Blackberry Sloe Gin Tart & Gin Explorer Box

Blackberry Sloe Gin Tart

Gin is good. If you’ve ready any of my other posts on the matter you’ll know my feelings about it by now, but if you’re unsure then go look at them here and here. It’s obviously best when drinking, but every now and then it’s fun to cook or bake with it. It lends itself best to go alongside citrus or floral flavours, like lemon or earl grey, but in this recipe I wanted to go for something more autumnal, and wanted something to partner with the sloe gin from my Gin Explorer Box.
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Olive Oil Cake (Optional Gin Glaze)

Olive Oil Cake

Admission: I had never made Olive Oil Cake before a week ago. I have since made it twice, and had to talk to myself seriously about making it a third time in less than a week. The thing is, it’s that easy to make. Yes it takes a good amount of time to bake and then cool, but it’s simple. A simple bake that you just want to sit and eat with a fork in one go is a rare find. There’s a great many simple recipes which I love, but I think this one has now taken its place as my favourite. I’d rather make this than yet another Victoria Sponge, for instance. It also works perfectly well without any frosting, so you haven’t even got to worry about decorating it. See, it’s simple.
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East London Liquor Company

East London Liquor

Going to post about something a bit different today. The other week I was supposed to be going to see Slipknot in Sheffield (my inner mosher just has to come out from time to time) but, due to not really being able to afford another trip up north as I’d been up the weekend before for a friend’s wedding, and due to suffering from a bit of burn out, I sold my ticket. This did mean that I had half a day booked off work already though, and rather than put it to waste I took up the opportunity of popping along to a Gin Experience at the East London Liquor Company. It was a great chance for me to learn a bit more about a very good independent distillery and also to do a bit of networking.

East London Liquor (1 of 26)

East London Liquor (16 of 26)

ELL Light (1 of 1)

We were taken around by distiller Tom Hill, who was a self-professed science enthusiast, who talked us through the history of Gin (why it’s popular in the UK, the reasons behind “mother’s ruin” etc) as well as the process which they undertake when distilling their gins (as well as the vodka and a whiskey which they hope to have on the shelves in approximately 3 years).  They are one of the only small distilleries in London to bottle their own spirits, with a bottle machine set up specially for their bespoke bottles and labels.

East London Liquor (6 of 26)

Before we got to tasting we popped into their bottle store, which was very well stocked. From gins through to whisky, beer and bitters. They have a number of their own special limited run gins (like their two collaborations with Transport For London, for the DesignJunction pop up restaurant) as well as imports from around the globe.

East London Liquor (17 of 26)

East London Liquor (10 of 26)

Afterwards we got to try the core spirits which the East London Liquor company makes, their Vodka, and 3 Gins.  The house Small Batch Vodka and London Dry Gin both come in bottles specifically designed for speed of service (long necks so they can be grabbed from speed rails with ease), and both are designed to mix well, although both are very drinkable straight (more than can be said for many “house” spirits).  They had originally planned on making two gins, a premium and a house, but after taste testing they ended up deciding on three distinctly different gins. The two premium gins, known as Batch 1 and Batch 2, with Batch 1 being more floral containing Pink Grapefruit, Cubeb Berries and Darjeeling tea (less keen on this one, too sweet for my gin tastes) and Batch 2 being a more savoury affair with fennel seeds, sage and lemon peel at its core (I love this one).

East London Liquor (22 of 26)

East London Liquor (20 of 26)

They also allowed us to try a couple of the other gins and rums they have in stock. Including a barrel aged gin, that was slightly peaty. Not sure how I felt on that one. All in all I’d highly recommend popping down. They are a great group of guys running an excellent distillery and producing some very good spirits. Want to see more pictures from the trip, head across to my Flickr.What’s your favourite Gin, let me know in the comments below.