Gin nut

NUT gin: the clue is in the name!

We stumbled across a lovely little gin the other day. It’s from right here in Catalunya and frankly it was too good for us not to share.

Go nuts!

Introducing NUT gin, craft-distilled in the Emporda region of Catalunya nestled between the rugged drama of the Pyrenean mountains and the cooling breezes of the Mediterranean coast. This is an area that is sure to inspire you with its natural beauty. The guys at NUT have created a unique gin in the traditional London Dry style and have infused it with a special blend of locally grown fruits, flowers, herbs and Mediterranean spices. The result is a distinctive tasting gin that really stands out from the crowd. At 45% ABV, NUT gin doesn’t hold back on the alcohol, yet it still delivers a smooth tasting, unusual and delicious gin with a long, smooth orange finish.

Inspired by rugged beauty and local botanicals

Like most Catalans, the team at NUT have a deep respect for beauty and nature. The rich, productive soils here allow flora and fauna to both survive and thrive. So, what is it that makes this London Dry style gin so special?

Only the best ingredients

They only use the best base alcohol, distilled four times. They then infuse it with a delightful combination of locally sourced botanicals, which they macerate for a minimum of 24 hours. These include the required juniper, but also 12 others including coriander, cardamom, angelica root, lemon peel, orange peel, rosemary, thyme, olive leaves and licorice. Then it gets interesting. They’ve added some local ingredients that are not often found in gin and which give it a unique character. The clue is in the name. In a stroke of genius, the guys at NUT have added walnuts and bitter almonds.

Complex, smooth and just a little bit nutty…

So, what does this unusual gin actually taste of? Well, the first impressions on the nose are that it has an elegant intensity. There are strong notes of citrus (in a nod towards its Mediterranean origins). There is also a noticeable herbaceous element. This brings out the best of all the other spices just waiting to be released into your mouth. And finally, there is a smooth, long finish to this gin where you should pick up traces of orange peels for a bittersweet ending.

Good enough to drink alone

All in all this is a great value treat, delivering confidently on all its promises. In fact, this gin is so good that it actually tastes rather nice all on its own. Just pour a measure into a rocks glass over a large ice cube and add a twist of orange peel. And if you’d like even more Mediterranean adventure in your drink, simply swap the orange peel for a sprig of burned rosemary. You could even a little fig for added sweetness.

However, drinking gin neat is not necessarily to everyone’s taste. You’ll be relieved to know that this gin is outstanding in a Mediterranean style G&T and is a great gin if you’re looking to give your cocktails a unique twist.

The perfect pour

This is a Mediterranean gin and we think it should be served in the Mediterranean style. Take a large copa glass and fill it to the top with big ice cubes (the bigger, the better!) Pour in a decent slug of gin (you decide what that means!) Fill it up to the top with a high quality Indian tonic water such as 1724 or a subtly flavoured premium tonic such as Fevertree Mediterranenan. Add a garnish such as a cinammon stick or a fresh orange wedge to bring out the best of the botanicals. You could even add a pinch of nutmeg if you’re feeling really adventurous. Your reward will be a distinctive gin, packed with intense Mediterranean flavours. Take that first sip and prepare to be instantly whisked away to the beautiful heart of Catalunya.

Saludos!


Written by Steve (with a little help from Ruddles, the gin dog!)

Don’t forget to follow us on our facebook community page to join in the gin discussion.


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Jinzu gin

Jinzu (Japan/Scotland): Scottish gin with a Japanese twist

Dee Davis has created Jinzu, a lovely gin. Inspired by a visit to Japan and a lifelong interest in flavour combinations, she’s managed to  create a classic British gin with an elegant and subtle Japanese twist. The resulting gin (named after a Japanese river surrounded by cherry blossom trees) is a subtle triumph.  Dee has managed to blend fragrant Japanese Sake with a traditional gin. 
This Scottish gin is built on a solid base of traditional Juniper (from Tuscany).  Dee then allows the citrus flavours of Yuzu lemon and a hint of cherry blossom in to the gin. And then she adds the magic ingredient, distilled Junmai sake from Japan. The result: an elegant, creamy and refreshing gin that hits just the right spot.

A winning combination

jinzu gin cherry blossomThis gorgeous fusion of East and West was developed by Dee after she won Diageo’s “Show Your Spirit” competition, way back in 2013.  Distilled in traditional copper stills it is an innovative gin, perfectly blended to reflect the characteristics of its dual heritage. 
At 41.3% ABV, this is strong enough to show its character but not so strong that you can’t keep sipping.
Delicate on the nose, you may smell oranges and coriander seeds with a long, lingering juniper finish, taking you on a sweet, spicy journey to the East.  This is a great gin if you’re thinking of rustling up a “Bee’s Knees” cocktail (recipe coming soon!). 
Plus, it comes in a beautiful bottle featuring a Japanese Mejiro bird under an iconic British umbrella and a beautiful branch from a cherry blossom tree. This image is designed to reflect the idea that this gin has its “head in Britain and its heart in Japan” and pays homage to the dual traditions of this exceptional drink.

Perfect serve:

  1. Take a large highball glass and fill it to the top with ice cubes (the bigger, the better!)
  2. Pour in 50ml of Jinzu gin, straight over the ice
  3. Fill to top with Fentimans premium tonic water (or Yuzu premium tonic water for a citrus lift)
  4. Garnish with a slice of apple poured into a highball glass full of cubed ice.
  5. Sit back and enjoy. Kampai!


Written by Steve (with a little help from Ruddles, the gin dog!)

Don’t forget to follow us on our facebook community page to join in the gin discussion.

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  • NUT gin: the clue is in the name!
    We stumbled across a lovely little gin the other day. It’s from right here in Catalunya and frankly it was too good for us not to share. Go nuts! Introducing NUT gin, craft-distilled in the Emporda region of Catalunya nestled between the rugged drama of the Pyrenean mountains and the cooling breezes of the Mediterranean … Continued
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5 kinds of gin

5 kinds of gin: do you know the difference?

5 kinds of gin, really?

When most people think of gin, they think of England. It’s the classic, buttoned up English drink with hints of Empire, straw hats and times past.  But you couldn’t be more wrong. 
While it is true that the English adapted and popularised this juniper juice in the 18th century, its origins are not British at all, but Dutch.  Before it hit our shores, a drop of Dutch Courage (gin) was administered to calm the jagged nerves of those about to go into battle. The Brits liked this Jenever gin and wanted some for themselves.  But they altered forever the rich, almost smoky taste of the original by adapting the recipe. The result is what we now think of as traditional English gin styles, such as London Dry, Old Tom and Plymouth gin.  

The gin revolution begins

Now, fast forward to the 2010s, when the good people of Barcelona spotted a way of pumping up the style and invented the copa of gin (otherwise known as the Gin Tonic).  For the first time, gin and tonics were lovingly complemented with garnishes, herbs and exotic fruit to bring out the drink’s deeper aromas and flavours.  Once these gin pioneers had kick-started the gin revolution, small batch distillers and mixologists started to reappraise this extraordinary drink.
A decade later, there are more than 250 craft distilleries in the UK alone cranking out exceptional gins.  Craft distillers are pushing the boundaries of mixology further than ever.  Spain is not far behind with hundreds more dotted around the country. And Germany is a big player too. Even the Japanese are on the bandwagon! 

How many have you tried?

Genever gin

Genever ginThis is where it all began. Genever gin is the forerunner of modern gin. First heard of in 16th century Holland it is much maltier and more savoury than contemporary gins. This is due to the fact that it is distilled from malt wine spirits instead of neutral grain. It also works really well in a gin old-fashioned.  Originally, Genever was made by distilling malt to 50% ABV and then adding herbs to disguise the bitter taste, but it’s got much better since then. These days, there are two main types: Jonge Genever (Young Genever) has a neutral taste with a slight aroma of juniper and malt wine.  The second style is Oude Genever (Old Genever), aged in wood and with a maltier, smokier taste that is more reminiscent of whisky.

London Dry

London Dry ginContrary to popular opinion, London Dry gin doesn’t have to come from London. Or even the UK.  It is simply the name of a style that originated there in the aftermath of the genever wave. It is a very juniper forward style (as you would expect) and generally has citrus, angelica root and coriander as its other key flavours. Often bottled at high proof levels, this gin is great for cocktails, which is why it has become one of the most widely known gin styles on the planet.  This style became dominant and originally became known as Dry Gin to contrast it with its sweeter cousin, Old Tom.  London Dry gin has some additional rules to regular distilled gin.  It must be flavoured exclusively with distilled natural botanicals. No additional flavourings can be added after the distillation process.  In fact, nothing can be added except for neutral spirit, water and a maximum of 0.1 g of sugar per litre.

Old Tom

Old Tom ginA sweet style that developed in the 19th century this gin got its name from its secret history. In order to avoid paying taxes on gin, a certain Captain Dudley Bradstreet from London started selling bootleg gin. He advised people to look for it under the sign of the cat, where he had cleverly placed a lead pipe attached to a funnel on the inside. Customers would put money in the slot and he would dispatch their gin down the pipe directly into their glass, bottle (or even mouth!). Over time, the practice caught on and others started to change their door knockers or signs to feature an Old Tom Cat. Old Tom gin is a sweeter, maltier gin and is sometimes barrel-aged for flavour. It has become a classic ingredient for bartenders and mixologists around the world because it is such a versatile cocktail ingredient and features prominently in classic cocktails such as the Tom Collins.

Plymouth gin

Plymouth ginSmoother than its London relative this is generally produced in the south of England and is a lower strength gin than its big city neighbour. Juniper is less dominant in Plymouth gins, making it a great gin for drinking neat or in a Martini.  Plymouth gin can only be made at the Plymouth Gin Distillery in the beautiful South West of England and pops up frequently on bartenders shelves all over the world. It has a long history, dating back to that late 18th century.  It is the only gin to have its own geographical indication and is still made in the oldest operating gin distillery in the world.  This classic gin is still produced in an ancient still that has been operating for 150 years and it has a subtle, full-bodied flavour which avoids any bitter botanicals.  The result is a an earthy tasting gin with hints of orange and cardamom and a soft, smooth finish with a hint of spice. There are two versions of Plymouth gin – the original (41.2 ABV) and their Navy Strength version (which comes in at a hefty 57% ABV).

Contemporary gin

Contemporary gin The gin revolution that blew in earlier this decade has resulted in a contemporary international selection that could have only been imagined a decade ago. Now, contemporary gin makers are dispensing with tradition and experimenting with new flavours and techniques that are challenging everything we thought we knew about this traditional drink. From the UK to Spain and from Japan to Latin America there’s something for everyone – you are only limited by your imagination.



Written by Steve (with a little help from Ruddles, the gin dog!)

Don’t forget to follow us on our facebook community page to join in the gin discussion.


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A macaronesian gin bottle at the sea's shore

Macaronesian Gin: crafted from earth, wind and fire

If you haven’t tried it yet, give Macaronesian Gin a whirl. Gin is not necessarily the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Tenerife, but this unique and delicious spirit could rightly be called the essence of the Canary Islands.
Made with volcanic water, these guys have already won 3 International Wine and Spirits Council awards and one San Francisco World Spirits Competition award since they cracked open their first bottle of this special gin a few years ago.

For anybody who hasn’t been there, Tenerife is one of Spain’s most dramatic islands.
The island has a hot subtropical climate. It’s closest mainland land mass is the Sahara desert. But Tenerife’s island status, surrounded by sea and strong trade winds, mitigates the worst of the heat.
In addition, the dramatic, volcanic nature of the island means that fresh water sources have been filtered through the island’s volcanic rocks to give it a distinctive pure, natural taste.
Apparently, Tenerife also has subtropical forests within its interior which host as many as 20 different species of trees and flora – including juniper, which is the dominant botanical in this gin.

A unique taste, true to its island roots

This unique gin is packaged in a classic, traditional white clay bottle with a solid cork stopper, which will definitely stand right out on your gin shelf.
But with all this exotic geography and geology, what does the gin actually taste like?
Well, the first thing to say is that it weighs in at a decent 40% ABV, so it retains a bit of its alcohol taste up front. Once in your mouth, you’ll pick up notes of juniper alongside an exotic mix of botanicals that include cardamom, Angelica roots, licorice and lemon peel. This results in a rich, fresh tasting gin where the citrus notes come through like a blast of Canary Island sunshine. This really is sunshine in a glass.

Filtered through volcanic rocks

The water in this gin is filtered naturally through the volcanic slopes of the island. The result of this natural process is the purest natural water, that has never been exposed to light and whose natural properties remain completely unaltered. This water, alongside the unique locally sourced botanicals, results in a pure, clean, juniper forward gin that’s simply bursting with citrus notes.
The final part of the process is when the gin is decanted into its distinctive white clay bottles, whose opacity serves to protect the properties of the gin from excess temperature and sunlight.

The perfect pour:
We think this unique gin is best served tall, in a Tom Collins glass.
A decent slug of Macaronesian gin goes in first, followed by loads of ice.
Wipe the rim of your glass with a slice of fresh lemon then fill up to the top with a premium Indian Tonic Water such as Schweppes premium or Fever Tree.
Garnish with a generous slice of fresh lemon, give it a gentle stir and sip.
This winter, when the cold weather gets too much and you want to remind yourself of better weather and island sunsets, reach for the Macaronesian gin and dream…


Written by Steve (with a little help from Ruddles, the gin dog!)

Don’t forget to follow us on our facebook community page to join in the gin discussion.


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Four apoteca gin bottles on green moss in a wood

Apoteca Festive Spiced gin: the spirit of Christmas

Everybody’s on the Christmas bandwagon now and with the holiday frenzy likely to be slightly muted this year, we though we’d share with you a unique craft gin that’s sure to add a little seasonal spice to this year’s gin bar. Apoteca Festive Spiced Gin might even become this year’s top tipple.

The folks at Honey Spirits Co. have taken their award winning Apoteca original gin and given it a festive twist, just in time for the holidays.

The result: a fun and flavourful gin blending the natural sweetness of honey with the seasonal tastes of cranberries, damsons, elderberry and winter spices.

If you’re looking for something a little different for the holidays, you might enjoy a glass or two of this seasonal spirit. It has a superb balance of rich Christmas flavours overlaying a rich, herbal juniper complexity. Apoteca Festive Spiced gin comes in a 50cl bottle and packs a decent alcoholic punch at 40% ABV.

Apoteca Festive Spiced Gin

Hello honey…

The award winning Honey Spirits Co. is a relative newcomer to the craft gin scene, but it’s been quickly building a strong reputation for itself. The story begins in a little village called Flagg, up in England’s stunning Peak District. That is where the honey magic happens.

This small family business was only launched in 2017, but it always had one clear objective in mind: create a selection of high quality products including spirits and meads without the use of artificial sweeteners, colours or additives. What makes this distillery stand out is that they only sweeten their spirits using honey or bee-based ingredients. They infuse these alongside a range of exotic botanicals that have been foraged in the UK and Lithuania.

Apoteca Festive Spiced Gin: 22 botanicals, bee-bread and a damson twist

Apoteca’s special edition gin is unusual in that it is built on a rye base. It is then lovingly distilled with a blend of 22 botanicals including the obligatory juniper plus unique ingredients such as bee-bread and propolis (to give a honey aroma without the sweetness). There are also herbal elements delivered by wormwood and St. John’s wort. There’s some sea buckthorn for a lemony citrus effect and even oak bark to help balance things out with a dry finish. Look out for other botanicals including hints of cinnamon, chamomile, mint and even blackcurrant leaves.

For the Apoteca Festive Spice Gin, they’ve pumped up this wonderful mixture with a selection of festive fruits such as damsons, elderberries and winter spices. The result: a superb Christmas drink to add some seasonal spice to your holiday sipping.

The perfect pour: This drink can be sipped on its own or poured into a highball glass filled with ice and topped up with some high quality ginger ale. Garnish with a slice or fresh orange.


Written by Steve (with a little help from Ruddles, the gin dog!)

Don’t forget to follow us on our facebook community page to join in the gin discussion.

RECENT POSTS

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Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace and Highgrove Organic: gins fit for a Queen (and a Prince!)

You may or not be a fan of The Crown, the latest must see hit mini-series from Netflix. We already know that the Queen is a big gin fan. According to inside reports, Her Maj is partial to a little sharpener of gin and dubonnet before lunch. Her eldest son, Prince Charles on the other hand is more of a G&T lover. In fact, royal insiders confirm that whenever the Prince goes on a royal tour, he takes his own booze with him. According to royal security reports, it’s bottles of gin for Charles and red wine for Camilla. While this might be seen as a touching gesture of frugality from a wealthy Prince, in fact it’s a security protocol to make sure that their drinks aren’t spiked.
Either way, this year saw a royal double. Both the Queen and Prince Charles joined the boutique/craft gin revolution. Each of them separately released their own branded gins, made from ingredients mainly sourced from their gardens. The Queen’s brew is called Buckingham Palace Gin and the Prince’s brand is called Highgrove gin. All ingredients have been sourced directly from his organic kitchen garden.
So, in the battle of the royals, who has the best gin?

Buckingham Palace gin: 42% ABV

This delicious spirit comes in an absolutely gorgeous bottle that would look good on anybody’s drinks trolley. The delicately angled and beautifully decorated bottle is made out of turquoise glass and features a golden wreath on the front, intertwined with a pretty array of wildflowers. Presumably, these are some of the 250 different types that are said to grow in her 16 hectare central London back garden. Most of the time, we only get to see it during garden parties and royal celebrations, but apparently in addition to all those flowers, there are also around 250 species of birds to keep the singing going all year round. Turn the bottle around and the flower theme continues on the back side, framing a beautiful engraved perspective of the Buckingham Palace facade. Enough to make the spirits of any true royal fan soar!
Many of the botanicals in the Queen’s gin have been directly sourced from the Palace gardens including lemon, verbena, hawthorn berries and mulberry leaves. The result is a delicious gin with prominent citrus and herbal top notes to balance the strong juniper base. The good news is that it will be served at royal engagements throughout the year, so get yourself on the guest list now. When it was first launched earlier this year, it sold out online within 8 hours, but it’s back and available for around £40 per bottle (2 bottle minimum). All profits from Buckingham Palace gin will go directly to The Royal Collection Trust which helps to fund the care and conservation of the Royal Collection. We’re not sure how involved the Queen was in developing the gin, but we’re sure she’ll love it with a little dubonnet and ice.

Highgrove Organic London Dry Gin: 40% ABV

Not to be outdone, her eldest son has also created his own brand Highgrove Organic Botanic London Dry gin. It comes in a plainer, less glamorous bottle than his mother’s gin featuring a simple white label crowned with the Prince’s royal symbol, the fleurs de lys. Prince Charles has long been an advocate for sustainable living and all of the botanicals in his gin have been grown in the Prince of Wales’ own kitchen garden at Highgrove, in the beautiful Gloucestershire countryside. They include lavender, sage and thyme, delivering a distinctive taste and flavour profile.
While juniper and citrus are the flavours that predominate here, the lemon verbena, thyme and rosemary come through on the top notes to create a delightfully tasting, elegant London Dry gin . The gin has been distilled for the Prince by master distiller Cory Mason who wanted to create a gin with the herbal notes of a traditional English garden. The result is a delicious, versatile gin suitable for any occasion – royal or not. All proceeds from the sales of Highgrove gin go to support the Prince of Wales’ Charitable Fund to develop meaningful projects in the areas of education, the environment, social inclusion health and wellbeing.

And the winner is…

We really couldn’t call this one (and we didn’t want to upset the royals) so to avoid a diplomatic incident, we’ve called it a draw. On looks and style, Buckingham Palace has the edge for sure, but it’s a little more expensive than the Prince’s version. But on taste, complexity, authenticity and price, Highgrove wins. However, don’t take our word for it, get a bottle of each and try them next to each other while watching The Crown. And let us know which one works best for you.

Ginraw: an avant-garde gin packed with Barcelona style

Barcelona is a city known for its avant-garde style, creativity and sophistication. Over the years it has nurtured artistic geniuses such as Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro.
But visionary engineer Ildefons Cerdà really put it on the map at the end of the 19th century as he designed the beautiful Eixample area in all its modernist beauty. The city extension that he created was recently named the best neighbourhood to live in the world according to Time Out magazine. And the flair doesn’t end there.
We couldn’t possibly talk about Barcelona without mentioning its extraordinary cuisine and its disproportionate clutch of Michelin starred restaurants. This is the place where some of the best chefs in the world have set up shop and built their reputations. This includes some run by the world famous Ferran Adrià who championed molecular gastronomy, right here in Catalunya.
Add to that heady mix, the classic cocktail of blue Mediterranean skies, sunshine, music, beaches, countryside and culture. You even have a ready selection of stunning rooftop terraces to choose from when you decide to sip your drinks.

Ginraw: a stunning gin, a stunning bottle

If this all sounds inspiring, it shouldn’t surprise you to hear that when a chef, a sommelier, a mixologist and a perfumier all got together they wanted to celebrate their city in all its creativity. And they did so with a gin. Ginraw is a true triumph of both style and substance. Barcelona’s modern design heritage is apparent in the striking, semi-frosted tall, thin bottle with its distinctive wide-brimmed wooden cap and aluminium band.

Ginraw

El Clásico…

Its beautifully designed leather information tag tops it all off in style and the bottle is truly unique. But quality is everything here and Ginraw is distilled at a low temperature for a smooth, easy to drink gin, simply packed with flavour. Fresh botanicals including lemon peel, kaffir lime and laurel leaves combine with smoky black cardamom and savoury coriander seeds. The result is a true Barcelona classic. With strong notes of juniper up front, there are also hints of peppercorn, coriander and lime zest. On the palate, the early indicators are savoury, before a citrus wave wafts in to save the day. And the cardamom seeds add some welcome spice to the finish of this exquisite, smooth and beautifully designed bottle of gin.
We highly recommend this Barcelona classic, preferably sipped on one of our gorgeous Barcelona roof terraces watching the sun go down over the terracotta rooftops of the old town.

The perfect pour: serve Ginraw over loads of ice in a large copa glass and garnished with a lemon leaf or a slice of lime. And if you want to spice things up a bit, you could try pairing it with a slice of apple or a little bit of ginger for some added heat.

Monkey 47

Monkey 47: strong, complex and packed with flavour

This is the one.
Universally liked for its complex botanicals, Monkey 47’s name [paid link] celebrates its 47 ABV strength. It also draws attention to the 47 rare and distinct botanicals that pack it with all that flavour. Quite simply, it’s hard to resist. It’s also a bartender’s favourite across the world and for good reason.
Infused with all those botanicals, Monkey 47 inevitably contains some unusual ones that are indigenous to its Black Forest location.

Botanicals foraged from Black Forest

These include spruce tips, verbena, cranberries and sage amongst a whole load more. Its full flavour is reminiscent of older style Dutch gins. And it’s complexity means it goes just as well with a basic standard tonic water as it does with vermouth or bitters. As with all great gins, not only does this one taste great but it has an equally exotic back story. This one involves an RAF pilot, a monkey named Max and lots of foraging in the Black Forest.  But more of that in another post.

A thing of beauty

This is a beautiful gin in a beautiful bottle. You’ll pick up mint and eucalyptus on the nose, followed by a blast of Black Forest fruits alongside citrus notes, angelica or a hint of Oak moss. Once you get tasting it you’ll pick up all of its complexity including a blast of smoky incense and a savoury shot of sage.  All in all, this is one of the best gins out there. It works well on its own or with  a simple light tonic water, poured over ice cubes and garnished with a slice of orange, this one’s for drinking not for sharing!

Bartenders’ favourite

Almost every mixologist who knows his onions will have a bottle of “Monkey” on the shelf behind them. It regularly features on the list of best gins in the world and it’s reputation is well deserved. We think this is one of the most complex, flavour-filled, well balanced gins out there – and we can’t recommend it highly enough!

Prost!

The perfect pour:

  1. Pour 50 ml of Monkey 47 into a large copa glass.
  2. Fill the glass with large ice cubes and top up the glass with Schweppes dry tonic water.
  3. Wipe the rim with a grapefruit slice and garnish with grapefruit zest.

Yum!

 


Written by Steve (with a little help from Ruddles, the gin dog!)

Don’t forget to follow us on our facebook community page to join in the gin discussion.


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Akori gin

Akori gin: where Barcelona meets Japan

Barcelona has always embraced inspiration from all over the world. As an ancient Mediterranean port, it was a major trading hub, bringing in exotic herbs and spices from Africa and hosting traders and merchants from along the silk route. This cosmopolitan vibe is one of the hallmarks of this great city. You can see it in the food, the restaurants and the architecture that define this place.
And, as we know, it was at the forefront of the craft gin revolution. This is the city that redefined the way we approach gin, adding drama to the experience with exotic garnishes, giant glasses and loads of ice. Sipping a G&T on a roof top bar in Barcelona is an experience not to be missed.

Made in Barcelona, born in Asia

Having led the charge in the first revolution, which changed forever the way we think about a Gin & Tonic, Barcelona’s gin makers have now turned their attention to making the stuff themselves. Building on a rich tradition brands such as Larios, Gin Mare and Mahon often take centre stage. But now, there is a new generation of craft gin distillers in the Barcelona area who are once again redefining the gin we drink.
These craft distillers use clever blends of infusions, herbs and natural ingredients that are taking gin to another level. And amongst this new crop of artisan gin makers, we came across Akori Cherry Blossom gin .

Inspired by Japanese cherry blossoms

This delicate gin (blended with rice based spirit) is inspired by Japan but distilled in Barcelona. It is the younger sister to Akori Premium gin (which we also highly recommend). The cherry blossom is one of the the national flowers of Japan and is the key botanical of this unusual gin. It sits comfortably alongside the more exotic flavours of kumquat, ginger and dragonfruit. There’s even a hint of almond in there. The result is a delicious, refreshing and complex gin with a subtle cherry citrus flavour. This modern gin manages to build a contemporary bridge between Asia and Europe. Plus, its crisp, smooth finish make it ideal for sipping in a cool environment. And, as you would expect from a Barcelona gin, it comes in a drop dead gorgeous bottle that is sure to stand out on anybody’s gin shelf.

The perfect serve:

Best served in a large Spanish Copa glass, filled all the way to the top with large cubes of ice. Pair it with a freshly opened Indian Tonic Water or some Fentiman’s Yuzu tonic for a refreshing, invigorating drink. Then garnish it with a slice of ginger, a sprinkling of juniper berries or a kumquat. Finally, sit back in your chair, take a deep breath and relax. We think you’re going to like this one.

ABV: 40%


Written by Steve (with a little help from Ruddles, the gin dog!)

Don’t forget to follow us on our facebook community page to join in the gin discussion.


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a nice and classy still life with white background full of fruits (strawberries, blackberries, kumkwat, blood orange), red pepper, rhuibarb, and flowers

5 flavoured gins to try before you die

Gone are the days when gin generally came in one flavour – juniper.  Now, with more than 600 craft gin distilleries in the UK alone (and several hundred more in Spain),  gins are infused with flavours unthinkable only a few years ago.
Ingredients as diverse as lemongrass, seaweed, tea and freshly foraged herbs now offer a tantalising challenge to your tastebuds.  I’ve even recently seen a gin infused with 6kg of fresh lobster (which might be taking it a bit far!) 
For those who prefer gloriously citrusy gins, fruits such as grapefruit, lime, orange and plum are becoming more and more popular.  So, we thought we’d talk you through some of our favourites.  We’ll come back to some of the more unusual flavours such as marshmallow, Bakewell tart (and even lobster!) another time.
Here are some interesting flavoured gins that we are delighted to recommend:

Sipsmith Chili and Lime gin (England)

Sipsmith’s Chili and Lime limited edition gin is bursting with character and is made in small batches by the folks at Sipsmith,  one of the pioneers of the craft gin movement. They take a standard gin base and infuse it with tangy lime to deliver a classic gin experience. Then they infuse it again with botanicals to give it an extra kick adding an intricate blend of 7 different fruity and complex chilis. The result is a unique gin that will usher you into winter with a little fire in your mouth.  Full of character and exploding with flavour, this one won’t be around forever, so make sure you get your order in now before it’s too late!

The perfect serve:  Pour 50 ml of Sipsmith Chili and Lime gin into a large Copa glass and fill to the top with a premium tonic water such as Fever Tree (paid link). Or you could try it with a classic ginger ale.  Garnish with a dry chili pepper, sit back and sip slowly.

ABV: 41.9%

Whitley Neill Lemongrass and Ginger gin (England)

Whitley Neill are building quite a reputation for their eclectic range of high quality, great value, flavoured gins. They’re perhaps most well known for their beautifully balanced rhubarb and ginger gin.  But if you’re hankering for a little taste of the East, this fragrant gin might just be the one for you. The guys at WN have been inspired by the flavours of South East Asia and have created a  beautiful, elegant and subtle gin.  It combines the essence of lemongrass with natural ginger. And there’s lots of juniper goodness in there as well.  Delicate, fragrant (and a little citrusy) this one comes with an extra whack of heat to warm the tastebuds.  A deliciously different G&T – equally perfect for sipping on a hot summer’s day or a chilly winter’s evening. 

The perfect serve: pour 50 ml of Whitley Neill Lemongrass and Ginger gin into a large copa glass. Fill with large ice cubes and top up with ginger ale, or a premium Indian tonic water.  Garnish with fresh ginger, a slice of lemon or some black pepper. Or, if your prefer, add a twist of lemongrass and serve with ginger ale for some extra oomph! Sip slowly.

ABV: 43%

Haysmith, Rhubarb and Ginger (England)

Rhubarb and ginger are two flavours that have built a real following this summer, but they don’t always come cheap.  So, if you’re looking for a great value gin for under £20, then pop down to Aldi to pick up a bottle of this before they run out.  At £14.99 a bottle, this gin has the perfect balance of rhubarb and ginger dominating the taste, but there are strong notes of juniper throughout. This is a lovely combination of sweet and sour and at 37.5% you can have a few of these without falling over. There are more expensive and heavily marketed rhubarb and ginger brands out there, but if you’re looking for value for money, this might be a good choice.

The perfect serve: pour 50ml of Haysmith’s Rhubarb and Ginger gin into a large copa glass and fill with ice. Top up with a premium tonic water of your choice and serve with a grapefruit slice. And if you want to turn up the taste, you could even add some elderflower cordial to give it an extra flavour kick.

ABV 37.5%

Twisted Nose gin (England)

So, here’s an unusual one for you – gin made from watercress. In the gentle, rolling landscape of Hampshire, the trout sunbathe under crystal clear waters waiting to catch flies hovering in the blue skies above them. It just so happens that these crystal clear chalk streams are also the perfect place to grow watercress. The Winchester Distillery has created Twisted Nose gin. It’s a delicious, peppery dry gin based on everybody’s favorite salad fixing.  And it is delicious.

With 10 botanicals complementing the obligatory juniper and the peppery freshness of the watercress cutting through clearly, this gin is refreshingly unique. It’s a bright, subtle gin made by hand in a copper still using local spring water and locally sourced botanicals. Why Twisted Nose? Apparently, the Romans knew watercress as Nasturtium – which is Latin for twisted nose.

The perfect serve: This dry, spicy gin deserves a good tonic water. We suggest pouring 50ml of Twisted Nose into a copa glass, fill it with large ice cubes and top it up with some delicious elderflower tonic water. Or for a purer taste, stay simple with Fever Tree Indian tonic water.

ABV: 40%

Entropia Ginseng and Guarana gin (Spain)

This little baby is hard to find but it’s delicious. Made in small batches it includes 14 natural botanicals including juniper, coriander, orange and lemon peel.  Add some angelica root and orange blossom and infuse it with nutmeg and ginger. Then add the vital ingredients of Guarana and Ginseng for a healthy natural energy boost.  What you end up with is a distinctive golden gin with a fresh citrus taste and a uniquely delicious smell.  Handmade in Galicia, Spain, this one also comes in a cool bottle that will stand out on your shelf.

The perfect serve: This is a Spanish gin, so start by pouring at least 50 ml of Entropia Ginseng and Guarana gin into a copa glass to get things rolling. Then drop in some large ice cubes before topping up with a classic Indian tonic water to bring out the complex flavours. Then drink, and wait for that Ginseng to do its stuff!

ABV: 40%

Conclusion

Flavoured gins are not for everyone – some people find them too sweet and there are certainly many gimmicky flavours out there that do not really merit the word gin. But there are also some great ones – and they don’t have to cost a fortune. It really is a matter of personal preference. So, get out there and explore the wonderful world of flavoured gin. And don’t forget to leave a comment and share what you discover on the Barcelona Gin Facebook page.


Written by Steve (with a little help from Ruddles, the gin dog!)

Don’t forget to follow us on our facebook community page to join in the gin discussion.


RECENT POSTS

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