Nathan Larkin, Founder of Speak in Code, unveils an intricately-crafted serve based on the classic Gimlet – created with the planet in mind.
At Speak in Code, we try to create a closed loop as much as possible in all of our drink development, maximising the potential of each product that comes through our door. Our ‘Track 6’, from our second menu, is a great example of a drink in which by-products are used in production, and post-production too. This drink was loosely based on the classic Gimlet (Gin and Lime), to which we wanted to add a Mediterranean spin, with some spice depth in there too. It actually came about from an internal competition between the team, and the drink was too good for us not to include in the menu. Imagine an elevated Gimlet that is a perfect combination of gin, savoury, citrus, sweet and spice, which has a Mediterranean feel.
First, we take a base of Portobello Road London Dry Gin, and their Navy Strength expression too, which is a gin made with all of the original botanicals, with a touch of English sea salt. What’s great about this gin is its qualities, but also that Portobello Road donate a portion of the profits to support ocean welfare charities. We take both gins and we fat-wash them in a 2:1 ratio (London Dry: Navy Strength) with sundried tomato oil (inclusive of the sundried tomatoes too for added flavour). We fat-wash this for two hours to get the maximum flavour extraction from the tomatoes, and for the oil to integrate into the liquid well. We then freeze and coffee filter the liquid once the fat has solidified, and then we can get a secondary fat-wash out of the tomatoes and oil without losing any flavour or fat content. After the secondary use, we then blend the sundried tomatoes into a red pesto that we make for a food item – a plant-based Red Pesto Mac & Cheese Arancini hybrid.
We then make a cordial which is listed in the menu as ‘TLC’, short for tonic lime cordial. We take our lime juice and grapefruit juice that is past its peak and add to tonic water, with bay leaf, cassia, pink peppercorn, sugar and malic acid, which we then sous vide for two hours at 60 degrees. All of the husks that remain from juicing, and the botanicals left over from making this cordial, go on to make our home made ‘Chinotto’ – a sparkling, alcohol free aperitif-style drink made from blackening these husks, for added bitterness, adding to Juniper and a 1:1 sugar syrup and allowing to infuse for one month. The cordial is a way for us to maximise all of the products that come through our door and retain every bit of flavour possible.
We shake our sundried tomato gin blend with our ‘tonic lime cordial’ and serve up in a ceramic bowl – these are great for holding low temperatures, but also an opportunity for you to collaborate with local ceramicists. We then garnish with a fried poppadom, which is topped with a homemade pineapple pulp, pickled red pepper and parsley chutney. We take our leftover pineapple pulp, from our freshly juiced pineapples, and add sugar, xanthan, pickled red pepper and parsley, and then reduce until it’s a thick, jammy consistency.
The ‘Track 6’ is shaken in a Birdy cobbler shaker to maximise the potential of aeration to lift the citrus notes from the cordial. You get a sweet tartness from the citrus cordial with a bitter end from the tonic base and the addition of bay leaf. When serving, we suggest to go back and forth between garnish and drink, as the salted poppadom and tangy chutney compliment the sweet tartness of the drink and help lift the citrus notes.
- 40ml Portobello Road London Dry
- 20ml Portobello Road Navy Strength
- 30ml Tonic Lime Cordial
- Fat-washed with sundried tomatoes
- 400ml Portobello Road London Dry Gin
- 200ml Portobello Road Navy Strength Gin
- 250g Sundried tomatoes, including oil
Seal in a vac pack bag and sous vide at 50 degrees for two hours. Then, strain into a container and freeze until oils are solidified. Coffee filter until liquid is smooth and free from any of the fat-wash contents.
- 800ml tonic water
- 400ml grapefruit juice
- 200ml lime juice
- 20g pink peppercorn
- 20 bay leaves
- 1400g caster sugar
- 10g malic acid
Add all wet and dry ingredients into a large vac pack bag and sous vide at 60 degrees for two hours, agitating the bag after one hour so the sugar doesn’t settle at the bottom.