A couple of weeks ago we here at The Skinny were lucky enough to be invited down to Enrique’s School For Bullfighting in Highgate for their Gin Dinner degustation evening. Full of lively Spanish flavours and lashings of delicious gin based concoctions, it was certainly an entertaining evening that illustrated how gin can be so much more than something you mix with Schweppes tonic water and a lemon wedge.
The mention of Spanish food and wine conjures up certain things to most people; chorizo, tapas, paella, sangria, wine from Rioja etc. Gin, however, rarely figures in this list, but you may be surprised to learn that Spain is the highest consumer of gin (per capita) in the whole world. It makes sense then that the Spanish inspired Enrique’s School for Bullfighting should place such a heavy emphasis on that most wondrous of spirits. You can find both fantastic food and great gin there any day of the week, but a while ago they decided to really push the boat out and hold a five course Gin Dinner degustation.
Food: Calamari Sliders and Pig & Parmesan
Drink: Tanqueray 10 with elderflower tonic, pink grapefruit and lemongrass
Food: white fish ceviche with blood orange salt, blood orange ice, avocado cream, dehydrated orange and apple salad
Drink: Blood Orange Negrizzle
Food: Tea smoked tuna
Drink: mix-your-own gin Sangria punch, port flavoured sherbet
Food: Enrique’s BBQ beef ribs, chipotle slaw, paprika roast potatoes with paprika aioli
Drink: Lark Godfather GnT
Drink: chilled Sloe gin
Food: Honeycomb panna cotta, chocolate soil, icecream, honeycomb
If anyone was under the illusion that gin was a simple, one dimensional drink before taking part in this fantastic meal then they would certainly have had their eyes well and truly opened by the time they left. Just having all of the different ginny drinks on their own would have been a great experience its own right, but having them paired with delicious food with complimentary flavours made it a truly special event indeed. Special mention must also go to Enrique’s head chef Navarre Tope, who at the age of only 21 was able to create a fantastic, well executed menu full of brilliant flavours.
The folks behind Enriques (as well as The Beaufort St Merchant and The Trustee Bar & Bistro) are also planning on hosting more of these degustation type dinners at their various venues throughout the course of the year, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled if you like the look of them.