It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – GIVEAWAY TBGC’s Yuletide gin: Terms and Conditions

Terms and Conditions for retweet and win a bottle of TBGC’s Yuletide gin

Thanks for taking An interest in the Twitter competition to win a bottle of TBGC Yuletide gin.

Yuletide Gin (That Boutique-y Gin Company)

A competition must have terms and conditions. If you’d like to enter, I’d ask that you do look at the terms and conditions. If you retweet and enter, I’ll take it that you’re happy with the rules.

  • 18+ UK entry only.
  • Enter by retweeting the competition tweet. You can only retweet once and must not use duplicate accounts.
  • 1 winner will be selected at random, winning a 50cl bottle of Yuletide gin in time for Christmas.
  • Competition will run for 3 days and will run from 9.45pm 12.11.18 – 9.45pm 15.11.18. I’ll be announcing the winner on 16.11.18 and getting in contact for your address.
  • No purchase necessary. No payments to be taken. This is a free bit of festive fun.

GOOD LUCK!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – TBGC’s gin advent calendar, plus win a bottle of Yuletide gin.

After keeping schtum for the last few weeks, I can talk now without getting too much stick, I hope.

I love Christmas. I’m one of those disgusting Christmas people. I want to put the decorations up asap and spend at least a month inside in front of the tree making Christmas crafts surrounded by all the festive goodies. The cheesy feel good films, the jolly, jingle bell sodden music. I love it all. The way I see it, if you can put the pressures to buy big aside, it really boils down to the opportunity to spend time with those you love the most. And, as life gets increasingly busy, I like to take all the opportunity I can for that.

Bearing this in mind, I’ve got a treat for you. I’ve teamed up with That Boutique-y Gin Company to offer you a festive treat, the opportunity to win a bottle of their Yuletide gin for yourself to share with friends around the fire, or perhaps in front of Die Hard. It is a Christmas film. To me, anyway.

Yuletide gin is just fabulous. It has just about every Christmassy flavour you can possibly imagine, crammed in to one bottle. I’d tell you all of those botanicals, but from the mejool dates to the entire gingerbread house, the list is quite overwhelming. Plus, I’d be repeating myself. I wrote a little bit on their gin last year and with one click you can read the list here. You can buy a 50cl bottle online, but at the end of this post I’ll tell you how you can enter a competition to win one for yourself.

Yuletide Gin (That Boutique-y Gin Company)

TBGC have been very kind to me this year. Not only have they given me a bottle of gin to give away to you fine lot, but they’ve also given me a Boutique-y advent calendar, filled with 24 of their delicious creations. It makes the festive season all the better. Last year I got the pleasure of opening doors to their calendar, in exchange for showing off some of the serves. This year I only had to create one serve which they will post on the day of the gin in the calendar. I already knew what I wanted to do. When the day of my serve comes, I hope that you like it.

Gin advent calendars are really rather popular and I can see why. Last year my December was transformed for having a surprise gin to come home to every day. If you’re interested in getting hold of one of their calendars for yourself or someone you know then you can do that through various sites: Master of Malt, Amazon, 31 Dover and IWOOT. I’ll leave it up to you to decide your preference there.

So, if you’d like to win the gin, just keep an eye out on my Twitter (@TheGinfluence). In the next 24 hours, you’re going to see a simple retweet to win. The competition will run for 3 days and I’ll pick one lucky winner out of my santa hat, to be announced on Friday.

So, keep your eyes peeled and good luck!

 

 

 

The Folkore Collection – Stirling Gin

One of the things that really hooked me into gin in the first instance was the enormous wealth of stories. It was all the history, the incredible tales that were being unearthed by distillers and brought to the public eye as the heart and soul of their product. Stirling gin have created a lovely little thing with their folklore collection, two delightful offerings in the form of gin liqueurs that have been born through two fantastic old stories.

The first is the Red Cap, a delicious gin liqueur made with Stirling’s own gin and Scottish raspberries.

If you meet a wicked Red Cap on your walk through the countryside you may find yourself spirited away to the fairy realm, a place of ghosts, magic and bloody mischief. We just hope you can find your way back.

The legend of the red cap comes from border folklore set around the Anglo-Scottish borders. The Red Cap was said to be a short, thick man, also said to be a goblin. He tended to inhabit castles on the border that had experienced wickedness or tyranny. The red of the cap comes from the act of soaking up blood of his victims. Apparently if you are unlucky enough to come across this creature, you can drive him away by quoting scripture and he’ll burst into flames leaving a tooth where he once stood. You can find out more about him here.

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Well the drink itself. 25.5% and a vivid red, which as you can see from the photo is not far from the red of the raspberries themselves. I kept it simple, pouring it over ice with a few raspberries for good measure. The raspberry taste is very natural and you also get a heavy hit of juniper which along with the ABV, gives the liqueur a lively punch. There is a slight viscosity to it and it’s a wonderfully rich drink over a a good amount of ice. The recommendation is over ice or in a bit of bubbly and I was most disappointed that my house is currently bubbly free, as I believe it would excel as a combination.

As for the Green Lady, this is a more unusually flavoured bramble and mint liqueur.

Often seen in the grounds of Stirling Castle, the ghost of the Green Lady likes to watch the townspeople go about their business. Once an attendant of Mary Queen of Scots, she perished in a fire while saving her Queen.

The Green Lady is a sad tale from Stirling Castle of a young highland girl who attend Mary Queen of Scots. She was a superstitious lass and became convinced that there was going to be a fire and spent the night awake for the Queens safety. The night was long and despite her efforts she succumbed to tiredness, falling asleep and setting fire to the queens curtains with her candle. Mary survived the incident but the poor girl died. It seemed her concerns had been misplaced and perhaps you can’t change fate after all. I researched the story of the Green Lady here. It’s a very interesting post that also documents the other ghostly ladies at Stirling Castle.

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As for the liqueur, it’s 24%, and a lovely deep ruby colour. Delicious bramble and mint, just the thing to make potions with. Considering the flavours, we’ve got a nice little, simple twist on a Gin Bramble on our hands. I poured mine over a lot of ice and lemon slice and gave it a little swirl. Again, the flavour has a good hit to it so I added another slice of lemon to cut through it but it was lovely. Amongst those berry flavours the mint is bold and fresh, which gives a great vibrancy to the flavour. Lots of ice and lemon and this liqueur sings a beautiful song.

Reading up on Stirling gin, they have an interesting story. You can find out more about them on their site.

The labels of the bottle are absolutely worth a mention, created by artist Ritchie Collins, based on the shores of Leith. The artwork is beautiful. There is something mysterious and almost somewhat sinister about the black line work and vivid red and green foil filling.

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The 50cl bottles cost £24.99 + £2.95 postage and are available to buy from Stirling’s online shop. They’ve got a great site and a great many products on there so do have a little forage and maybe you’ll uncover some more of the magical and the mysterious.

 

 

Gin of the Year 2018 – The results are in!!

A few months ago I attended the wonderful Bombay Sapphire Distillery to judge for the Gin of the Year Award 18.

The results are in! I’ve just received the press release and I’m delighted to share it with your good selves.

“The Craft Distilling Expo are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Gin of the Year Competition. Entries came from around the world and were all launched in the past year or, if older, had never been judged at the competition before.

The judging panel consisted of distillers, professional gin judges, drinks writers, and gin connoisseurs.

The event was kindly hosted at Laverstoke Mill, home of Bombay Sapphire and special thanks go to Sam Carter and Dr Anne Brock, as well as the judges and the custodian of the competition’s score system, Sara Smith.

All gins were tasted blind and scored from 0-100. The Three top-scoring Classic, Contemporary, and Signature Botanical gins were then judged in a second round with tonic water to determine the winner of each category.”

So, let’s see who won!!!

Best Classic Gin 2018
Dartmouth English Gin, Dartmouth Distillery Company

Classic Gin – Highly Commended
Henstone Gin, Henstone Distillery
Domestique Gin, Puddingstone Distillery

Best Contemporary Gin 2018
Gin EVA Mallorca, Winterling Maier CB

Contemporary Gin – Highly Commended
Bathtub Gin Explorer’s Edition, Ableforth’s
Gata Gin, Colonel’s Microbrewery & Distillery
Procera Gin, Procera Distillery

Best Flavoured Gin 2018
Makar Cherry Gin, Glasgow Distillery Co.

Flavoured Gin – Highly Commended
Double-Sloe Gin, Whittaker’s Gin (That Boutique-y Gin Company)

Best Signature Botanical Gin 2018
Finger Lime Gin, That Boutique-y Gin Company

Signature Botanical Gin – Highly Commended
Pink Grapefruit Gin, Haven Gin
Mojito Gin, Conker Spirit (That Boutique-y Gin Company)

Best Aged Gin 2018
Greensand Ridge Rye Cask Gin, Greensand Ridge Distillery

Aged Gin – Highly Commended
Aged Perry’s Tot, New York Distilling (That Boutique-y Gin Company)

“The Craft Distilling Expo brings together the world’s pre-eminent distillers, still makers, packagers, marketers, professionals, and connoisseurs – all participants in this newly expanding industry – in an Expo and Conference offering talks, workshops and displays, and including the annual Gin of the Year competition. This year’s Expo was held on Wednesday 26th – Thursday 27th September at the Boiler House, Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane.”

For more information, please visit http://www.distillingexpo.com.

 

Calling all distillers! – Registration opens for ADI Judging of Craft Spirits Awards

Calling all distillers!

As you may know, I’m heading out to San Francisco to judge in the American Distilling Institutes, Judging of Craft Spirits Awards in January. Excited doesn’t quite cover it.

As their website states, “The American Distilling Institute (ADI) is the oldest and largest organization of small-batch, independently-owned distillers in the United States. Founded in 2003 by Bill Owens, the organization has grown from a few dozen distillers to more than 1,000 paid members. In 2015, more than 1,500 people attended ADI’s 12th Annual Distilling Conference and Vendor Expo, in Louisville.”

Their mission is an admirable one, “To promote and defend the art and enterprise of craft distilling. Through our programs of economic development, academic research and education, ADI generates greater public awareness and appreciation for the quality and variety of artisan spirits and brings greater benefits to the larger society in which we live.”

Have you thought of entering your spirit? Or do you know someone who makes spirits?

Well, I’ve had word that registration is open! The competition is not just open to gin, but lots of other spirits too. In fact, I’ve been given a selection of codes to give a discount on entry for some other spirits. So, if you know of anyone producing Armagnac, Cognac, Cachaca, Pisco and Mexican Spirits then please don’t hesitate to share this with them and do ask them to get in touch. The codes reduce entry fees for non ADI members by $100. Plus, if you enter your spirit by November 19th you get a further $50 off too. Further more, if you are a member of the Gin Guild then you are only charged the price of an ADI member.

I’ve had a little look at the entry notes:

“ADI accepts US and International entries in all classes and categories of distilled spirits, RTDs, cocktail bitters, aperitif & fortified wines from small and medium-scale producers (with maximum annual sales of 750,000 Proof Gallons).”

“All spirits entered will receive written feedback from our expert judges, be considered for awards both for the spirit and the packaging, and be evaluated to see if they if they meet the standards for ADI’s. Certification of Craft Spirits at no additional cost or paperwork. Award winners will receive physical awards as well as digital renderings of all applicable medals, awards and certifications.”

So, for those of you award hunters out there who love blinging up your gin, find out all you need to know and start the registration process here.

 

 

Underground Spirits – You call that a gin? This is a gin

Underground Spirits came into my life some time ago. I’ve been intending to write about them for a long time, longer than it should have been.

I first met Underground Spirits whilst working as a Brand Ambassador. Two lovely ladies approached me for a little help and direction as they were new into the UK from Australia and wanted a bit of guidance to get things started and get out there.

Sure, I said, it’s always nice to help someone. They left me a sample bottle and went on their way. We emailed for a while and then drifted off.

viv and claudia

6 months pass and I’m sat at the World Gin Awards. I get talking to a couple of ladies who after a minute I recognise as the Claudia Roughley and Vivien Pailas, the two lovely ladies from Underground Spirits. Fate has spoken. They sent me a full bottle, I moved house, I finished University and suddenly we’re here.

They have been incredibly patient. Thank you.

So, let’s get started. Underground Spirits had my hooked almost immediately on their idea. “It’s not what you put into gin, but what you take out”, Claudia proudly told me. The basis of their gin begins with good quality botanicals, but it’s the method of filtration that makes it something special. Medical grade filtration equipment is used to filter at sub-zero temperatures, removing impurities and leaving the gin tasting super clean.

I’m only aware of one other company that filters then gin post distillation. I’m sure there are more out there, but it’s certainly not the most common method of production. So how much does this affect the flavour of the gin? Well, it does give a certain level of clarity. The botanicals seem to shine. There is a freshness and a cleanliness to it that set it off in comparison to a lot of other gins.

As Vivien explains, “Our point of difference is that we use medical technology in our distillation process. Using a process learned through IVF tech in Toby’s day job’ as a fertility specialist, he developed and subsequently patented a cryofiltration process that eliminates impurities post distillation. This basically involves the cooling down of the spirit to minus 30 degrees and then passing it through a series of blood filtration membranes (or nano filters). The cool temperatures allows the impurities in the spirit crystalise and clump together and then we pass it through these nano filters which go down to about .02 microns, which means none of those impurities get through, so it eliminates the alcohol burn you usually feel when you drink alcohol.”

The filtration technique was created by Underground Spirits founder, Toby Angstmann, a Dr and IVF specialist. After some time perfecting the technique to create his vodka in his garage, Sister Claudia wanted to create a gin and after putting herself through a gin making course she found herself equipped to create a gin using Toby’s pristine base, focused around punchy Australian botanicals.

And being an Australian gin, does it carry any of the Australian terroir? I am confident to say yes, with botanicals such as Lemon Myrtle, and Tasmanian Pepperberry, which gives the gin that familiar warm spicy that is apparent in a lot of Australian gins. This alongside a strong gin base with the addition of Poppyseeds and Black Pepper give the gin a lovely punch to its naturally earthy flavour. The earthiness works well in cocktails and Underground Spirits do have various cocktail recipes to view on their website. If you want a simple G&T then consider garnishes like orange, mint or lemon thyme.

There are other variations becoming available, one that is particular enticing is the Shiraz Pepperberry Gin, a variant that came about from an experiment and is soon to be a permanent member of the Underground Spirits range. I’m a big fan of the Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz so I’m incredibly excited to try some of Undergrounds delightful cask aged.

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Underground spirits are around a year and a half old now, and they’ve had a fantastic first year. Spreading from their base in Canberra to launching in London at the German Gymnasium, a restaurant and cocktail bar set in a fantastic Grade 2 listed building in Kings Cross, and what was once the first ever purpose built gym in England. This along with awards beginning with gold at the Global Spirits Awards in Vegas. Their achievements are a testament to their ambition, with them to soon open a larger distillery and intending to move beyond Australia and the UK into other export markets.

“We use the Vodka as our base spirit which has won a Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition this year. We are the only Aussie Vodka to pick up a double gold. We also won a silver medal for the Gin at the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, a Silver at the IWSC & Bronze at the 2018 International Spirits Challenge. I know awards aren’t everything but they certainly help us add credibility to what we do, our process and the quality of the product.”

There has been a notable rise in availability and popularity in Australian spirits here in the UK, due to their unusual and comforting flavour profiles. I’m not at all surprised to see Underground Spirits growing steadily here. Their creative attitude towards processes and botanicals is sure to keep them afloat in the market. It really is a great gin.

You can get your hands on some of their Signature Gin or Vodka on their website. Well done guys! Thoroughly enjoying your work. Please do give me a shout when the Shiraz Pepperberry is available!

Carrying the Torch – The Gin Sessions

Recently I wrote an article on By Ginvitation Only, a new gin experience started by two of my friends who used to work in the Events team for Gin Festival Ltd. And, two of the staff of the twenty seven that found themselves out of work when Gin Festival Ltd announced it was going into administration.

Since the sad collapse of the company, I’ve taken great comfort in seeing the team blossoming into life post Gin Festival Ltd. They’re such an incredibly talented and hard working bunch and with their rich experience, morals and work ethic, they’ve got a lot to bring to the table.

Many of the people that I’ve spoken to since the festivals finished, have said how sad they are as they were such a good event. Well, I’ve got some very good news for you, someone has picked up that torch and is making a run with it.

Naomi Good, another Gin Festival team mate has started ‘The Gin Sessions’. In her words it’s “a much more scaled down version of Gin Festival Ltd”. Naomi wants to focus on putting on good events, working with excellent brands and continuing to share the love of all things gin.

“Over the last four years I have worked endlessly to manage our events program but sadly couldn’t control the commercial decisions that were being made so I saw a slow collapse of a business and community that I loved.”

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She acknowledges the determination needed to start up. “My competition is fierce. I have no external funding just me, a lap top, passion and some awesome contacts. I know I can throw a good gin event, my biggest challenge is selling that to people, getting them on board and getting them to purchase a ticket and attend an event.”

“Starting out with zero social presence is terrifying. So far, I have launched two events and the response has been really positive. I’m getting positive responses from previous work colleagues, brands are being very supportive and potential customers are getting on board.” So far Naomi has set up a Facebook page and Twitter page and due to her being known from Gin Festival Ltd is already picking up lots of followers which bodes well.

“It is with great pleasure I present to you, The Gin Sessions, a small independent festival driven by passion and the desire to explore new and exciting gins.”

“At The Gin Sessions you can expect to find a large selection of gins over 4 bars, some live music to keep your toe tapping and masterclasses from industry experts. We love gin and want to share out passion through a fantastic session packed with a carefully selected variation of gin styles. You will be presented on arrival with your copa style gin glass and a booklet with tasting notes.”

Naomi has organised 2 ‘Sessions’ so far with more on the way.

First up is Bristol, Naomi’s home from home, where she studied Photography in previous years.

The Bristol festival is on:

Saturday 27th October: 12.30 – 17.00
Saturday 28th October: 18.30 – 23.00

The House of Gin cancelled their dates so The Gin Sessions took over. It’s at the Paintworks which is a fantastic venue, an ex factory converted into an events space. Tickets available here.

The second festival is on Hayling Island and is on:

Saturday 3rd November: 12.30 – 17.00
Saturday 3rd November: 18.30 – 23.00

The event will be held at Hayling Community Centre. It will be the Islands first ever gin festival. Tickets available here.

Tickets are £10 (plus £1.37 booking fee) per person. This includes entrance to the festival, your gin glass, gin talks and the gin booklet. Book early to avoid disappointment. Tickets are available through Eventbrite, with built in refund cover.

Naomi’s plan is for five bars. Two classic gin bars, one international gin bar, a flavoured gin bar and a gin cocktail bar. In total there will be approximately sixty gins exhibited with several brand ambassadors which is a great touch. When attending these sort of events it’s so much better when you can meet people who can tell you more about the gins, how they’re made and whats so special about them. There will be focus on local brands for each location as people are proud of where they come from and their local gins. There will also be masterclasses hosted by the brands along with other topics, such as the history of gin and gin cocktails.

In addition to all the gin, Naomi’s well aware of making it a good night with all the extras so there will be local street food and live music.

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“It was really sad when I lost my job, but I’m feeling optimistic. I’m keen to work with as many people from GF as possible. I’ve had awesome support from ex colleagues and I’m hoping to get some of them on board. I’m focusing on small events, no sell out stadiums. I’m wanting each customer to get the opportunity to chat to bar staff, and feel like they have space to roam. No sardines!”

If you have attended any of the previous Gin Festival Ltd festivals, you’ll be able to see where her structure is similar. The bars, masterclasses, copa glass and gin book. What Naomi has been very clever in, is recreating the good aspects of Gin Festival Ltd before it got too big. An event that is intimate, including real interaction with characters in the industry. A genuine, warm and wholesome event that is driven simply for the love of it. Naomi has an enormous wealth of experience in both gin and organising events and her focus is in just the right areas to create some amazing experiences. Well done on picking up that torch and running with it, Naomi. We’re all behind you.

McQueen – More than a changing colour gin

Everybody is raving about the new colour changing gin that they’ve launched at Aldi. I get it, it’s exciting. I’ve seen lot’s of articles about it popping up over the last few days and it’s clearly a highly desirable gin, with its forest fruits flavour and a colour changing nature, as Dale McQueen mentions in this article in the independent, “Not only does our new artisan gin taste great, but it also brings a little bit of theatre to gin o’clock”.

009_McQueenGin_GlassIt’s a clever as well as beautiful. Blue petals from the Asian Butterfly flower change colour when the PH is changed i.e. by adding tonic, or citrus. It’s a magical thing to witness, hence I’m not surprised why everyone is going nuts for it. At £19.99 a 50cl bottle, it’s very reasonably priced. At all the Scottish Aldi’s right now, they’re hoping to roll out out into England. It is my Birthday next month so fingers crossed it’s soon.

I’d like to take this opportunity to talk a little more about McQueen Gin some more. Everyone is loving Aldi at the moment for their cheap gin selection, but it’s McQueen that created and distils this showstopper and McQueen deserve mentioning in a little more detail because they’re a wonderfully creative distillery.

I first came across McQueen through the That Boutique-y Gin Company Advent Calendar. Their Chocolate Cherry Gin is wonderful and is fantastic for cooking or simply for sticking in hot chocolate. The gin is rich in flavour, without losing that juniper nod You can find out a little more about it in my article on some of Boutique-y’s new releases. There is certainly talk on the scene of the merits of gin and chocolate, and on researching McQueen, I found them to be inventive in their ideas and a stickler for doing it right. As they say on their site, their flavours are infused during distillation, not added after. This is a principle that they’re very proud of.

Dale and Vicky 3

Dale ‘the science behind the gin’ McQueen comes from a background working as a chartered mechanical engineer and a career sales professional. Dale spent his first 6 months developing all the initial flavours and has a talent for concocting unique and exciting profiles. Vicky is an experienced Chef and Master Baker, and her flare of culinary creativity is key to creating innovative flavours that set McQueen apart. Their independent gin distillery is the realisation of ‘one couple’s dream’ to create unique and interesting distilled flavour gin. What a beautiful project to share.

They have a varied and unusual selection of flavours. There are the staple Super Premium Dry and Sweet Citrus, but coveting awards across the board. Then we have the more unusual Chilli, or Mocha gins, to name but a few. You can check out the full range in the online gin shop.

Based in Callander, close to Trossachs, which is one of Scotland’s oldest National Parks, they have a beautiful setting in which to make their gins. Distillery visits are on offer. Sounds like a grand holiday to me.

You can find out more information on Mcqueen here. Really excited to see what magic they make next.

 

News – Darnleys Gin Cottage Series Goes Very Berry

This just arrived in my emails. Some might say it’s hot off the press:

31st July 2018 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Darnley’s Gin Cottage Series Goes Very Berry

Darnley's Very Berry Pack Shot

Darnley’s Gin launches ” Very Berry” as the inaugural release in its range of limited editions under the banner, Cottage Series. This is the first recipe to be developed by Scott Gowans in his role as Distiller and the first product to be released from the brand’s new Scottish distillery, adding to the existing three core expressions. Inspiration for the recipe was taken from the countryside in which the Darnley’s Gin cottage sits.

Distiller Scott Gowans in front of cottage PRESS

Distiller Scott commented: “Inspiration for Very Berry came from the countryside of the East Neuk of Fife, home to Darnley’s Distillery. I selected the signature botanicals of sloe berry, rosehip and elderberry which all grow wild around the distillery cottage and sugar kelp which is farmed off the nearby coastline. The overall taste is floral and fruity, giving a different taste profile to the others in the Darnley’s range.”

TASTING NOTE

Nose: Sugar Kelp gives both sweet and salty notes with rosehip adding a fragrance of raspberry and hibiscus.

Palate: Tart and bitter up front with rich fruit from elderberry and sloes.

Finish: Finishing with a sweet and aromatic character over the palate balanced with a coastal mineral flavour reminiscent of the sea breeze at the beach near our distillery.

Developed by Scott on a mini still in the Darnley’s Gin Cottage, the recipe was then scaled up for full distillation using a combination of traditional distillation and vapour infusion. This is the first time Darnley’s Gin has used this in production. 

The four signature botanicals (rosehip, elderberry, sloe berry and sugar kelp) are loaded into a muslin bag and placed into the vapour basket above the pot still holding the neutral grain spirit, juniper, angelica and coriander. This creates the delicate, floral flavours to be embedded in the spirit.

Very Berry perfect serve

SERVING SUGGESTION:  Enjoy 3 ways

•Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic and a red berry garnish

•Tonic and grapefruit garnish

•Good quality grapefruit soda, like Bon Accord Salted Pink Grapefruit Soda.

Just 2100 bottles of Darnley’s Gin Very Berry was produced and is available in a 50cl bottle at 41.5%abv. Very Berry is available in the UK only and is retailing at Darnley’s Gin Distillery, their on line shop and available exclusively through Inverarity Morton for wider distribution.  It has an SRP of £27.95.

-ENDS –

This sounds pretty lovely. I’m loving the idea of those flavours. Fresh, salty, sweet, tart and breezy. They were some extra information included about Darnleys that I’d like to share, a little bit of the history side of things:

Darnley’s Gin was launched in 2010 as ‘Darnley’s View Gin’ by one of Scotland’s longest established and experienced wine and spirits makers, the Wemyss Family (pronounced ‘weems’). Their family seat at Wemyss Castle in the Kingdom of Fife was established in the 14th Century and it is here, in 1565, that Mary Queen of Scots first met her future husband, Lord Darnley – an occasion that inspired the ‘Darnley’s Gin’ name many centuries later.

So there you have it. Keep those news stories coming.

 

News – Fever Tree shares up by 15%

I’ve just read an interesting article in the Guardian that said Fever Trees shares had jumped up by 15%.

I think a lot of us are pleased about this.

Please excuse the rather old feature photo. I read the article and felt compelled to write something. I used this photo when I wrote a little article about Fever Tree 3 years ago when I was able to ask Luke Benson some questions about what they do there. I was working in a gin bar at the time which is how I got the opportunity to talk to him. This was were I first discovered Fever Tree and I’ve never looked back since. There was a lot of passion on them and that really caught my attention. They thought outside the box, with products like the Mediterranean tonic, boasting some incredible savoury flavours and less quinine than most tonics, making a good recommendation for those who are a little sensitive to it.

However, it’s a changing market. Essentially, Fever Tree created the artisan tonic. And, people love a good idea. Nowadays we are spoilt for choice with amazing brands offering everything from the most well balanced tonic you can get (the quinine level is juuuuuusst right), to amazing flavours that have added a whole new level to the scope of flavour you can achieve with a little experimentation and golly, isn’t that one of the fundamental facets of the gin boom.

From your Delightful Double Dutch to your straight up Distillers Tonic, there is everything to play for in this game. And I used to say that perhaps Fever Tree had hit their point. They’d done what they came to do. They changed our idea of what tonic water could actually be. They upped the game and in turn they changed gin and tonic forever. There have been changes. Co-founders Charles Rolls and Tim Warrilow, selling out a stake but still retaining 14%, just enough to still keep their finger in the pie. Where to go from here? Would the quirky new flavours outrun them? How could they adapt?

Well it seems that their reputation has a particular robustness that is almost impenetrable to attack. I speak from experience when I discuss the loyalty of Fever Tree fans. Whilst working as a Brand Ambassador for a gin at Gin Festival Ltd’s events, I witnessed first hand the transition in event sponsorship from Fever Tree to Schweppes and although it could have been worse (no riots as such), it wasn’t a smooth one. Every other question was “What do you think about this?”, “How has this happened?” and simple statements like “This is a mistake”.

I’m going to bold here and I’m going to share my opinion on what was, at the time, a very sensitive topic. When it comes to me, personally, my loyalty lies with Fever Tree. They changed the game. Schweppes have finally realised they had to do something and they had the money to throw at developing a whole new range of premium tonics. The range is good. I love some of the flavours. But the heart was just lacking a little bit, for me. But that’s just my opinion and we’ve all got one of those.

Long live Fever Tree. This resilience to an ever changing market full of innovation and new ideas allows Fever Tree to sit, solid as a rock, with various tonic waters lapping at their sides. Don’t me wrong, they’re not invincible, but all things considered, being “comfortably ahead of forecasts” is a pretty good place to be indeed. I love some of the new tonics coming out, there are some amazing things out there and we really are at a ‘next level’ stage. But, I just love the idea of a beach, and the one, slightly larger stone, slowly eroding over time, with the tonic waters and smaller stones it has created, swirling gently around that steadfast base.