Gin, cucumber and elderflower are a perfect mix

MANY moons ago,  before Facebook and  text messaging, I used to talk to people face to face,  generally in pubs.
When I was a young-ish  pup my brother introduced  me to gin with slices of  cucumber in his  village  local.  Most gin lovers there  drank gin that way, so  much so that the bar staff  kept cucumber on a plate  next to the lemons (the  sliced ones that is, not the  sad tipsy lads at the  opposite corner of the bar).
There was one bar staff  wag who  always asked “do  you want salad with your  gin?” How I laughed.
I praise cucumber to my  pals.  Some try it, others  look at me as if  I’m suggesting eating a Jaffa  Cake with baked beans.
To mark National  Cucumber Day and World Gin Day I‘ve tried gins with  cucumber and tonic;  as a shot (not my  idea) and with elderflower cordial  and soda.
Why  cucumber and  not lemon?  Lemon can be  tart and  cheek clenching;  cucumber has  spring-water   green crisp  freshness and is perfect on a  warm sunny  day. Or any  day, with gin.
Gin is a base  white spirit,  commonly  made from  grain,  flavoured by botanicals. Some distillers  use 10 or more  botanicals.  Juniper is dominant.
IMG_1957
My ingredients for this  week’s Scientific Experiment  have included Greenall’s  The Original London Dry  Gin (on promotion from  £12 at Sainsbury until  July  2, normal RRP is £15.49 for  70cl); Tanqueray London  Gin (£21.70 in Tesco, 70cl  but down to £18 until July  1st); Bombay Sapphire  Distilled London Dry Gin  (£20,  Asda); Broker’s Gin  (£18.95, Slurp.co.uk);  Warner Edwards  Harrington Dry Gin (RRP   £33,   independent merchants  and direct from www.warneredwards.com) and Bottlegreen  Elderflower Cordial (RRP  £3.15, widely available).
Some fun with Broker’s  gin. It had a  clip-on and off  plastic bowler hat.  Andy  Dawson one of  Brokers’  creators (which won  World’s Best Gin at the  Ultimate  Spirits Challenge in New  York) told me to taste-test  his gin much like a wine;  and compare alongside
other gins. This was the  basis of my first experiment  and it nearly blew my head  off.
I managed to sip two  gins.  Broker’s is rich and full  of flavour. It was interesting  to sense the infusions  within the gins;  waves of  fruit and herb gardens.
Gin tasting
Now my favourite bit;   cucumbers. Three slices in  each gin and a good glug  of plain tonic water.  In April  this year Warner  Edwards  Harrington Dry Gin won  the top prize, a  Double  Gold Medal at the San  Francisco World Spirit  Awards.
My word what a  lovely gin. Botanicals  include  juniper,  coriander, elderflower,  angelica root,  cinnamon, orange  and lemon peel,  and a “secret  ingredient”.
Warner Edwards Harrington Dry Gin
Warner Edwards Harrington Dry Gin
This  was my winner.   To taste with the  cucumber, it was  smooth, gentle,  soft, herbal, light,  fruity, a cushion  of gin and  cuddles of  infused love.  Look out for  Warner’s  limited edition Elderflower Infused Gin (from June 20,  which sold out in  eight  weeks last year).
Tanqueray London Gin
Tanqueray London Gin
The Tanqueray was declared the winner by my  Beloved.
But  the surprise  of  my mini-experiment was  the elderflower cordial.
I  combined a good glug of  cordial and a decent  measure of soda water and  tumbled into the gins with  cucumber.  Every single gin  sang with this.  The  Greenalls was bright and  perfect; the Bombay  Sapphire (which is always  lovely in every way to me)  was sublime. I have found  myself a new cucumber  chum; elderflower. Now go  forth and experiment.