Gin has taken this Christmas by storm.  With so many different wonderful recipe ideas bounding about it’s no wonder.  When you think about all the options you have to add to a single (or double) shot – who’s measuring?, transforming your drink into a personalised cocktail.  We drink more when what’s in the glass looks pretty and appetising so stick an umbrella in for show, or a slice of orange. Add tonic, or don’t.  Strawberries and cucumber added to your glass makes a delicious summer picnic elixir and looks so fresh.

 Most of our UK gin is distilled in Scotland where they certainly know what they’re doing where spirits are concerned but more and more start up or pop up craft distilleries are emerging around the globe. It’s a relatively easy process with fabulous results.  Explore different taste options, add your personality and surprise friends when you next get together for a tasting.

There are hundreds of wonderful household names and more and more less well known brands with every possible bottle shape, label, glass colour to entice you to try just one more.

Fresh off the press news is that Exmouth has been named 17th in a poll of gin capitals of the world! What a community spirit.

We are lucky enough to have a passionate gin entrepreneur living in our community. I was handed a glass of ice cold ‘Quick Gin’ garnished with just a slice of orange and masses of ice, by George of Exmouth’s Spoken.  The name brainwave came about after he heard a common phrase: “i’ll have just one more quick gin before i go” – and of course there is already a ‘sloe gin’.  So why not!

Recipe for Sloe Gin: (perfect for winters evenings)

500g freshly picked sloes, 250g sugar, 1l of your favourite gin

Prick the sloes with a sewing needle to release the juices. Yes, it’s time consuming but well worth the effort

Empty (or rather drink) some of the gin out of the bottle to make way for sloes and sugar. Shake until the sugar has dissolved.  Hide in a dark cupboard (where no-one can find it) and sit tight for 3 months.  Strain and enjoy.  Also delicious as a refreshing summer drink with tonic and masses of ice. And it’s a beautifully rich pink colour.