I just don’t know where July went, and for the first time ever I’m ridiculously late in writing my gin monthly, but looking back it definitely seems like I had some fun last month!
It was a funny old month for booze news with headlines including “only Russian fizz can be sold as ‘Champagne'” alongside the release of a “Fleabag-inspired Gin” and Aviation Gin football kit! However July also saw the announcement of the IWSC 2021 trophy winners, and congratulations must go to Manchester’s Lucky Bee Gin who took home the London Dry Trophy for their Hench Gin.
After a tough month or so, it’s also been wonderful to see Victory Distillery’s successful relaunch on 1st August. An innovative brand with sustainability at its core, Victory has long been committed to reducing its carbon footprint and their relaunch is next level! Having pioneered refills in the spirits industry, their new lighter, locally-made bottles are not intended to be single-use but to be refilled and kept forever. They’ve also ditched multi-material closures in favour of glass stoppers, sealed not with plastic but biodegradable cellulose. And that’s not all. The simple yet striking typography-led labels are produced from 95% Bagasse – a byproduct of the sugar cane industry – and 5% hemp and linen fabrics selected from annually renewable plants. And they’re not stopping there either! They are also working with their bottle supplier on a recycled glass solution which, if they pull it off, promises to be something truly special indeed…
New Gin Alerts
Probably the most topical release this month was Stirling Distillery’s OlympiGin made from Stirlingshire nettles and Japanese yuzu and also featuring gold flakes! Hayman’s, meanwhile, are celebrating Singapore Airline’s 50th Anniversary of flying between London and Singapore with their new Connoisseur Dry Gin which fuses their London Dry gin style with Asian flavours of kumquat, lemongrass, galangal and Persian lime. If you’ve got something big to celebrate yourself, perhaps you’ll want to push the boat out with Seventy One Gin which “assembled like a perfume, finished in French Oak casks”, comes in at a whopping £140 a bottle!
Surely the busiest distillery this month has to be Scotland’s Eden Mill though, who have not only replaced their iconic (but ultimately unsustainable) ceramic bottles with new, lighter glass bottles but also launched not one, not two, but nine new gins including Red Snapper Gin, Forbidden Gin and Nine Islands Gin!
My Month in Gin
I couldn’t let London Cocktail Warm-Up Week pass me by this year so I took the opportunity to return to long-time favourite Coupette as well as visit the wonderful The Natural Philosopher for the first (but certainly not the last) time. If you did miss out, you can still pick up your £15 wrist band now and enjoy an entire month of cocktail celebrations throughout the city in October.
The highlight of my month, however, had to be my first visit to the world’s best bar at The Connaught for the launch of Sipsmith’s first non-alcoholic spirit – FreeGlider! Hosted by none other than Jared Brown, Sipsmith Co-Founder and Master Distiller, and Ago Perrone, Director of Mixology at The Connaught, we enjoyed a sensational three course lunch paired with truly exceptional non-alcoholic cocktails. Featuring well-balanced juniper, citrus and eucalyptus, capsicum is also added to FreeGlider to replicate the heat you would normally get from alcohol, and I can truly say I didn’t miss the booze one bit.
Welcome to My Collection
In addition to Sipsmith’s FreeGlider and Victory’s relaunched London Gin, I’ve also been delighted to receive East London Liquor Company’s collaboration with Meantime Brewing Co. Inspired by East London’s Brighter Gin, Brighter Days New England Pale Ale features sweet cassia bark, bitter juniper, floral Darjeeling tea and punchy grapefruit-forward citra hops. Having lived in Hackney for 16 years now, I definitely share their sentiment that #EastIsBest and cannot wait to crack these open!
Thank you also to Sipsmith and The Drinks Drop for their wonderful Wimbledon Box containing four bespoke ready-to-sip cocktails featuring Sipsmith’s limited edition Strawberry Smash Gin, ingeniously created using surplus strawberries from the 2020 Wimbledon tournament that never was, and also to the lovely Spence of ginsmagic for my gorgeous new No. 3 Gin gin pin!
Catching Up and Looking Forward
August looks set to be a fairly quiet month for me with little more than a couple of weeks in Scotland – and hopefully a distillery visit or three! – to look forward to so maybe, just maybe, I’ll finally get that #GinADayMay recap written. In the meantime, do check out and vote in Negroni Club UK‘s fun Negroni Olympics, and keep your eyes peeled for the next article in my sustainability series for Gin Magazine published on 20th August.🍸🛎🛎