Sometimes you have to wait until the planets align to get a project happen. I was approached early this year by my pals at Underground Spirits and the Canberra Southern Cross Club to host a gin dinner featuring bespoke cocktails to match the cuisine.
We were all set, the dinner for 100 guests sold out in a few days, and then the inevitable COVID-19 inspired lockdown happened a few days out.
But cut forward to a few days ago, now early December 2021, and I’m in the kitchen briefing the team of waiters provided by the Club on my recipes, getting the mise en place all sorted and getting ready to serve 500 cocktails at the highest standard throughout the night.
I wanted to present a range of styles, offer a progression of flavour profiles for the guests, and most of all present cocktails that both set off the spirits, and matched the five course menu which featured seafood, marinated Murray Cod, roast Chicken, Lamb fillets, and chilled Panna Cotta for dessert.
We pre-batched as much as possible in advance, and got the Martinis chilling in the freezer, and had all the glasses and garnishes all prepped, so service would be fast and the cocktails cold on arrival. The team did a fantastic job and I was right back in my hotel and restaurant manager days mode, such a lot of fun when a service goes well and the teamwork is spot on.
During the evening I spoke about how gins made, demonstrated making a Martini, talked how I crafted the cocktails, and spoke to everyone who came and fielded questions all night, it was a heap of fun. It had been such a long while since any of us had been in a room dining with so many others and we all felt fabulous. Especially after one of my Martinis! 😉
Everything turned out perfectly, the food was amazing and the pace of the night was just so, not too rushed, and happily they loved my drinks, the Gin and Ginger was quite the hit of the night too.
We’re now planning our next collaboration, so stay tuned Canberra!
Martini Dry with a Twist
- 50ml Archie Rose Signature Dry Gin
- 10ml Maidenii Dry Vermouth
- A few drops of Orange Bitters
- add to mixing vessel with lots of ice and stir until very chilled
- pro-tip: put your gin in the freezer for a few hours prior to mixing
- prepare your lemon peel garnish
- strain into chilled cocktail/martini style glass and add your garnish.
The Dirty Martini
- 45ml of Archie Rose Signature Dry Gin
- 15mls Maidenii Dry Vermouth
- 5 teaspoons of green olive brine
- add to mixing vessel with lots of ice and stir a few times, and taste. If not ‘dirty enough’ add a couple more teaspoons of brine, stir and taste until you’re happy
- Add four drips of Umami bitters from online store Shop Ikigai
- 3 unpitted green Sicilian olives on a cocktail pic
- strain into chilled cocktail/martini style glass.
Japanese Gin and Tonic
- 30ml of Roku Gin
- pour into tall glass with ice, and top with Strange Love Light Tonic
- Garnish with Fresh thinly sliced Lime wheel
- Add Yuzu bitters two drops prior to serving
Gin and Ginger
- 30ml Underground Spirits Gin
- Fevertree Ginger Ale
- add a dash of Angostura Bitters
- Mascerate gin / anise / bitters / dry ginger 1 hr before service
- Add ice just prior to serving
- The add a cinnamon stick then serve
- 30ml Wildbrumby Rubus Gin
- Top with soda in a rocks glass
- Add one large ice cube prior to serving
A Sloe Winter Sipper
- 45ml of Sloe Gin of your choice, I opted for the Haymans Gin this time
- 15ml Blended whisky
- Tablespoon of honey
- Add honey to cocktail glass then pour over the Gin & Whisky mix
- Add a single Star Anise to infuse for at least 30 minutes
- Garnish with free Orange peel and serve room temperature.