Is that the time?!
Back in the day most of us would have been happy with a splash of Gordon’s Dry Gin and topper of Schweppes. We might have thrown in a slice of lemon if we were feeling posh and maybe an ice cube or two on a summer’s day.
Nowadays, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to gin options. And artisan producers are popping up all over the shop. But its Britishness seems to pass people by – Bombay Sapphire’s distillery is in Whitchurch near Basingstoke all of 40 minutes from us.
We stock around 10 different gins including Sipsmith, Haymans and Tanqueray. So next time you want to start your evening with a spot of ‘Mother’s Ruin’ have a mooch at our selection or ask us about the ones you don’t recognise.
And just so we’re clear… serve your gin with a fresh squeeze of lime and a run around the rim, pour in only a little tonic with the remainder for your guest to add as they choose. Ice should last as long as the drink, but we appreciate that hot summer days call for longer sips!
Great British gins
World Gin Day falls on Saturday 11 June 2016 so we thought we’d take the opportunity to mention a few of our favourites and provide you with some pointers on which to try next time you’re in.
This is a gin that we cannot be without. Its sturdy bottle hints at Dickensian times and long carriage journeys when one wouldn’t have wanted the bottle to smash! Yet it’s still in its honeymoon phase as far as gin goes – first produced in 1999. Made in Scotland using traditional juniper ingredients, it’s flavour is enhanced with cucumber and Bulgarian rose. The cucumber is particularly noticeable on the palate and as such its serving suggestion is with cucumber. Odd, yes, but done well it’s quite something to look at in the glass too.
The extent of just how British a drink gin is, is apparent in the creation of Monkey 47 gin. Although it’s distilled in Germany’s Black Forest it is British to its core. Invented by a former RAF officer who had stayed on in Germany after leaving the force, he chose to name it after a monkey having sponsored one during his time in Berlin. Eccentric Englishness aside, this is quite a sweet gin and VERY drinkable!
Plymouth Gin is our house gin primarily because Nick is from Plymouth. “Elegant, long, fresh and aromatic” is how they perfectly described this smooth gin with a hint of sweetness, but can you detect the cardamon and coriander infusions? It’s a gin we’re proud to have on our bar despite our geographical connections.
Naturally we were drawn by the name initially, but Martin Miller’s gin has an exciting and entrepreneurial story behind it that was at the centre of the gin renaissance in the late 90s. His aim: to create the “most seductive of drinks” that you will even enjoy neat – try it and tell us what you think…! Fascinatingly the gin goes through two separate distillation processes, the second of which infuses the citrus notes that complement fine gin. And even more unusually, it’s made with water from Iceland because it’s said to be the purest and softest there is.
If that doesn’t leave you wanting to try Martin Miller’s, what will…?!
This gin’s story started with an English farmer who began making crisps but was turned away from the big supermarket chains. He didn’t want to waste the potato so he turned his hand to distilling vodka, which in turn led him to gin. But that’s only the start of the journey. William Chase gin starts life in the apple orchard. The apples are pressed for cider, which is distilled for vodka that is then redistilled to make a particularly fruity gin. You’ve got to love this man’s determination and innovation. Cheers!
At first I loved the bottle and the bespoke botanicals (chamomile, pomelo and honeysuckle). The bottle could be mistaken for a posh bottled water or an oversized perfume bottle. And between the bottle and the botanicals, this gentle gin with its elderflower notes is very female friendly. With a very modern to its recipe, it’s actually distilled at the UK’s oldest distillery where gins have been produced for over 250 years. It’s the perfect English summer gin.