Bartender Miran Chauhan from award-winning Edinburgh bar The Bon Vivant has become Scotland brand ambassador for premium Elephant Gin.
Miran, who remains as bar manager at The Bon Vivant, has already worked with the brand on a number of bar takeovers for the London dry gin including Sager & Wilde in London and Gilt Bar in Copenhagen.
His first task as brand ambassador has been to create his own signature cocktails around the original London dry gin and the newest release, Elephant Strength Gin, which was introduced in March with ABV of 57% ABV. See below for the recipes.
Made in Germany, Elephant Strength is a variation on the 45% ABV Elephant London Dry Gin, amplifying the aroma and fragrance of the unique mix of botanicals but retaining the smooth and balanced character.
It is distilled using 14 botanicals, including rare African ingredients such as buchu which introduces a flavour similar to blackcurrant, while the African wormwood comes with a sharp floral note.
Led by the juniper, these are combined with mountain pine and fresh apple sourced from the orchards surrounding the distillery. The gin is intense and full-bodied, with a fresh aroma and a higher viscosity than the original, making it ideal for cocktails.
Miran said: “Firstly, it has a closer resemblance to the alcohol produced that comes straight off the still, which has a romantic nature. Especially in gin where the need for ageing the spirit is not necessarily needed, navy-strength gin offers a freshness, like picking an apple off a tree and having that first juicy bite.
“When mixing with other spirits and liqueurs, navy-strength gin becomes more pronounced and acts as a conductor where all the other flavours have to orchestrate around harmoniously. When mixed well, navy-strength gin really comes into its own and the botanical structure and flavour is allowed to shine.”
Miran’s personal favourite mixed drink for the gin is the classic Corpse Reviver No 2 which he says is ideal for using navy-strength gin. It is equal parts gin, dry orange liqueur, lemon juice and a white aperitif wine, shaken with a dash of absinthe.
He also suggests the Elephant Strength for a twist on a classic: a Gin Sazerac. “The complexity of the Elephant Strength allows it to be used in many classics from other categories where overproof alcohols are frequently used. Take the Sazerac: Peychaud’s Bitters, absinthe, a touch of sugar can be stirred down with a healthy measure of gin to give you a punchy aromatic serve which has a matriarch-like character.
“The gin category has experienced a boom over the last few years, but there aren’t too many doing the simple things really well. Take the Martini: a classic drink that will have everlasting recognition and order. Elephant Strength nails the Martini extremely well: well balanced, structured and very pleasurable.”
Miran Chauhan’s signature Elephant Gin cocktails
Blackbird (pictured above)
40ml Elephant Gin
25ml Beerenauslese wine
10ml Fino sherry
1 pinch Activated charcoal
Put all of your ingredients in a shaker. Throw until 20% dilution. Pour into a chilled martini glass.
30ml Elephant Gin
20ml Dry vermouth
20ml Lemon juice
20ml Egg whites
1 pinch Dried camomile and lavender buds
Put all of your ingredients in a shaker and give them a dry shake and a wet shake. Fine-strain into a chilled wine glass. Float camomile buds on top.
Perfect Martini (pictured below)
40ml Elephant Strength Gin
20ml Dry vermouth
Put all of your ingredients in a tin. Stir for 15ml dilution. Pour into a martini glass.