Gin and tonic is undoubtedly a classic cocktail. Classics are classics for a reason, yet sometimes it pays off to add a twist. This violet gin and tonic recipe is made using crystallised violet petals which dissolve in the liquid, giving the drink a vibrant blue hue and delicate, floral aroma.
For an extra touch of fun, try serving the drink with miniature meringue drops sprinkled with violet petals - as the epitome of daintiness they work well with this elegant cocktail.
If we had to dedicate this cocktail to anyone it would have to be Violet, The Dowager Countess of Grantham from Downton Abbey, played by Maggie Smith. Despite her aversion to anything 'new' we have a feeling that once coaxed into trying a violet gin and tonic she'd find it difficult to forget...
For the gin and tonic (In glasses with 45ml capacity) Serves: 4
- 60ml gin
- 120ml tonic water
- 4 heaped tsp crystallised violet petal pieces
- Ice cubes
For the violet meringues (Makes around 40-50 mini meringues)
- 30g egg whites (around 1 large egg white)
- 70g caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp corn flour
- a drop of white wine vinegar
- A handful of cryallised violet petal pieces
For the violet gin and tonic
- Pour the gin and tonic into a cocktail shaker along with the violet petals.
- Shake well - 20 to 25 times to allow the petals to dissolve and give the drink a vibrant blue hue.
- Pour over ice.
To make the violet meringues
- Preheat the oven to 130°C, or 110°C for a fan oven, and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
- Whisk the egg whites until stiff in a stand mixer or using an electric hand whisk.
- Add half of the sugar and continue to whisk.
- Add the remaining sugar little by little and finally whisk in the cornflower and vinegar. The meringue should be firm, glossy and smooth.
- Separate the meringue into 3 equal parts in separate bowls.
- Place the nozzle in the piping bag and fill with the meringue. Pipe small, 1cm drops evenly spaced at least 1cm apart on the baking parchment.
- Sprinkle with the glazed violet petal pieces.
- Bake the meringues for 20 minutes. Then turn the oven off whilst leaving the meringues inside until the oven cools to further dry them out.
- Serve alongside the gin and tonic in a small cupcake mould or canape cone.