July’s been a long month, and a particularly tough one personally, but thankfully there have also been plenty of ginny highlights to keep my spirits up!
In an interesting move attributed in part to the soar in e-commerce sales recently, and in a bid to boost business to consumer operations, Gin Foundry has been acquired by wine and spirits distributor Enotria & Coe for an undisclosed sum. Read more about how Gin Foundry intend to continue to champion craft spirits, and those who make them, on a larger scale and by opening up wholesale routes to market here.
Ending their relationship with Dodd’s, London’s Kew Gardens has selected my local distillery – East London Liquor Company – to create the next series of Kew spirits using seasonal flora from the beautiful botanic gardens. I was a big fan of the old range but can’t wait to try the new one either as I’m a huge fan of ELLC!
Finally, in a modern take on times long gone, York Gin has redesigned the 18th century Puss and Mew vending machine for these socially distanced times, allowing customers to taste their delicious range of gin from a safe distance.
“The only difference is that customers don’t have to pay for a sample of gin. And what we’re doing is perfectly legal! We’re 100% sure our gin is way better too.”York Gin co-founder Emma Godivala
New Gin Alerts
The gin release that probably made the most waves this month was Buckingham Palace Gin – featuring 12 botanicals, including verbena, hawthorn berries and mulberry leaves hand-picked in the palace gardens – and which sold out in just eight hours! More interesting to my mind (not least because I know where it is made and was lucky enough to receive a pre-release bottle) is Sky Wave’s Liberation Gin which is available for pre-order now. Other gins to catch my eye include Otterbeck Distillery’s Cotton Gin – made in collaboration with chef James Martin – and the newest addition to the Foxhole range; Hyke Orange Gin made with oranges that would otherwise go to waste.
My Month in Gin
Thanks to Sipping Rooms, I got back inside my local distillery ahead of their reopening on 10th July! I already knew ELLC’s London Dry pretty well but it was wonderful to revisit it, and also try their new tonic – made in collaboration with Square Root London – and one of their cracking canned cocktails. I also discovered my favourite martini (so far) served with the tiniest dash of sherry and a pickled onion!
Despite having launched back in 2008, Chase Gin is not one I’ve ever got to know well, so it was a pleasure to join their virtual tour recently too. A field-to-bottle distillery, Chase grow potatoes (and apples) and use these to make their spirits from scratch. It was wonderful to taste their creamy vodka, and see their awesome rectifying column, but obviously I was really there for the gin! My pick of the bunch was probably the Chase GB Gin but I also loved the Pink Grapefruit and Pomelo Gin served in a zesty British Paloma. And you can never go wrong with a Seville Marmalade Negroni either!
You probably saw my posts about 6 O’Clock Gin’s Romy’s Edition released in May, but when I heard they were holding a cocktail competition I couldn’t resist having another play with it. Largely inspired by the contents of the fruit bowl and fridge (some overripe mangoes and leftover sugar syrup respectively) I decided to attempt a Mango Gimlet. As you can imagine, I was delighted when I heard my cocktail declared the winner on Instagram Live!
I was also delighted to travel all the way to Brazil, virtually of course, to meet Arturo Isola one of two founders of Brazil’s first gin distillery and Amazzoni Gin. Created in collaboration with Tato Giovannoni (master mixologist and founder of Argentinian gin Principe de los Apostoles) Amazzoni Gin features five traditional botanicals – including juniper, coriander and citrus – and five native to Brazil – including cocoa, maxixe and cipó-cravo. The result is a classic, dry gin with an intriguing complexity and wonderful smoothness from the inclusion of Brazil nuts. The eleventh botanical, Victoria Regia (or water lily seeds) are obtained by indigenous people from the Huni Kuin tribe and provide a purely symbolic link to the Amazon River.
Rather closer to home, I also attended a launch event for Agora Rosso Vermouth made in Suffolk. Maker Arthur Voulgaris talked at length about the development of the recipe as well as his plans for the future and, of course, there was a little tasting too! Featuring wormwood, cassia bark, rose petals and black pepper, the beautiful deep purple vermouth offers notes of spices and star anise balanced with sweet citrus and rich red fruits. It’s definitely one I’m looking forward to playing around with in cocktails.
Welcome to My Collection
I’ve been gifted some incredible gins from across the globe this month, including Amazzoni Gin from Brazil’s first gin distillery, Wales’ whopping 60% ABV GWYR: Rhosili Dragon Strength, Oxfordshire’s yet-to-be-released Sky Wave Liberation Gin and Gin Palma from the beautiful little island of Mallorca which I’ve been visiting since I was a babe in arms!
And it’s not just gin! I was also generously gifted a bottle of Merser & Co. Rum to celebrate World Rum Day, Hotel Starlino Arancione Aperitivo and Agora Rosso Vermouth in addition to the 6 O’Clock Gin ready-to-drink range I won from their cocktail competition, The Drinks Drop cocktails my good friends (Charley from Forest Hill Gin Club and Natalie from Gin Obsessions) sent, and the Skywalker cocktails I purchased to support homeless charity Under One Sky.
And there have even been a few fun things to bring an extra smile to my face too – not that you can see it underneath my Persie Gin facemask! In addition to that I received some fantastic Love & Victory Negroni socks very kindly sent by Your Drink Box, and a cute No. 3 Gin pin and key ring I couldn’t resist on eBay!
Catching Up and Looking Forward
I’ve been meaning to get back into writing reviews for a while now and have finally broken the drought with a little piece about 6 O’Clock Gin’s Romy’s Edition Mango, Ginger and Lime Gin so catch up with that if you haven’t read it already. And, with any luck, I’ll have a review of Sky Wave’s new Liberation Gin out in the next few days too! Who knows what else August may bring, but I’ll see you on the other side! 🍸🛎🛎