Anyone who has even half an eye on the gin industry at the moment will know that small-batch limited edition gins are big news. As are gin subscription services. One Time Gin and Sipsmith’s Sipping Society have lead the way and now Batch Brew, Lancashire’s first gin distillery, are getting in on the act too with their monthly Batch Innovations subscription service.
With many gins come many gin awards. And even more medals. For even the most prestigious competitions have a tendency to award a multitude of medals. Consequently the value of such achievements is being diluted; forget bronze – even silver and gold medals make few ripples. And, perhaps more tellingly, most gin-lovers say they do not consider award stickers of being indicative of a gin’s quality either. A Double Gold (such as Pothecary was awarded at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition) certainly stands out within the industry at least, as does Hernö‘s recognition as “Europe’s most awarded gin”, but it takes something really special to catch the attention of the press and public alike. Something like Napue Gin‘s well-deserved title as “The World’s Best Gin for Gin and Tonic”.
I have a bit of a soft spot for Pothecary Gin; it was the first gin I formally reviewed, it comes from Dorset where my husband and I married, and its signature colour is my favourite too. It’s also a damn fine gin with a fascinating story behind it; a winning combination in my opinion. So you can imagine my delight when Pothecary collaborated with another local business, who produce another one of my favourite vices, and then asked me to review it!
It’s always good when a friend casually mentions that their brother-in-law makes gin. It’s even better when you find out that they don’t just play with primitive homemade gin but make real, proper award-winning gin! This is how I was introduced to Hawthorn’s London Dry Gin, but the real story is even more of a family affair.
Most of us have done it; criticised a product, declared we could do better and dreamed of making it big. Few of us have the guts and wherewithal to give it a go, fewer still the talent to make it a success. But two friends from Dorset have done just that and set the gin world alight. In a true rags-to-riches tail, Lukasz Dwornik and Martin Jennings have, in little more than 18 months, gone from bemoaning the average gins on offer in their local pub to producing one of the most critically acclaimed British gins on the market.