Hello gin drinkers, gin wife here again to talk about cooking with gin. Before I begin, you might ask, Gin wife, why are you cooking with gin? Well, dear reader, because there are two hundred odd bottles floating around and I have had enough. Cook with it I must!
So let’s talk about a delicious thing you can do with a lot of gin – Vanilla Gin Extract. Wait…stay with me. It’s not that imitation vanilla extract you once drank on a dare. This is serious shit. This recipe is easy, but takes some time. So if you’re thinking, man, I could use some holiday gift ideas, start now! By the time October/November rolls around, it will be too late!
Gin (Pick something with aromatics that will compliment vanilla, or something ‘gin-neutral’ aka juniper forward.)
Vanilla Beans (Splurge on them, it will be worth it. Get real vanilla beans. Don’t use vanilla extract – c’mon, that’s what we’re trying to make.)
Glass jar with lid
Dark place to store jar for at least eight weeks
Take the vanilla bean, slice it open.
Put the vanilla bean (sliced) into the glass jar.
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Gravlaks with cucumber and cream cheese on brioche.
Hello readers, Gin wife hear again to talk about cooking with gin. Or, in today’s case, not cooking with gin. Pickling, maybe. Preserving? I’m not too sure on the exact term, but there is definitely no cooking involved.
So are you feeling brave? Good. Let’s talk Gravlax. Gravlax is a Scandinavian dish of salmon dry-cured in sugar, salt, and delicious flavors like dill, or you know, gin. Well, the gin is my addition. Traditionally one uses aquavit. And this was a surprisingly delicious dish. A bit like lox, for those familiar with it. You can taste the juniper, and any notes of the gin in it. I chose a navy strength gin (Perry’s Tot) to ensure a strong flavor and I had some vague ideas about a higher proof being safer, backed up by nothing by assumptions. And as always, this is not an alcohol-free dish!
The gravlax recipe is simple but you need time. I let it sit for 72 hours, but some recipes have you digging in after as short as 24 hours. I would opt for the 72 hours. You’ll also need some fridge space to let this sit.
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As with New York Distilling Company’s other gin offerings [Dorothy Parker, Chief Gowanus] a history lesson is necessary to get the reference:
Matthew Perry was a Commodore in the U.S. Navy. He rose in the ranks of the Navy in part due to his efforts in the War of 1812, where he nearly died when a shot caused a cannon to burst. He later was stationed in Key West, and in the mid 1830’s in the New York Navy Yard. His accomplishments in his later life including being an outspoken advocate for modernizing the navy (hail Steam!) and his work in helping Japan open to the West.
He died in 1858 of Rheumatism, and complications caused by [gulp] alcoholism. So gin fans, let’s enjoy Perry’s Tot responsibly, alright? For Perry?
Now on to the Gin
As a reminder, this is Navy Strength. 114 Proof. So expect a punch on the nose and on the palate.
The nose has a nice gin like stability, juniper, orange and a hint of cinnamon. Believe it or not, it does not have a strong nose in the way that other Navy strength gin often have.
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