With our favourite bars and restaurants currently closed in the face of COVID, we’re missing the buzz of an evening crowd and the allure of beautiful cocktails.
These are tough times for both business owners and talented bartenders, so be sure to visit the websites of your favourite places to see if they offer any drink deliveries to your door.
If not, then we’re here to help, as we share the first three recipes from our 2021 cocktail collection. They’re just the thing for trying at home and adding a little glamour to our lockdown lives.
The first recipe we have for you is 'The Minch Martini'…
This drink derives its name from the infamous stretch of wild water which separates our island from the west coasts of Scotland.
The straight stretches for 45 miles at its widest point and every bottle of Isle of Harris Gin must make this often choppy crossing to reach you.
In winter it can be a particularly treacherous journey and any seasoned sailor will have a toe-curling tale or two to tell of battling its high winds and waves.
Thankfully, this cocktail reflects its calmer moments, when common dolphins play among the bow waves of returning boats and the island can just be spied upon the horizon…
THE MINCH MARTINI
25ml Isle of Harris Gin
50ml Lemon Verbena tea [via]
10ml Bergamot Liqueur [via]
Lemon twist to garnish
To make the tea, simply steep 10g of verbena leaves (or any green herbal tea leaves) in 1000ml of water for 5 hours. Strain into a bottle and chill in the fridge. Use within 4 days.
To make the cocktail pour all ingredients into a mixing glass, add cubed ice, stir until well chilled and strain into a chilled Martini glass.
Maritime elements continue to influence our drinks with our second cocktail, which we call 'The Sound Of Waves'.
This recipe is as refreshing as a winter dip in the Atlantic and draws inspiration from not just the sea but also the traditional Italian Sgroppino.
There’s also a hint of Harris in the mix, as we delicately draw out the flavours of our favourite seaweed to further invoke the salty-sweet coastal air.
It takes a little more effort but if you prepare the sorbet in advance you’ll be able to enjoy the final serve in seconds when the time is right. Then just sit back and get a sense of crashing cold breakers.
THE SOUND OF WAVES
50ml Isle of Harris Gin
750ml Sparkling wine
2 scoops of Grapefruit and Sugar kelp sorbet
To make the sorbet, blend 5g of dried Sugar kelp or Kombu [via] with 1000mls of grapefruit juice. Add to a pan with 400g of sugar and heat gently until dissolved. Chill for 25 mins then then churn in an ice cream maker for 25 mins. Alternatively, pour into a shallow baking tray and freeze, before blending again.
Scoop the sorbet into a Martini glass, pour in Isle of Harris Gin and top up with sparkling wine.
Finally, we bring you a recipe that celebrates the men and women who have set sail in all weathers to bring home the ocean’s harvest.
The Mariner’s Martinez is our take on one of the oldest cocktails in the world, adding extra salinity to the serve in honour of those who bravely battle the briny deep each day.
This is another strong drink, even for the hardiest of sailors, so treat it with the same respect you would a storm when heading out to sea…
THE MARINER'S MARTINEZ
50ml Isle of Harris Gin
15ml Pedro Ximenez sherry
5ml Salted caramel syrup [via]
3 dashes Toasted almonds bitters. [via]
A cherry to garnish.
Pour all the ingredients into a mixing glass, add cubed ice and stir for 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with the cherry.
We’ll have more island-inspired mixes and pours for you to try over the coming months so do let us know how you get on making them!
Meantime, if you’d like to support Scottish bartenders at this trying time, please consider donating the price of a cocktail (or two!) to The Scottish Licensed Trade Benevolent Society.