I thought I’d kept the diary pretty clear with the kids off school for the Easter holidays but somehow April still turned out to be pretty busy with plenty of writing, a little judging, a couple of launches and a couple of distillery visits. Read on to hear all about them, plus the usual booze news and new gin alerts!
It’s been another month of mixed news, and emotions, as one of my local distilleries goes from strength to strength but another goes under. After two years of hard work I was delighted to see – and celebrate – 58 and Co.’s new look and taste (their reworked Apple & Hibiscus is just wow!) when I visited Carmen earlier this month. With B Corp accreditation to their name and big plans for their East London distillery, they are definitely worth keeping a closer eye on than ever.
However, I was gutted to hear that Max and Máire have taken the difficult decision to cease production and move on from Victory Distillery. I don’t know what led them to this point but I do know that their commitment to sustainability and innovation was inspirational and the industry owes the trailblazing pair a huge debt. With the news that Max is now partnering with Vault Vermouth, I sense more great things ahead too!
New Gin Alerts
The month kicked off with the most intriguing new gin alert – which could easily have been an April Fool’s but wasn’t – in the form of Citadelle’s “Les Excentriques” limited edition Vive le Cornichon gin, created with the finest French gherkins! Meanwhile, Gower Gin was announced as the producer of the World Martini Day 2022 Gin. Inspired by the Vesper Martini which features in James Bond – Casino Royale, Night Star features a grape and grain base alongside 15 botanicals led by juniper from Serbia (the casino’s fictional location).
Beyond those two, though, flavoured gins appear to be in the ascendency again as we head towards summer with Caorunn releasing a Blood Orange Gin, Edinburgh Gin adding an Orange & Basil Gin to their range, Burleighs going pink with a Raspberry Edition Gin, and Bombay Sapphire creating a Citron Pressé gin inspired by the flavours of the classic Tom Collins cocktail.
My Month in Gin
It’s been another busy month with more articles for both Gin Magazine and Spirits Beacon and more judging for the World Drinks Awards. Due to the Easter holidays I could only commit to one day but had a fun time judging liqueurs – many of which were great and one or two of which were really not to my taste (eggnog I’m looking at you!).
The highlight of the month had to be the Artingstall’s Gin launch at Isabel Mayfair! From the paps on the door to rubbing shoulders with the likes of Stephen Fry, Jack Whitehall, Stephen Mangan and Sue Perkins I felt somewhat out of my depth but luckily had my lovely husband and brilliant Bernadette Pamplin for company. The star of the show, however, was the gin – created by Hollywood director Paul Feig to make the perfect martini, which it most certainly did (although my head didn’t thank me for them the following day)!
And the partying continued at the Hanbury Gin launch at the end of the month. The tiny distillery has the most amazing set-up with the still taking pride of place in North London’s The Hanbury pub, from which the gin is funnelled down into the basement to be collected, cut, bottled and labelled. I was super impressed by the knowledgeable team and with three gins to their name already – a punchy cardamom-packed London Dry, an earthy Rhubarb & Rose and a zesty Orange & Thyme – there’s almost certainly something for everyone.
I finished off the month with a sneaky little trip to Bermondsey Distillery – home of Jensen’s gin. It was fascinating to learn more about such a well established gin, and I got to try loads of tasty infusions, but to find out more you’re going to have to keep an eye on my #GinADayMay posts!
Welcome to My Collection
Huge thanks to Carmen at 58 and Co. who generously sent me home with a bottle each of their Vodka, Apple & Hibiscus Gin and London Dry Gin, to Craft Gin Club for their April box which was packed to the rafters with treats including the wonderful In the Welsh Wind Signature Style Gin, and to Audemus Spirits for their new look Bergamot Gin Liqueur. Thanks also to Felix of Manhattan’s Project for his outstanding ready-to-drink cocktails which I cannot recommend more highly; to Hanbury Gin for my gorgeous goody bag, to and to Charlie at Jensen’s for a sample of their amazing Strawberry Radical Spirit Drink. As for this cute little Gin Xoriguer Mahon Gin pin, I’ve only got myself (and Etsy) to thank for that!
Catching Up and Looking Forward
If you’ve not already seen my most recent articles, why not pick up the latest issue of Gin Magazine to read all about sustainable and responsible water use in the industry, or check out my article on carbon offsetting for Spirits Beacon? Looking forward, May is literally upon us and, for me at least, that can only mean one thing: #GinADayMay! Whether you’re taking part or watching from the sidelines I hope you enjoy it and I’ll see you on the other side. 🍸🛎🛎