“THAT COOL GIN THING” perfect companion for your RED HOT dancing to our HOT HOUSE of entertainment this weekend! by olli mitchell

Well I have been absent from the blogosphere for a few weeks since the fantastic AM Preacher came to town, and as such I managed to miss writing about the latin sounds of Katie Prado & The Mamboleros. The London based band delivered two fantastic and unique sets last weekend winning plenty of fans in the process, if you were not among the dancing throng, then you missed out big time.

We’re serving up a great big helping of rockabilly and jazz this weekend courtesy of the most energetic bands on the scene, The Red Hot Trio

and some of the most consistent performers of swing in the South West, The Hot House Playboys! We always bring the best acts in the region to Annabel’s and these two bands truly showcase why we manage to have so many varied high quality acts on our stage every week.

As we are making it so “Hot” this weekend, I thought I’d bring back a great drink to help cool down that I used to make plenty of a few years ago. Originally derived from a Gin Garden, my version was named the Lord Flashheart, after the eponymous Blackadder character, despite never sharing any of the same qualities possessed by the man himself! Perhaps a better name is That Cool Gin Thing!, much more 50s and appropriate for our entertainment this weekend.

The drink has a base of muddled cucumber, lime and sugar which forms the beginning of the cool flavours, to which we add a shot of Zubrowska bison grass flavoured vodka from Poland, half a shot each of Hendrick’s Gin and St. Germain elderflower liqueur and then mix it all up in a glass of crushed ice, top up with a dash of apple juice and garnish with a mint leaf. The drink has surprising depth with the sugar, apple juice and Zubrowka providing a warm flavour which opposes the cool cucumber and elderflower spirits.

Hendrick’s Gin is a delicious and unique Scottish Gin which is heavily flavoured by cucumber and rose petal alongside its other botanicals and is made in small-batch production, that is to say, less than 1000 litres at a time, giving the master distiller more opportunity to finely craft his work. The drink is marketed in a kooky way that plays on its uniqueness and harks back to a time of Victorian stylings, just check out their website to see what I am talking about, www.hendricksgin.com.

St. Germain is pushed in a similar way, with 1930s instead of turn of the century forming the base of its promotion and décor. Another artisanal style spirit, this French liqueur from the foothills of the Alps is still handmade, with even the Elderflowers being handpicked by local paysans, as they say themselves, its hard to believe that local potato pickers will be doing the same for you Polish or Russian vodka……

Another interesting point is that the spirit has roughly half the sugar content of most liqueurs and therefore comes across as a much cleaner flavour in our cocktails.

As you can see, from the base to the spirits, this drink is a highly sophisticated fellow, and whilst that might seem at odds with our red hot entertainment, just wait until you’ve danced a few numbers and you’ll be desperate to try one!

See you at the weekend! Olli Mitchell