What to drink this Winter to pretend you’re in Europe

It’s that time of year again when your social media feed is filled up with friends sailing through the Greek Islands, visiting sandy beaches in Spain or enjoying a summer music festival in Germany. If you’re like us and staying put in Melbourne this winter, then fear not because we have done the ‘hard’ work of trying out the best summer-inspired cocktails so at the very least you can pretend to be someplace warm with a super refreshing and delicious drink in hand.

So put some summer calypso tunes on the speaker, pull out the cocktail shaker and give these drinks a go for a taste of European summer in a glass.

Never Never Distilling Co Pink Pepper Gin & Grapefruit soda Spritz

Australia’s most highly awarded gin producer, Never Never Distilling Co, have launched a new intensely aromatic and bold spirit: Pink Pepper Gin.

Think of it as pink gin (without actually being pink); a delicious fusion of pink pepper, pink grapefruit, Sichuan pepper, mandarin, poppy seed, gunpowder tea and Murray River pink salt. Yes, that’s a lot of flavour.

Inspired by the scents and tastes of the spice trade routes of Asia, the Never Never distillers have beautifully balanced the spice profile of the pink pepper, Sichuan and poppy seed with the citrus notes of pink grapefruit and mandarin. Some of the more obscure ingredients include Gunpowder tea, which brings a rugged, metallic and herbaceous undertone that’s hard to put your finger on, and Pink Murray River Salt which has been taken off your local cafe’s table and sprinkled into this concoction for a slightly oceanic palate. These botanical flavours combine beautifully with the base Triple Juniper Process, which is a part of every single gin that Never Never Distilling Co. creates.

A slightly elevated alcoholic strength creates the perfect gin for refreshing G&Ts, while the citrus and spice botanicals create a fantastic platform for negronis. For a drink that truly shows off what this gin is capable of, we’d recommend a signature pour of Pink Pepper Gin & Grapefruit Soda spritz.

How to make it:
Pour 60ml of Never Never Pink Pepper Gin into a highball glass of ice, top with Fever Tree grapefruit soda and a wedge of pink grapefruit.

Tulchan Gin Berry Apéritif

Tulchan Gin is a luxurious, small batch gin with distinctly local flavours inspired by the terroir of Tulchan Estate in Scotland’s Speyside. Crafted in whisky country, with both whisky drinkers and gin lovers in mind it’s a quite unique drop in the world of gins.

Tulchan Gin is a full bodied, juniper forward, London Dry gin, elevated by the natural botanicals that shine through. Featuring 14 deliciously fragrant botanicals including sloe berries, elderflower and blackberry leaves, Tulchan Gin also includes the unusual botanical of asparagus, which provides a bitter edge and long finish.

Reflecting the gin’s Scottish heritage, each bottle has the brands own tartan proudly on show as well as imagery of bagpipes and a wooden cork stopper with the Scottish thistle stamp.

You can also drink happy knowing Tulchan Estate has international accreditation for their ongoing work in wildlife management and conservation on the 22,000 acres of pristine lochs and glens where this is produced. Does anyone else fancy a summer in Scotland now?

How to make it:
Muddle frozen red berries (raspberry & blueberries work best) in a tall glass. Add 60ml Tulchan Gin, a squeeze of fresh lemon and top with Fentiman’s Rose Lemonade. Garnish with some berries and a sprig of rosemary.

Grey Goose Cocktails Strawberry and Lemongrass

Grey Goose Essences Strawberry & Lemongrass Spritz

Grey Goose is the vodka that needs no introduction. Created in 1997 by Maître de Chai (Cellar Master), Francois Thibault in France, this premium vodka was inspired by his training as a cognac cellar master and designed to express the true taste and character of the ingredients.

The introduction of Grey Goose Essences range recently mixed things up with some truly delicious flavour combinations. One of our top pics for a European summer inspired cocktail has to be the Strawberry and Lemongrass Vodka. Imagine the sweetness of wild strawberries with the refreshing zest of lemongrass and citrus. It’s a juicy aromatic spirit like no other and of course crafted with all-natural ingredients.

How to make it:
Muddle a handful of fresh or frozen strawberries in a tall glass. Add 60ml Grey Goose Essences Strawberry & Lemongrass vodka and top with a premium soda, we recommend Fever Tree’s premium soda or the lime and yuzu variant. Garnish with diced fresh strawberries and a slice of lemongrass.

While you may not be able to make it to Europe for summer this season, we hope these delicious cocktails give you a taste of summer in a glass.

– The Plus Ones

You can buy these spirits from all good bottle shops or through their website.

Photo Credit: Supplied, Never Never gin photographer: Meaghan Coles.
Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited to try these spirits by HHPR and Dialogue PR.