Around a year ago we asked you, our gin clubbers, to vote on a series of ‘bring it back’ gins – four gins released over the course of this year, that you’ve loved since we launched in 2018. And here is the final gin in the bring it back series – The Train to Hoi An.
We were delighted that this gin got to make a reappearance, as it really does encompass some of our core beliefs at Batch: it’s a recipe created by our Director, Phil and was inspired by his travels across Southeast Asia. It’s fun, has a history and uses some very unusual ingredients.
The more unusual botanicals used in The Train To Hoi An are common in Vietnam. If you have travelled to the Far East you may well be familiar with this popular, but pungent fruit. Eaten fresh or baked in moon cakes, Durian is a local delicacy – it has such a stench it’s often banned in public places and hotels. Although the fruit has a strong off-putting smell, it is lost when eating. The trick to enjoying this fruit fresh is to ignore the aroma and focus on the taste. Durian flesh is actually soft, delicate, and creamy. The creaminess is noticeable in the finished gin, along with a mellow sweetness.
Betel nut is something you may have witnessed if you have travelled to Asia, maybe without realising. It’s very common to see men, women and children chewing on beetle leaves or nuts, which give people a buzz equivalent to six cups of coffee and is used variously as a symbol of love, marriage and a cure for indigestion and impotence. A custom which leaves mouths and smiles strikingly red!
“The train from the northern city of Hanoi takes a winding path through misty mountain tunnels and along pristine coastline, dotted with fishing boats, as it chugs further south towards the UNESCO world heritage site of Hoi An old town. The Journey is long, hot and cramped and there is nothing you would want more than an ice cold cocktail once you arrive in the lantern lit town!”.
To make this month’s cocktail you will need…
50ml Train to Hoi An Gin
50ml lychee liqueur
25ml green tea
Fresh mint leaves
60ml lime juice
100ml pineapple juice
Bash 8-10 mint leaves and add to a cocktail shaker full of ice. Pour in the cooled tea, lychee liqueur, lime juice, gin and pineapple juice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled coupe glass.
As recommended by our former Train to Hoi An Member of the Month, serve this gin over ice, with Indian tonic and garnish with blueberries and a wedge of lime.