Whip Up A Delicious 5-Course Meal Using Gin
Known for its exceptional flavour and versatility, juniper berries are a key ingredient in gin. Of course, the flavour quotient varies in different liquor brands.
With the gin being so flavourful, it makes for an excellent cooking ingredient. In fact, it can be used to whip up desserts, savoury items and preservatives. Before diving into delicious recipes that use gin, let's go through some guidelines for cooking with the spirit.
Guidelines for using gin in cooking
-- Gin has a strong flavour, so it needs to be used judiciously while cooking. Cooking with gin is especially helpful when the dish needs an herbal or floral flavour. But make sure the gin's taste doesn't overpower other flavours of the dish.
-- Since alcohol has a lower freezing point than water, it might not freeze properly unless you follow the recipe and instructions to the tee. When using gin for making frozen dessert, too much of the spirit might prevent the ice from forming well.
-- When you use alcohol to cook, the heat will make most of the spirit evaporate. So, if too much alcohol ends up burning, the dish won't be as potent with its flavours. The longer you cook anything with alcohol, the more it will evaporate.
Gin N Lime Popcorn
1.5 gms Plain, unflavoured, unsalted popcorn, popped
1 tablespoon Unsalted butter
3 tablespoons Water
4 tablespoons Tanqueray No. Ten Gin
1 wedge of Lime
Salt to taste
Take a pan with a deep base. Add butter, sugar, and water and cook it on medium-high. Stir well and stir often. As the sugar starts to bubble, turn the flame to medium. Cook for five minutes. Keep stirring frequently.
Now, take the pan off the heat and very slowly add the gin. As you add the gin, the sugar will bubble and splatter. Be careful.
Add the popped popcorn in a tub and pour the gin-flavoured mixture from the pan into it. Coat the corn well by stirring well. Ensure each kernel is coated with the mix. Take the popcorn out and spread it on the baking sheet evenly. Squeeze the lime wedge all over the popcorn. Check the taste, add more salt if you like it more salty.
You can let this batch of popcorn dry before serving. If you like your popcorn more crispy, you can bake it in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
Gin Marinated Olives
250 gms Mixed olives, drained
1-2 cloves of Garlic smashed
Several stems of thyme or oregano or rosemary
1 small Thinly sliced lemon 120 ml Olive oil
120 ml Tanqueray No. Ten Gin
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
Take a small bowl and mix olives, garlic, herbs and lemon in a small mixing bowl with the olive oil and gin.
Transfer the contents of the bowl to a deep oven-proof dish. Add more olive oil and gin to get the olives covered with them. Bake for half an hour. Remove the olives from the oven. Pour the leftover marinade on top.
Cucumber Salad With Gin Dressing
1 large Hothouse cucumber or 2 regular cucumbers, sliced
3 small Campari tomatoes, cut into wedges
60 ml Tanqueray No. Ten Gin
Juice from one orange
120 ml Olive oil
1 tsp Dried basil
Salt and pepper
Take a small platter and layer cucumber on it. Add a layer of tomato wedges. Sprinkle pepper over them generously.
In a lidded bottle, add gin, orange juice, olive oil, basil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Shake the bottle vigorously until the liquid becomes thick. Pour the contents of the bottle over the cucumbers and tomatoes.
Chill for an hour.
Tomato Soup In A Flash
1.2 kg Tomatoes
4 fat Garlic cloves
1 Small handful of fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon Tomato purée
A good glug of Olive oil
500 ml hot vegetable or chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tsp Caster sugar [or to taste]
60 ml double cream, plus extra to serve
45 ml Tanqueray No. Ten Gin plus a dash to serve (optional)
Put a pan on the heat. Add oil to it. On the side, quarter the tomatoes and add them to the oil. As the tomatoes fizz, chop the garlic and add it. Add tomato puree and stir it well. Pour in the gin and add salt, pepper, sugar and hand-torn basil.
Let the contents simmer, then add the hot stock. Wait until the contents start simmering again. Turn off the heat.
And the contents into a blender or food processor. Whizz, adding the cream as you go. Place a sieve over the pan used for simmering the tomato and the seasoning.
Pass the blended soup through the sieve. Keep the pan on heat again till the blended soup simmers. Turn off the heat and adjust the seasoning.
Add a splash of some more gin. The soup is ready to serve.
Gin Penne Pasta
450 gms Al dente penne pasta
½ Diced onion
2 cloves Minced Garlic 60 ml Olive oil
½ teaspoon Red pepper flakes
1 can Diced tomatoes
250 ml Tanqueray No. Ten Gin 1 tablespoon Sugar
125 ml Cream
125 ml Grated parmesan cheese
60 gms Minced fresh basil, minced
Salt and pepper
Take a medium-sized pot. Add olive oil, onions, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook them over medium heat for five minutes until onions are soft and fragrant.
Ensure that onions and garlic don't turn brown. Just make sure they are soft.
Add the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes. Turn off the heat and blend the contents until the sauce is fairly smooth.
Add the sauce to the pot and add gin and sugar to it.
Heat it till it simmers for 20 minutes. Add cream, Parmesan cheese, basil and season with salt and pepper.
Cook the pasta as per the package and add it directly to the sauce. Stir together. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.