What’s better than a G&T?
No, I know few things that would beat it, especially at the end of a long day. But what about a four course dinner, with matched gin?
Yes, I thought that might grab your attention. It certainly grabbed mine, and that of my date when we visited Allotment Bar for their Ginstronomy night. A little history of gin, a taster or two, and four courses of delicious food paired to different gins.
Welcomed warmly by our hosts, we settled in with a starter G&T from the menu, whilst we listened, and ogled the menu.
Our first dish was a hefty starter, the savoury notes of a dish featuring dampfnudel, a steamed dumpling, with sausage and cabbage that dates from the 17th Century. The dish selection was inspired by the 30 years war. I must admit, is a recipe I’ll recreate at home because it was infinitely satisfying.
This was paired with a classic gin from Hayman’s distillery – their Old Tom. A sweeter, more heavily citrus style of gin, it was a great starter gin.
Our second dish was lighter and perhaps a little more recognisable. As the history of gin moved us from it’s Dutich origins to our shores, it was English fishcakes, with a light tartar sauce and pea salad that accompanied Bathtub Gin. The latter is made using a method known as ‘cold compounding; the botanicals are simply added to a base spirit and left to infuse. After a period of time, the botanicals are strained out and the gin is bottled.
This tends to add a more floral quality to the gin – the cell walls don’t breakdown as substantially as they would with heat using the distillation method.
The next dish was so very close to being my favourite. Yorkshire pudding filled with cheese (yes you read that correctly) and a London broil.
The beef had been marinated in gin and brown sugar before being grilled. It’s an American dish, but was tender, well prepared and all I felt it needed was a little jug of gravy.
You can’t take the northern out of a girl.
But dessert ended up being my favourite dish. I mean look at it.
There’s something about Hoxton Gin that just works beautifully in desserts, and this Ginna-cotta was no exception. The citrus of the grapefruit balanced the soft milky texture of the dessert, and the nuts provided texture, as well as a more base note to the dessert.
Either way, it was sweet, but not overly so. Full of flavour and texture. Umm Allotment? I may need this again.
However, my favourite drink of the evening was yet to arrive.
I adore Gimlets – sour, sharp, rich, and with enough booze to punch you in the solar plexus. They’re are very much a ‘finisher’ drink, one of those and you know about it, and it’s a good signal to take to go home. This one featuring Sipsmith Gin was served with a shard of dark chocolate, dotted with lavender.
For me, the chocolate wasn’t needed and may have found it’s way into my handbag for later. But the cocktail, made me sigh in repletion.
A proper happy bird.
Thanks Allotment for a bloody lovely night. And thanks Ben for the company.
Until the next one!
This meal and accompanying drinks were supplied for free by Allotment Bar. As ever, this doesn’t guarantee a positive review (if anything, I tend to be a harsher critic). In this case, we were more than happy with the service, meal and venue – and indeed adjustments made for my date’s allergy. Thank you so much!