Have your cake and drink it
There lies a crossroads at the end of any dinner: dessert or no dessert?
On the one hand, there’s a wonderful guilty pleasure in letting your belt out a notch and digging into a sundae. And on the other, there’s that special sanctimonious pride when you leave the dinner table without feeling like your stomach is going to explode all over the fine china.
But wait: there is a third way! Dessert cocktails. Sweet as pie and easier to stomach, these cocktails let you have your cake and drink it too.
If you like a berry crumble, look no further than Ellis Bramble Gin from Glasgow, made by macerating Scottish brambles with gin.
Try it in a Sloe Gin Fizz. Fill a highball glass with ice then pour in 40ml gin and 10ml sloe gin. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and 1tsp sugar syrup and stir well. Top with cream soda and garnish with a blackberry.
If you like vanilla pudding, go for Persie Sweet & Nutty Old Tom, which features fresh vanilla pods, almonds and root ginger.
Try it in a White Cargo – a sumptuous, decadent cocktail that mixes gin with ice cream. Shake 60ml gin with 1 scoop ice cream and 7.5ml Chardonnay. Shake all the ingredients and fine-strain into a Martini glass then dust with grated nutmeg.
If you like macarons, you’ll like Gin Bothy Amaretto Gin Liqueur, a base gin infused with ground almonds and sugar.
Try it as an Amaretto Sour. Put 200ml gin, the juice of three to four lemons, an egg white and 4tsp cherry syrup in a blender and whizz up. Add a little ice and pulse twice more to chill. Pour into a short tumbler and garnish with cherries to serve.
Now all you have to decide is which gin to drink for dinner.
n Chrissie Fairclough is tastings director for Gin Club Scotland, which runs touring and distillery-based tastings, as well as offering tasting kits for people to run their own events. www.ginclubscotland.com