Gin by nature is a rather heavily infused spirit with at the very least juniper berries but more often than not a variety of botanicals make it’s way into modern gins. The flavor of gin is derived not only from botanicals infused in them but also the art of distillation . Well, the basic gin is typically made from infusions however the distilled and London dry varieties involve a number of distillations. Exploring the process of gin making and what makes it taste so good will the the focus of a later blog post, for now I am focusing on how to take a basic dry gin with not much infusions and flavor and elevating them so that they taste like a high end gin especially in gin based cocktails . I do not however recommend using good sipping gins like Broker’s , Hendricks, Hayman’s ,Bulldog ,Citadelle , Tanqueray or ones which are overpowering with botanicals like Bombay Sapphire . The ideal gin would be a basic London Dry gin with prominent juniper and mild citrus flavors with minimal botanicals such as Beefeater, Bombay, Greenall’s etc. The lavender infusion opens up a new dimension in flavor and aroma.
In a clean lidded glass jar , which has been thoroughly cleaned to ensure there are no other odors and aromas, add the London dry gin up to three quarters of the glass. Add two tablespoons of dry lavender. Let it infuse for a day at least ( it can be done upto 2 days maximum for a more prominent lavender flavor). Strain the gin to remove the lavender . You will be left with a pinkish looking gin infusion .
- 3 parts Lavender infused gin
- 1 part lemon juice (classic Tom Collins recipe uses 2 parts, it is reduced so as to not overshadow the lavender flavor)
- 1 part simple sugar syrup
- 4 parts soda water (sparkling water can also be used)
- Thai Holy Basil for Garnish ( Fresh Basil can also be used)
- In a shaker half filled with ice cubes combine the gin, syrup and lemon juice.
- Pour over an old fashioned glass filled with ice cubes (add desired quantity, I prefer less ice so as to not make the cocktail watery) .
- Fill the glass up with soda water or sparkling water. Garnish with Holy Basil leaves. Alternatively , you can use a Collins glass instead of an old fashioned glass.