At Bangers and Balls we are fanatical about flavours! So we have loved exploring how Gin distillers use unexpected ingredients —the more bonkers the better! From Clotted Cream to Seaweed read about our top five below.

Clotted Cream Gin

Truly unique and morish the Wrecking Coast Gin is is made with clotted cream delivering a distinctly Cornish flavour! This hand-crafted gin is the first of its kind and is created to deliver a luxurious feel that’s smooth on the palette with delicious hints of vanilla. Serve it neat over ice or why not add it to a afternoon cream tea!

Find out more here

The Naked Vanilla Bean Marshmallow Gin

The vanilla bean marshmallow gin is made in the UK by expert artisanial distillers.

Small batch English gin infused with handmade vanilla bean marshmallows, produced using copper pot stills. Serve over ice or straight from the freezer, why not add a box of marshmallows for the ultimate moment of indulgence?

Find out more here

Anty Gin

We have heard of Ants in your pants but ants in your gin? Anty gin is the first in the world to be made out of insects and is distilled with approximately 62 wood ants! From foraging to bottling and labelling by hand with The Cambridge Distillery’s 1924 typewriter, every step of the process has been done with a dedication to craft. It is officially recognised as the world’s most innovative alcoholic beverage! At £200 per bottle, those 62 critters don't come cheap but if you are brave enough to order you will receive 50 ml of pure wood ant distillate so you can accurately pick out the ant flavours in the spirit. Thanks to the formic acid the ants release, the resulting spirit is quite citrusy!

Picture: Cambridge Distillery/BNPS

Find out more here

Spit-roasted pineapple gin

In the 1920s Pineapple Gin was common place but it fell into obscurity in the following years. Luckily 'That Boutique-y Gin Company' have brought it back to life! Made by roasting pineapples on a spit with Demerara sugar until a beautiful caramelisation occurs. We stumbled across in it the twelves taps in Whitstable. It was described as 'a beautiful mix of sweet and sour pineapple and rich sweet caramel.' They recommended that we had it with Fever Tree lemon. I can tell you it didn't disappoint! It felt like an elevated Lilt exploding in your mouth; perfect for those summer days.

Find out more here

Dà Mhile Seaweed Gin

A favourite with mermaids this gin is distilled with organic botanicals and infused with handpicked seaweed from the Celtic coast. This unique seaweed gin will add a salty spice to any gin and tonic. It tastes delightful with seafood - gin infused mussels anyone? Or why not sip it out of a oyster shell?

Find out more here

Now to get Chef Duncan into the ballroom to cook up a gin ball storm. Let us know your ideas in the comments bellow.

Why has it become normal to eat only certain parts of the animal? Our hunter - gatherer ancestors wouldn’t have wasted any of their kill. Yet children are often shocked to find their Black Pudding is made of blood or paté is made from liver.

As Fergus from the original Nose to Tail, Michelin starred restaurant St. Johns says "If you're going to kill the animal it seems only polite to use the whole thing." Which is exactly what we are doing with our Nose to Tail Supper Club.

Set on the beautiful Yew Tree Farm in Bredgar where the cheeky pygmy goats roam, with chickens under foot and the sheep lazily grazing under the trees; it is the perfect place to host our Nose to Tail Supper Club.

Duncan will be using four beautiful Gloucester Old Spot x Saddleback pigs who have spent their days rooting for worms, sun bathing, wallowing in mud and being hand-fed vegetables from the allotment by the wonderful mini farmers. Edwina and Sorcha really take pride in their pigs having unrestricted access to the outside, a warm comfy straw bed to sleep on and a truly free range, happy life.

It is a world away from the aisles of plastic wrapped chicken breasts in the supermarket. An old fashioned experience with a very modern twist. It is for you if you would like to explore eating offal or are already addicted to it’s delicious flavour. It also helps to lessen your environmental impact to the earth. By eating lesser known cuts of meat and everything between nose to tail we get to explore so much more and make a more sustainable planet. Crispy Pig Tail and Snout with a sharp hedgerow salad anyone?

You will start the evening with a welcome Hedgerow Fizz and been given the clues to snuffle for your truffles before sitting down to a sharing tapas style starter.

Tickets are £55 a head - less than a train ticket to Birmingham and it is BYO with no corkage fee. Tickets are flying out of the ballroom so gather your friends and book today for a unique one off experience.

The trees are ladden with tart Crab Apples this year. Truely wild Crab Apples always have a more intense flavour than any other apple. They can be too tart for some to eat raw but the appleness really intensifies when cooked. They will certaintly leave you wanting more.

They are perfect for small hands to pick as there are no brambles or nasties to get in the way. 

Crab Apple Chilli Chutney The trees are ladden with tart Crab Apples this year. Truely wild Crab Apples always have a more intense flavour than any other apple. They can be too tart for some to eat raw but the appleness really intensifies when cooked. They will certaintly leave you wanting more. They are perfect for small hands to pick as there are no brambles or nasties to get in the way.  What to look for Look along the hedgerow for small apples that are green, red or orange and yellow in colour. Some of the smaller crab apples can be mistaken for rosehip or similar. To make sure it is an apple just cut one in half and you will soon see!  Crab Apples have an exceptionally high pectin and acid content which makes them ideal for setting fruit jams and jellies. However my favourite is Duncans Crab Apple Chillli Chutney - perfect with all sorts of cheeses or Pork.  It is a great way to pimp up a grilled cheese toasty on a cold autumn day.  As with any preserving patience pays off. Leave it unti October and it will have matured to a lovely deep flavour. The more you preserve the easier it is to be able to wait as you have an abundance in your kitchen. That is what we love about the Foodie Revolution - it makes you preserve one thing a week.  Cathy Rogers says "it has changed our life" and Caroline "says you have got me hooked on foraging and I love it". All this for £4 a week - less than a fancy coffee or a cheeky sunset pint. Reply to this email to get on the waitlist for when we re open.  Crab Apple Cocktails and Halloween Crab Apple Toffee Sticks  Keep 12 of your Crab Apples whole in the Freezer - ready to make Halloween Crab Apples in October. I always find an Apple too big but these are perfect in size and give you that sweet and sour taste sensation.  We also suggest making Crab Apple Syrup as this allows you to replace cirtus in cocktails. Making your cocktails full of seasonal goodness and you don't need to pay for lemons and limes. Can you imagine all the cocktails you could make from that. This works best choosing Crab Apples that aren't quite ripe.  Win a months free membership in the Foodie Revolution Don't forget to share your Hedgerow picking pictures in the Food Hive and inspire others!  You also have a chance to win a months membership to the Foodie Revolution by finding the biggest  Blackberry or sharing recipes with us - how cool is that. Just tag us at @bangersandballs on Facebook or Instagram to enter. Competition closes this Sunday. The winner will be announced LIVE On Sunday Brunch Club at 10.30 on our Bangers and Balls Facebook page.   Imogen, Duncan and Xanthe. 

Crab Apples with a visiting spider.

Crab Apple Chilli Chutney This is perfect as the days got shorter and your cast your mind back to the long hot summer. Everytime you eat it you will be reminded of when you went to pick them and the fun you had. You simply don't get that when you buy something from your local supermarket. It is also as delicious as it comes  


680g crab apples chopped - you can peel and core them but I am not sure it is ever worth the effort 230g brown sugar 1 chopped onion  1 -3  chillis depending on how much heat you like 3/4 inch fresh ginger, grated 2 tablespoons turmeric 1/2 pint cider vinegar Pinch salt Glug of Pontack (if you have it - it still tastes great without - I am just showing off) Sterlized jar Anything else you fancy How too

1.Pop all ingredients into a pan with no lid 2. Reduce the heat and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least an hour or until most of the liquid has evaporated. 3. Once you're happy with the thickness, pour into sterilised jars. 4. I like to have one jar Io eat as I go along and a few that we leave to mature. 

We would love to see what you create! Don't forget to share your photos with us in the Food Hive or tag us at @bangersandballs to win a months membership to the Foodie Revolution. 

© 2012 by Bangers and Balls