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Gin and chocolate pairing by Tanqueray and Lindt

Gin-and-chocolate-pairing-by-Tanqueray-and-Lindt

Blog by Neil Bester

I like gin. I like chocolate. But I never thought to combine the two, until I was invited to a Tanqueray and Lindt experience at the Lindt Chocolate Studio in Cape Quarter. Rather seduced by the idea, I went, and was not disappointed.

Let gin be thy medicine

Our mixologist, Travis Kuhn, kicked off by sharing the history and production process of the premium luxury spirit Tanqueray London Dry Gin. One of the more memorable facts he shared, was that gin was once used as a tonic against the Black Plague. (If you needed another reason to drink gin, there it is friends!)

Tanqueray departs from the more mainstream gins due to the more artisanal methods they use. Copper pot stills distill the spirit - while being slower than modern processes, it benefits the flavour because the subtle aromas are retained.  Tanqueray gets its unique flavour from a special blend of four key ingredients: juniper berry, angelic root, liquorice, and coriander. It really proves to be beautifully palatable, especially in the cocktails we made.

The Swiss touch

Chocolatier Kyle Hickman then gave us a brief history of Lindt Chocolate. Before Rudolph Lindt invented the conche, chocolate was a different beast to what we know. Rather than being creamy and melt-in-the-mouth, it was dough-like. Today Lindt uses milk from Swiss cows combined with cocoa butter to make their chocolate smooth and creamy. They even use cocoa butter in their white chocolate, an uncommon thing to do as most white “chocolate” uses vegetable oils instead, and so technically shouldn’t be called chocolate at all.

Shaken, not stirred

Then it was cocktail time. In a hands-on experience, we all learned how to make four cocktails divine cocktails, using Tanqueray aplenty!

The first was a tailored version of the Mojito using apple and lemon, and paired with a fresh mint chocolate.

Second was the Tanqueray Breeze: coconut water, lime juice, honey and gin, paired with Lindt Coconut Intense.

Then there was the Flip Symphony. using egg, vanilla liqueur and chilled espresso, this was the most complicated of the cocktails that night (possible due to my gin levels by the time we concocted it!). It was paired with the white Touch of Vanilla chocolate.

My favourite of the night was the Tanqueray Dragon, deriving its name from the fiery wasabi ingredient, which was tempered with cucumber. This cocktail was paired with the surprisingly tasty Lindt wasabi chocolate. Hard to describe and best experienced, but I can say the flavours definitely stimulated the taste buds (and of course, cleared the airways).

The Tanqueray Dragon

Ingredients:

  • 1.25mls wasabi powder / paste

  • 10mls sugar syrup (try agave for a low GI option)

  • 25mls Tanqueray Gin

  • 15mls lemon juice

  • 5cm piece of English cucumber, cut in half

Method:

  • Mix the wasabi into the simple syrup in a cocktail shaker

  • Add the gin and the lemon juice

  • Cut each piece of the cucumber into quarters and add to the shaker

  • Muddle the cucumber until puréed

  • Using the lid of your cocktail shaker as a measure, add 2 lids of ice

  • Shake well and pour through the strainer into a chilled Martini glass


You can find other gin cocktail recipes on the Tanqueray website:http://www.tanqueray.com/serves/


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