Belfast Telegraph

Fancy a gin and tonic sausage? Well thanks to Northern Ireland butchers - you can

By Claire Williamson

It's the drink that has taken centre stage over the past year and now it's reached our food too - as a Northern Ireland butchers has created a gin and tonic flavoured sausage.

Noticing the rising trend of gin in the past year - they decided to infuse their pork sausages with it - and it's been a massive hit.

McCartney's of Moira in Co Down is run by sisters Judith Millar and Sarah Price, daughters of long-time boss George McCartney.

Judith came up with the idea as they were brainstorming for something different for the barbecue season.

She told the Belfast Telegraph: "We were just having a chat towards the end of June about what we could do for something a bit different to generate interest for the barbecue season because with weather in Northern Ireland being so hit and miss, it can make or break your summer trade-wise.

"So we thought we would try and drum up a bit of interest with new sausage flavours. I don't know what led me on to the idea of gin, I had this notion about gin and tonic as a flavour,as it's a very popular and cool and trendy thing at the minute, everyone is going gin mad.

"We decided to give it a try and thought nothing ventured, nothing gained."

And the flavour of what they created - as well as the response from customers blew them away.

As well as the gin and tonic flavour, they also created a pear Kopparberg cider flavour, following on from a previous successful recipe.

Judith said: "We put it on our social media when we first made them and instantly it was getting shared galore. We were like, 'wow they really must like these'.

"All the comments were in response to the gin ones - so it's the fact it's such an unusual combination."

But just what does it taste like?  Judith said: "It's a really nice rounded flavour and leaves a nice warmth in your mouth after you've eaten them.

"You can really get that taste coming through, we weren't sure if it would be a bit lost once you put it in with pork, but after we made the first batch we thought they were one of the best flavours yet."

And if you are at a loss as to what to pair them with, Judith says they go with most but make the perfect focal point for your summer barbecue.

"They are so unusual we think they are a great draw for people at a barbecue if you are having visitors around, something different and unusual to offer them", she said.

"They would be great in a sausage sandwich or anything else.

"We do an awful lot of flavoured sausages and it's up to the individual people what they like to pair it with."

And of course, there is the age old debate in Northern Ireland - whether they should be paired with red or brown sauce.

While Judith said it was personal preference but on this occasion she said she could see brown sauce going well with it.

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