Cheers! For world Gin Day
Last Saturday 8 June was World Gin Day. Last September it was reported that sales of UK gin have doubled in value in the past five years, with exports and domestic sales totalling £2.2 billion in the year ending 16 June 2018.
Description: Angley's Old Tom Gin. Now I love a good G&T, but with the plethora of new artisan gins on the market (and boy, they can charge a premium price!) I find that even by adding a ‘superior’ tonic, it generally masks the unique flavour properties of the particular gin. So quite often I prefer to drink a high-class gin with a dash of soda, or better still with good vermouth. Incidentally, if you are a serious vermouth fan there is a new book just published ‘A Spirited Guide to Vermouth’ by Jack Adair Bevan, which will even tell you how to make your own!
Back to the business of gin… there are a number of different styles of gin, and one I like is Old Tom, which tends to be a bit sweeter than London Dry but is great in a cocktail. Langley’s England Old Tom at £25 a bottle from Ocado (currently on offer at £20) is one I would suggest trying.
How about a French gin? One made by a Calvados producer? Yes, it is delicious. I tried Le Gin de Christian Drouin and it’s très bon. This well-known, and highly respected, producer has created a base spirit from no less than 30 varieties of cider apple. The botanical recipe features a host of floral, spicy, fruity notes and it’s from Normandy of course, so why not treat yourself to a bottle especially after watching that very moving coverage of the D-Day commemorations this week? Around £37 a bottle from Master of Malt.
When you are drinking a G&T don’t automatically serve it with a slice of lemon or lime, check online if necessary for serving recommendations but some gins benefit from other garnishes, such as cucumber (Hendricks), star anise (Opihr), raspberries (Pinkster), strawberries (Blooms) or even a sprig of fresh herbs (rosemary or lavender are particularly good). You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes. And don’t just serve tonic with it – as well as soda, you can try ginger ale that works well with quite a few of the more spicy gins. And of course, there are so many different gins already infused with flavours such as rhubarb, Seville Orange, Pink Grapefruit or Lemon (Malfy gin has some fab examples). And look in supermarkets for a good range of artisan gins at good prices, such as Lidl, Aldi and Marks & Spencer (the delicious Rose Gin and also a Lavender Gin, that change colour when you add the tonic!)