I was sent a bottle of Burleighs gin to enjoy in the run up to Christmas. All opinions expressed about the gin in this post are my own!
I thought Christmas had come early when the people over at Burleighs gin asked if I’d like to try a bottle in the run up to Christmas. The package tumbled down my chimney (/ the courier knocked on my door) and as soon as I’d unwrapped the box I knew I was going to enjoy this gift!
Hidden away in the depths of Leicestershire’s Charnwood Forest (much like Santa’s workshop hidden away at the North Pole) lies Bawdon Lodge Farm, home to 45 West Distillery and Burleighs London Dry Gin. Burleighs Signature London Dry Gin, was inspired by a walk taken by master distiller Jamie Baxter through Burleigh Wood where he came across silver birch trees, dandelions, burdock, elderberries and iris’. He took these woodland flavours and used them to create an earthy, crisp gin unlike any other. There are 11 botanicals in total including those inspired by Jamie’s walk in the woods all those years ago.
First off, this is one bottle of gin that photographs really well. It’s truly a craft gin that any hipster would be proud to put on their instagram feed! But looks aren’t everything and taste is the most important thing of all. So, for the gin connoisseurs amongst you, lets talk about flavours. When trying to gin for the first time you might find the following tasting notes helpful:
Crisp, fresh and vibrant with piney eucalyptus and bright citrus top notes.
Dry juniper freshness followed by pine, citrus zest and eucalyptus. Earthy, spicy and floral notes in the background.
Long and warming with Parma violet, pine, dry juniper and lavender.
After trying the gin in a simple gin and tonic, I was really inspired with the flavour of pine that comes through at each stage of tasting and so the idea behind the Christmas Pine Negroni was born! As much as I love the humble gin and tonic I also adore gin based cocktails. For this festive flavoured cocktail I was going to need some pine needles…so off to the Christmas tree store I went!
Pine simple syrup
Making a pine simple syrup is simple! Who’d have thought?
Waste not want not is my motto and after seeing Kirsty Allsop make pine simple syrup from her Christmas tree a couple of years ago I’ve been obsessed with the idea of using my Christmas tree to infuse something other than the air in my house!
This year I trimmed a branch or two off of my Christmas tree before decorating I then used the following simple recipe to make a pine flavoured simple syrup for use in my Christmas Pine Negroni. Now…just to make sure… we are talking about real Christmas trees here people, not those pine scented plastic ones you can get! Spruce or Douglas fir needles will probably work best and try to make sure you’ve not added any sort of chemical Christmas tree food to your tree stand water before you take the cuttings. If you’re in any doubt whether or not your tree is edible, make sure you speak to a gardener (or at least consult the internet first). I won’t be held responsible!
Pine Simple Syrup Recipe
Rinse 1 cup of pine needles, then finely chop (use a food processor to speed things up).
Bring 150ml water, 2 tablespoons honey and a pinch of salt to a boil in a heavy bottomed saucepan.
Whisk well to make sure it’s all combined then boil for 1 minute resisting the urge to stir.
Remove from the heat, add the needles and let them steep for up to 3 hours.
Strain the syrup and refrigerate for up to a month (make it today and it will take you to Boxing Day!)
The negroni is a classic cocktail. First mixed by a bartender in Florence, Italy it is traditionally made of one part gin, one part vermouth rosso, and one part Campari then garnished with orange peel. It’s one of my favourite cocktails and I love sipping on one before, after or during a meal.
I think the botanicals and flavours in the alcohol are already quite festive but the addition of the pine simple syrup and a clove or two really make this taste of Christmas. The botanicals in Burleighs gin in particular lend themselves to the bold flavours in this cocktail.
We often go for frosty walks in the woods over Christmas. Too much rich food means a brisk walk through the woodlands is more than welcome throughout December and well into January. On particularly cold days I’d recommend popping this cocktail into your hip flask and having a sip or two as you enjoy the fresh pine air.
- 50ml Campari
- 50ml sweet vermouth
- 50ml Burleighs London Dry Gin
- 25ml pine simple syrup
- Ice to serve
- 2 cloves
- Cinnamon stick (optional)
- Shake the Campari, vermouth, gin and pine simple syrup in a cocktail shaker
- Pour over ice.
- Serve with 2 cloves and a cinnamon stick to stir (optional).
Want to make this cocktail at home this winter? Then buy yourself a bottle of Burleigh’s!
Use the code is SUPPER20 and get 20% off all bottles of Burleighs here.
Get the look
Now I know you were eyeing up that cute heart shaped tag! It’s an adorable tree decoration from DotComGiftShop and only costs £1! Bargain!
Happy holidays everyone!