So I recently subscribed to Shaken Cocktails, and covered that in my post last week. After reading my post; Mark Jennings, one of the founders of Shaken Cocktails, invited me up to Battersea Park, or the nearby area to be specific, for a gathering of members and founders at the base of operations for Dodd’s Gin (The London Gin Distillery). Now this is the sort of event I’ve been looking forward to and the type of event I simply don’t get to go to enough.
Shaken bill the event as ‘A Shaken Lock-In’ and event where you go to meet like-minded people and, using the ingredients supplied in that specific months box, create 2 gloriously alcoholic cocktails. This event, at the London Gin Distillery in Battersea, consisted of meeting Mark Jennings as well as Darren Rook of Dodd’s Gin as well as several other members of Shaken Cocktails. It was a well organised and extremely down to earth event that was opened by Mark himself. Mark spoke very humbly about the event, Shaken and of course all those who attended. He came across highly passionate and very emotional when speaking about their recent successes at crowd funding (they’ve surpassed their original total and have since raised over £97,000… Congratulations to them!
It continued with a “15-minute” talk from the gin distillery’s main man: Darren Rook. Darren came across as extremely knowledgeable yet extremely down to earth and happy to talk about his work. Now you’d expect that from most people in his position but what’s refreshing is his openness and blatant passion for his craft. He’s humble yet highly knowledgeable.
Moving onto the cocktails and why everyone came: To experience Shaken and their cocktails…
So this month’s main cocktail was The Negroni, and was backed up with the Elderflower Collins.
Both cocktails used the Gin from the very establishment we met at: Dodd’s.
Check out the recipes below:
1) The Dodd’s Negroni
30ml Dodd’s Gin
30ml Cocci Torino Vermouth
- Into a rocks glass add the Dodd’s Gin and Cocci Torino Vermouth.
- Then add the Cynar bitter liqueur. Try 15ml at first and then if you’d like it a little drier try add the other 15ml.
- Add ice to the top of the glass and then stir for around 10-20 seconds.
- Take a slice of orange peel and using your thumbs and forefingers squeeze the oils over the top of the drink.
- Wipe the peel around the glass and then place it into the drink and sip away.
2) Elderflower Collins
45ml Dodd’s Gin
30ml Fresh Lemon Juice
15ml St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
15ml Sugar Syrup
Top up Soda Water
- Fill the metal tin (from a Boston shaker) 2 thirds full with ice.
- Using the glass part of the shaker add together the Gin, Lemon, Elderflower liqueur and sugar syrup.
- Shake well, for around 10-15 seconds (until the tin ices over).
- Strain into a tall, ice filled, and top up with Soda water.
- Garnish with a lemon wedge and serve with 2 straws.
Now these cocktails are complete opposites and by Marks own admissions this was purposely done to cater for those who like their alcohol straight and for those who enjoy a longer crisper drink.
The Negroni, with its unusual mix of more exotic ingredients is both stronger and more abusive than the Elderflower Collins yet it also holds greater depth and its lighter dilution level means you get to experience all of the great flavours from each of the 3 spirits used in its creation.
However this doesn’t write off the elderflower as a lesser cocktail. Sure the Negroni is a classic, but let’s not forget that the Elderflower Collins, by name as well as nature, is a tweak on another classic cocktail: The Tom Collins.
This tweak lightens the drink up a little and also adds a floral note, one that reminds you of the summer days gone, and makes you look forward to those to come. It’s an easy drink to consume and whilst perfect for a summer’s eve, I would state that it’s a pretty good all-rounder and something I would happily make myself when at home.
This event was a joy to attend and cocktails with Shaken & Dodd’s aside, meeting the other people like minded and enjoying both Shaken and cocktails in general.
Shaken is doing wonderful things and they’re headed up by Mark Jennings who not only believes in Shaken but passionately believes in what they’re doing. His sincerity and humble manner will take the company a long way and I’m proud to be a paying subscriber. I simply cannot wait for the next box to arrive!!!
As a final note I’d like to add this:
I used to hate gin. A couple years ago I met the group over at Sipsmith and they turned me. And that’s all I’ve drunk Gin-wise since. Now, after meeting Darren Rook and experiencing the effort and quality that goes into Dodd’s gin (along with the actual gin itself – sublime) I can safely say that my self-labelled bottle will be treasured for a long time to come!
So from me here at The Fervent Shaker: Thank you Mark Jennings & Shaken Cocktails for the invite and event. And thank you to Darren Rook at Dodd’s Gin for hosting and sharing your knowledge with us all!