Over the winter months Gin and Tonic has been my go to cocktail. Campari and dry lemon is still a firm fave, but it is such a summer drink; which I will be breaking out again in a few months as our earth turns slowly to the sun. For now a G’n’T with a cheek of lime squeezed into it is ‘top of the pops’ as sofamother would say. Which makes me think – there aren’t too many winter cocktails are there? One can drink only so much warm wine or hot toddy. Will have to research that.
SA doesn’t have too many varieties of Gin available – we have the usual suspects, but not the great ‘botanically’ enhanced versions they have in the UK at the moment. sofabrother is in London on holiday as I write this, and I have requested that he and our pal Tracey come up with some spectacular version for me. I am also hoping for some bacon salt. The airwaves have remained somewhat silent in response. But he is bringing me a new camera gifted by sofabrothertheyounger, so I don’t want to press too hard.
The other good thing about a G’n’T is that one, or possibly two when I am pushing the boat out, suffices nicely. I know gin is considered the Spinster’s Ruin – but any more than two and it’s overload. So the old days and their refilled-wineglass-inadvertent-hangovers are easily avoided.
I was looking for a way to pickle a hunk of cabbage that Mark had left in the fridge before he set off on his travels and came across this recipe on theviewfromthegreatisland instead. Needless to say it grabbed me immediately. The recipe is dead easy, especially as Riley Plum helped me prepare it, and took all of the photos. I’ve stashed the pickles in the fridge to mature for next week’s hamburger dinner with the Nans. They’re not allowed to drink my cocktails (though sips are sneaked), but they do love a good pickle. And I know this will tickle their fancies. So why not?
Gin & Tonic Refrigerator Pickles
5-7 small Persian or pickling cucumbers
1 Tbsp of juniper berries
3/4 cup gin
3/4 cup tonic water
juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp Roses lime juice
- Boil your jar and lid, completely submerged in water for a few minutes. Remove, turn upside down and allow to cool.
- Wash and trim the stem tips from the cucumbers. Slice them in half lengthwise, and then in half again. Trim them to the length of your jar. The spears should fit neatly into the jar and be submerged in the picking liquid.
- Mix the gin, tonic water, fresh lime juice and the Rose’s.
- Lightly crush the juniper berries to release their flavor.
- Fit the pickle spears into a clean glass jar. Fill the jar but don’t pack them in super tightly.
- Add the juniper berries, and then the liquid mixture.
- Top off with more tonic water if the spears aren’t completely submerged.
- Cap the jar tightly and refrigerate. Let the pickles ‘pickle’ for 2 days before eating.
The pickles will keep for at least a month in the fridge. Less if you live with me.
(All images taken by Miss Riley Plum, the smallest Nan. Copyright C&S)