As a year round, responsible drinker, my consumption habits tend to change with the shifting weather, as our palates generally do. Out with the icy margaritas and cold beers and in with the full bodied red wines and warming spirits. Sometimes it doesn't matter, sometimes the drink says it all. Last weekend, for example, was one of those times. After a couple of martinis on Saturday night, we roamed home to keep things going. There, instead of reaching for a standard dry gin, I opted for Four Pillar's Bloody Shiraz Gin to make a martini, and garnished with a grapefruit twist instead of an olive (although I'm sure this would work well too if short of citrus). The result was delicious, and for any novice martini drinkers out there, a very easy dip in the water.
I'm not certain why it worked as well as it did. Perhaps it's something to do with Four Pillars' use of Shiraz grapes which add natural sweetness and when combined with its Rare Dry Gin result in a bright, citrusy feel with a slightly spicy finish, offering the energy of a grown up version of mulled wine. This year, the bottle matches the energy, with the brand's recent collaboration with photographer and artist, Luke Shadbolt, who is best known for his work capturing the unruly nature of the ocean and its surroundings. For the latest Bloody Shiraz bottle, Shadbolt created a copper etching of one of his photographs of a wave, a scene from the Australian ocean reminiscent of Hokusai’s Great Wave. The etching was then printed onto the bottle and voila! A collectible was born.
Ella's Bloody Martini
50ml Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin
25ml Dry Vermouth (Sweet would make the whole thing too sweet)
Method: Combine Gin and Vermouth in a tall glass or shaker with ice and, with a spoon, stir clockwise until the outside of the glass becomes frosty. Strain into the martini glass of choice and garnish with a twist of grapefruit peel.
Bloody and Tonic
100ml good tonic
Method: Add Bloody Shiraz Gin and tonic to a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a wedge of lemon or grapefruit.
50ml Bloody Shiraz Gin
25ml fresh lime juice
60ml ginger beer
Method: Squeeze lime juice, reserving the husk. Shake gin and lime juice over ice, then strain into a rocks glass. Add ginger beer, ice and garnish with the lime husk.