A Guide to Eating Your Spirits This Summer
Ah, summer holidays, that special time of year when it’s completely acceptable to drink bubbles with breakfast, or pour yourself a second, third – neigh fourth G&T before dinner. Unbutton your pants, dear reader, because since we’re on this summertime boozy bandwagon we’ve unearthed some brilliant ideas for working that bottle of Signature Dry or Distiller’s Strength Gin, Original Vodka or your favourite whisky into your festive food menu, too. Hungry?
COOKING WITH GIN
Gin is a brilliant spirit to cook with, its many botanicals lend dishes (desserts especially) an added fragrance and body of flavour. Heating gin tends to sap it of its aroma, so keep it for the cold stuff, such as these boozy watermelon, gin and cassis icy-poles - ideal for summer lickin’, or this blueberry gin trifle sprinkled with Blitzed! Peanut! Brittle!
Curing fish in vodka or gin is a classic move, but we especially like it with gin – the fatty fish acts as a sponge for all the spirit’s botanicals and only heightens in flavour the longer it cures. Try this refreshing recipe for gin-cured kingfish which goes the extra mile and adds not only gin-soaked cucumber to the mix (our Signature Dry Gin is just the thing, in this instance) but a gin and tonic granita just before serving. Fancy. Lastly, we know we told you to steer towards cold dishes, but this blueberry, orange and gin-spiked galette is made with a sort of gin-soaked blueberry jam that looks so damn good we couldn’t not include it. This wobbly cream and honey panna cotta offers a similarly fruity route except with gin-roasted strawberries. Stop right there and imagine that scent in your kitchen.
COOKING WITH VODKA
Bon Appétit has gone ahead and done all the research about why you should include vodka – our Original Vodka, since you’re here – in your next pie crust (it makes the dough easier to work with, and evaporates in the oven for extra flakiness!) so give it a whirl and indulge your inner country-dwelling self in this classic strawberry and rhubarb pie. Cool it on a windowsill and watch the neighborhood come a-running. Bon App, bless them, are also down with adding a splash of vodka to sorbet to create smaller ice crystals and thus a smoother finish, so we’re right on board with this vodka-laced peach lassi sorbet with crushed blueberries. Now, onto savouries. Vodka is chef Josh Niland’s secret to the perfect fish and chip batter, especially when combined with beer for that crisp crunch he’s famous for. Swirl a quarter cup into this rich, spicy, saucy pasta topped with burrata for a weeknight kick thanks to our friends at Good Food, or in with these easy, quick pipis. Lastly, next time you’re trying your hand at sausage rolls, throw around a few Bloody Mary vibes with a vodka-spiked tomato relish dipping sauce.
COOKING WITH WHISKY
Whisky has long been found in rich desserts, but it’s taken to the next level in these buttermilk doughnuts with whisky chocolate glaze. Have you ever seen more delicious words in one sentence? Never! Summer = fig season, finally, so celebrate your fragrant bounty with this surprisingly easy honey cake with figs and whisky, which actually improves in the the days after you bake it, if it lasts that long. If you didn’t roast something over Christmas, did it really happen? Try this perfect roast chook and slosh a quarter cup of whisky into the thick, rich gravy. Sink into your chair happy, and slightly pickled, just how things should be this time of year. Happy cooking.
Image credits: delicious.com.au, gourmettraveller.com.au, bonappetit.com and goodfood.com.au