You don't need to be a Guinness heiress to know that alcohol and vehicles are usually a catastrophic combination. Despite this, however, the clever chaps behind Hendrick's gin have teamed up with flamboyantly innovative jelly-makers Bompass & Parr to show us how it should be done. Designed to be a quirky bar by day and eccentric dining room by night, the Hendrick's Horseless Carriage of Curiosities (try saying that with a mouthful of jelly) will be steaming into in Manchester Square Gardens tomorrow to commence the last leg of its booze riddled journey around the country, and, if previous reports are to be believed, it's well worth investigating.
The titular vehicle, a restored Victorian train carriage, is filled with 'curious' objects which are donated by members of the public in return for a free drink. Before you think about fobbing the bartender off with the 'antique' ketchup bottle you found in the skip, however, it's worth bearing in mind that the best curiosities of the day will also win a free bottle of gin, and possibly even a place at one of Bompass & Parr's nightly dinner parties. Rather sportingly, Hendrick's have featured a list of recently donated items on their website so you can get an idea of the competition, and you can even pre-register your curiosity there to be in with a better chance of success.
The eccentric carriage-cum-bar, featuring live music and a croquet lawn alongside its drinks, will be in Manchester Square Gardens (just by the Wallace Collection) between 1st-4th October, although we don't think you'll get any prizes for raiding the latter to win gin from the former. If you've got time to kill until tomorrow, however, why not try this quirky recipe kindly supplied by Bompass & Parr?
Glow in the Dark Hendrick’s Gin Jelly: Serves 4
"With jelly half the fun lies in the spectacle. Make sure you use an interesting mould and unmould the jelly using the technique outlined below. A gently wobbling pudding makes any table more exciting, especially if it is glowing. Do as the Victorians did and put jellies down the centre of the table and enjoy the sight of them wobbling away throughout the entire meal!"
For the jelly
200ml Hendrick’s Gin
200ml Indian tonic water
100g Caster sugar
8 Leaves gelatine (at least double that directed by packet)
For the raspberry coulis
1⁄2 Lemon, juice only
5g Icing sugar
For the glow
To make the jelly (do so several days prior to serving)
Combine the Hendrick’s Gin and indian tonic water in a large measuring jug and set aside.
Cut the leaf gelatine into fine pieces and place in a heat-proof bowl with enough water to submerse. Leave until soft (roughly 5 minutes).
When the gelatine has softened, melt it (still in heat proof bowl) over a pan of simmering water. At the same time melt the caster sugar in 100ml of water.
Add the caster sugar solution to the melted gelatine mix. Then combine this with the Hendrick’s Gin/tonic water jug and stir.
Now wait - maybe two or three days. For every day your jelly is in the fridge it will grow structurally stronger.
When anticipation gets the better of you, polish your best plate and prepare the coulis.
To make the coulisTo make the coulis, place the raspberries, lemon juice and icing sugar into a food processor until smooth.
Strain the coulis into a small jug. To serve, anoint the jelly with the coulis.
Unmould the jelly by briefly immersing in a bowl of hot water and inverting over your chosen plate. Note: Silver plates are always most effective for presentation.
TIP: Wet the surface of the presentation plate before unmoulding the jelly onto it. If the jelly is not in the right place you will be able to slide it into position.
For maximum effect turn off all lights to achieve total darkness. Switch on your blacklight and serve the glowing jelly to thrilled diners.
So why does the jelly glow?
The quinine in the tonic water is UV-active. When the blacklight is switched on it will fluoresce beautifully.