Since the 2008 opening of the Sipsmith Distillery, London has been swiftly regaining its reputation, both as a hub for British Distilling and as the world centre for gin distillation. In that time, over 10 distilleries have opened, employing a variety of production methods.
Half Hitch Gin is based near Camden Lock in North London, an area that was once home to the Gilbey gin distillery.
Half Hitch Gin (bottled at 40.0% ABV) is made by blending a third party gin distillate with distillates produced in-house; in this instance, distillates of Malawian Black Tea, Calabrian Bergamot, Pepper, Hay, and English Wood. This process is quite common with small distillers in Germany, who will take a gin produced by a contract distillery and add some botanical distillates that they have distilled themselves. Edel Gin is one such example; they add sloes to the mix.
This method allows producers to focus intently on their proprietary botanical mix, ensuring quality in both production and the sourcing of raw materials.
On its own (Room temperature)
Nose: Bright tea and orange citrus notes, then pleasant floral hints of lemongrass.
Taste: This has an excellent, smooth texture to start, followed by a light warmth. There are initial flavours of bold, floral citrus and coriander, before some mid-palate sweetness and spice. The finish is dry, with notes of black tea and cedar.
On its own (Frozen)
The flavours seem more concentrated at this temperature, just as the gin itself seems more concentrated due to its more viscous texture. This is a great way to enjoy Half Hitch Gin.
Gin & Tonic
Not a typical Gin & Tonic, but nevertheless a refreshing drink. There is lots of bright citrus and a delightful dryness from the tea. It all works especially well with a lemon garnish.
This almost tastes like an Aged Gin Martini – it’s complex and has plenty of deep notes of resinous pine and coriander, as well as citrus and spice. Very raising to the appetite.
Warm and spicy on the nose. This is a very smooth Negroni with a gradually building bitterness, which works well alongside the tannins of the tea.
Innovation is great in gin, and it’s always good to see distillers exploring different methods for making the spirit. Half Hitch is a complex gin and my favourite drink was the Martini.