Love you to the moon and back – Moonshot gin.

One small step for gin, one giant leap for gin kind.

Recently, That Boutique-y Gin Company ‘launched’ their latest creation, Moonshot gin.

The concept is a gin made from botanicals that have been sent into space and even a touch of moon rock for authenticity. Launched last month, Batch 1 proved to be incredibly successful. So much so, that Batch 2 is landing in late May with 2,200 bottles at a pokey 46.6% ABV (RRP 32.95 for a 50cl bottle).

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The ambitious project gets it’s name from “the act or procedure of launching a rocket or spacecraft to the moon.”

The botanicals were sent into near-space at altitudes of over 24km and are exposed to an air pressure of less than 1/100th of that at sea level. This is an incredibly low air pressure. After around 18km, where the pressure has dropped to just 1/16th of that at sea level, fluids in the human body will vaporise at body temperature. This is a phenomenon known as Armstrong’s limit.

The botanicals consist of Juniper, Coriander Camomile Flowers, Fresh Lemon Peel, Cardamom, Dried Bitter Orange Peel, Cinnamon, Cubeb Pepper, Liquorice Root, Angelica and Moon Rock from a lunar meteorite. This fruity and spicy mix is then vacuum distilled at room temperature for “freshness and elegance”, the vacumm still achieving pressure of nearer 1/10th of that at sea level.

There’s even a video of the launch available to watch here.

So how does it taste? I’ve never really known the characteristics of moon rock. I can however tell you that it tastes good. Those spices kick through nicely and there’s definitely something a little different in the taste. On the nose we get a sense of coriander and lemon drizzle cake with subtle pepper adding depth. On the palate we have juniper, oleo-saccharum citrus goodness and balancing spice with a finish of bitter lemon and tangerine. 

It’s an interesting idea, one that reminds me of IOW distillery’s HMS Victory Gin, a gin that has been stored in casks made with staves of wood from the ship herself. This idea of flavouring could potentially come across as a simple gimmick, but I think that these things are interesting. Historians ove a bit of HMS Victory Gin and equally all the gin drinking scientists out there have something a bit special for their collection.

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That Boutique-y Gin Company is the world’s first independent gin bottler, releasing small batch gins from some of the world’s best distilleries, brands and minds. They also feature their own creations such as their delicious Cherry Gin and now the Moonshot Gin. Their labels are illustrated by Grae J Ward and often include gindustry ‘in-jokes’ and well known faces.

The gin is now available for purchase at Master of Malt. Batch 1 is still available for those of you who love collecting interesting first batches. No worries for when it runs out though as Batch 2 is already up and ready to go.

 

 

 

Tell me, what’s your flavour?

So, as I see it there are 8 main brackets of gin flavour (Do let me know if you think otherwise). To know and understand these is a good starting point as no matter how well made a gin is, it’s all still a matter of taste. The next step is to understand how each botanical tastes and smells (we’ll get into that another time). Sooner or later you can gauge what bracket a gin will fall into by looking at the listed botanicals.

A list of gins and their flavour brackets can be found in my post Make a suggestion – The gin list This list is sure to grow and if you have any comments – suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

Sweet
I do love a good sweet gin. Old Tom gins are my particular favourite. With a nice hit of liquorice (and sometimes added sugar), the gin has a deep and naturally sweet undertone. Haymans were one of the gin makers to look at reviving this older forgotten recipe (a brief story of old tom is included in my fantastical history of gin). Many have followed suit including those big hitters Tanqueray. Their Old Tom gin is a limited edition (only 150,000 bottles have been produced). If you’re sweet enough then try mixing it with bitter lemon for a well balanced and unusual flavour (this also works fabulously with Cream gin created by the Worship Street Whistling Shop).

Savoury
Savoury flavours are big at the moment and the gin on everyone’s lips has to be Gin Mare (pronounced Mar-ray). Served with basil and Fever Tree’s Mediterranean tonic water it makes for a crisp and refreshing G&T. The rosemary and lemongrass in the tonic sets the sweetness of the basil off nicely. Savoury flavours are bursting with herby botanicals and foodstuffs such as Olives. They also comfortably lend themselves towards other brackets so some fantastic balances can be achieved. Twisted Nose for example, is a wonderful, locally produced gin with peppery watercress and floral lavender.

Spicy
Some like it hot. This is also true with gin. Some G&Ts can be served with a garnish of fresh chilli giving an extra kick to an already warming flavour. Great to take your summer drink right on through the autumn before we’re all drowning in a sea of hot toddies and mulled wine. Bathtub gin is a favourite of mine with hints of comforting clove and orange. Monkey 47 also certainly deserves a mention, with 6 different peppers and one of the longest lists of botanicals in a gin.

Citrus
Gin needs citrus. It’s a fundamental part of most gins and most products use peel for their flavour. There are a handful that don’t, including the world renowned Tanqueray Ten. Tanqueray have also been pretty clever with the creation of Tanqueray Rangpur. Based on an old tradition of using the rare rangpur limes to smooth down the flavour, it delivers a gorgeous hit of fruitiness when sipped on it’s own. There are others out there so if you like your drink a little tart these will be the ones to look into.

Floral
Floral gins are summer in a glass. Delicate and flavoursome they are a stark contrast to the enormity of the Juniper we can taste in standard gin recipes. That said, they are the perfect base for any elderflower cocktail. Bloom is well worth comment. With camomile and honeysuckle it delivers a superbly sweet and gentle flavour. The Botanist Islay is up there as one if my favourites. Created by a whisky distiller, there are at least 31 botanicals in its recipe and 22 are native and hand foraged. The result is a complex floral taste with deep hints of earthiness from the surrounding bog and its as if the drink itself is a homage to our earth.

Dry
This is what most gin drinkers expect and in fact, this is a underlying flavour in the huge majority of gins as Juniper does have a naturally dry taste. For those of us after something special, No 3 London Dry Gin delivers. Keeping the recipe simple with only 3 fruits and 3 spices used, it’s clean, crisp and everything you expect from gin. This drink stands for good quality and makes the valuable statement that excellence comes from simplicity, just as much as complexity.

Juniper Driven
One for the true gin drinker. Juniper is the original and definitive gin flavouring. Although we’ve had a recent explosion in flavour experimentation there are some drinkers that feel if you can’t fully taste the juniper, it’s not a real gin. A wonderful example is Sipsmiths VJOP (Very Junipery Overproof). At 57% – Navy rum strength, this stuff really packs a wallop. There are plenty of other gins that are juniper driven but still carry a notable background flavour.

Liqueur
There are a variety of tasty gin liqueurs to be tried. Being a liqueur the abv is much lower than the standard 40% and at around 20% they are lovely to sip over ice. Spencerfield Edinburgh gin have a fabulous range including a raspberry one that really tickles me in the right places. I’ve also found it works brilliantly as a replacement for desert wine.