Friday, 8 November 2013

Beefeater Cocktails

Last month I was invited to attend a Beefeater gin cocktail-making masterclass as part of London Cocktail Week. Unfortunately I had a prior engagement (which did not involve booze and definitely didn't involve turning up late and drunk) and couldn't make it.
Pretty people making pretty drinks
To really rub in just how much fun they all had, I was sent some pictures of their jolly japes. It was held at Graphic Bar, so to add insult to injury I know exactly how good the snacks were (very - especially if those were the polenta chips they do).

Then, to soothe the sting a bit, I was sent a bottle of Beefeater London Dry gin and a copy of some of the cocktail recipes they made, so I could have a bit of a play with them at home.
My taste in cocktails tends towards the tangy and tart. I've even gone off Schweppes tonic water because I find it too sweet (the Fevertree Naturally Light tonic is so much nicer, and has fewer calories). Of course, the slightly savoury aromatics in gin do lend themselves to lighter, fresher sorts of drinks, so I was delighted by the recipes that were included. I have heard of gin and milk as a combination, but that really is too disgusting to contemplate.

I didn't have any peach liqueur, and inexplicably the local Costcutter doesn't stock it, so the Peach Collins was out of the running. That still left me with two cocktails that I had the ingredients for and that I wanted to taste.

I filled the ice trays, cleaned off the cocktail shaker and martini glasses (Paul didn't even know we had a cocktail shaker, so you can tell how rarely I use it) and settled down to wait for cocktail hour.

Now, I don't want to come over all Stepford wife, but I have to say Paul was very impressed by being greeted with a martini glassful of cheer when he came home from work. I maintained my feminist integrity by wearing yoga pants and not brushing my hair.

The first drink we tried was the White Lady - Beefeater Dry, cointreau, lemon juice and an eggwhite. Paul was very sceptical about the eggwhite, despite my protests that all of the sours have that to give the froth on top and a creamy texture. Fortunately, when he tried it he liked it! Very strong but really good, with a nice depth of citrus from the cointreau and lemon juice.
White Lady - all but one of the bulbs in the kitchen blew and we didn't have a spare
The following night (these cocktails are too strong to have more than one of an evening, although that may be a sign I am getting old) we tried the Breakfast Martini. This was supposed to be made with Beefeater 24, which has a blend of teas, grapefruit and liquorice added to the botanicals to give more fragrance, but I made it with the Beefeater Dry. Like the White Lady, it had gin, cointreau and lemon juice, but instead of the eggwhite it was shaken with some fine-shred Seville orange marmalade. This was absolutely lovely. The burnt-orange flavour of the marmalade made the citrus aromas of the gin sing, while the extra sweetness rounded out some of the more aggressive alcohol flavours. I don't think the Breakfast Martini will replace the Bloody Mary as my breakfast booze of choice, but it is a very nice pre-dinner drink.
Breakfast martini


Megs said...

Oh my, what an assignment. Good job!

Joanne said...

Oooo I do love the sound of that cocktail!

wildtomato said...

Both cocktails are right up my alley. Time to refresh the gin supply!

grace said...

i don't think i even know what gin tastes like but i've always appreciated the name 'beefeater' and the cocktails sound great! cool class!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Megs - it certainly suited me!

Joanne - they were lovely. So fresh!

Tomato - it is a shame to run out of gin.

Grace - like vodka with the faintest hint of citrus and spice.


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