This week, the World of Gin takes a trip to the Southern Hemisphere and to New Zealand to take a look at South Gin. South Gin, in its distinctive, tall bottle is made by the same folks as 42 Below Vodka in Auckland, New Zealand (North Island). “42 Below” is named in reference to the 42 parallel circle of latitude that runs through New Zealand.
Bottled at 40.2% ABV, South Gin contains 9 botanicals:
Nose: Juniper, citrus, anise and a slightly fruity, bubblegum quality, as well as a hint of sarsaparilla.
Taste: Very, very smooth and soft, this is one of the smoothest gins that I have tried. There were good notes of juniper, citrus and a sweet earthiness, with more hints of anise and sarsaparilla (the base of root beer). The sweetness reminds me of pastis, such as Ricard or Pernod.
As expected, this was also very smooth and a little thicker, but something that I hadn’t anticipated was that the sassafras and wintergreen, herbal elements are even stronger. Additionally, it was a touch sweeter.
3) Gin & Tonic
The juniper came through more in this drink, making it very refreshing, despite there being the same earthy sweetness, too; liquorice, anise and sassafras notes were all present. I thought this tasted like a cross between pastis and a G&T; most odd, but rather tasty.
South made a particularly soft and smooth Martini. The crisp dry vermouth went well with the sweet herbal notes of the gin, creating a drink with good balance. Whilst this isn’t a Classic Martini, it’s still very, very smooth and quite accessible.
Much less bitter than most Negronis, this cocktail had a herbal, cordial-like sweetness to it. It was quite smooth, but perhaps a bit sticky. It reminded me, in part, of the old Campari Liqueur.
This was very good, indeed; the sweet, jammy and earthy notes of the gin came through well and the soda water and lemon juice lifted the character of the gin, making for a very refreshing sipper.
Quite nice; the elements of anise and sarsaparilla worked well alongside the ginger, making for a rather tasty and refreshing drink that wasn’t too sweet and had a pleasant tartness.
8) Pink Gin
Again, the sarsaparilla and anise were prominent and worked very well with the bitters of this drink. This was quite sweet and herbally complex, but may be a touch too sweet for some.