In light of the fact that tomorrow is World Gin Day, we just wanted to draw your attention to a recent Collective Indi gin-related experience courtesy of the little wonder-shop of culinary and boozy delight that is Brixton Cornercopia.

Now, I’m one of those people who likes putting all my kitchen ingredients in jars. Sod the fact that jars take up a lot more space in a cupboard than easily squashable packets – they look awesome and storing my rice, flour, beans, lentils, nuts and dessicated coconut (yes, really) in a range of glass receptacles makes me feel like a TV chef. So does chopping all my ingredients in advance and putting them in little bowls like I’m on Blue Peter, but that’s a story for another day.

So, last Saturday I was perusing the shelves of one of my favourite places to buy empty glass jars – Brixton Cornercopia. It’s a little gem of a shop/restaurant in the heart of Brixton Village, full of locally produced chutneys, craft beers, that white and blue-rimmed enamel crockery beloved of seemingly every trendy meat eatery popping up in London town and fancy tea cosies.

Brixton Cornercopia

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After carefully considering a new jar for my polenta (yes, really), I also went for a bit of an impulse buy – a half litre, rubber stopped glass bottle, so swept up was I in the daydream of creating my own syrups and dressings to drizzle over lovingly-created kitchen concoctions formed of ingredients that had comfortably been housed in a range of beautiful glass jars.

Little had prepared me for the poetic delight of the next nine words I would hear. When I walked up to pay, the guy behind the counter asked “Would you like to fill the bottle with gin?”

So yes, it turns out that – in an excellent upselling strategy from the folk at Brixton Cornercopia – I could either buy the empty bottle for £2.50, or, for £16, get the bottle and half a litre of Boxer Gin. The sun was out, cash was burning a hole in my pocket and I love gin, so it took me about five seconds to make my mind up and before I knew it, my bottle was taken to one of the BARRELS OF GIN resting unassumingly on the shelf at the back of the store to be filled to the top.


My bottle of Boxer Gin

The rest is a beautiful moment of Summer 2013 history – my friend Ellie and I popped back to her flat and sat on her balcony basking in the early June sun knocking back very large and delicious Boxer G&Ts, garnished with a little orange peel and a sprig of rosemary (Ellie’s masterstroke, I can’t take any credit).

And it’s at times like that when I love gin the most; as much as there’s amused delight to be had in drinking a perfectly blended dirty gin martini in some over-priced cocktail bar whilst the bar tender waxes lyrical about the complex layers of botanicals and sniffs at the mere mention of the word ‘Gordons’, nothing beats the perfect and simple beauty of an ice cold gin and tonic with my best mate on a sunny balcony one Saturday afternoon in Brixton – it’s a sure sign of the start of summer and the promise of many more lazy gin-swept afternoons.


Brixton sun, shining on us and our gin

So there it is, our own little World Gin Day story, and just one of many experiences that remind us just how much we love the stuff. So go forth a celebrate WGD with a G&T, martini, gin fizz, gimlet, Tom Collins, whatever takes your fancy – and send any empty gin bottles my way yeah? They’ll make beautiful storage solutions for my home-made mung bean and juniper juice tea.*

*Not a real thing I plan to make.


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