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Summer is just around the corner. As we all start daydreaming about sunshine and alfresco lunches, the ever innovative South Devon Chilli Farm has joined forces with Beefeater and Plymouth Gin to create the ultimate drinks to enjoy in this much longed for time of year.
You have undoubtedly heard of a Bloody Mary, and may well have an opinion on the perfect recipe for it, but have you ever tried the more flavoursome Red Snapper? A savoury and fuller flavoured combination of gin, tomato juice and spices.
The Bloody Mary aficionado can simply replace the vodka with either Beefeater or Plymouth Gin or, for the more adventurous, re-create these recipes which have been developed by Global Brand Ambassadors for Plymouth Gin and Beefeater, Max Warner and Sebastian Hamilton-Mudge – a ‘Devilled Snapper’ and ‘The Plymouth Red Snapper’.
To add an extra twist, and to create a purely British drink, Sebastian and Max have used Aji chilli sauce and Hot Habenaro chilli sauce from the South Devon Chilli Farm to give their Red Snappers the desired kick. Either enjoy the taste of the authentic British spices and the Hot Habanero sauce whilst experiencing the remedial qualities of Max’s ‘The Plymouth Red Snapper’ or sit back and relax with Sebastian’s ‘Devilled Red Snapper’ which has a splash of Aji chilli sauce to provide heat and a slight citrus flavour.
Created through a labour intensive 24 hour steeping and pot distillation, Beefeater’s full bodied character of juniper, citrus and earthy spicy complexity combines beautifully with the heady combination of flavours in this drink. The juice from the fresh tomatoes and lemon juice make this drink light and refreshing rather than rich and heavy. Because of this, it is a very versatile drink that suits late night imbibing just as well as lazy lunchtime sipping. It also pairs with food very well too, especially with pork or game pies, cured meats and cheese. The peppery and vegetal notes from the watercress combine beautifully with the sweet warmth of the Aji chilli sauce.
Plymouth gin, like Beefeater, fills the mouth with flavour, but is softer in character. Sweet eating oranges are used as opposed to Beefeater’s bitter Seville oranges, bringing it to the front of the palate while the gentle spice of cardamom warms the palate. Plymouth is also the only English gin to have a ‘Designated Area of Origin’, as a separate category of gin that must be produced within the old city walls of Plymouth. The distillery’s current location on Plymouth’s famous Barbican is still the original site where every drop of Plymouth gin has ever been made, supplied by an unparalleled, naturally soft water source straight off the beautiful Dartmoor National Park.
Gin is currently enjoying a massive revival in the UK and around the world. This is partly due to the resurgence and progression of the cocktail industry, where gin is and always will be one of the, if not THE, most important base spirit. New gin brands are cropping up every year, but here we are looking at two of the old greats that have been there throughout gin’s great history.
So whether you choose to use Beefeater’s London Dry or Plymouth gin, you know that you are pouring one of the world’s great and historically important gins. For help, ideas and techniques, visit www.ginandtales.com.
Located in the South Hams, just outside of Plymouth, the South Devon Chilli Farm offers a great British alternative to American chilli sauces to complement these native gins.
Established in 2003, the South Devon Chilli Farm grows over 10,000 chilli plants each year and harvests tonnes of fresh chillies. The Habanero is the second hottest chilli in the world, after the Bhut Jolokia, and has one of the fruitiest flavours which combines perfectly with tomato juice. The Aji has a distinct lemony flavour. The Hot Habanero and Aji sauces (both retail for approx £3.50, 100ml) are available at www.sdcf.co.uk and also in a number of delis and independent stores nationwide. This leading chilli farm also sells fresh and dried chillies, chilli plants, chilli preserves and a delicious selection of chilli chocolate, including the recently launched Honeycomb Chilli Chocolate.