Cocktails with… nginious! gins – from Switzerland!

Nginious was founded by Oliver Ullrich and Ralph Villiger, two chaps from Switzerland that had previously owned a gin bar in Zurich.

nginious Gin Range FINAL

nginious! Swiss Blended Gin (45.0 %ABV)

The first gin that they created was in response to a desire to capture the soul and character of Switzerland in a gin by utilising local botanicals and flavours. The botanicals are distilled in batches and then blended together, in a similar method to that used by Gin Mare.

The Swiss Blended Gin is made using 18 botanicals:
Juniper Berries
Sweet Orange
Liquorice Root
Blackcurrant Leaves*
Hay Flowers*
Clover Blossoms
Laurel Berries
Bee Balm* (part of the mint family)
Carline Thistle Root

nginious swiss blended FINAL

On its own
Nose: Very herbaceous. This has lots of pine and green, leafy alpine notes, along with a gentle ginger spiciness.
Taste: This has an oily texture, with mellow juniper notes and a lightly sappy, sweet, and woody pine flavour coming through. Leafy and herbaceous, with good complexity. The main palate has light notes of citrus, florals, and spice, before the warm spiced notes of ginger and cardamom on the finish, with just a hint of bready sweetness.

Gin & Tonic
Spicy and resinous, with woody, herbal notes and spiced notes such as cardamom and anise. Bold and complex, and a great all-year-round Gin & Tonic.

This cocktail has lots of bright juniper and the intense citrus spice of coriander, before notes of oily citrus peel and, finally, some more woody spice.

Bright and very fruity, with dry juniper and luscious pine notes at the start. These are followed by citrus and spice, especially coriander. This is lighter than many Negronis, in terms of bitterness, but is absolutely packed with flavour.

nginious! Summer Gin (42.0% ABV)

The Summer Gin is made using botanicals that include:
Juniper Berries
Fresh sweet limes
Jasmine blossoms
White pepper
Rhubarb roots

ngInious Summer Gin FINAL

On its own
Nose: Vibrant, fruity, and floral notes, with plenty of zesty citrus that makes it lively and engaging. There are also hints of orchard and stone fruit.
Taste: Perfumed floral notes upfront quickly make way for plump stone fruit: plum, cherry, and peach. This is followed by the citrus zip of coriander, then woody, lightly menthol pepper notes. There’s also a touch of delicate honeyed flowers in the middle of the palate.

Gin & Tonic
Lively and zesty, with lots of exciting citrus notes. This is a plump, refreshing, and truly delicious drink.

Very floral, with jammy hints of rose, violet, and Turkish Delight, followed by plump, fruity citrus and juniper. There’s a hint of crushed, spicy coriander on the finish.

Dry fruit notes, including freshly cut apple and stone fruit, followed by a mellow, bittersweet interplay between the vermouth and Campari. Refreshing, summery, and invigorating.

nginious! Cocchi Vermouth Cask Gin (43.0%ABV)

The third gin that we’re looking at today is an unusual double-aged vermouth cask gin. The Swiss Blended Gin is aged in 225 litre barrels that originally held Cocchi Barolo and then Cocchi vermouth.

The first filling of the barrels from Cocchi is for one week, simply to remove the immediate, heavy flavours of the vermouth – in a way, this is conditioning the barrels for their second filling with high-proof gin. The final gin is a blend of these two aged distillates.

nginious Cocchi Vermouth Cask Gin FINAL

On its own
Nose: Red fruits, pump and juicy before some floral notes come forward reminiscent of an alpine meadow. the comes some of the deep herbal notes commonly associated with vermouth, woody and earthy.
Taste: Very fragrant and lively to start with, plenty of citrus too. In the middle the impact of the wood comes forward bitter woodiness combines with the bitterness of the grapefruit finally a sweet lift of spice on the finish.

Gin & Tonic
This works surprisingly well – many aged gins don’t work so well in a Gin & Tonic, but the Cocchi Vermouth Cask Gin has a great herbal complexity to it that works well alongside the flavours of the tonic water. It’s an intense, dry, and thirst-quenching drink.

Bright, resinous juniper really shines through and, unlike many others that I’ve tried with aged gin, the wood adds a herbal bitterness, followed by a more delicate, woody sweetness.

A complex cocktail with delicious wood and herbal notes; there are also increased vermouth notes from both the spirit and the wine. The pine and juniper come through well, before the lightly bittersweet notes of the Campari.
nginious! Smoked & Salted Gin (42.0%ABV)

Our final gin for today is a very unusual spirit, made with an original botanical recipe of juniper, coriander, bitter orange, ginger, quinces, and chestnuts.

Before their individual distillation, the chestnuts are cold-smoked for 40 hours. The salted element comes from smoked stone salt from the Swiss Alps, which is created by evaporating brine; the resulting salt crystals are spread out and smoked on larch tree boards.

nginious Smoked and Salted Gin FINAL

On its own
Nose: Creamy notes of crème brulee and toasted caramel, along with a hint of smoke and a little salinity.
Taste: The salt flavour is upfront, followed by more smoky flavours, somewhat reminiscent of smoked ham. This is followed by the more traditional gin notes such as juniper, angelica, and citrus spice. Very unusual and complex.

Gin & Tonic
Even with an unflavoured tonic, this works well, but I think that it could excel even more with some of the more herbaceous tonic waters.

A very smooth and smoky Martini – savoury, with hints of smoke cheese and meat, but with great woody notes, too. Complex and unique.

This gin makes an unusual Negroni and its salty element really comes through at the start. The vermouth and smoke flavours mix well together, before a classic bittersweet Negroni finish.

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About DTS

partial to a martini? to a smoke-hazed gin joint & a perfect tipple poured with the style, swank & skill of a true aficionado? …then pull up your stool to the bar, prepare to stock up your cocktail cabinet & get ready to drink it all in as we introduce you to a stitch in times’ resident barman… David T. Smith is a drinks enthusiast currently residing in the U.K. a long-time fan of tasting & exploring various types of alcohol, he has a fascination for vintage spirits and cocktails, in particular their heritage & origins; this was strengthened last year when he presented a talk and accompanying monograph on the Martini. it was as a result of his research of this topic that he was introduced to drinks paraphernalia, & he is now the happy owner of a colourful collection of bottles, books, and gadgets from a wide range of eras… an avid believer in the validity and variety of personal opinion, particularly in the subjective area of tasting, he enjoys hosting tasting sessions for friends, constantly challenging them to find their own favourite tipple. in addition to all of this, he is also interested in economics, three-piece suits, board games & keeping alive the art of engaging in enjoyable conversation with a good glass of port whilst surrounded by pipe smoke… Thanks to Analiebe for writing this rather flattering blurb for me.

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