I don’t know what’s come over me this Christmas, but I’ve been compelled to build up our drinks cabinet into a well stocked cocktail-making machine. It started innocently enough. I bought a bottle of artisan gin at a Christmas market. Before I knew it, I’d added some Cointreau, a bottle of vermouth and a selection of mixers. Where will it end? Who cares? It’s Christmas!
I’ve discovered the secret to actually being bothered enough to make cocktails, is to have a couple of simple recipes up your sleeve and all of the ingredients to hand. This Gin, Ginger & Cranberry Martini is so easy to make and the ingredients are equally easy to get hold of. It works well when you make large batches too, so it’s perfect for parties. You don’t even need a cocktail shaker, though that does help to chill it down beautifully.
I have to give a shout out to the Curio Spirits Company. A few weeks ago, I bought a bottle of their splendid Rock Samphire Gin (beautiful label, no?) shortly followed by a bottle of their Peruvian Cocoa Nib Infused Vodka. And yes that is as good as it sounds but I’ll save that for another post. Gin is all about the botanicals, in this case star anise and juniper berries, which they blend with hand-foraged samphire from Cornish cliff tops, to bring a taste of the sea to their hand-blended gin. I’m not sure if I could detect those wild Cornish aromas but the gin was top notch and beautifully balanced.
I wanted to use it to make something suitable festive-looking so cranberry was the obvious choice. I warmed the whole thing up with a quick homemade ginger syrup which takes just minutes to prepare and which keeps for at least a week. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Cranberry, Gin & Ginger Martini. This is a cocktail you can whip up at warp speed, and with some clever garnishes, it looks impressive. If you want to make an ever quicker cocktail, substitute ginger ale for ginger syrup and you have yourself a Gin Fizz!
Sidenote: I made the sugared cranberries by brushing them with a little of the ginger syrup and then rolling them in caster sugar. They set hard after just an hour or so and look great on a cocktail stick as a garnish.
- 50g of fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup of caster sugar
- 500ml water
- cranberry juice
- 2-3 limes
- your gin of choice
- star anise (optional)
- fresh cranberries (optional)
- For a quick ginger syrup, add the finely chopped ginger, sugar and water to a gentle boil in a saucepan and then immediately removed from heat. Leave to stand for 2-3 hours and strain. Decanted into a jar or bottle, the syrup will keep for at least a week.
- To make the cocktail, chill two martini glasess (though frankly any nice glassed will do!)
- If you have a cocktail shaker, add a generous amount of ice and add 30ml of gin per person and a tablespoon of ginger syrup person. Add the juice of a lime person and 2/3 of a glass of cranberry juice. Add a star anise if you have it. Shake well, strain and serve with either a star anise floating on top or some fresh / sugared cranberries.
- If you want to make an ever quicker cocktail, substitute ginger ale for ginger syrup and you have yourself a Gin Fizz!