A husband and wife team. David is originally from London but moved to South Africa when he was 9 where he met and married Brigitte over 20 years ago. We have now been living in England for the past 7 years. We both have a love of good food, dining out and all things to do with life style. We will be reviewing restaurants, products and giving foodie and life style tips. All our reviews are unbiased.
New converts on the block.
The last time I drank gin was in the Kruger National Park about ten
years ago, with a glowing campfire and listing to the lions roar in the
distance. To me gin was just gin,
nothing to really write home about. You
had it with tonic water and a slice of lemon, so what! Well
that idea is out the back door, on Wednesday 13 May, our eyes were opened to a
whole new world of gins.
David and I went along to The Clachan in Kingly Street
London for an evening of gin tasting by various distilleries. The Clachan is part of the Nicholson’s pubs
group. Nicholson’s pubs are revelling in
all things gin this summer as they look back to their origins as Victorian gin
den and celebrate what makes Britain great.
The rich history of Nicholson’s pubs and gin are irrevocably
intertwined, with the original pub founder, William Nicholson, starting the
company by running the family gin distillery in London and choosing the finest
pubs to serve it in. Nicholson’s
colourful history even spreads across London in the literal sense, with the
origins of the MCC members’ flamboyant colours of scarlet and gold paying
homage to Nicholson’s: in 1866, William Nicholson saved he future of Lord’s
cricket ground by purchasing the freehold of the ground and shortly afterwards
the MCC colours changed to match those of Nicholson’s gin, possibly the first
corporate deal in sporting history.
Now let’s get down to talking about the gins. We started off with both mine and David’s favourite
Adnams Copper House. I would never have
thought that you could drink gin neat, but I could definitely drink this
delightful gin neat. Adnams Copper House
Gin is an aromatic gin infused with six botanicals creating classic notes of
juniper alongside sweet orange and hibiscus.
Voted the World’s Best Gin at the International Wine & Spirits
Competition 2013. Their aromatic gin is
bursting with juniper, fresh lemon and orange notes as well as warming hints of
anise. Adnams from grain to glass, their
Copper House Gin is distilled from East Anglian malted barley at their artisan
distillery in Southwold, where they also brew a very fine beer. Their copper
pot still are handmade and create a wonderfully flavoursome spirit. This smooth,
rich spirit is then redistilled with six carefully chosen botanicals to impart
their distinctive aromas and flavours. Their master brewer Belinda Jennings was
a delight to listen too, and you could truly feel her passion.
Belinda Jennings, Adnams
We then moved onto Bombay Sapphire, this is not one for
drinking neat. The aromatic and complex
taste is described as a fresh juniper flavour with an elegant light spicy
finish, making it an ideal spirit for use in all classic gin cocktails. With if
floral nose and exotic palate it performs particularly will in elegant,
delicate drinks like the martini and aviation cocktails and classic mixed
drinks such as gin and tonic. The new
trend seems to be drinking gin in balloon glassware to give an enhanced
drinking experience as the tapered rim captures the aromas of the
botanicals. Bombay Sapphire have ten
botanicals. I have yet to give the
balloon glass a try.
Thirdly we tried Williams GB Extra Dry Gin. To create their gin, they claim that they
first had to create the World’s best Vodka, using potatoes from their family
farm in Herefordshire. Williams GB Extra
Dry Gin is unlike most other gins where a neutral grain spirit is simply
redistilled. Juniper buds and berries are used to ensure the gin is as dry as
possible, also infused with wild botanicals including cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger,
almond, coriander, cardamom, cloves, liquorice and lemon to give the spirit a
distinct and robust flavour.
The final gin for the evening was Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin,
pronounced (O-peer). This was our second favourite, delightful with a
curry. It is a unique style of London
Dry Gin created by the master Gin Distiller at the world’s oldest gin distillers,
using exotic botanicals, herbs and spices. The heritage of Opihr Spiced Gin is
firmly rooted in the Ancient Spice Route. Their botanicals epitomise the exotic
intensity of the Orient, with spicy cubeb berries from Indonesia, black pepper
from India and coriander from Morocco.
Olivia Williams the author of “Gin Glorious Gin” also gave a
brief history of Gin and I delighted to say we were sent home with a copy of
her book. I am currently immersed in it
and will write a review as soon as possible.
So yes Gin and I, are now friends and I will ditch the wine next time
we go out and start experimenting with new gins.