not be trusted to avoid reading about it here and I wanted it to be something of a surprise.
Mother’s Ruin or as it is less sinisterly known, Gin, is a marvellous spirit though it seems that many don’t grow to appreciate it until they get a little bit older. It does sound like a fogey refreshment I suppose, a Gin & Tonic please barkeep! I like it though and a fine G&T is an art form, it’s all about proportions and fresh mixer and plenty of ice and LIME!!!!!!!!!!! Not lemon. Please not lemon. Yeesh. I’ve always been happy on Gordon’s London Gin, pleased with a Bombay Sapphire and out and our thrilled with a Tanqueray but in recent years Hendricks keeps popping up. Yes, Hendriks, a herbally infused gin. We all know I’m not opposed to meddling with some vodka but to flavour your gin, sacrilege, no? Actually, no. Sloe gin has been about forever and Dad was pleasantly surprised by some Raspberry Edinburgh Gin that made it to his birthday table so why the hell not. And cucumber makes sense- it’s cool and refreshingly savoury and surprisingly aromatic in sufficient quantity. The more you think about it, the more sense is found, in theory at least.
So to trusty Google I went and found a simple enough method to prepare this infusion. By simple enough, I mean ridiculously easy. You need a bottle, gin, and cucumber.
Yup that’s it. An organic cucumber if you can manage it and reasonable quality gin (Gordons or better please). I went with two thirds of a large cucumber, peeled and de-seeded then chopped into fine chunks. These go into a clean brewing bottle or kilner type jar, top up with just under half a litre of gin. Seal, shake, then stick in a cupboard and forget about it for 2-3 weeks. When it comes time to give, strain into a presentation bottle and add several very thinly sliced cucumber rounds- thin enough to curl them and pop through the bottle neck.
The gin takes on a lovely fresh aroma and an ever so subtle green tint and it changes the flavour enough to notice but not annihilate. It is yet to be confirmed but I suspect it would be lovely added to a summer pimms cocktail or incorporated into some kind of tossy chilli martini. Or if that’s all too exotic or unseasonal for you, just poured over ice with a wedge of fresh cucumber and some Fevertree Mediterranean style tonic. Give it a go.