There are some traditional pairings that you simply can't beat - Eggs and Bacon, Vodka Martini & Laurel and Hardy.
Then there are some more recent pairings that have become popular - Brie and Bacon, Vodka and Redbull & Jack and Victor.
Finally there are some pairings that you can't for the life of you figure out how they would possibly work - such as Nutella on Bacon (trust us on that), Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding and the subject of this piece… Gin and Ginger Ale.
Some of you are no doubt thinking why would I want to waste a perfectly good Gin by mixing it with anything other than tonic. Especially when the quality of gin being produced in Scotland right now is so incredible, in my opinion we're producing some of the best gin in the world (not that I'm an expert on the matter I just quite enjoy drinking it). One of the finest Scottish Gins just now is distilled just across the river from us in Fife. The Wemyss family have been quadruple distilling their Darnley’s gin since 2010 and in a traditional manner the botanicals are in from the start, no flavours are sneakily added after distillation.
The lovely people at Darnley’s sorted us out with a bottle of Spiced Gin to encourage us to expand our Gin drinking horizons and enjoy a more seasonal G & G! The London Dry Gin that Darnley’s is famous for has been spiced with cloves, ginger and grains of paradise, providing a yuletide alternative to your traditional long drink. The festive aroma, especially of cinnamon and nutmeg are perfectly accentuated when served with a slice of Orange and some cloves, it is almost like Darnley’s have taken Christmas and squeezed it into a bottle. Gin and Ginger is a fabulous combination with both spirit and mixer playing off each other and creating a perfectly quaffable drink to get the party started, or enjoy at the end of the meal if you like with a good Mince pie!
Fancy a warming alternative to mulled wine? How about a Hot Spiced Gin Punch. 350ml of Cloudy Apple Juice and 500ml of Ginger Beer heated in a pan along with 50g Demerara Sugar, a stick of cinnamon and 80ml of lime juice. After five minutes add 200ml of Darnley's Spiced Gin, and strain into a Latte glass, or a mug would be just fine if you don't have a Latte glass, I know I don't! Garnish with some apple slices and you've made a perfect winter warmer for you and some friends, yes you'll definitely need to share…
Darnley’s tastes great in both these combinations and should be a must have in your festive drinks cabinet. The Gin and Ginger Ale is a potential classic in the making, so if you want to try something a bit different at your Christmas party this year, fix yourself a G&G!