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'Ginstronomy' The art of pairing food with Gin.

We often associate the pairing of wine and beer with food, but have you ever thought about pairing your favourite gin with a meal?

People are becoming more and more aware of their senses when it comes to food and drink. We are recognising different tastes and aromas, learning exactly what is in a certain wine, beer, or a spirit as complex as gin. With some of our handcrafted gins at Harley House Distillery, they can have up to 15 different botanicals all carefully balanced to create the perfect spirit.

Gin used to be associated with the summer. Sipping on a refreshing Pure Sussex Gin & Tonic on a blazing hot summer’s day either in a pub garden, at the beach or in your back garden. But now gin is enjoyed all year round with an explosion in the market of different flavours. You can have your choice of pretty much anything you like.

Based in Seaford in East Sussex, a lot of local bars and restaurants stock our gin. We often refer to their food menus for inspiration and also being a local distillery, the customer is always keen on what products are locally sourced. Our distillery prides itself on creating unique produce that showcases our local area and leaves a lasting memory on the taste buds. We use water from our aquifer in the South Downs in every batch we create. The water is thoroughly filtered through the South Downs to provide the purest beginning of any spirit. We use the fresh water to create initial alcohol solutions which is unusual, however, it is something we particularly pride ourselves on.

Of course everyone is unique and we all have different palettes. I recently asked a close family member what is the best wine and he said,” It’s whatever YOU like to drink”.

So below is a selection of different food groups and menu items. Some are from local venues and some are purely our opinion on what enhances our gins but we’ll try and inspire you with some mouth watering options and you can let us know what you think.

'The Grumpy Chef’ Bistro in Seaford, East Sussex

  • Crab Linguine. Chilli, Garlic, Lemon & Herbs

  • Suggested serve:

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‘Sussex Blue’, A juniper forward Gin, not as floral as one would expect considering the flower element but bursting with tongue tingling flavours and bags of character. Tastes as amazing as it looks!

‘Pure Sussex Gin’, A heavy and characterful base spirit that is fruity with bready, rye notes. Flavours of citrus add zestiness and oiliness to the palate, followed by gentle floral notes.

‘The Lemon One’, citrus to nose, similar to that of lemon drizzle cake. Zingy fresh lemon and lime with earthy piney juniper. It has a clean finish with lemon sherbet & vanilla.

‘The Grumpy Chef’, Bistro in Seaford, East Sussex

  • Roasted Rump of Lamb. Mustard Mash, Greens, Masala Sauce

  • Suggested Serve:

  • Tasting Notes:

‘Pure Sussex Gin’, Included in its 15 different botanicals is rosemary which we all know is a marriage made in heaven with lamb.

‘The Indian Spiced & Mango One’, from our ‘Curiosity Range’, made from the sweetest of Mangos and aromatic Indian spices, this is a gin experience with the taste of sweet mango followed by the gentle aroma of Indian Spices.

  • 'Sussex Blue' Cheese.

Smooth and creamy hard cheese with small blue veins and a natural rind giving a mild creamy blue flavour to this hard cheese. Was selected for the cheese board at Brighton Race Course for a dinner attended by HM the Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh. Sussex Blue won Gold at the British Cheese Awards.

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Made with our classic Pure Sussex Gin and locally sourced hand picked Sussex Sloes. A perfect tasting sloe gin, smooth to drink , a classic winter warmer or long summer drink

  • ‘Cured Meats’

Gin goes fantastically well with salty and even spicy cured meats so why not give it the tapas treatment? A stunning gin and tonic goes so well with a tapas offering of salami and to go with chorizo we are thinking rum.

  • Calcot Farm Fennel Salami is a Semi-Soft salami with a kick of fennel seed. David and the team at Calcot farm make this salami using Sussex bred pork, and their 'Hot Smoked Chorizo' is probably the best i've ever tasted! Perfect for any tapas or grazing board. Who needs to wait for summer!

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'Golden Rum', hand produced and barrel aged in Sussex, our Prohibition Rum is a true echo of the past with its traditional spice.

Our Prohibition range currently has 3 flavour offerings: Spiced, Golden & Toffee Spiced! The bootleggers have successfully crossed the border to bring you the finest Prohibition Rum. Fact; Our Molasses come from Guadeloupe via a schooner sailing ship, our labels are made from sugar cane fibre and thus we have kept our carbon footprint on this very low.

‘Pure Sussex Gin’, for the classic Gin & Tonic be ready to use a premium Indian tonic water.

‘Honeysuckle & Hibiscus’, When sipped neat, a beautiful bourbon flavour comes forward followed by a mellow juniper and ginger finish. When a premium indian tonic is added, an amazing flavour change happens. Sherbet Lemon Gin!

‘Fish & Chips’ with a Gin & Tonic Batter

This is something I stumbled across at Christmas whilst watching an old James Martin programme from a few years ago and made with our very own, award winning 'Pure Sussex Gin' WOW it does not disappoint!

The ingredients are: 175ml tonic water, 200g plain flour, 50ml of ‘Pure Sussex Gin’, 15g fresh yeast, pinch of salt, pinch of sugar, 1 tsp cider vinegar, 4 x 175g cod fillets, skinned, pin boned (or fish of your choice: salmon, haddock or even prawns will all work well) and Vegetable oil for frying.

Recipes can be found online.

Well i hope this has given you a little inspiration to go out and find what is literally on our doorstep. We are so lucky to have all these amazing ingredients, producers and independent retailers to explore here in Sussex.

Don't forget to tag us at @harleyhousedistillery when you've found the perfect pairing of one of our spirits and food. We would love to see what you find!


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