Then I remembered my mum's advice: when mixing a gin and tonic, you should always splash a few drops of neat gin over the top of the drink, so that your nostrils are assailed by a pure blast of gin flavour as you take the first sip. This is known, in my family, as 'waving the bottle over the glass'.
I hope I'm not making my mother sound like a lush. She's not. But she does appreciate a G & T - as we all damn well do, Delilah! - when our large family gathers for Christmas at a beach cottage on the south coast of KwaZulu Natal.
So, heeding the advice of my sainted Mama, I dribbled a few teaspoons of neat cold gin over the top of each mousse. It worked.
I've used leaf gelatine in this mousse because I find that, when it comes to a delicate mixture like this, the leaf variety produces a beautiful soft texture that can't be matched by powdered gelatine. Leaf gelatine is available at speciality food shops and some supermarkets (I bought mine at my local Spar) in South Africa.
If you can't find leaf gelatine, use an equal weight of powdered gelatine - that is, 10 grams. (If you don't have an electronic scale, buy the powdered gelatine in sachets.)
Lime and Gin Mousse
6 gelatine leaves (weighing 10 grams)
5 T (75 ml) cold water
3 large, free-range eggs
one cup (250 ml) caster sugar
the finely grated zest of three small limes
4 T (60 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice
5 T (75 ml) neat gin
1 cup (250 ml) single (whipping) cream
shreds of lime zest
a little cold gin
Put the gelatine leaves on a deep plate and cover with the cold water. Set aside to soak for 5 minutes.
Separate the eggs into two large bowls. To the egg yolks, add the caster sugar. Using a rotary beater or hand-whisk, beat the mixture for a few minutes, or until it is thick, pale and fluffy. Don't worry if the mixture seems claggy at first: it will soon loosen up.
Set the plate containing the gelatine over a pot of simmering water. While the gelatine's melting, beat the lime juice into the egg yolk/sugar mixture, a little at a time. Now add the gin in the same way, beating well between each additon. Stir in the lime zest. Remove the melted gelatine from the stove, allow to cool a little, and beat it into the egg mixture.
Put the cream in a separate bowl and, using the same beaters, whip to a soft peak. Gently fold the cream into the egg mixture.
Place the bowl in the fridge for ten minutes to firm up. Wash the rotary beater's whisks in hot soapy water, rinse well, and then dry with a clean cloth. Now whisk the egg whites to a soft peak. Using a metal spoon, briskly stir a dollop of egg white into the egg-yolk/sugar mixture (this serves to 'slacken' the mix). Now, very gently, fold in the remaining egg white. Spoon (or pipe) into martini glasses and chill for two hours, or until set.
Just before serving, sprinkle each glass of mousse with shreds of lime zest and a tablesoon or so of neat gin.
Serves 6 Print Friendly