Beachhutcook Botanica Gin Party and Canapes

Botanical Gin Party with Canapes

Right, I’m not going to apologize – well OK yes I am.  I’ve mentioned several times on social media that we were having a gin tasting party and this post is about the second event.  First time I got a little too carried away and photo taking etc just didn’t happen.

Beachhutcook Botanica Gin Party and Canapes

It barely happened second time round so to make up for lack of  party photos when reading this post think:  great company, twinkly fairy lights, much laughter, vinyl record playing, shocking rendition of Rapper’s Delight (me), lots of tea lights flickering everywhere, knock out cocktails and the food wasn’t bad either then here we go.

My husband is Party Central when it comes to any drinks party and within half an hour his booming (if-you’re-looking-for-trouble) laughter can be heard from down the road.  This is one of the reasons why I love him but I have learnt over the years not to be sucked into his party vortex (many haven’t) so when he announced we were going to host a Botanical Gin Party, I knew it was going to be a lively one.  Oh and was I OK with doing canapes for 12 people to match each gin?  Told you he was trouble.

Beachhutcook Botanica Gin Party and Canapes

I did, however create a Pinterest board Easy Canapés that was a huge source of inspiration, style tips and encouragement particularly in moments of searing panic.


Vesper Martinis

Marinated Olives

Spicy Devils on Horsebacks

Ginger Gin & Tonics

Elderflower Gin & Tonics

Salmon & Horseradish Canapés

Pimped-Up Hummus

Sussex Gin & Tonics

Mini Plates of Swedish Meatballs with Roasted Potatoes Chips

Lemon Possett


Spicy Devils on Horsebacks-

(based on one seen on Thomasina Miers’ TV Programme)

Prunes (halved in very large)

Mug of boiling water

Earl Grey teabag

Slug of Spanish brandy (I used Kirsch as ran out of brandy)

Pinch of dried chilli flakes

1 star anise

Streaky bacon (cut in half lengthways)

Place halved prunes, water, teabag, brandy and spices in large bowl and leave to marinate overnight.  Drain but keep the marinade.  Wrap the bacon strips tightly round each prune and lay on a baking sheet.  Brush with the marinade and roast in a 200 oven for 10 minutes, brushing with marinade several times.

Pimped-Up Hummus

(based on Celia Brooks Brown’s Vegetarian Party Food)

Place shop-bought hummus in the middle of a large plate and sprinkle over some olive oil from the marinated olives and some dried mint.

Place some cut flat bread on an oven tray and drizzle with more of the marinated olive oil, salt and pepper and some sesame seeds and cook for 7-10 minutes.  Arrange around the hummus.

Need an extra dish on standby?

Cut up good quality bread from the bakers in to large chunks, arrange on a large platter, and in a shallow bowl add some of the marinated olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dip in.

Salmon & Horseradish Canapés

Ready-made croustades

120g smoked salmon

Cream cheese, full fat

2 tablespoons of horseradish sauce

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Fresh dill to garnish

Mix together the cream cheese, horseradish and Dijon mustard and place in each croustade case.  Place on top 3 thin slivers of smoked salmon then place a small sprig of dill over.

Don’t place these in the fridge or anywhere too cold otherwise the croustade case will go soggy!  If you prep everything beforehand, it really is not hassle to make about 30 mins before guests arrive or even while they are on their first cocktail.

Mini Plates of Swedish Meatballs

Ready-made good quality meatballs

Potatoes, cut into perfect chip size, skin on.

Place the cut potatoes into olive oil and give them a good coating and sprinkle with salt, pepper and sprinkle of dried herbs and cook in 200 oven for 45-50 minutes.  Don’t over crowd the tray otherwise they won’t crisp.  You can always use ready-made chunky chips – don’t be shy (as I did 2nd time around).

Add the meatballs to the oven according to packet instructions.

Serve with a ready-made cranberry sauce or homemade chutney as I did because I had some and I forgot to buy any cranberry sauce!

Swedish Meatball Style Sauce (Ikea type gravy)

15g unsalted butter

1 tablespoon plain flour

300ml beef or chicken stock (I used frozen ham stock from boiling the Christmas gammon.  Incredibly tasty stuff)

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

300ml soured cream

Make a rue by melting butter in a large saucepan and adding the flour.  Cook for about a minute, stiring constantly to cook out raw flour flavour and add some colour to final sauce.  Slowly add the stock and bring to a simmer.  Remove from the heat and add the remaining ingredients then gently bring back up to heat and allow to slowly cook for 5 minutes.  Season to taste.  If using Ham stock – watch out for adding any more salt.

As I was laying on the sofa the next day feeling “tired” Mr Party Central announced “So when’s Whisky Night then?”

Beachhutcook Botanica Gin Party and Canapes

1 Comment

  • Reply Marinated Olives | Beach Hut Cook 15th June 2016 at 10:46 pm

    […] served these with bread and Pimped Up Hummus at the Sisterhood Camp but pirated the oil back to have at home and it’s still good three […]

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