I could have sworn I’ve hardly left the house recently (the last few months have really caught up with me lately) but the joy of writing this column is remembering the fun I have had as well as some of the more positive booze news and interesting new gin releases. As we head into yet more lockdowns do try to keep your chin up and your gin in moderation!
Once again the news seems to be dominated by ongoing lockdowns and the devastating effect on the hospitality industry. Among all that it has been announced that Diageo has agreed to acquire Chase Distillery for an undisclosed sum and, reassuringly, the family will be staying on as they maintain “business as usual”.
New Gin Alerts
Two of this month’s new releases that have caught my eye are York Gin’s Chocolate & Orange (I’m just a sucker for that flavour combo) and Brindle Distillery’s appropriately named – and delicious sounding – Cuckoo Sloedown Gin; created by infusing their Sunshine Gin with locally sourced sloes, blackberries and honey, it still comes in at a hefty 39% ABV. Others well worth a look include Yorkshire Forager’s collaboration with Poetic License and Tobermory’s limited edition Hebridean Mountain Gin.
My Month in Gin
I’ve been really fortunate to be invited to some special events this month starting with the virtual launch of Warner’s 0% Botanic Garden Spirits, and followed (in very quick succession!) by attending Martin Miller’s incredible five-course tasting menu and signature serves at ‘Avalon by The Melusine’ as part of the London Restaurant Festival 2020.
I also got to visit one of my favourite and closest distilleries in their new(ish) home in Hackney’s Haggerston. Having moved to their impressive new site – and installed their stunning new still – last summer, 58 Gin have opened a gin school, launched a make-your-own-gin delivery service, been among the first (if not the very first) distillery to switch all production to hand sanitiser during the worst of the pandemic, relaunched their website, redesigned their beautiful bottles, created a delicious new vodka, launched their hard seltzers (also the first in the country) and, to cap it all off they have – quite deservedly – been shortlisted for IWSC UK Gin Producer of the Year!
And finally, I was also honoured to take part in the virtual Craft Distilling Expo “Distillers and the Media” panel discussion and live Q&A. These things always scare me silly but, thanks to the support of my fellow panel members (Bernadette Pamplin, Kristiane Sherry of Master of Malt and Melita Kiely of Spirits Business) I actually really enjoyed myself. So thank you all and David T Smith for the invitation too!
Welcome to My Collection
The lovely folk at 58 Gin sent me home with their entire range of gins, hard seltzers and even hand sanitiser so expect to see more of those soon. I was also incredibly grateful to be gifted Northwest Passage Expedition Gin, Masons’ Orange & Lime Leaf Gin in their stunning new bottle and Ramsbury Single Estate Gin. If you fancy a bottle of Ramsbury Gin too, I have five bottles to give away on my Instagram channel (but you better be quick; the competition closes at 23:59 01/11/2020).
Thanks also to The Artisan Drinks Co. for their eye-catching selection of mixers, and to Atom Brands for The Premium Gin Advent Calendar (affiliate link) which I reckon my husband and I (and you for that matter!) definitely deserve after everything this year has thrown at us. I’ve also earned myself a lovely IWSC Judge pin and treated myself to the ever so cute Twisting Spirits pin.
Catching Up and Looking Forward
If you haven’t already, why not read my review of Northwest Passage Expedition Gin; a delicious spirit created not only to fund an attempt to navigate the Northwest Passage by human-power alone, but also to raise awareness of climate change and ocean conservation in the process. As for next month, I’m looking forward to sharing a couple of new gins I have that are currently under embargo as well as joining the World Gin Awards judging panel again and attending the IWSC Awards in my dressing gown as it goes virtual and is live-streamed on YouTube! 🍸🛎🛎