The way to their heart: Gin-matched Valentine's Day recipes

Impress your other half with these romantic recipes, especially designed to go with our February Gin of the Month, Edinburgh Valentine’s Gin.

Edinburgh Gin is proud to be a family business - founders Alex and Jane Nicol's son Finlay (Fin as he likes to be known), is not only the Edinburgh Distillery Manager, but also worked previously as a professional chef, honing his skills understanding the importance of flavour and the best ingredients in producing perfect concoctions.

We asked Fin to draw on this expertise – and his insider knowledge of Edinburgh Gin’s libations – and suggest some tasty food pairings to perfectly match your special Valentine’s Gin. Here’s what he told us:

Edinburgh Gin's Fin Nicol.

Edinburgh Gin's Fin Nicol.

“Edinburgh's Valentine's Gin is very fresh light floral and citrussy and works very well with fresh Scottish seafood like oysters, a scallop ceviche, barbequed langoustines or crab cakes with lemon aioli [see recipe below]. Its pink fruity flavour means it also works beautifully with red berry based desserts, like pavlova or fresh strawberries with lemon and basil.”

If you’re trying to capture your beloved’s heart via his or her stomach this Valentine’s day, these two delicious recipes to help you on your way – along with a wee dram of Edinburgh Valentine’s Gin of course…

Captivating Crab Cakes with Lemon Aioli


For the lemon aioli:

½ small clove garlic, peeled

sea salt &

freshly ground black pepper

1 large free-range egg yolk

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

285 ml extra virgin olive oil

285 ml olive oil

zest of 1 lemon

 juice of ½ lemon

For the crab cakes: 

450g white crab meat

2 large eggs

100g of breadcrumbs, finely ground

6 spring onions, finely sliced

1 tsp Thai fish sauce

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 thumb fresh ginger, finely grated

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 lime, juiced


First, make the lemon aioli. Puree the garlic with 1 teaspoon of salt in a pestle and mortar. Place the egg yolk and mustard in a bowl and whisk together, then start to add your oils very slowly. 

Once you’ve blended in a quarter of the oil, you can start to add the rest in larger amounts. When the mixture thickens, add lemon juice. When all the oil has gone in, add the garlic and lemon zest and juice. Refrigerate while you make the crab cakes.

To make the crab cakes, combine crab meat in a bowl with the eggs, breadcrumbs, spring onions, fish and soya sauces, ginger, garlic and lime juice. Season with a little salt and pepper. Divide the mix into 50g portions and shape into even-sized round cakes and lightly coat with flour.

Heat vegetable oil in a large non-stick frying pan on a medium heat. When the pan has come to temperature, allow the cakes to cook for 3-4 minutes on each side so they are hot in the centre and golden-brown on the outside. Use a palette knife to transfer the crab cakes from the pan on to kitchen paper to drain off excess oil.

Serve hot, with the lemon aioli and some watercress.

Bewitching Basil and Lemon Syrup Strawberries


Combine water, caster and lemon in a saucepan over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Ensure all sugar has dissolved then add basil and leave to stand until cool. Strain through muslin cloth or clean tea towel. Store in clean glass bottles, it keeps for ages.


250ml Water

450g caster sugar

Juice and zest of one lemon

250g basil leaves

To serve

Drizzle some syrup over hulled and halved strawberries and leave to macerate for 4-6 hours, then serve in a meringue nest with Chantilly cream or crème fraiche.

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