If you’re into putting sliced cucumber in your water and you like gin, then this will be a treat!
The most quintessentially English of spirits is crafted in the quintessentially English county of Shropshire, proudly placing it on the world Gin map for all to enjoy.
Recently I was sent a wee bottle of Cucumber Gin to try, from The English Drinks Company. It’s got summer all over it! Immediately on opening the bottle you can smell the cucumber – but don’t worry it still takes like gin! Just with a lovely, fresh, cucumber taste and aroma.
They have taken Summer and bottled it, with the multi award winning Cucumber Gin, made from 100% British grain with distilled cucumber.
I couldn’t keep it to myself and shared it with my Mum – who gives it 5* (she bought a bottle so I think she’s keen!)
If you want to try it for yourself, it’s available, check their stockists page and try this recipe (below) by eatfirst.com.
Luxury Gin Cured Salmon
For the smoked salmon
- 200ml English Drinks Company – Cucumber Gin
- 330g salt
- 165g white granulated sugar
- 5g chopped thyme
- 15g lapsang souchong tea leaves
- 500g salmon, skinned, pin bones removed
- To make the cure, mix the gin, salt, sugar and dill together thoroughly.
- Moisten the jasmine tea leaves with a little water and allow to stand for 5 minutes, then spread them all over the salmon.
- Put a layer of the cure on the bottom of a container and rest the salmon on top. Completely cover the salmon with the remaining cure. Cover the container with clingfilm and put into the fridge for 16 hours.
- Remove the salmon from the cure and rinse thoroughly.
- Leave to rest in the fridge for 2–3 hours until the fish is dry but a little sticky.
For the soured cream butter
- 100g unsalted butter
- 50g soured cream
- 50g cream cheese
- squeeze of lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- Place 50g of the butter in a bowl and whisk over a pan of simmering water until softened.
- Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the soured cream and cream cheese.
- Put the bowl back over the pan of simmering water and whisk in the remaining butter until fully incorporated.
- The mixture may appear to split, but keep whisking over the pan of warm water and it will come back together.
- Stir in the lemon juice and salt and decant into a small bowl. Keep in the fridge until required (for up to 2 days).
- Remove from the fridge an hour before serving
For the pickled cucumber
- 1 cucumber, peeled
- 50g white caster sugar
- 100g white wine vinegar
- 10g dill, plus a little extra for finishing
- sea salt
- Slice the cucumber length ways down the middle, then slice very thinly on a mandolin or in a food processor.
- Bring the sugar, vinegar and 150g cold tap water to the boil in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Allow to cool.
- Chop most of the dill and mix with the sliced cucumber and pickling liquid in a container, cover and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Drain the cucumber. Sprinkle with the reserved dill and salt before serving.
Loaf of fresh soda bread
Slice the bread and serve with smoked salmon on a wooden board with a small bowl containing the soured cream butter, pickled cucumber and a wedge of lemon.