Eau d’Épices

It has been a while now since I presented and reviewed the Isle of Harris Gin here in the blog. Anyone who keeps track of my posts will probably remember that I’ve really loved this gin and gave it a very high personal rating. In fact I have presented relatively few gin cocktails here in the meantime and among those recipes most drinks even called for very specific and rather unusual gins. Today, however, I finally want to show you a cocktail that relies on the wonderful and unique taste of the Isle of Harris Gin.

Its distinguished juniper aromas and the spicy notes of licorice perfectly harmonize with the fresh-spicy characteristic of the bergamot orange. At least that was what I thought when I first had the idea for today’s cocktail. Indeed, Florian Faude’s “Bergamotte aus Kalabrien” (a bergamot eau de vie) can be an ideal accompaniment here if (!) you do not exaggerate the ratio. I wanted to have a clear bergamot note in the drink, but after I had used too much of the full-aromatic bergamot spirit in a first attempt, it soon became clear that the right balance is once more essential here. The drink should be a spicy one, that much was clear, and after some consideration, I decided to use a sugar source which I usually don’t use in an Old Fashioned-style cocktail (because ultimately the is an Old Fashioned cocktail): English ginger jam. In addition to a certain sweetness such a jam brings more spiciness, which simply wonderfully works alongside the interplay of Isle of Harris Gin and Faude Feine Brände Bergamotte aus Kalabrien. A small dash of Orange Bitters and the drink is perfect! That’s what I thought. But somehow I was still missing something essential. I wanted even more spice, without making the drink too pungent or taking away its refreshing nature. And so I decided to use a rare ingredient in combination with Gin and Eau de Vie: the Revolte Falernum. The spice liqueur from the Tiki genre might not feel right to be combined with the rest of the ingredients, but anyone who knows the unique taste of the Revolte Falernum compared to other Falernums will perhaps be able to understand my decision.

The result is great. An old fashioned-style cocktail, which definitely does not need to shy away from being able to be an alternative to a classic martini. And the drink’s name pays tribute to some of the ingredients (besides the bergamot eau de vie, even gin can be considered to be some kind of juniper-eau de vie) alongside its spicy basic character which is also enhanced by the spices from from the Falernum: Eau d’Épices.

Recipe “Eau d’Épices”:

3.5 cl Isle of Harris Gin
2.5 cl Faude Feine Brände Bergamotte aus Kalabrien
1 lightly heaped bar spoon of Ginger Jam (I have used Chivers)
1.5 cl Revolte Falernum
1 Dash Orange Bitters

Preparation: Normally, you would always shake a drink containing jam but here I did differently nonetheless because I did not want to dilute the drink that much while also keeping a finer texture. So first add all the ingredients in a mixing glass without ice and stir until the jam has combined with the liquid. Stir again on ice until cold and then double-strain into your pre-chilled glass.

Glass: goblet or martini

Garnish: none (I had initially thought about a piece of candied ginger, but actually this cocktail is very good for itself)

Buying sources: At specialized retailers or online

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