Spitfire Heritage Gin leads sky-high nationwide toast on Armed Forces Day

Spitfire Heritage Gin Rhubarb Patrol Armed Forces Day Liverpool

This time last year I shared news of a new gin, Spitfire Heritage Gin in an exclusive “look out for this” kind of way just before it went on sale in Wine Rack. I mention it again because two things have happened.

Number 1 Thing: Spitfire’s distillers have now brought out a new vodka – Supermarine Vodka (RRP £45, www.spitfireheritagedistillers.com) which is named after the company that created the Spitfire. The vodka – which is the base of the gin before the botanicals are added –  is getting rave reviews.

My exclusive tasting revealed a vodka which is soft, lusciously creamy, rich, balanced and laced with vanilla. I sipped on its own with chunks of ice. You don’t need anything else.

Number 2 Thing: Spitfire Heritage Gin (also RRP £45 from Wine Rack shops – and now in-store and online at Harrods) supports the Spitfire Heritage Trust and I was invited to a cross-country Armed Forces Day toast on June 24 as tribute to our servicemen and women.

The historic Sky Toast began at the 34th floor of a restaurant in Liverpool, the Panoramic, when Susan Morgan MBE, the Royal Navy’s longest-serving female sailor,  raised a glass with guests. It was a special day for Liverpool, with the city hosting The National Event.

Susan Morgan and David Beaufort-Dysart Spitfire Heritage sky toast
Susan Morgan and Panoramic34’s general manager David Beaufort-Dysart

The toast then rolled down to Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse and Bar in Birmingham where Bridget Donaldson, who has won the RAF Cadets’ most prestigious award, the Dacre Brooch, picked up the celebratory baton.

Finally, at the Coca Cola London Eye, Ian Hewitt, Spitfire Heritage Gin co-owner and founder, introduced Dame Mary Richardson. Dame Mary is patron of The Spitfire Heritage Trust and she raised the toast as a London Eye capsule soared upwards.

Across the country people raised a glass and in Liverpool we were lucky enough to enjoy a gin cocktail (or two).  The Panoramic had created a special cocktail to mark the occasion – The Rhubarb Patrol. This is so named for the strafing sorties carried out by Spitfires over France in the war.

Very nice it was too; a special creation using rhubarb puree,  rhubarb bitters, egg white, Grenadine, sours, sugar and Spitfire Hertage Gin.   It was amazing to sip this cocktail and look out at the wonderful city of Liverpool and the World Heritage Three Graces beneath us. The gin itself uses botanicals as a tribute to wartime pilots; borage (for courage), rosemary (for remembrance), English rose petals (for the flowers of Britain who flew so bravely) and blood orange.

Over at Marco Pierre White’s another special cocktail had been created – The Spitfire Clover Club – using 25ml Spitfire Heritage Gin, 15ml lemon juice, 15ml raspberry syrup and an egg white.

It was a spirit-raising day in more ways than one.

FLASHBACK: Spitfire Heritage Gin takes British icon to new heights

A festive gin cocktail with Brussels sprouts. Yes, you read that right.

Festive cocktails smith & sinclair

Here’s a festive gin cocktail with brussels sprouts.  Some strange drinks recipes drop into my email box and I ignore many of them.

But as this is a) gin and I like gin and b) it includes sprouts and I’m in the minority of the population who likes sprouts and c) prosecco – is in there too, then I thought well why not share the Christmas love.

Over to you if you think you’re brave enough (or crazy enough) to make this and serve it to your besties ….

Sprouting Gordon’s Gin Fizz

To make enough for two you need:

50ml Gordon’s gin
Two tablespoons of lemon juice
One tablespoon of lime juice
200ml cranberry juice
100ml honey
100ml Prosecco
About eight par-boiled Brussels sprouts
An additional drizzle of honey

Step One
Fry the par-boiled sprouts with the drizzle of honey until caramelised. Take out of the pan.
Step Two
Pour the cranberry juice and honey into the same pan, boil and cool. This is now the cranberry syrup.
Step Three
While your syrup cools, thread your sprouts onto a bamboo skewer. Slice them in half if you want.
Step Four
Pour ice into two tall glasses, divide the Gordon’s gin, lemon juice, lime juice, the cranberry syrup between the two, and stir.
Step Five
Top with Prosecco and garnish with the spike of sprouts

festive gin cocktail Sprouting Gordons Gin Fizz #festivedrinks Smith & Sinclair
Sprouting Gordons Gin Fizz

This festive gin cocktail is one of a handful of recipes by Smith & Sinclair who’ve created some seasonal #FestiveSpirits by working with brands such as Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker Red Label, Gordon’s and Captain Morgan.

Here’s a flavour of them: Johnnie Walker Wrapped In Blanket – the cocktail is garnished with a bacon blanket; The Captain’s Mince Pie Freakshake – erm yes, a cocktail using Captain Morgan Original Spiced, with mince pie syrup, and you drink through a straw stabbed into a mince pie; and Smirnoff Bloody Mary with all the Trimmings which uses dry packet stuffing mix as a garnish.

Select bars and restaurants in the UK will be serving the Cocktails of Christmas including London’s M Restaurant, Ben’s Canteen, BIRD and Cardiff-based restaurant ETC.