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Essential Journal

  /  Food & Drink   /  Featured Libation: Doug McMaster’s Carrot Top Collins

Featured Libation: Doug McMaster’s Carrot Top Collins

An herbaceous, vegetal and forage-forward foray into familiar gin territory, Doug McMaster’s Carrot Top Collins offers a sustainable twist on a 19th century favourite. All the familiar favourites are there: the mildly sweet, botanical kick of the gin playing a tried-and-tested-tune alongside the humble sweet and sour combo of lemon and sugar. A dash of soda lengthens and lightens in equal measure. 

The twist comes in the emphasis of two wholly underused, underforaged, or else all-too-often-binned ingredients: carrot fronds (it’s a word, scouts honour) and blackcurrant leaves. Both come together to add new dimensions of flavour to the classic cocktail. The carrot fronds offset the bittersweet profile of the drink with a light, peppery spice while the blackcurrant leaves impart a particularly inviting aroma. A leafy libation with a fruit zest to boot, The Carrot Top Collins comes admirably close to a guilt-free, garden-fresh smoothie. That is, if you can ignore two fat slugs (of gin) that have somehow found themselves in the mix.

For more sustainable options, check out Ryan Chetiyawardana’s Good Together: Drink & Feast with Mr Lyan & Friends. WH

Words by Will HALBERT
Image Credits Kim Lightbody