Gin, Gin, Gin!

It’s no great secret that I enjoy a gin & tonic (Hendricks, slimline Schweppes & a squeeze of lime) but it wasn’t until last Christmas that I started to take this fondness to the next level by getting experimental (or “fussy” so I’m told) with mixers and cocktail recipes. “What was the catalyst for this rather frivolous and entirely extravagant new hobby Anna?” I hear you ask. Well, it began with a rather splendid gift from my brother.  Wrapped under the Christmas tree last year was a bottle of Twisted Nose Gin, a local tipple that is distilled just up the road from me in Winchester. I knew it would be nice, it was recently voted 17th in a poll of the nation’s favourite gins and received rave reviews at the Gin Guild Ginposium (YES, a place where gin professionals get together solely to discuss gin…!).

I’m going to put my neck on the line here as a gin novice and say that it’s got quite a distinctive peppery taste, which is very refreshing! This might have something to do with it’s watercress infusion (a speciality of the area, thus lending its name to our wonderful steam line – The Watercress Line) or a combination of nine other botanicals of which you can read about on the website. Of course Twisted Nose makes for a wonderful G&T, but I also wanted to share with you a beautifully bitter gin cocktail that I’m becoming rather fond of (potentially sacrilege? I’m new to this!).

 

Gin Bramble

 

Bramble

Ingredients:

  • 45ml gin

  • 20ml lemon juice

  • 15ml sugar syrup

  • 20ml crème de mûre (Blackberry liquor is difficult to source – but you can also substitute this with Chambord)

  • Lots of ice

  • Blackberries or raspberries to garnish

 

Method:

MIX and enjoy!

 

N.B. I originally stumbled across this recipe on Honestly YUM, which is crammed full of food & drink related goodness! 

Gin Bramble

I'd love to hear your thoughts & recommendations about gin, cocktails or this recipe so do leave comments!

Much love,

Anna xxx

P.s. Since we're on the topic...


Pumpkin Pancakes

Breakfast is my favourite part of the day. I love breakfast. Most days I don’t have time to make anything. I normally just grab some porridge or a banana and dream of the feast I would have cooked up, if only I had woken up a couple of hours earlier.

Food for me in general can be tricky. Since the age of 16 I’ve been dealing with a condition called Fibromyalgia. It affects people in different ways, but my main symptoms have always been chronic pain, muscle inflammation and fatigue. It took a long time for me to be diagnosed, but now I’m learning to understand what triggers the inflammation and I’m more in control of it on a day-to-day basis.

One of the easiest ways for me to control the pain is to avoid foods that my body finds difficult to digest. It was quite overwhelming when I was told I would have to completely change my diet, but actually, it gets easier every day.

There are loads of fantastic food blogs that specialise in gluten/dairy/sugar free meals, so there is inspiration everywhere. That being said, I haven’t always been able to resist temptation. The other day I walked past Fortnum and Mason with my friend Alice and they had Cronuts on display. CRONUTS. I mean, come on. It would be rude to refuse a cronut.

Pumpkin pancakes may not be cronuts, but they’re still delicious.

 

PUMPKIN PANCAKES

300 ml of almond milk (unsweetened)

200g of gluten free flour

450g of pumpkin puree

2 eggs

oil

agave syrup

nutmeg

cinnamon

blueberries, strawberries or any other fruit!

 

Mix the almond milk, eggs and pumpkin puree together in a bowl. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk in the flour.

Heat the oil in the pan. Remember to let the pan heat up fully otherwise the pancake will fall to pieces. (That’s why there isn ’t a picture of my first pancake on here!)

Pour the batter into a pan. The mixture is very heavy so spread it around the pan. Place the fruit on top of the pancake as the first side is cooking. When it’s time to flip the pancake, go easy – make sure it is properly cooked otherwise it will break as you try to pick it up.

Once the pancake is cooked on either side, place it on to a plate and sprinkle the extra fruit on top. Pour the agave syrup on top and enjoy!

I always have a lot of almond milk leftover, so I make an iced coffee to go with my breakfast, no matter what the temperature is outside! Just pour two inches of freshly made coffee over ice, and then top up with the almond milk. 

Enjoy, and please share your results if you try out my recipe!