January Blues

Comic Dylan Moran claimed gin is ‘less of a drink and more of a mascara thinner.’ AKA ‘Mother’s Ruin’, gin is no stranger to a bad press, but it would appear that this is more to do with excessive consumption of the broader category of ‘alcohol’ rather than gin specifically.

As we leave January or Ginuary behind, we wanted to fully embrace the ‘January Blues’ by featuring gins in blue bottles at this month’s tastings.

We welcomed our guests with an Into the Blue cocktail.

You will need:

25ml Bombay Sapphire (the infamous blue bottle)

15ml Blue Curacao liqueur

Blueberry cordial to taste

Soda water

Fresh mint

Fresh blueberries

Muddle some blueberries in a shaker with the gin, liqueur, and cordial; add ice; shake; strain and pour into the glass; with a garnish of fresh mint and blueberries.

Then into the tastings…

1.Boxer

40% ABV

London Dry

London, England

Crafty Cockney

This classic copper distilled gin packs a crisp punch with the strong citrus flavours of lemon, orange and perfumed bergamot; with separately steam distilled fresh wild Himalayan juniper to extract the essential oils and Sussex spring water.

A juniper forward gin with piney notes balanced with cinnamon, angelica, nutmeg, orris and liquorice root.

Serve with cucumber or elderflower tonic.

Garnish with orange peel and/or cucumber.

2.Herno

40.5% ABV

London Dry

Sweden

Swedish Simplicity

A simple gin with only eight botanicals – Hungarian juniper, Bulgarian coriander, hand-peeled lemon, Swedish lingonberries, meadowsweet from the UK, Indian black pepper, cassia from Indonesia and vanilla from Madagascar. Juniper forward with floral back notes.

Serve with premium tonic water.

Garnish with red currants or cranberries to accentuate the lingonberries and meadowsweet or simply with a twist of lemon zest and black pepper.

3.Slingsby

42% ABV

London Dry

Harrogate, England

The Spirit of Harrogate

Light and fruity, its name honours William Slingsby who discovered the Tewit Well and the unique properties of Harrogate water in 1571. It is made with Harrogate Spring Water and botanicals from Rudding Park.

The initial burst of citrus gives way to juniper, then anise, chervil, sweet cicely and green tea from Taylor’s of Harrogate; finished with candied rhubarb.

Serve with premium tonic.

Garnish with raspberries, pink grapefruit peel and/or blueberries.

4.Blue Bottle

47% ABV

London Dry

St Sampson’s, Guernsey

Intricate Beauty

From the Three Fingers Distillery – the Island of Guernsey’s first gin. The copper pot distilled gin was so-called by the creator Matt Polli after looking at a fly under the microscope and discovering its intricate beauty.

The nine botanicals include juniper, cubeb pepper, nutmeg and local gorse flowers give it a peppery, coconut vanilla sweetness.

Serve with premium tonic.

Garnish with pink grapefruit or lemon and rosemary.