I like gin and I’m very glad it’s currently having a revival. It’s a curious spirit, being made from another (vodka, if you didn’t know) and steeped with a variety of botanicals.
So you can imagine how happy I was when this appeared through the post from the people at Chase Distillery. There was also an invite to sample their wares at their #GBTour, part of the 10th anniversary of Chase Distillery, which highlights the crisp and dry Williams GB Gin. The Birmingham stop involved a supper at The High Field, an offer I couldn’t refuse!
Arriving at The High Field in glorious sunshine, I saw their transportation for the evening (a lovely Land Rover Defender 90, if I’m correct; why did they ever stop making them?). After a few snaps, it was inside to have a quick globe of G&T on The High Field’s terrace, before settling upstairs (happily seated next to the estimable Paul Fulford).
The evening promised to be a celebration of gin with a ‘Ginfused’ three course meal tied with three cocktails, each a different take on how to use gin.
Our first course was Gin Cured Salmon with Cucumber Salad and Lime Mayonnaise accompanied by a Gin Twist (GB Gin, Cucumber, Lime, Elderflower Liqueur, Tonic), served chilled than the traditional hot cocktail.
The salmon was light with juniper notes, and the zesty lime mayo perked up the dish remarkably. The Gin Twist reminded me of cucumber water cut with lime cordial. It was very refreshing and took the edge off the heat.
Our second course was Braised Lamb Shank, Rosemary Gnocchi, Broad beans, Peas and Juniper Jus, accompanied by a GB Fruit Twist (GB Gin, Red Vermouth, Chase Blackcurrant Liqueur).
The lamb, braised for 24 hours, was tender as you’d expect and fell off the bone. The greens delicious, with a crisp al dente bite. The rosemary gnocchi was a tad disappointing. I know they can come baked, boiled or fried (fried in this case), but as flavoursome as they were, I found them a tad cloying to the roof of my mouth. I hankered for a roast potato or two, especially to go with the wonderful lamb and tart juniper jus.
The GB Fruit Twist was a nice cooler with the vermouth giving a red wine vibrancy, undercut with fruits, and a dry finish coming from the gin.
Our final course was a Gin & Raspberry Summer Pudding with Clotted Cream, accompanied by Rasberrilicious GB (GB Gin, Lemon Juice, Raspberry Juice).
The summer pudding really cheered me up, as Bill Bryson says
“It’s a funny thing about English diners, They’ll let you dazzle them with piddly duxelles of this and fancy little noisettes of that but don’t f#ck with their puddings, which is my thinking exactly.”
Mine too Bill, mine too! This was a lively example of a proper British dessert, thick carb-olicious bread, stuffed with fruit (and a not inconsiderate amount of gin) and unctuous, glossy, rich clotted cream, evoking memories of happy Sunday lunches at my Nan’s. The plate was polished back to the ceramic!
The cocktail, on the other hand, was a touch too tart for my tastes with lemon and raspberry juices giving an acidic edge. As an dessert, this could have done with a touch of sweetness
And the evening came to a close, all gin heavy but hangover free the next day (wonderful!). Goody bag in hand with a miniature G&T to make at home and a summer pudding recipe (inserted below), I stepped out into a sweet summer twilight as my carriage in the form of my long suffering Wifey awaited.
Where: The High Field, 22 Highfield Road, Edgbaston, B15 3DP
Who: Williams Gin, Chase Distillery, The High Field
Disclaimer: For this visit, I was a guest of the wonderful team at The High Field & Chase Distillery (who also sent me a natty bottle and book), this provides no bias to the post. This blog is my own personal opinion and strives to provide an independent view, promoting, enjoying and reviewing the range of exciting food and venues in and around Birmingham.