Everyone knows that gin and herbs are a match made in heaven, so we asked some Nova Food bartenders to recommend their favourite pairings and share some simple recipes to try at home
Aster bartender Vincenzo Marino shares a botanical recipe using Napue Gin from Finnish distillery Kyrö.
Napue Perfect Serve:
Take a glass full of ice and add
• 50ml of Napue Finnish Gin
• 150ml of tonic water
• 3 frozen cranberries
• 1 stick of rosemary
Mix and enjoy
Aster, Nova Food, 150 Victoria St, SW1E 5LB; aster-restaurant.com
‘Gin and herbs have a longstanding relationship,’ says Stoke House bartender Adrian Lulisca. ‘This stems from the botanicals used during the distillation process. Most gins will vary in taste because, as part of the recipe, you will find various spices, flowers, fruits and of course, herbs. All of these botanicals are subtle enough for you to influence the aroma and taste of the final serve by adding classic or new ingredients. Some popular herbs are lavender, basil, sage, tarragon, mint, rosemary and thyme, used as an ingredient or garnish. Furthermore, gin lends itself to partnering perfectly with herbs as its main ingredient is juniper.’
Stoke House Tom Fresh
- 50ml Old Tom Gin
- 15ml lemon juice
- 10ml agave syrup
- 3 basil leaves
- 4 slices of lemongrass
- Black pepper
- Tonic water to top up
Mix and serve in a large wine glass
Stoke House, Nova Food, 81 Buckingham Palace Rd, SW1W 0AJ; thestokehouse.com
STICKS ’N’ SUSHI
Bartender Ivan Klimov’s favourite gin and herb pairing is a classic Tanqueray No. 10 gin and tonic with grapefruit and rosemary. He also recommends mixing Gin Mare, a premium Spanish botanical gin, with tonic, olives and rosemary. Or go for something a little leftfield with Japanese craft Roku Gin paired with tonic, black pepper and yuzu – a sour Japanese citrus fruit.
Sticks 'n' Sushi, Nova Food, 3 Sir Simon Milton Square, SW1E 5EB; sticksnsushi.co.uk
For bar director Piotr Pulit, the best thing you can pair with gin is… gin! 'Rather than instantly drenching the gin with tonic, have a little sip of the gin itself to really appreciate its original taste,' he advises, adding 'there are some amazing gins out there!' For something a little lighter, Pulit recommends starting with premium gin and a slimline or light tonic – these use natural sweeteners that give a smoother taste.
Originality, Lemon Thyme & Grapefruit
Originality gin is a lovely and affordable London Dry with citrus notes, so it pairs well with grapefruit and lemon thyme. Mix all three in a collins glass and add tonic.
Garden Tiger, Mint & Rose
If you’re throwing a party, try Cotswolds gin, Garden Tiger. Its complex and well-defined flavours pair well with tonic, mint and rose petals and will impress even the most pernickety of guests.
Monkey 47, Thyme & Forest Fruits
Inspired in part by the Black Forest, Monkey 47 is a German gin created with forest botanicals. As such it lends well to the fruits of its inspiration. Serve with tonic, thyme, blackberries and blueberries.
Nordés, Lemon Verbena & Liquorice.
Nordés is a lovely Spanish gin with slightly sweet undertones. Its floral botanicals pair well with tonic, lemon verbena and liquorice.
Timmy Green, Nova Food, 11 Sir Simon Milton Square, Westminster, London SW1E 5DJ; daisygreenfood.com