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!

 

 

 

TBGC 10 Gin Example Extraordinaire – Part 2

Last week in TBGC 10 Gin Example Extraordinaire – Part 1, I gave you a brief overview of 5 of TBGC’s recent offerings, half of the 10 they sent me. Well, I am trying to learn to space my drinks out a little more.

And here we are this week with the other 5, including my favourite of the newbies, the Rhubarb Triangle (have you tried it yet? If not, where have you been?!) I guess it should go without saying that Rhubarb was a top player last year and was incredibly popular, especially over the summer. The plant may need sunshine, but the flavour certainly doesn’t and I’ve had great fun experimenting with hot gins using it.

So, without further delay, lets move onto the next 5. Take a seat, make sure you’ve got a good full drink in front of you and let’s get this party started.

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Double-Sloe Gin, Whittaker’s, 44%: This is a delightful offering from Whittakers, based in Harrogate. A mix of sloe gins, sweetened with lovely liqourice. On the nose this gin is sweet with a hint of cherry and underbelly of mossy glade, the sort of smell that evokes a wander through a freshly rained on orchard. The palate is hit with a deeply sweet spice that warms and lingers at the end. This is a surprising and lovely gin, and very versatile. definitely one to be used in cooking and hot gins as well as a cooler, longer drink.

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Hot Sauce Gin, FEW, 46.2%: Well, this is rather special! Anyone I know who loves their spice needs to hop on board this asap! Made as a limited addition with American heavyweight FEW, bourbon is held in barrels that have held bourbon and then hot sauce. The bourbon is then re-distilled with juniper, Guajillo  peppers and Ancho chillies. This a truly inventive and magical gin. The boom of heat on the palate is delicious and has me immediately thinking about trying it in marinades, or having it to sip on whilst eating spicy food. This is a real piece of work, this one.

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Finger Lime Gin, 46%: Ever heard of finger limes? Me neither. From checking the description I became curious and did some research. They are such a brilliantly interesting fruit. Partly citrus and partly not, break open the skin to release a plethora of small juicy balls, commonly compared to caviar. Needless to say, the gin is delightful. Fresh with a zingy tartness on the nose moving through to a sweeter palate and a short, floral vanilla finish. This is a fab gin, would be good in citrus cocktails or long, summer coolers.

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Rhubarb Triangle Gin, 46%: Made using rhubarb from the Rhubarb Triangle located between Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield, this is an incredible gin. Achieving a huge fruity flavour in gin generally comes at the sacrifice of the ABV and the gin becomes a liqueur. Not that there’s anything wrong with liqueurs, I just personally prefer gins. Rhubarb has been a popular botanical over the summer months, both in liqueur and gin form that has a more subtle fruit. This gin has it all. It’s an overwhelmingly juicy, spicy hit of rhubarb. Amazing for cooking and cocktails, I’d say. Absolutely bursting with flavours, I’m a little in love with this one.

Strawberry and Balsamic Gin, 40.1%: Not one for the faint hearted, this is a peculiar gin. Even more peculiar that there is little online about it as yet (and no picture either, sorry!) But its amazing and definitely deserves a mention. Now I’m aware of strawberries with balsamic glaze, and despite being one of those flavours some people don’t like, I think the flavours compliment each other well. I was unsure what to expect with it in gin form. Balance is key in this recipe and TBGC have done very well. Classified as a fruit gin, the strawberry flavour is rich, decadent and seductive. The balsamic comes through just at the right level and rumbles on into the finish, not to override the thick juicy strawberry, but to bring another element that almost likens it to a wine or port in flavour.

But where oh where do we get our delicious gins! I hear you cry! The usual suspects Master of MaltAmazonThat Boutique-y Gin Company, plus various other shops and retailers. Not so sure on the Strawberry and Balsamic yet, but I’ll find out and let you know.

So, there we have it. 5 gins into my day and it’s only 4pm. What a fabulously productive start. Thank you so much for taking the time to send the gins to me Boutique-y. I’m super impressed and as always, I’m keen to try out any more you want to throw my way.

 

TBGC 10 Gin Example Extraordinaire – Part 1

That Boutique-y Gin Company are doing rather well for themselves.

I’ve got 4 bottles of various gins here and I’m trying to write a focused article on each one. (Lot’s to look forward to at Ginfluence HQ). The same day I start this little project, I get a parcel from TBGC with 10 samples of recent additions to their family of fantastic tinctures. I feel delightfully spoilt. I’ll cover 5 today, 5 next week, only to draw out the pleasure, dear reader.

They’ve got so much to offer! Working with existing distilleries and gins to create inventive spin offs and also their own one off gins.

So lets get started. It’s the quick fire round!

neroli-gin-that-boutiquey-gin-company-ginNeroli Gin, 46% : A rather special gin for the lovers of floral flavours, it uses Neroli oil which is extracted from the blossom of bitter orange trees. That bitterness is evened out beautifully by the addition of spicy juniper. Apparently it takes a tonne of flowers to make 1 kg of oil, and with the first batch at only 718 bottles, this is a pretty precious gin. With an opening heavy with floral, sweet spicy citrus palate and lingering finish. It’s going to be fantastic for cocktails and summer coolers.

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Pan-Pacific Gin, Farallon Gin, 46%: An American Dry Gin, the idea being to contain botanicals from each side of the pacific. The signature botanicals in the instance are yuzu and schisandra berries. There’s a sweetness to this gin, vanilla kind of flavour that gives it the feel of an old tom. This is twisted nicely with spice and the warmth of juniper. This one is relatively simple in flavours on the palette, and worth owning because of the idea itself. For fans of TBGC 7 Continents Gin.

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Cucamelon Gin, 46%: Well, here was me thinking that this gin would be a blend of cucumber and melon botanicals but as it stands, the cucamelon is its own thing, a fruit that looks like a small watermelon but tastes like cucumber with a slightly limey element. Soft and sweet in flavour, with a well balanced kick of juniper on the nose, lime pudding richness. The lime flavour does have a surprising kick. I’ll be sure to experiment with this in long, gin coolers when the summer returns.

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CitroLondon Dry Gin, Fifty Eight Gin, 45%: A London Dry Gin, this has a fantastic story! So, the Fifty Eight Distillery has worked with author of 101 Gin To Try Before You Die, Ian Buxton, to create this lovely little nod to London’s distilling history. There is an unusual and ancient little citrus that’s been growing in London for eons, so what a fantastic idea to use that citrus to create a London Dry. Fantastic idea and fantastic gin. Massive citrus flavours that become more spicy as the flavour develops. Citrus gins are growing in popularity with fresh flavours. This one is a cracker.

chocolate-cherry-gin-mcqueen-that-boutiquey-gin-company-ginChocolate Cherry Gin, Mqueen, 42%: A marvellous creation, with sour cherry and cocoa. There is a delightful desert element, with notes of forest gateaux and kirsch soaked cherry. Although it seems like a particular flavour, and maybe not so adaptable, there’s a lot you can do with this gin. It’s not only good for sipping, it would also work wonderfully with cooking and my favourite is slipping it into a hot chocolate for an ultimate toe curling comforter and deeply sweet nights sleep. Perfect to see us through the next few cold months. I’ll take 2 please.

I normally put links to the relevant sites, but we know who they are, don’t we? Master of MaltAmazon, as well as local suppliers. But full details can be found at the ‘where to buy’ section on TBGC’s website.

I’m feeling pretty good after getting stuck into these 5 special gins. Do tune in next week where I’ll be covering the others: Double Sloe Gin, Whittakers, Hot Sauce Gin, Finger Lime Gin, Strawberry and Balsamic Gin and the absolutely stunning Rhubarb Triangle gin, which seems to tickle every available rhubarb sensor in the mouth. Well done TBGC! Keep up the good work, and do please keep sending them my way!

 

 

Let the festivities begin! – That Boutique-y’s Yuletide Gin!

It’s Christmas!

Well, almost. But that’s close enough, right? With all this dashing around, find the perfect gifts for everyone, it’s important to take a minute to yourself to well, have a little indulgence too.

At That Boutique-y Gin Company, they claim to have ‘distilled Christmas’, in their new Yuletide gin. And, with the incredible list of botanicals, I’m inclined to agree with them. Are you sitting comfortably?

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Juniper, cassia, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins, medjool dates, cloves, allspice, clementine, cardamom, ginger, whole pomanders (oranges studded with cloves), Basam and Douglas Fir Christmas tree needles, Christmas cake, charred oak, chestnuts, Christmas puddings, lebkuchen, mince pies, panettone, a whole gingerbread house and finally, to give it that final finish of Christmas, frankincense, myrrh and 24ct gold flakes which give it a beautiful snowglobe effect. Believe me when I say that I have shaken the bottle several times since getting my hands on it.

An absolutely amazing list, but how does it taste? As good as you’d hope, seeing as its packed with more goodies that a Christmas stocking. The nose is beautiful, smelling sweetly of juicy Christmas pudding warm spice and with a hint of the pine needles on the finish, giving a foreshadowing of the excellent balance between so much rich flavour and the juniper. As we move into the palette we have the exquisite balance of clementine, pudding and confectionery, all those sweet and spicy flavours we associate with picking at by an open fire. The finish leaves us with the appropriate lingering of glace cherry, the cherry on top of what is a wonderful, wonderful gin.

There’s a lot you can do with this. As a basic G&T it works fantastic with Aromatic tonic and orange twist, a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds to give it some extra panache.

There are alternative recipes on That Boutique-y Gin’s website here, including a White Christmas Negroni and a Fireside Punch. I’ll also be taking the festive period to experiment with some hot gin recipes.

Another successful offering from Boutique-y. Well done!

Yuletide gin is available from most online retailers such as Amazon, and Master of Malt.

Merry Christmas! Cheers!