We’re all about making precious memories and holding them close at Polka Dot Bride. One way to  bring back strong memories is through connected sights, scents and tastes! We love the idea of creating a bespoke cocktail to help jog your memory. Since it’s our Engagement Issue, why not consider whipping up a cocktail that recalls the time you were engaged; the actual popping of the question, the moment you told your parents, the inevitable squabbles (and making up) over which napkin colours to choose for your eventual reception.

Gin Ambassador for The West Winds Brendan Scott Grey is sharing some super easy yet eye-catching cocktail ideas with us today. You can get experimental, just try to keep your added ingredients complementary to the gin you choose. Try Brendan’s official flavour suggestions below or keep things seasonal to remember the time of year you got engaged (try dragon fruit, kiwi fruit or blueberries if you’ve just become engaged in this month of February). You may even be able to forage for ingredients together to capture the sense of place where you became engaged.

Lucky for gin-loving brides and grooms-to-be in Perth, The West Winds Gin Bar & Pilot Distillery takes private party bookings (which could include a masterclass or tastings for a truly immersive engagement party experience). Otherwise we’re thinking a DIY gin bowl bar at a backyard engagement party is a fabulous idea right about now.

Gin Bowl #1 by The West Winds
30-60ml The Sabre gin
120ml Capi Dry Tonic Water
Juniper Berries
Banksia Flower, to garnish
Crushed ice

Gin Bowl #2
30-60ml The Cutlass
120ml Capi Dry Tonic Water
Habanero Peppers
Bush Tomatoes
Eucalypt Leaves, to garnish
Crushed ice

Gin Bowl #3
30-60ml The Broadside gin
120ml Capi Dry Tonic Water
Toasted Saltbush
Snow pea Flowers, to garnish
Crushed ice

Add a measure or two of gin (or however much you like really) and tonic water to a copa glass.
Add crushed ice and rest of ingredients, except garnishes.
Stir gently.
Top with flowers or leaves to garnish.

About The West Winds: Our journey set sail in 2010, when we threw caution to the winds and embarked to create a range of gins to rival the best in the world. Our first gins, The Cutlass and The Sabre and more recently, The Broadside, have all been awarded Australia’s Champion Gin while the Cutlass and The Broadside have also been proclaimed Champion Gin in international competitions.

1. Custom doormat from OliveCreativeCo, 2. Wedding wine box from ArtificerWoodWorks, 3.Personalised chopping board from CopperFoxCompany, 4. Personalised mug from DetailsMatterStudio5. Keepsake box by Dustandthings, 6.Bride & groom vase from jclaypottery

With our ‘Engagement Issue’ due out very soon, we thought we’d kick off the toasts with a recipe that is the embodiment of some key elements that are sure to pop-up during many a romantic proposal. Master mixologist Grant Collins of Chippendale, Sydney’s Gin Lane bar gets playful with Champagne and strawberries for this pretty cocktail. The floating foam even looks like cream atop your aforementioned strawberries.

Gin Lane itself is a restored 18th century townhouse, suited for intimate private celebrations (a wedding reception for your nearest and dearest gin – and whiskey and Scotch – lovers perhaps). By the way, they have a soft-serve bar which dishes up boozy, grown-up ice-creams to win all of your guests over!

Champagne & Strawberries by Gin Lane

  • 45mls vodka (Grant recommends Ketel One)
  • 15mls crème de fraise
  • 60mls pureed and sieved organic strawberries
  • 10mls lemon juice
  • Dash of strawberry syrup
  • Champagne foam, to garnish
  • Candied or fresh strawberries, to garnish


Shake all ingredients (aside from garnishes) with ice.
Strain into a chilled martini glass. Top with champagne foam and candied or fresh strawberries.

Cheat’s note: If you don’t want to get all tricky with a siphon at home, you can simply shake up a little Champagne in a shaker (not the whole bottle) and gently spoon over the bubbles. Sip up quick, it won’t last long!

Photos: supplied by Gin Lane, Sydney

About Gin Lane, Sydney: Playfully referencing the iconic Gin Lane print by English artist William Hogarth, GL is one of Sydney’s most unique small bars. Located in the vibrant lifestyle precinct of Kensington Street in Chippendale, GL offers an intimate space to eat, drink and enjoy great company.