Elderflower Rinse Martini

In the wake of World Gin Day last week, I am happily celebrating World Martini Day today!

I know the word ‘martini’ has become synonymous with ‘something drunk from a martini glass’, but I’d like to use today as a opportunity to step away from the Porn Star, Appletini and other fruity variants, and bring it back to something a little more classic.

This recipe is my favourite way to drink a martini: dry, with a good gin, lemon twist and an elderflower rinse.

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Happy World Gin Day!

First impressions count for a lot. The first time you meet a person, the first time you hear a song, the first time you try a food – it colours every experience you have afterwards. Working in a bar, one thing I heared a lot was “oh god, I can’t stand that. The first time I had it…”, generally followed by a story involving a misspent youth drinking cider on the beach, or doing one too many tequilas in a night out.

The first time I tried gin, I was seven years old and I’d stolen a sip of a G&T from a friend of my mum’s at a New Year’s Eve party. I can’t say it was my favourite taste in the world, but I certainly went back for a second swig before being banished to bed. Ever since then, gin and I have been, if not partners-in-crime (rum probably deserves that title) then badly behaved friends.

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I had a whole post about the history of gin, and some of my favourite gin cocktails, written out. But then my mum decided she wanted me to make her something with some apricots we found in the greengrocers, and thus this piece was born!

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Whilst I love making infusions and syrups, I wanted to branch out a little today so I decided to make a shrub. Shrubs, or “drinking vinegars” (doesn’t sound quite so appealing…) are a good way of preserving fruit in sugar and vinegar, which appealed to me because sometimes I find the sweetness of syrups a bit limiting. It also appealed to me because it’s seriously simple, and I was feeling lazy!

Check out the recipe and my World Gin Day cocktail below!

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World Gin Day sneak peek

I’ve just arrived back from a week in Lanzarote with my mum. I’ve got about a gazillion photos to edit and share in another post, but suffice to say I had an amazing time sunbathing, surfing, and drinking far too much red wine!

On my way home, Mum and I picked up a few bits from duty-free, including Brugal Reserva (yippee!) and a bottle of Tanqueray Export – just in time for World Gin Day tomorrow.

I had a big ol’ post planned out with a few classic cocktails, but armed with the Tanqueray and after a quick trip to my local greengrocers, I decided to scrap it all and make something a little different. Here’s a sneak peek…

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Check back later on for the full post!

A Rhubarb Cocktail (making magazine)

About a month ago, I was approached by the lovely folks at Making Magazine, who wanted a cocktail for their June issue.

Obviously, I was flattered and very excited. I was also absolutely terrified. I’ve designed drinks for bar menus and events. I make cocktails at home all the time. But the idea of sharing those drinks with, I don’t know, the entire readership of a national magazine? Wow.

After a lot of procrastinating and a bit of drinking (research, obviously!), this was the result – click for a larger version.
Tash Walker/Making Magazine 2014
I love making simple syrups to use in drinks. Infusing spirits tends to give a better flavour, but it takes time. And if a syrup doesn’t turn out how you want it, you can chuck it out. With spirits, on the other hand…well, I have a half-bottle of a ginger-infused vodka that somehow tastes exactly like lime cordial. It’s done three house moves with me but I still can’t bring myself to throw it away.

With this recipe, you could swap the gin for vodka or the syrup for a fruit liqueur. I’m looking forward to having it drizzled with Rhuby, a rhubarb and vanilla liqueur I tried this week.

If you want to find the magazine (and I’d highly recommend it if you enjoy crafts – I had literally no idea there were so many things you could do with twine and tons of patience) it’s out now and it looks like this!

Making Magazine June 2014
Happy drinking (:

Aside

Three Cocktails Everyone Should Know and ninetyeight bar

As I mentioned in my last post, I ran a cocktail masterclass at the fabulous ninetyeight bar and lounge in Shoreditch on the weekend.

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I’ve never been before but I popped downstairs to the bar for a drink after the class, and was pretty much blown away. The bar itself is accessed by a spiral staircase coming down from the street – it’s so tucked away that I had trouble spotting it (hint: look for the “Morrell House” frontage!) when I first arrived. The place is decorated beautifully, like a confectionary-themed Versailles.

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I love these puzzle pieces/coasters and the other fun little touches.

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Behind the bar are rows of perfume jars with home-made infusions – my friend had an amazing berry-infused Limencello concoction, which I’ve (very unprofessionally) forgotten the name of.

Anyway, enough rambling! Hit ‘read more’ to see my Mojito, Cosmo and Pink Bramble how-tos.

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just a quick update

Hey guys,

I was lucky enough to be invited to run a cocktail masterclass for a hen party in a fab bar in Shoreditch today. I’ll be posting the three drinks I taught the girls tomorrow, but for now, have a sneak peek of the gorgeous venue, ninetyeight bar and lounge.

Tash Walker 2014

Imagine if Marie Antoinette, Heston Blumenthal and Alice in Wonderland were sharing a beautiful high-ceiling apartment and you’ll understand why I fell in love with it!

Check back soon for my “Three Cocktails Everyone Should Know How To Make” piece – and a massive thanks to the lovely ladies I showed them to today! I’ve also got a few bits of pretty exciting news that I’ll be able to share towards the end of the week…