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tasty

G&T's have become one of the most popular drinks on the market, but how is the spirit evolving? It's sophisticated reputation and delicious flavours create the ideal cocktails, as well as becoming the perfect confidence booster BFF:

"You should go to the dancefloor and show off your hip moves, you're such a great dancer" – as said by Hendricks, overheard in Coppers in October 2018. Hendricks was later proven wrong.

There's no doubt about just how much gin has grown in the world of spirits, with Scottish gin especially undergoing a massive revival.

According to the Irish Times, the on-trade gin market in Ireland is now worth at an all-time high of €50 million. It's image has become transformed from a seemingly 'mother's choice' to a millennial's favourite. 

We've put together a list of gin trends for 2019, so you can prepare your livers for the changes due to come in next year for the gin world. Get yourselves ready for relentless gin puns throughout, you have been warned.

1. GINcredible flavours 

Gin flavours are KILLING the game right now, and they're showing no sign of slowing down.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Cocktail Society  (@aboutdrinksandbars) on

Botanical delights such as berry pink gin, plum and cinnamon, pomegranate and rose, lemon drizzle, rhubarb and ginger to passionfruit gin liqueurs, salted caramel flavour and even a bubblegum taste, the flavours of gin available are GINfinite (sorry not sorry).

Copeland Spirits, based in Co. Down, specialises in 37.8% flavoured gins. Aldi Ireland stock its GINSANELY good Rhuberry flavour, naturally infused with local fruit, as well as its new, limited-edition infusion Spiced Apple and Blackcurrant.

Founder of Copeland Spirits, Gareth Irvine has recently spoken about the journey which gin flavours is currently on, saying that a shift in what's popular is incoming:

“Flavours to date have been quite seasonal or trend-led and associated solely to summer, or unicorns, or crazy colours and not veer too much away from berries. Over the coming months, we’ll see the flavour ideas get more adventurous incorporating spices, herbs, exotic fruits.

“Often-times, trend-led flavoured gins are of poor quality and are full of syrups, additives or sugar, rather than real fruit. In addition, the volume is generally around 20% and so a liqueur as opposed to a gin."

Hmmm, this is heart-breaking news. Some of our fave flavah's are legit just sugar and syrup…but this is changing. Thank GOD. We get enough sugar as it is.

Gareth predicts that consumers will start to focus more on quality, just like we saw with unflavoured gin and this will catapult flavoured gin into a category all of its own. Noted, Gareth.

2. GIN-vironmentally friendly

With the introduction of plastic-free consumer goals, especially in terms of straws in bars and restaurants, it's no surprise that gin companies are noticing this important trend. The 'waste not/want not' ideology is spreading fast, with bartenders becoming more aware of the value of not throwing away unneccesary food and drink waste.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“We’re thinking first and drinking second. We’ve noticed cocktail menus are changing slightly as bartenders consciously look for ways to minimise food waste." according to Gareth.

When it comes to garnishes such as lemon wedges, egg yolks and limes, the amount of fruit that is thrown away or used needlessly purely for the same of appearance is pretty shocking.

Rather than sweeping these used garnishes into to the bin, some bars have making what is becoming known as ‘closed-loop’ cocktails, where excess fruit is used to create natural syrup or saved for pitchers.

Bars becoming conscious about their eco-footprint is imperative, especially since spirit companies rely heavily on the land to create their infused gins.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Copeland Gin (@copeland_gin) on

3. GINcrease in gin brands

Wait, you mean… we're going to see even more gin? YAS. 

More brands will be arriving on the scene next year, with supermarket-owned brands such as Aldi helping to increase access to the category.

Gin-lovers in Ireland are a passionate bunch of people, and brands are taking that passion seriously. As more and more brands come on the scene, people will only connect with the ones that have strong values, for example supporting the environment or raising talent through graduate programmes.

Brands will be providing a quality product that is conscious of price and quality. Amen to that.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Gin Lovers (@gin_lovers) on

4. GINnovation

Brands in 2019 hope to focus on some brand new categories, many of our favourite brands which have risen in the last three years didn't exist prior to the gin renaissance. These brands, whose journeys are only really beginning, will be competing to adapt in the long-term industry pool.

Gin and spirit companies will begin experimentation with distilling and flavours which will likely benefit gin, and those who drink it, i.e. us.

We predict that experimentation will lead to some unreal new flavours and tastes, we also volunteer as tribute to test these new tastes. It's a tough job but someone has to do it.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Bethany gale (@bybethanygale) on

For the moment anyway, we're heading straight to Aldi Ireland to grab Copeland’s Spiced Apple and Blackcurrant Gin for just €29.99, see you there gals.

With Christmas around the corner, this new flavour is perfect for winter.

Can someone please le Santa know that a gin advent calendar is on our present list? Just in case he doesn't know…

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If you're the type to take pictures of your food before you eat it (go on, you know you've done it once or twice) then you're food could actually turn out tastier.

We all know Instagram is filled with #foodporn shots, but science has actually proved that it's better to take a sneaky shot before eating it.

According to the Journal of Consumer Marketing, the time you take to snap your picture provides a momentary pause in consumption which "increases the savouring associated with consumption of pleasurable foods."

So basically, if you take a photo of your food, it (obvs) takes longer to start eating it. Therefore, you'll want it more and your brain will trick you into thinking it's tastier than it actually is. 

New York Magazine reports that the research was revolved around three different studies which involved 120 participants.

Ah, that's good enough for us. Get grammin' people. 

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This recipe is not only easy to make but also makes the perfect summer snack.

What you’ll need:

  • 125g plain flour
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 60g sugar
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 100ml milk
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 1/2-1 tbsp. warm water
  • 25g chocolate chips

What you’ll need to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C, sieve the cocoa powder, flour and baking powder into a bowl.
  2. Mix the egg, milk, butter and sugar together in another bowl.
  3. Pour the egg mixture into the first bowl, then add chocolate chips. Mix until combined but still lumpy.
  4. Spoon mixture into cake cases and put the tray in the oven at 160°C for 20 minutes.
  5. You can check the muffins are set by cracking the top of the cupcake, if not quite set put back in for a further 10 minutes.
  6. Leave muffins to cool and serve.
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We know this is a bit naughty, but how tasty would this French toast recipe be for brunch this weekend?!

What you’ll need:

  • 50ml whole milk
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 2 thick slices slightly stale brioche
  • 2 knobs unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • pinch – ½ tsp ground cinnamon, to taste
  • 1 ripe banana, peeled and sliced
  • Maple syrup, to taste

What you’ll need to do: 

  1. Whisk together the milk and eggs in a wide shallow bowl.
  2. Dip the brioche slices into the egg and milk mixture for one minute, making sure the liquid soaks into the brioche on both sides.
  3. Heat a knob of butter in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, fry the brioche slices for two minutes on each side until golden-brown and crisp. Remove from the pan and place onto a serving plate.
  4. Combine the caster sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
  5. Add another knob of butter to the pan over a high heat. Once melted, add the sliced banana to the pan, toss in the melted butter and fry for two minutes, or until caramelised lightly on the outside.
  6. Serve the French toast with the caramelised banana, a sprinkle of the cinnamon sugar and a drizzle of maple syrup. Yum!
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Get your day off to a good start with these super tasty morning muffins.

What you’ll need:

  • 300g self-rising flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 150g light brown sugar
  • 250ml full-fat milk
  • 2 free-range eggs, beaten
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 25g dried cherries and cranberries

What you’ll need to do:

  1.  Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and line a muffin tray with paper muffin cases.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and then stir in the sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and melted butter, then pour into the dry ingredients and quickly mix together. Stir in the dried fruit.
  4. Divide the batter between the 12 muffin cases. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the muffins comes out clean.
  5. Leave to cool for five minutes in the tin before serving or munching yourself.
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These tasty granola bars are the perfect healthy mid-morning snack.

Forget those sugary shop-bought kind and bake your own!

What you’ll need:

  • 100g butter
  • 200g porridge oats
  • 100g sunflower seeds
  • 50g sesame seeds
  • 50g chopped walnuts
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 100g dried cranberries, cherries or blueberries, or a mix

What you’ll need to do:

1. Butter and line the base of  a roasting tin and heat oven to around 160C.
2. Mix the oats, seeds and nuts in a roasting tin, then put in the oven for 5-10 minutes to toast.
3. Warm the butter, honey and sugar in a pan, stirring until butter is melted.
4. Add the oat mix and dried fruit, then mix until all the oats are well coated.
5. Tip into the tin, press down lightly, then bake for 30 minutes.
6. Cool in tin, then cut into bars.

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These bites combine two of the best flavours in the whole world – peanut butter and chocolate.

They are also so simple and easy to put together and make.

Your friends will love them!

What you’ll need:

  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 150g smooth peanut butter
  • 120g icing sugar

What you’ll need to do:

  1. Melt the dark chocolate and pour half of the mixture individually into cupcake cases, and place in a muffin tin.
  2. Place in the fridge to harden.
  3. In a bowl combine the peanut butter with the icing sugar.
  4. Put a dollop of the peanut butter on top of the hardened chocolate and smooth out.
  5. Pour the remaining chocolate on top and return to the fridge to set completely.

You can also replace the peanut butter with the almond butter and remove the sugar for a slightly healthier treat.

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There is something about macaroons that delight us ladies. It might be the colours, the light taste or the delicate appearance. Either way, we can’t get enough!

Macaroons also have a reputation for being very difficult to make. While they are no mugcake, they really aren’t that bad and with some practice, you’ll be a macaroon connoisseur in no time!

Why not impress your girls and make them some macaroons?

What you’ll need:

For the shells

  • 130g icing sugar
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 120g ground almonds
  • pinch of salt
  • Food colouring of your choice (be sparing!)

For the filling

  • Butter
  • Icing sugar

What you’ll need to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Sieve the icing sugar and almonds into a large bowl.
  3. Using a mixer, whiz the egg whites, caster sugar and salt until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
  4. Add any food colouring you are using.
  5. Slowly and steadily, fold the almond and sugar mixture into the egg whites. This should take a while if you are working slowly enough.
  6. Place the mixture into a pipe and create consistent, small, round shapes onto the baking tray.
  7. Bang the tray once on the counter to settle the macaroons.
  8. Leave the macaroons at room temperature for 15-20mins.
  9. Bake for 15-20mins.
  10. Combine the butter and icing sugar to make the butter-cream and spread it in between each macaroon once they are cooled.
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The word ‘vegan’ is a dirty word for many foodies but a recipe free of animal products doesn’t have to be free of flavour too.

This recipe for vanilla poached peaches is the perfect, vegan dessert for a lazy, early spring Sunday.

What you’ll need

  • 4 large, ripe peaches
  • 425ml sweet white wine
  • 2 tbsp agave
  • 1 vanilla pod, split

What you’ll need to do

  1. Fill a large bowl with iced water.
  2. Place the peaches in another large bowl and pour over enough boiling water to cover.
  3. Leave for 30 seconds, then remove the peaches with a spoon and plunge them into the cold water. The skins should peel away easily.
  4. Place the wine. agave and vanilla pod in a pan, gently heat until the agave has dissolved.
  5. Lower the peaches into the pan, cover and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes until tender. Using two wooden spoons, turn the fruit 3 or 4 times while cooking and regularly baste with the syrup.
  6. Remove the cooked peaches from the pan and set to one side in a large bowl.
  7. Boil the syrup until it has reduced by half. Spoon over the peaches, then set aside to cool. Serve the peaches and syrup at room temperature, warm or chilled.
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Sometimes we just want something tasty without spending too much time in the kitchen. If you find yourself singing that song, then this 3-ingredient muffin recipe is for you!

What you need:

  • 95g self-rising flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 235g thickened cream

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Prepare a 24-cup mini muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. In a bowl, mix the flour and sugar together.
  4. Pour in the cream and fold mixture together with a spatula.
  5. Spoon into the muffin tin and bake for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Cool in the tin for 2 minutes and then cool further on a wire rack.
  7. Enjoy!
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