Gin and tonic cured salmon

Gin has a reputation as Mothers ruin. Have you ever seen the iconic image by the artist William Hogarth, Beer street and Gin lane? Beer street is thriving and prosperous, Gin lane is filled with misery  and death. This was made to show people that beer was far healthier than gin.




Image from Wikipedia

It was only at a gin symposium, presented by Sipsmith, that the expression “A mothers ruin” made sense as I learnt about the history of gin. One of the most remarkable facts was that the English government from 1689 encouraged the distilling industry, to such degree that they at one point removed any restrictions of what ingredients were used. Anything and everything became gin and no wonder it drove people to madness.

In the end the industry was regulated and gin started to slowly shed it’s terrible reputation and today gin is an artisan drink distilled by true gin enthusiasts and  it is my favourite spirit.

My love of gin has made me try many different kinds. Each gin has it’s own characteristics and personally I find that some of them, like Bombay Sapphire simply had too many spices in them, detracting from the gin flavour.  I came across Sipsmith for the first time at a food fair and it was love at first sight, or first sip. The gin is so smooth you can actually sip pure but it is even better mixed with Fever Tree tonic.


Sipsmith was opened it’s doors in 2009 by Fairfax, Sam and master distiller Jared in a converted London garage. They would have started sooner but it seemed that no license for a copper distillery had been granted since 1820 in London and there simply wasn’t an admin process set up. After a long wait they finally received the license, it arrived by fax and it was hand written. Since more licenses has been issued with Spismith leading the way.




Gin and tonic cured salmon

preparation time 10 minutes 

cooking time allow 48 hours for freezing the salmon and 24 hours for curing

serves 4 as a main course or many as part of a buffet


  • 1 kg or 35 oz fillet of salmon, frozen for 48 hours and defrosted
  • 4 tbsp salt
  • 4 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 1 tbsp Sipsmith gin
  • 1 tbsp fever tree tonic

Make sure there are no bones in the salmon and freeze it for 48 hours. This is to kill any bacteria and it is important to do so before curing any fish.

Take the salmon out and let it de frost. Mix the salt and sugar and cover the salmon on both sides. Pour over the gin and tonic and place on a plate, covered in clingfilm with a weight on top and let it cure for 24 hours.


I have cured salmon before, or tried to and it never worked out so I was a bit anxious. I rinsed the salt and sugar off the salmon and patted it dry with household tissue.




It looked the part and I couldn’t wait to taste it. I couldn’t taste the gin and tonic but it was just the way I want cured salmon to be, soft and melt in your mouth buttery, I was amazed.


I cut very thin slices and served it with the other Christmas foods.




It was one of my favourites. I ate some of the salmon on dark bread and had a lovely G&T to go with it, what a perfect combination.






3 Responses to “Gin and tonic cured salmon”
  1. Becky Ellis says:

    Very interesting history of gin, thank you for sharing!

  2. Corina says:

    I’ve never tried curing my own salmon but it sounds remarkably easy. It’s a shame you couldn’t taste the gin in it but at least it worked this time.

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