As it transpires, there’s not actually a great deal to know about the English Garden cocktail. Compared to last week’s Martini and its widely contested history, this cocktail is somewhat of an enigma. No one seems to have been able to sniff out even the most insignificant of details about its origin, but there is a seemingly unanimous accord that the delightful, refreshing flavours render this a quintessentially British drink.
Why is it called the English Garden?
Sipping this cocktail, the beautifully balanced floral flavours and crisp, clean sharpness from the apple and lime can instantly transport you to warmer climes in the throes of summer. Aside from the gin, elderflower liqueur plays a starring role in the English Garden, conjuring the flavours and aromas you would expect to find within one, which, we would speculate, may be why the cocktail has been named as such. Our very own Bramley & Gage Elderflower Gin Liqueur, made with only natural ingredients using traditional methods, is the ideal partner to our London Dry, lifting the subtle floral notes from the elderflower distilled into our gin to a somewhat sweeter, zestier level in this cocktail.
Long drinks are synonymous with lounging in the garden on sunny days, entertaining friends over an alfresco meal or even a barbecue, but there’s no need to reserve them completely for the summertime. One of the most enticing factors about this drink and others like it is the ease at which it can be made in larger quantities for serving to bigger groups, as a pre-dinner tipple or a welcome drink at a party perhaps. This week, there’s no need for a cocktail shaker, just your biggest jug and a good amount of ice.
Cooler-style drinks have long been popular in the UK, most prominently since the creation of James Pimm’s gin-based British favourite, Pimm’s No. 1 Cup, in the 19th century ¹. Their unique appeal in the world of cocktail consumption is that they strike a great balance between a refreshing soft drink and a concoction made up purely of spirits (we’re looking at you Martini!). Long drinks are a great option at any time of the year for keeping your guests refreshed, happy and not to mention less-inebriated, given the generally lower alcoholic content of the drinks. That said, we must urge you to still consume these responsibly, as the deceptive sweetness of the drink could easily fool you into forgetting how many you’ve had.
How do I make an English Garden?
As mentioned earlier, depending on how many guests you are making this drink for, you can easily build it in a glass for each person, or multiply the ingredients by the number of people and mix them in a jug. The cornerstone of this delectable drink is, as usual, a good double measure (50ml) of our strikingly smooth London Dry, whose delicate floral notes are beautifully complemented by the addition of a single shot (25ml) of our Bramley & Gage Elderflower Gin Liqueur, which also brings a touch more sweetness to the drink. To begin, add both of these ingredients to your glass or jug.
Next, stir in 15ml fresh lime juice and 75ml freshly pressed apple juice – you want to use this rather than ‘from concentrate’ which will overpower the other flavours. Once all the ingredients are in, top up your glass or jug with a generous quantity of ice and give it a good stir to help the drink chill and the flavours get well acquainted. If you’ve built the drink in a glass, you can tuck some slices or ribbons of cucumber and a slice of lime down the side of the drink as a final flourish. If serving from a jug, you can add these after pouring or simply add them into the jug to allow the flavours to infuse a little more, as you would with Pimm’s.
All that’s left is to sit back, take a sip and allow your refreshing tipple to quench your thirst and transport you back to sunnier, warmer times. Cheers!