A signature cocktail for a signature gin.

A wrote a couple of weeks ago about Jason Chan’s gin project from the Margaret River, Tradewinds.

When my bottles arrived, i was lucky enough to spend ten minutes talking about the Cutlass, the 100 proof Australian gin, with a delicious savoury addition, the native bush tomato. As well as an overview of the idea, Jacky shared a signature drink to showcase the spirit.

The Cutlass Cocktail

Chan’s spec called for 60mls of the Cutlass, a large barspoon of Rose’s lime marmalade, about 15mls of freshly squeezed lime and 8 basil leaves, shaken hard and double strained up.

It’s a hot day here in Sydney today, so the photo, I upped the recipe by half and double strained it into a jar over a couple of big cubes. The colour is better when it’s up but it tastes great either way.

The marmalade sweet is delicious, the basil brings a huge freshness that accentuates the mouthfeel of the 50% abv Cutlass beautifully. It opens up the savoury bush tomato as well, the true point of difference of his product.

It’s a great drink and a great product.


Cocktail, New Zealand

The Drake

I wrote a few days ago about Ben Simpson’s amazing Gunpowder Rum, here is the first of a limited series of cocktails that feature the unique spirit.

The Drake

30ml Man O’War Gunpowder Rum
20ml Havana Club 7yr
3 fresh hulled strawberries
20ml balsamic drizzle syrup (available from good deli’s)
2 dashes simple syrup
5 basil leaves

Muddle all except alcohol. Add the rums and shake resolutely.
Strain into chilled martini glass (either modern or antique cut crystal from a junk shop).

Garnish: sprig of basil and whole strawberry on rim of glass, finish with grind of black pepper.

Named after Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596), some time favourite of Queen Elizabeth I.
The combination of strawberries, balsamic and black pepper is from the Elizabethan age, while Drake was active in the Caribbean as a privateer. To the Spanish speaking peoples of the area he was known as ‘El Draque’ and famous for his exploits taking gold from the Spanish who were, in their turn, on their way home from plundering the Americas.

It is said that an early form of the Mojito was drunk in the Caribbean during the 16th Century and was called ‘El Draque’. Ben would be interested to see historical proof of this.