As a nation, we’ve become pretty obsessed with gin in the past few years.
There are gin bars, festivals and tastings popping up all over the country constantly, so you’re never too far away from your next G&T. If you’re anything like us, you have a variety of different bottles of gin in your house – obviously, you needed to try the newest brands just to check if they tasted as good as your usual – so if you’re looking for a new way to use them up, then you should try to cook with gin.
While all gins have slightly different flavour profiles, juniper is the overarching flavour. With its fragrant, herbaceous notes, gin lends itself very well to both sweet and savoury dishes. If you’re looking to use your gin in something other than a cocktail, read on for our favourite ideas on how to cook with gin.
Gin pairs so well with fish and shellfish that it’s almost a no-brainer to use them together. While there are lots of different ways you could use gin with seafood, we love when it's used to ‘cook’ fish – think ceviche and cured salmon. The delicate flavour of scallops work well with gin, so try out ceviche by mixing together thinly sliced scallop with lemon juice, lime juice, orange zest, minced chilli, salt and some gin. Cover and leave the scallops to marinade for 30 minutes, then enjoy.
Gin and Tonic Sorbet
Summer is just around the corner (we hope) and sorbet will be the order of the day if temperatures soar like they did last year. Create an icy version of the classic G&T by making gin sorbet. As alcohol doesn’t freeze, you add just enough gin to infuse a hint of juniper to the mix – about 4 tablespoons per 500ml tonic water.
We already know that gin and lemon go well together, so why not combine the pair to make a zesty, fresh marinade for meat? We love a combination of gin, lemon zest and juice and shredded mint with a dash of honey; it works so well on chicken, pork, salmon and prawns.
There are so many ways to incorporate gin into desserts; once you start, you’ll regret not trying it sooner! Start out by adding a tablespoon to lemon curd tarts, then try gin-infused buttercream and gin sugar syrup for drizzling over pancakes. Once you’ve figured out how much gin you like in these dishes, you can experiment with other combinations – we’ve yet to find a dessert that doesn’t work with a little gin added to it.
This one might sound a little surprising, but a couple of spoonfuls of gin added to homemade strawberry or raspberry jam can really enhance the flavour. Gin can be added in along with the berries and sugar at the beginning of the cooking process. At first, try about 50ml gin per kilo of berries, then play around with the quantities to ensure you’re happy with the flavour.