Monday, 18 May 2015

Gin, Mothers ruin no more

Gin, Mothers ruin no more

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to leave your comments, but please ensure that they are appropriate and not derogatory.