There’s no connection between the words gin and ginger, and in my mind there’d been no connection between the drink and root ginger, either. Till recently, that is. This year it seems everyone has discovered gin and ginger cocktails, and thanks to the tonic people, Franklin and Sons, I was able to give gin and ginger a chance.
I’ve already written about their hamper of gin and tonic samples, and the first pairing I tried: Gin, Tonic and Kaffir Leaves. Next out of the hamper comes a curious combination of Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin, Franklin and Sons Original Ginger Ale and some fresh ginger.
Well, I assume it was fresh when it was put into its little bottle, but when I unscrewed the top there was a little hiss of escaping air and a foul smell of… well, I won’t say what, but I never knew ginger could smell like that.
One visit to Tesco’s later and we were ready to embark on our brave experiment. My wife wanted some ginger to make carrot soup with anyway. As before, there wasn’t really enough of the Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin to do a tasting of it neat, not split between two people, but naturally we took a sniff.
It wasn’t as spicy as I’d expected, although the spiciness was there with hints of pepper and coriander. There wasn’t a strong juniper smell, making it very smooth, and the spiciness was balanced by the scent of citrus. It was clearly a classy gin with an Oriental provenance.
Ginger comes from the same part of the world as gin’s most common spice botanicals, so maybe the marriage will work. The recipe recommended using a cut glass, for a touch of class, but we didn’t have one so a regular glass it was. Fill it 2/3 with ice, pour in the gin, add Franklin and Sons Original Ginger Ale, and then garnish with a slice of fresh ginger.
The first taste was fabulous. You get the taste of the ginger ale and the smell of the ginger garnish hitting you, but not in the way that a Moscow Mule does. It was much more subtle because of the spicy-citrus taste of the gin.
However – and we have to be honest here – as we took a few more sips the taste became a bit repetitive. It got more gingery as the liquid soaked up more of the garnish, but at the same time we both began to feel that with this combination, a little goes a long way. We would try it again but it would have to be at the right time in the right place.
For more about the Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin visit the Opihr website.
For more about Franklin and Sons Original Ginger Ale visit the website.