Making a low calorie gin and soda
Let me start off with the ingredients for this fantastic drink:
1 Shot KWV Cruxland Gin
½ Shot of Lime Cordial
1 Rooibos & Honeybush teabag
150ml Water – to make the tea with
1 Spoon of Honey
1 Cardomom Seed
1 Star Anise Seed
1 Slice Lemon
Soda Water to top it off with
On Friday I posted a video on how to make a low calorie gin and soda using the local – KWV Cruxland gin. Since the weekend, I have made some slight alterations which made the drink way more delicious and have decided to share it.
The entire premise of this drink is that it is nearly December meaning bikini and beach season and we all know that alcohol is one of the top contenders in empty calories. (Not that that’s ever stopped me).
So I dressed up in an 80’s Jane Fonda workout costume and got to work.
Obviously over my journey as a gin blogger, I learn more about various types of gins and what they are comprised of. My friend makes fun of me for talking about the botanicals in gin, but as per the article I wrote not so long ago, they really are the magic that creates this gorgeous drink.
I also attended a cocktail mixing evening a couple of months ago wherein they taught us the basics of cocktail creation. Things like flavours and ratios and how to pair them all, so bearing those in mind I set to work at creating a low calorie drink. The only hitch was that I wanted to avoid adding any sugary mixers or flavours to keep the calories down. Tonic is deceptively high in sugar and calories which is why a G&T isn’t the best drink to order. It is a little better than a sweet cocktail like a cosmo but not as great as a straight whiskey or even a neat gin. But no one on earth drinks neat gin right?
I pooled together all of my knowledge as well as information I gained on the brand new local gin and began examining the botanicals. I must say that the taste of this gin really took me by surprise. It was sweet and surprisingly good because I know that KWV originally produced brandy. I am pleased that their expansion into gin has been a raging success.
KWV Cruxland Gin
KWV Cruxland gin contains of course the trinity which are juniper, corriander and angelica seed.
A while back I attempted a drink with just plain coriander seeds in and it didn’t work out so well. You end up swallowing them and it’s not pleasant. They would do better steeped in a tea strainer or something else. But that being said, coriander has a particular taste which can be matched with a fresh lemon anyway. This and the fact that gin is usually distilled with some or other sort of citrus, is the main reason that you can serve any gin with a lemon and it will work. It’s the complexities of the botanicals that determine the more niche and particular garnishes.
Cruxland discloses their botanicals on the bottle which is extremely helpful and reading that I learnt that they use lemon, rooibos, honeybush, cardamom, aniseed, almond and Khalahari truffles.
Seeing as I had no Kalahari truffles or any flavour similar to that, I decided to leave that one out and focus on te other flavours. I did the same for the almond.
As I mentioned, I already had the fresh lemon which was perfect.
I realised that soda water had zero flavouring at all so I had to find some other way to bring sweetness to the drink. That was when I began to explore the fynbos.
As I mention in my video, something that I like a lot about local South African gins is that more often than not, they use fynbos as a botanical.
Many years ago, when I was working as a journalist for a woman’s magazine, I was told to write an entire article on fynbos which is why I have random but incomplete knowledge about fynbos – like how Cape Town Table Moutnain has the largest collection of fynbos in the world if I am not mistaken, which is why it would make sense that it is frequently used in local gins. Second is that it comes in something wild like 1000 varieties (I just googled it and it is actually 8500!). The most common ones we know come in tea form as the renowned rooibos.
Luckily I happened to have a tea the was both rooibos and honeybush flavour which is why I selected it.
Rooibos and Honeybush teabags
I boiled some water, poured it over the teabag, added honey and let it steep a little. I then waited for it to cool and used this as the sweet mixer.
Then I added a whole cardamom seed to compliment that botanical.
And finally aniseed is the same as star anise which tastes like liquorice and I knew would also add a little sweetness, so I added one entire seed and allowed them all to soak together and create full flavours.
I would at this point suggest that you also all a half a shot of lime cordial. It has the sweet and sour aspect that this gin cocktail was lacking. It was not in my video because I only discovered this weekend how good it tastes with this drink.
Finally top it all off with some soda water and there you have it, a low calorie gin cocktail – can we call this a cocktail? Well I am going to call it a cocktail.
Fabulous for the waistline and for weekends.
If you missed it, then be sure to watch the entire video below!
And as always, thank you for watching and reading. Your support makes all of this worthwhile.