For a month in which so much seemed to stop, an awful lot still happened. Here’s my September Gin Monthly 2022 (and an opportunity for you to get your hands on some free gin – yes really!)…
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It goes without saying that the big news of the month was the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. And it certainly had a huge effect on everything, including the world of fine wine and spirits: while some events – like Negroni Week UK – were put on hold out of respect, a nationwide rush to raise a glass in memory resulted in a run on Dubonnet as stockists sold out of the iconic ingredient in the Queen’s favourite drink.
On a very different scale, we also bid a sad farewell to Loch Ness Spirits who are the latest to call time on production. In a statement shared on their social media channels it said the founders felt they could no longer “give the company the love and attention it deserves”.
New Gin Alerts
I think we can all agree Nigel Farage’s gins have already received way more publicity than they deserve, so I’m delighted (and relieved) that there were plenty of other exciting new releases last month to shine a light on!
Sipsmith and Puerto de Indias have both gone for an autumnal take on pink gin adding, respectively, Very Berry Gin and Blackberry Gin to their ranges, whereas Bathtub Gin has gone in a different direction with a Rose and Cardamom offering. Celebrating some of their own heritage, Gower Gin have released a special spirit to commemorate Sir Gareth Edwards’ Greatest Try, for the Barbarians against the All Blacks in 1972, and Cascave have launched with not one but two gins, inspired by the journey their Welsh water takes down the Brecon Beacons and through the region’s caves and tunnels.
My Month in Gin
One of the highlights of my month was attending Procera Gin‘s 2022 vintage release at The Conduit London. Hosted by founder Guy Brennan, we were welcomed with a Blue Dot Gin and Tonic before being introduced to the Green and Red Dot 2022 vintages. Not only we were among the first to taste the neat spirits outside of Kenya, but we we were also treated to bespoke cocktails paired with African-inspired canapés curated by one of Kenya’s leading chefs, and Procera co-founder, Alan Murungi. I was having such a wonderful time I failed to get enough photos to do the evening justice, but the pairing of Green Dot 2022 Gimlet and smoked Kilifi sailfish on sourdough toast was incredible, as was the Red Dot 2022 Negroni with Wagyu beef tartare and smoked chilli and aioli.
If you want to get your hands on these exquisite spirits you’re going to have to save up your pennies and move fast; only 300 bottles of each gin will be released in the UK market in October with a price tag of £95 for Red Dot 2022 and £115 for Green Dot 2022. Both will be available from Harvey Nichols, Master of Malt and Hedonism Wines.
I was also over the moon to attend the inaugural Speyside Supper Club in the stunning surroundings of Covent Garden’s Pivot Bar and Bistro where we were treated to an incredible menu from Mark Greenaway served alongside a selection of delicious Tulchan Gin cocktails. Enjoying a Tulchan Martini with Scottish native oysters was particularly memorable but, of course, the entire evening was exceptional, from the Speyside 75s which accompanied the canapés to the Hedgerow Negroni and trio of desserts.
And finally, I finished the month with one hell of a night starting at the Sipsmith Very Berry launch, before hotfooting it over to Camden for a cocktail (or three!) at the fabulous Crossroads Bar before heading to The Roundhouse for the IWSC 2022 Awards Dinner & Industry Celebration which – amongst much drinking and dancing – saw Wessex Distillery take away the UK Gin Producer Trophy, Estonia’s Junimperium claim the International Gin Producer Trophy and Australia’s Four Pillars beat off some serious competition to win the inaugural Green Spirit Initiative Award. Congratulations to all three of them and all the other winners too!
Welcome to My Collection
A huge thank you for the huge number of gifts and samples I received in September, including Bobby’s Gin, Jenever and RTDs, Georgie and Henners’ Lemon Gino, the brand new Levin Down Goodwood Gin, the new bottling of Dinnewell’s Orange & Ginger Old Tom, Hepple Gin and glassware, Sipsmith’s new Very Berry Gin, low ABV spirit drink DECEM, press samples from Crossbill and goody bags from Procera and Tulchan Gin.
I am well aware I get a lot of free gin but (for once) I can offer you some too! Simply enter code GINADINGDING to receive a free 5cl bottle of Hepple Gin with any purchase from their new website until midnight on Sunday 9th October. I highly recommend you give it a go – it is, without doubt, one of the best gins out there.
Thanks also to my generous friend Jamie for this bottle of Luvians by Darnley’s Graduate Gin, to my daughter (and husband!) for picking up The PDT Cocktail Book for me on our local jumble trail, and to Carol (aka @grandmasginparlour) for these samples of WildGins which were just the thing for the article I’ve been researching recently!
Catching Up and Looking Forward
It looks like another busy – and fun – few weeks ahead with Negroni Week UK now taking place from 3rd to 9th, The Craft Distilling Expo taking place on 6th and 7th and London Cocktail Week from 13th to 23rd October. See you on the other side!🍸🛎🛎