This Saturday sees the nation's favourite horse race, the Grand National, take place at Aintree. Never ones to miss a chance to whip up a cocktail or two, we've gathered together five gin-based concoctions to provide the perfect accompaniment to all the excitement. Cheers everyone and the best of luck if you'll be having a flutter tomorrow!
This refreshing concoction brings a real taste of spring with the inclusion of Pimm’s – and the cucumber foam is just fun!
20ml Pimms No. 1 Cup
30ml sparkling lemon & lime soda (such as Sprite)
3-inch chunk of cucumber (skin on)
Add the gin and Pimm's to a shaker and fill with ice.
Shake, and strain into a half-pint glass.
Top up with lemon-limeade soda and then crown with cucumber foam.
To make the cucumber foam:
Juice the cucumber chunk. If you don’t have a juicer, you can puree the cucumber in a blender then strain the puree through a fine sieve, pressing to extract as much juice as possible.
Put the cucumber juice into a jar or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously until it foams.
Take a punt on this fruity twist on Dick Bradsell’s modern classic, The Bramble.
30ml Sloe gin
30ml Freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
8ml Sugar syrup
15 ml Cherry Heering Liqueur
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit.
If your gamble pays off, you just might find yourself joining the millionaire’s club for real! Failing that though, this sparkling concoction will make you feel like a winner whatever the race result.
40ml dry vermouth
Champagne (or other sparkling wine)
Stir the gin and vermouth together in an ice-filled mixing glass until properly chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and top with Champagne.
The Pale Rider
If you’re backing one of the only two greys in this year’s race – Unioniste and Ballycasey – this might just be the drink for you!
15ml fino sherry
15ml dry vermouth
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash orange bitters
5ml Farigoule Thyme Liqueuer (or homemade thyme syrup – see below)
Rinse a small coupe glass with absinthe and set aside. Add the remaining ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir for 30 seconds and strain into the prepared glass. Garnish with a slice of lemon peel.
To make the thyme syrup:
In a medium saucepan, combine 2 parts sugar and one part water. Add a small bunch of fresh thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for four to five minutes. Let cool without removing thyme, then strain into a clean bottle and store in the fridge. The syrup will keep for several weeks.
Adapted from a 1930s recipe in The Savoy Cocktail book, this amaretto and gin concoction is sure to get you race-ready.
15ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 dash orange bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with an orange zest twist.