We came across a new word this week, namely Ginaissance.

Yes, you guessed it, that’s the term being used to describe the rise and rise in the popularity of gin in recent years.

That’s the same drink which, historically was given the name ’mother’s ruin’ because of the effects it had on family life. Considered the poor man’s drink due to its affordability, gin drinking actually started out as a medicine, but unregulated distilleries began popping up all over and contributed to high death rates. Records from the time state that the average Londoner as drinking 10 gallons a year.

Fast forward to 2019 and as a nation we’re now drinking even more gin in the UK (28 million bottles in fact) but thankfully the quality is just a little bit (by that we mean off the scale) better than what our forefathers had to endure!

World Gin Day

It’s little wonder then that we now have a World Gin Day (8th June).

One UK chain, Greene King has partnered with Beefeater to give away a free gin and tonic in all its pubs, as long as people bring an orange. That’s because it’s Beefeater’s Blood Orange gin that is being given away. Fair play to both parties because we are sure it will be well subscribed, but given the tonic is Schweppes, we’ll pass on this occasion.

Now, if it was a Brockmans with lemon Fever Tree tonic, now that would be a different matter. Brockmans and Fever Tree if you are reading this blog and want to send us some free samples, that’s fine with us!

Anyway, this is not a drinks’ blog; so back to the food!

Yes, before you ask, you can use gin in cooking. Just bear in mind that because it’s very flavourful, you should only use in moderation and when you need a bit of herbal, floral flavour.

It’s particular nice when used in fish or pasta, so on that note, here is this week’s ginaissance recipe:

Penne pasta in gin sauce

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1lb penne pasta
  • 125ml gin
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Boil the pasta until it’s al dente, then drain and set aside.
  2. Add garlic and onion to pan on a low heat for 10-15 mins, before adding the tomatoes and simmering for another 15 mins. Stir in the double cream and then take the pan off the heat.
  3. Add the cooked pasta to the pan then pour over the gin and add the butter. Season with salt and pepper and stir well.
  4. Serve with fresh basil and sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top if you wish
Oliver Parkinson
About Oliver Parkinson
Sous Chef of SK Foods.
Your food. Our Passion.