Note: I met the Gin Eva team at Junpalooza and they kindly gave me some samples to try. As always, I’ll let you know what I think.
You might have already read my blog on Gin Eva‘s Mallorca Dry gin (if not, you can catch up here) and today we are trying their artisan bergamot gin. This started back in 2016 when they were looking for a farm that grew yuzu as they were planning a collaboration with a Michelin starred chef which would be their featured botanical. Whilst researching this, they met Franc who specialises in citrus fruits on his farm in Valencia. They specifically loved his bergamot oranges which is a hybrid of a lime and a bitter orange. They distilled this and blended it with Macedonian juniper and nothing else. That’s right. Two botanicals. That’s it. They released the first batch in October 2017 with just 1,000 bottles, which was followed up by batch two in April 2018 of 3,000 bottles. They say this is a great sipping gin, G&T or 50/50 martini.
Note: Symphonia kindly sent me a sample to try and ramble about, but as always I’ll let you know if I’m not a fan.
Did you read about Symphonia No.1 and No. 2 gin? If not, shame on you and you can read about them here and here. The third (and currently final) gin in their range is a fruit cup. The fruit/summer cup trend seems to be growing from smaller distillers, perhaps due to the popularity of Pimms and the pink gin craze. So what makes the Symphonia fruit cup different? This 25% fruit spirit is made using raspberries from the distillery garden and berries foraged from the hedgerows in the Irish countryside. The lower ABV makes it perfect for sipping, or mixing with tonic, soda, prosecco or lemonade (essentially, whatever you want). One thing you instantly notice about this fruit cup is the colour – fruit cups usually have a pink/orange tinge to them but this is surprisingly clear.
Note: I met the Gin Eva team at Junipalooza and they kindly sent me some samples to have a taste of. As always, I’ll let you know what I really think.
Gin Eva comes from Mallorca (or Majorca depending on your choice of spelling) and has a unique background. The gin was founded by Eva and Stefan, one being a Catalan oenologist (someone that studies the science of wine and wine making) and the other a German wine grower. Stefan worked for a number of wineries before setting out to make gin, a spirit which gives him far more freedom than the wine industry does. Gin Eva is a labour of love – Stefan himself admits his first attempt was rubbish, but this drove him to practice to ensure they were getting the most out of each botanical. They now macerate their botanicals for a number of weeks before distillation occurs, a slow process but they say the gin is worth the effort. Alongside Mallorcan juniper, they use lemon and bitter orange which, they say, balances well with the juniper for a creamy and zesty taste on the palate with a light and elegant finish.
Happy Craft Gin Club delivery! And a big cheers to the first in my new home (spoiler alert: buying a house is stressful and expensive). This month’s delivery is yet another exclusive gin, courtesy of the City of London Distillery (which is about 50 feet from my day job just off of Fleet Street by the terrifying junction that is Ludgate Circus.). Alongside the gin, this month we were treated to two Belvoir pressés, a packet of Bahlsen crunchy hazelnut choco moment biscuits, some salt and vinegar London Crisps and a tub of popaballs. The City of London Distillery is so called because, surprise surprise, it is in the heart of the city; they opened their doors in December 2012 and have since gone from strength to strength, winning awards aplenty and now have five gins to their name (with Six Bells becoming their sixth). The focus of this gin is citrus. The usual gin botanicals of juniper, coriander, angelica root and liquorice root are joined by lemon rind, fresh grapefruit and sweet orange to create a big zesty mouthfeel.
Note: I got in touch with the Henstone gin team and they kindly sent me a sample to try, as always, I’ll let you know if I don’t like it.
Henstone gin comes from Oswestry in Shropshire, just on the Welsh border. Their licence application was granted just before Christmas 2016 and they got cracking on their distillery – including a trip to Germany in January 2017 to find their perfect still. Flash forward a year and their first whisky was in barrels, but their gin didn’t come along until February 2018. The resulting product is packed with flavour from juniper, citrus peel, coriander, cardamom and angels wreath. They talk openly about how their product louches when a cold mixer is added, this is due to the essential oils from the botanicals distilling with the base spirit which then emulsify with cold water. They recommend serving their gin with Indian tonic, juniper and a wedge of orange (which won’t be happening in this house), so let’s see how it tastes.
Note: I contacted the Generation Distillery team and they sent me a sample to try, as always, I’ll let you know what I think.
Generation 11 gin is another addition to the growing, and brilliant, Sussex gin scene. Based in Chailey (just outside of Lewes), Generation distillery comes from a husband and wife team with a passion for locally sourced, quality ingredients with great flavour. Their passion for sustainability is evident – the lavender comes from Kent, the coriander is grown two villages away and their botanical supplier is based down the road from them. They managed to re-commission a well which is used to draw up local ground water for their gin. Alongside the floral notes from the lavender, they add cardamom and pepper for some warmth and a twist of lemon for a hint of sweetness.