Remember the days of premixed drinks? My drink of choice as a teen was Smirnoff Ice, because I was classy. Nowadays, premixed drinks are making a comeback with all of the big brands and supermarkets getting in on the trend with tins of premixed gin and tonic (always go for the M&S pink gin FYI). Entering this market is the London-based collaboration between Sacred gin and BTW tonic. The bottle is certainly distinctive – the colour of BTW tonic comes from the use of natural quinine in their product. Sacred gin comes from the smallest commercial distillery and has quite the extensive range of flavoured gins to its name and this premix highlights the pink grapefruit to add a freshness and a bright citrus flavour.
You may have seen that I’ve already tried Elg No. 1 (traditional gin) and Elg No. 2 (Old Tom) and so today we – rather logically – move on to the third in their range. Elg No. 3 is a mighty 57.2% – using the same three-botanical recipe but diluted with less water. This additional ABV is designed to give the gin a much more intense flavour and aroma.
So you might have seen my post about the March Craft Gin Club delivery which contained a bottle of Elg No.1 gin – which was very nice FYI. The team at Stone Grange distillery got in touch and offered to let me try the rest of the range. And, because I like gin, I said yes. So today we are trying their No.2 gin which is an Old Tom style gin. It is slightly lower in ABV than their No. 1 gin at 46.3% – which is still going to have quite a kick to it and they suggest drinking it neat (eep!) or with some ginger beer. Their Old Tom has quite a distinctive colour to it – they take their original three botanicals (juniper, coriander seed and carrot for those that missed the last blog) and add an alcohol extract of juniper which gives it the colour and the sweetness. The extract is made by soaking dried juniper berries in pure wheat alcohol for four weeks. FOUR WEEKS. Considering a lot of gin only really takes a few days to make, this is taking the craft to the next level.
The other day I told you about my good gin friend Cherry Constable, today’s gin is courtesy of the awesome Rev. Mary Hawes. Empress 1908 original indigo gin hails from Canada and is a vibrant blue thanks to an infusion of butterfly pea bottom – making the colour 100% authentic and natural. The addition of citrus or tonic turns the gin to a soft pink. Now, I’ve tried some colour changing gins before and been entirely unimpressed with the flavour which leaves the colour change just as a gimmick to me. However, I’m always open to having my opinion changed. The gin features eight botanicals and is traditional in flavour with notes of juniper and grapefruit at the front. Continue reading
You may have read before that I think Cherry Constable is a great friend. And I am right. Another postal delivery bought a sample of Glorious gin – no, I’m not just fawning over it already, that’s the name. Hailing from Breuckelen Distilling in Brooklyn, they make Glorious Gin – distilled from a wheat spirit distilled with grapefruit, ginger and fresh rosemary – and an oak aged version alongside a series of whiskeys. The list of botanicals intrigues me – juniper, lemon and grapefruit peel are all pretty usual, but adding ginger should give it a bit of fire, and the rosemary should balance it with a more herbal nose. One of their suggested cocktails is a twist on a Tom Collins which is garnished with thyme leaves.
Happy March! Along with the snow, March brings us a delivery from Craft Gin Club yay! This month’s delivery includes a bottle of Elg No.1 Gin all the way from Denmark, along with a bottle of Franklin & Sons light tonic, a bottle of Newton’s Appl Fizzics, a jar of Bonne Maman marmalade, a bar of Divine dark chocolate and hazelnut, and a bag of Pipers jalapeno and dill crisps. Yay to being snowed in for the weekend! Elg gin comes from a place of science, founder Henrik used to be a biochemist. The unusual thing about this gin is that it only uses three botanicals. Juniper, coriander seed and danish carrot. Yes, carrot. Apparently the distilled carrot enhances the juniper, and that was Henrik’s aim. He looked back at historic recipes and wanted his gin to truly taste of the piney juniper. Despite the lack of botanicals, this gin doesn’t lack flavour or complexity – apparently it starts bold with tangerine, black pepper and lemongrass before mellowing to a creamier, earthier note. And at 47%, it should have quite the punch! They also produce No.2 Old Tom gin, No. 3 Navy Strength gin and No.4 colour changing gin.