The Black Book of Gin Cocktails is by Brockmans who distil, in my opinion, one of the best gins … and there are a lot out there.
This slim gift-quality book is black in both name and appearance. The black cover is embossed (or is it etched?) and that dusky theme continues inside with full-page photographs of all the cocktail recipes. This Black Book has a polished style with hints of the 1930s. This is a lexicon of gin cocktails and many of them are classics. These are drinks for sipping while enjoying good conversation and perhaps a canapé or two.
Layers of complexity
Lots of the cocktails here are Brockman’s originals and they are an exciting bunch. I am not a huge fan of gin and tonic, but I do appreciate a well-crafted gin-based cocktail with layers of complexity. My pick of the book for Brockmans cocktails must include Forest Gateau Martini for summer. It’s a rich confection of Brockmans gin, chocolate liqueur, raspberry liqueur and fresh berries. One could almost use this as an alcoholic dessert. Autumn offers Plum Delicious which is a heady mix of Brockmans gin and apricot liqueur along with fresh fruit, so I guess that constitutes one of your 5-a-day!
I love the Collins family of cocktails with the sharp tang of citrus. Here Brockmans presents a twist on the expected drink with their Hot Collins. This is perfect for cold winter nights. A little dash of honey adds sweetness but also turns this into a flu remedy, if you’re searching for an excuse to enjoy a cocktail.
My selection from the Classic chapter must include The Gin Fizz. This is a marvellously deceptive cocktail as one doesn’t notice the alcohol and it’s tempting to down a few of these on a hot summer day – big mistake. A Dry Martini must be in the arsenal of any budding mixologist. It’s strong and clean and begs to be served in that iconic glass.
There is a list of some of the world’s best bars, so you can get somebody else to do the shaking from time to time. One can learn about the indispensable cocktail garnishes and glassware. The recipes are divided by season so it’s easy to find the most appropriate cocktail for any gathering.
The Black Book of Gin Cocktails would be a welcome Christmas gift for anybody who loves Brockmans gin. One could even have this volume at the heart of a hamper: The Black Book along with a bottle of Brockmans gin and perhaps a couple of cut-glass tumblers or a brace of those Martini glasses. That really would make a very merry Christmas.
Visit Brockmans Gin here