United by luxury and heritage, Cunard and Pickering’s Gin have joined together to create small-batch artisan gins in celebration of each of the Cunard Queens. Copper distilled in Edinburgh, the award-winning Pickering’s Gin is owned by the great-nephew of Cunard Captain George Gibbons; a chance connection that has produced a most exceptional gin collection. In this recipe, Head of Culinary Development Gareth Bowen takes inspiration from the citrus botanicals of the Queen Victoria gin to create a light and flavoursome drizzle cake, perfect for an afternoon treat.
Afternoon tea as it should be
Cunard loves their British heritage and so do their guests. And what, after all, could be more British than afternoon tea? So British, in fact, that it was started by the 7th Duchess of Bedford in the 1840s to provide a break between luncheon and dinner. This is a tradition Cunard observe each day at precisely 3.00 pm, just as the Duchess would have wanted. Their white-gloved waiters serve guests tea in the Queen’s Room, along with fresh scones with cream, exquisitely-cut finger sandwiches and cake. Just one of the many fabulous Cunard experiences.
Gin & Fizz
Found on board Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, Cunard’s Gin & Fizz bar is home to more than 40 gins. Organised into traditional, herbaceous, citrus, spice, floral, juniper and adventurous flavours, the selection is almost as well-travelled as their ships, with offerings from around the world. Each gin is paired with a tonic and signature garnish that perfectly compliments its botanical properties.
Recreate Cunard’s 3 Queens Gin and Tonic Drizzle Cake
- 200g unsalted butter plus extra to grease
- 200g caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs, room temperature and beaten
- 200g self-raising flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- Finely grated zest of 1 lime
- 75ml Cunard 3 Queens gin
For the syrup and topping
- 125g caster sugar, plus extra to sprinkle
- 125ml tonic water
- 3 ½ tbsp Cunard 3 Queens gin
- 2 limes, cut in half through their length and sliced into 3mm semi-circle
- 100g icing sugar
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C fan). Grease and line the base and sides of a 900g (2Ib) loaf tin with baking parchment. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with a handheld electric whisk until light and fluffy - about 5 minutes.
- Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition.
- Fold in the flour, baking powder and lime zest, followed by the gin. Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Meanwhile, make the sugar syrup; gently heat the caster sugar and tonic water in a small pan, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves. Turn up the heat and boil for 1 minute. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the syrup into a small bowl and mix in 2 tablespoons of the gin (this mixture will then be used to soak the loaf later). Set the pan of the remaining syrup aside.
- As soon as the loaf comes out of the oven, poke holes into the top with a skewer and drizzle over the reserved syrup/gin mixture. Cool the loaf on a wire rack.
- To make the candied lime slices, reheat the remaining sugar syrup in its pan until boiling, then add the lime slices. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until the slices are translucent. Lift out the slices with a slotted spoon on to the baking parchment, then sprinkle both sides of the lime slices liberally with caster sugar. Leave to dry.
- Make the icing by mixing together the icing sugar with the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons gin added to the syrup. Remove the cooled loaf from the tin, transfer to a board and peel off the parchment. Pour over the icing and decorate with the dried candied lime slices. Leave the cake to set before serving.