Dr Hilary’s Cocktail Cabinet – The Aviation


JUNE 2018

(our regular apothecary writes…)

As we are well and truly into summer, I thought this week I would talk about Sacred Orris Gin (£37.70), a floral (ie summery), violet-scented gin with dominant notes of Italian orris root that some would describe as tasting like the colour purple! In fact Maya Angelou wrote a book all about orris actually called The Color Purple which was made into an Oscar-winning film. But I might have got that wrong.

So, what is an orris I hear you cry? Orris is the root of the iris flower – once it has been harvested, it is peeled by hand and left to dry for approximately five years, after which it is ground into a powder. Once distilled it is used not just for its smell but as a fixative – that is, its ability to bind other components together. It has been used for this purpose for hundreds of years in perfumery and, more recently, gin. But we think it tastes pretty good too.

Like all Sacred gins, Sacred Orris Gin makes a cracking G&T (we recommend pairing with Fentimans Botanical Tonic Water) and it also can be used in an Aviation. This light, refreshing and floral classic cocktail which dates back to 1916, became very popular in the late 1990s and is the subject of much debate – whether or not to include Violet Liqueur. However, when using Sacred Orris Gin to make this delicious drink, there is absolutely no need for Violet Liqueur, so that’s one less thing to buy, which is always good.

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