A while ago on Twitter, in one of those conversations that sometimes happens when I ought to be practising or tidying or some such thing, there was discussion of gin, and taking gin on trains, and so on. In the way of such things it got rather whimsical and somehow, I’m not sure how, ideas for gin sandwiches came up.
I’m pleased to say I have now tried two of the ideas, and they worked beautifully.
The first one is easy: slice cucumbers, soak them in gin, in the refrigerator, overnight. I don’t mean “sprinkle some gin on them” I mean “put them in a container and fill it up until the gin covers the cucumbers”. Then use these cucumbers in sandwiches, as you would normally use cucumbers. They seem to go very well with herby cream cheese, but I see no reason they couldn’t be used with other sandwich ingredients.
The second sandwich idea is to make sloe gin jelly.
To do this I used Oetker’s gelatine; it comes in a yellow box and has sachets in it. Each sachet says it will set one pint of liquid.
Mix one sachet of gelatine with about 150mL of hot water. You may need to stir quite a lot to dissolve it all. Add about 300mL gin. Set in the refrigerator for several hours. I had been hoping that the jelly would set hard enough to be sliced, but even with the reduced liquid the alcohol in the gin prevented that happening, so it was a spreadable jelly instead. However, it was very tasty! This works beautifully with good-quality sliced sandwich meat, particularly smoked varieties.
I don’t know how long the cucumbers will take to go mushy, but if they don’t they shouldn’t spoil in any hurry. The jelly ought to stay good for a fair while, too. Basically it’s hard for anything with that much alcohol in it to actually go off. Whether they keep depends more on supplies of bread, creamcheese and sliced sandwich meat!
There you have it. Gin sandwiches: the perfect treat when you get back from Evensong too tired to cook properly.