When Strawberry Gin Met Black Pepper: An Award-Winning Cocktail Love Story by Bullards Spirits
At Bullards Spirits we believe in taking superb ingredients and distilling them with absolute love and care. It’s a process that has spanned the ages and whilst a strawberry gin with a warm tickle of black pepper might feel unexpected, isn’t that so often the way with life’s winning combinations?
Bullards Strawberry and Black Pepper Gin is certainly one of them, having won a Gold Star in 2018’s Great Taste Awards and the Gin Guide’s Best in UK Award the following year.
We want to share our suggestions to mix the perfect strawberry tipple and show you how making gin with oodles of fruit leads to the most refreshing cocktail imaginable.
So How Do You Make Strawberry Gin?
To make an outstanding gin takes patience. Bullards Spirits puts time and attention at the heart of every distillation process with all of our gin batches taste-tested and approved for flavour.
To start with we’ll take the juiciest, sweetest strawberries – and lots of them. Every bottle of strawberry gin we make contains around a punnets-worth of the freshest fruit with each distillation taking around 100kgs. We’re delighted when we can get the freshest British strawberries in season, straight from the farms of our local Norfolk producers.
The gin-making process starts with botanicals which are prepared by hand, steeped and infused for around 12 hours. Juniper is the lead botanical in our strawberry gin, loaded into the copper still along with the strawberries and black pepper. You’ll also find warming spice, green cardamom and fresh, fruity lemon peel added to the mix.
We add one whole banana to stop the gin becoming too sweet but you’d never know that it was there; it’s simply for balance, to bring out all that delicious strawberry flavour. Every ingredient is natural, there’s nothing artificial in there at all.
As for cutting and mixing our batches with a flavour concentrate – we wouldn’t dream of it.
We transfer the gin to bottles and pouches by hand too as it’s the best way to keep us close to the product and guarantee quality and safety. It’s small-batch production at its finest with only around 550 bottles produced from each distillation.
What’s The Perfect Strawberry Gin Cocktail?
We like to think of our Bullards Strawberry and Black Pepper Gin rather like a grown-up’s pink gin. Which means there’s still plenty of fun to be had when it comes to the perfect serve.
For a classic cocktail simply mix 50ml of gin with a naturally light tonic water or lemonade or top with Prosecco and a fresh strawberry garnish. Pair with salmon crudo, dill and capers or a blini with jamon and fig for canapé heaven.
Or, if you fancy a strawberry gin cocktail that’s out to impress, here are two of our favourites:
Anyone For Ginns?
This is a strawberry gin cocktail that makes a great summer alternative to Pimms and satisfies a crowd on a hot summer day.
- Bullards Strawberry & Black Pepper Gin
- Ginger ale
- One fresh orange
- Half a cucumber
- A handful of fresh strawberries
- 1 large bunch of fresh mint
Slice the oranges and cucumber and trim and halve the strawberries. Transfer to a large jug with a bunch of fresh mint and half fill with ice.
Fill the jug two-thirds full with the strawberry gin, then top up with half ginger ale and half lemonade. For a mix that’s slightly less sweet, swap the lemonade for soda water.
This one’s strawberry refreshment at its finest with a twist of punchy black pepper and sugary lemon syrup.
- 50ml Bullards Strawberry & Black Pepper Gin
- 25ml sugar syrup
- 25ml fresh lemon juice
- Lemonade or soda water
Putting the lemonade to one side, mix all the other ingredients into a cocktail shaker with a generous dose of ice. Shake well until chilled, then pour into a high-ball or Collins glass and top with bubbly lemonade or soda.
If you’re ever short on cocktail inspiration our newsletter is full of inspiration or why not join our gin club and receive your own premium gin through the post as little or as often as you’d like.