It’s day three of Ginvent and we’ve hit our first strange gin – Pickering’s limited edition Brussels sprout gin. To celebrate the Christmas season, they have released six festive flavours: cranberry, figgy pudding, plum & ginger, spiced pear & cinnamon, clementine, and today’s flavour Brussels sprout. Using their classic gin as the base spirit, they distil their gin in their copper still Gertrude and they say this results in a herbaceous finish with bright green pepper notes. Matt, the co-founder and head distiller at Pickering’s, found 10,000 sprouts in January to make this gin, which shows how long in the making a new gin flavour can be. Mixed with classic tonic, they suggest adding a slice of cucumber as a garnish, or making it into their “love it or hate it” cocktail with fresh cucumber, lime, orange bitters and elderflower tonic.
If you’re in Edinburgh, I can recommend the Pickering’s Distillery tour. Well. By tour it’s standing in one room talking all about gin, then going next door and seeing their bottling room, then back to the first room to drink gin. It’s accessed through the Royal Dick Bar (tee hee hee) at Summerhall roundabout. I went during the festival and was joined by my father, who at the end very kindly got me a bottle of the limited edition 2017 Tattoo gin. Working with the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo organisers, this year’s edition features indigenous Scottish heather, milk thistle, bog myrtle and Scots Pine added to their Bombay recipe gin wrapped in the official tartan of the Tattoo (not McLaren tartan though as my father pointed out…). Along with the Tattoo gin, their range features their original gin, a navy strength gin and the 1947 recipe (made precisely to their original recipe). They’re also the makers of the original gin baubles that are LITERALLY ALL OVER SOCIAL MEDIA. The bottle is lovely, they have paid real attention to the small details – the Pickering’s peacock wrapped around the bottle and a charming scale of how empty the bottle is on the side.