I like gin. It’s a thing people know about me. Recently I was, for this very reason, given a bottle of Opihr gin by friends. They’d attended a gin tasting and decided to find one that was right for me. Using their knowledge of my palate and how it compares to theirs, they decided to find one that he liked but she really didn’t. That would be the gin for me. It worked a charm.
He liked Opihr, she hated and I love it. Finding a new gin made me creative and I’ve adapted three of my favourite cocktails to use this new spirit. Let me introduce you to a frankincense, myrrh and gold champagne cocktail, Christmas negroni and seasonal Martini.
Opihr is an ‘oriental spiced’ gin, which means that the balance of botanicals is different from what we’re used to in British style gins. There’s black pepper, cubeb, and coriander in there, as well as juniper, and less common flavours found along the spice route. Instead of astringent pine, the first scent I got from Opihr was sweet cardamom. There’s more cardamom on the palate and Opihr has a well balanced, rounded and generous flavour. I’d happily drink it on the rocks, but because we’re so close to Christmas, I used it to make some of my classic tipples a little more seasonal.
These three drinks are all gorgeous and easy to make. Try them (in moderation) and enjoy a very festive season.
Frankincense, Myrrh and Gold Champagne Cocktail
Frankincense and myrrh are resins, traditionally used in perfumes and medicines. In Ayurvedic medicine, myrrh is said to have rejuvenating properties. Frankincense, according to the same system, is good for the skin. The flavours are deep and pungent. Gold, well, gold us just luxurious. Zing Organics, who we’ve mentioned before, have put the three together with sugar to give a very Christmassy, very deluxe but also quite challenging ingredient. I used it for an extra sparkly champagne cocktail.
- 0.5 to a scant teaspoon Zing Organics frankincense, myrrh and gold sugar.
- 1 teaspoon Opihr
- Brut champagne
- Or a good, dry sparkling wine. Dry is important, region isn't. The gin and sugar add sweetness, the resins add an organic depth. The wine needs to be dry or the drink will be too much.
- Spoon the sugar into the bottom of a champagne flute.
- Pour in the gin.
- Top off the glass with brut champagne.
- Enjoy immediately.
- 1 part Opihr
- 1 part Aperol
- 1 part Martini Rosso
- Orange peel (to serve)
- Pour drinks over ice and stir.
- Twist the thinly cut orange peel to release orange oil over the surface of the drink.
- 4 parts Opihr
- 1 part Martini Bianco
- Orange twist or cinnamon stick (to serve)
- Pour gin and vermouth over ice and stir.
- Decant into a chilled Martini glass.
- Serve with an orange twist or cinnamon stick.