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Christmas in a glass: gin and cocktail tips

Eat | Drink | Explore

Small bar proprietor and ardent spirit enthusiast Marcus Motteram shares tips for mixing gin and making cocktails for the festive season.

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It’s almost 12 months since Hains & Co dropped anchor in Gilbert Place, bringing Adelaide a maritime-themed bar specialising in bespoke gin and rum.

In a small city that’s seen much new bar action since Christmas last year, you could say that proprietor Marcus Motteram is considered one of Adelaide’s top-shelf gin and rum specialists.

Hains-&-Co-sour-making-2

Hains & Co’s Marcus Motteram. Photo: Nat Rogers/InDaily

Motteram has years of experience running bars in Sydney and Melbourne. He is generous of spirit, and an engaging barman who has great respect for the products he works with, suggesting we need to put a little more thought into our next pour at home.

“If you don’t have time for mixing cocktails, you can make a simple G&T pop by using the right combination of gin, tonic and garnish,” says Motteram.

“Some gins are very floral and light, others are herbaceous and then there are the big, bold styles – rather than serving up with just a piece of citrus or cucumber, have a taste of the drink and think if star anise, dried cranberries, cinnamon or sliced strawberries would be better. Different garnishes are also a great way to add some colour and dress up a plain G&T.”

Motteram suggests the following pairings of gins, tonics and garnishes to create some different G&T styles, and then a couple of cocktail recipes for when you want to go all out.

Light and floral

Hains-&-Co-light-and-floral

Photo: Nat Rogers/InDaily

Gin: Tarquins, 6 O’clock, Aviation
Tonic: East Imperial Original*
Garnish: A violet flower or finely sliced fresh or dehydrated strawberries

Herbaceous

Hains-&-Co-herbaceous

Photo: Nat Rogers/InDaily

Gin: KIS Wild, Hendricks, Gin Mare, Botanist
Tonic: Fever Tree Mediterranean*
Garnish: Sprig of rosemary or thyme

Fresh citrus

Hains-&-Co-citrus

Photo: Nat Rogers/InDaily

Gin: West Winds Sabre, Tanqueray 10, Antipodes
Tonic: Fever Tree Classic*
Garnish: Fresh citrus (lime, green capsicum or grapefruit)

Bold London dry

Hains-&-Co-bold-london-dry

Photo: Nat Rogers/InDaily

Gin: Tanqueray, No. 3, Boodles, Whitley Neill
Tonic: Schweppes
Garnish: Dehydrated or fresh lime, lemon, orange or ruby red grapefruit

Navy strength or gunpowder strength

Hains-&-Co-navy-strength

Photo: Nat Rogers/InDaily

Gin: West Winds Broadside, Four Pillars Navy Strength)
Tonic: East Imperial Burma^
Garnish: Star anise, cassia bark or stick of cinnamon

* available at Dan Murphy’s and East End Cellars
^ available at East End Cellars

Festive cocktails

Hains-&-Co-gin-sour

Photo: Nat Rogers/InDaily

“What we call a ‘sour’ is the back bone of many classic cocktails,” says Motteram.

“Take a daiquiri or a margarita – both are essentially sours. At Hains & Co we love both gin and rum, and have chosen to use gin as the fortifying ingredient for the wonderful botanicals it brings to the drink.

“A sour is made up of a simple ratio of two strong (spirit) plus one sour (citrus) plus one sweet (sugar syrup or a liqueur) – knowing this makes it easy for you to make in bulk for the upcoming Christmas events.

“Whilst the classic sour also has egg white, that gives it a lovely foamy top when shaken within an inch of its life, this is something that can be removed without great consequence to the taste.”

Gin Sour

Hains-&-Co-gin-sour-making

Photo: Nat Rogers/InDaily

Ingredients
50-60ml gin (depending on how boozy you want to make it)
30ml citrus (lime or lemon juice, the fresher the better)
*25-30ml sugar syrup (add less to begin, it is easier to add more to taste)
15ml egg white (can be left out)
Add your own twist – see below

Method
Pour ingredients into a shaker; if with egg white, shake initially without ice (this makes it foamier), then add ice and shake a second time, then and strain into a glass of your choice, over ice or straight up.

This is something that can also be made in larger batches and put into a blender. You can also add other fresh ingredients to give it a twist, such as cucumber, ginger or fresh summer fruits.

*Sugar syrup: combine equal parts sugar and water, stir till dissolved, then chill.

Serves 1

Trinidad Sour

Hains-&-Co-trinidad-sour-use-this-one

Photo: Nat Rogers/InDaily

Ingredients
30ml rye whiskey or rum (Canadian Club, Sazerac, Bacardi 8, Angostura)
30ml Angostura Bitters (to add some Christmas flavour)
30ml lemon juice (fresh is always best)
25ml Orgeat (this is an almond syrup, but can easily be replaced with sugar syrup)

Method
Pour all ingredients into a shaker over ice, shake hard and strain into a martini or coupette glass for straight up. Garnish with a star anise. Bliss.

Serves 1

Or drop into Hains & Co at 23 Gilbert Place, Adelaide, to have Motteram personally mix one for you.

 

 

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