The end of another year deserves a special celebratory gin and tonic doesn’t it? This bright and crisp drink from Winter Drinks is a great way to say goodbye to one year and welcome in the next. The drink uses Hammer & Son Old English Gin, which is lightly sweetened and has a full, spicy character. Even the bottle has a festive air, as the gin is packaged in old Champagne bottles. The Brut Champagne adds both extra fizz and a little dryness.
45 ml Hammer & Son Old English Gin, or similar style
200 ml well-chilled good-quality tonic water
45 ml Brut Champagne (or other dry sparkling wine)
3 dashes of orange bitters
a flamed orange zest, to season and garnish (see Note)
Add fresh ice cubes to three-quarter fill a clean balloon glass (a Spanish copa is ideal). Stir gently for 15 seconds with a bar spoon or chopstick to chill the glass. Pour away any liquid from the melted ice. Top up the glass with more ice cubes.
Add the gin, trying to ensure that you coat the ice as you pour. Add the tonic water (pouring slowly helps it keep
its fizz), then the Champagne and orange bitters.
Add the flamed orange peel garnish (see below). Let rest for 30 seconds to allow the flavours to integrate with each other. Serve.
Note: To make a flamed orange zest, take a washed, firm-skinned orange and use a sharp knife or vegetable
peeler to cut an ample strip of peel, taking care to avoid the flesh. Strike a long match and wait a moment for the
sulphur from the match head to burn away. (Lighter fluid can affect taste so stick to matches.) Hold the flame near the drink’s surface. With the skin-side of the orange facing toward the flame, quickly press your thumb and index fingers toward each other. The citrus oils from the orange will be expelled, ignited, and land in the drink. Use the peel to garnish the drink.