Cocktails with… Williams CHASE Seville Orange Gin

Earlier this year, I wrote about orange gin, a long-lost cocktail ingredient made by Gordon’s (amongst others). I even had a go at [making my own recreation]. At one time, flavoured gins were all the rage, from common flavours such as orange and lemon, to the more outlandish and whacky likes of maple, celery and even asparagus!

The last orange gins were snuffed out in the 1990s, with Beefeater and Bloomsbury being among the last to go, although it is still possible to buy bottle of Bloomsbury for a pretty reasonable price.

As a result, I was pretty excited to see a bottle of the new Chase Orange Gin on a recent trip to Graphic Bar, whose gin selection is the biggest in London, if not the UK.

Although made differently, the Orange Gin follows on from Chase’s success with their Marmalade Vodka. The difference between the two is that the vodka is distilled with orange peel, whereas the gin is infused with orange peel after distillation; this maturation time is determined by taste (tested every half hour) and can vary from 8 to 24 hours.

The gin itself is in the same style as the Williams Crisp Gin in that it is made from cider apples, but the botanical mix is different; the 9 botanicals of Chase Seville Orange Gin are:

Juniper Berries
Coriander Seed
Angelica Root
Lemon Peel
Orange Peel
Orris Root
Liquorice Root
Angelica Seed
Elderflower flower

The Taste

1) On its own
Nose: Dry to start, then packed with sweet, fruity notes like a luscious hot cross bun. There’s a distinctive hint of sweet seville peel, too.
Taste: This is a smooth gin, with a tiny hint of sweetness and only a little warmth builds towards the end. The prominent taste is of sweet seville orange peel, rather like marmalade. There’s also a long, dry finish. Quite excellent and most sippable.

2) Gin & Tonic
Lovely – the dryness of the gin and the bitterness of the tonic are laced with the deep, jammy and slightly sweet flavour of seville orange peel (or marmalade, if you prefer). No garnish is needed for this tasty drink, which would be such a treat for summer. Outstanding.

3) Martini
Excellent – lots of zesty orange a touch of fragrance and a hint of spice. This is very crisp and very, very tasty and, unlike many other orange gins, Chase Seville Orange is not too sweet, which makes it a good fit in a Dry Martini.

4) Negroni
This is a really nice Negroni. The gin shines through with, obviously, plenty of orange, but the marmalade aspects of the gin are somewhat subdued. Balanced and not too bitter, this has a rather charming, chocolatey finish. This produces a Negroni that’s a little bit different and performs that difficult feat of both converting some anti-Negroni folks (Mrs. B liked it) and pleasing traditionalists.

5) Sweet Martini
This drink is full of flavour, with the orange marmalade notes shining through. There are also great herbal notes, with a dry, juniper finish. Raising to the appetite, this could be the perfect drink to impress arriving guests with before dinner.

I also decided to try it out in a couple of classic Orange Gin recipes.

6) Classic #1: Comet
[30ml Orange Gin, 30ml Lillet Blanc, 2 drops Maraschino – STIR]
Dryer than a usual Comet, but just as tasty, this is clean, crisp and another excellent pre-dinner drink. The orange notes of the Lillet complement the orange in the gin well.

7) Classic #2: Moulin Rouge
[30ml Orange Gin, 10ml AB, 3 drops of Gran – STIR]
This is probably THE Orange Gin cocktail (if there is such a thing); a simple and short drink. With Chase Seville, the drinks is crisp yet with some berry sweetness and a spicy note a nice sipper as an after dinner tipple.

Finally I wanted to try out the gin’s seasonable effectiveness so tried it out in a drink for each season:

8) Autumn Buck
[30ml Chase Seville Orange Gin, top-up with ginger ale – STIR]
Ginger upfront, followed by zesty, jammy notes of orange. There’s a dash of ginger wine or ginger liqueur, which makes it more warming without taking away the citric refreshment. Rather good, with a good amount of juniper, too.

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9) Winter Toddy
[30ml Chase Seville Orange Gin, 15ml Lemon Juice, 15ml Honey, 80ml Hot Water]
This is a warming and comforting drink. It is important to not overdo the lemon juice, as there is a obviously a fair amount of orange from the gin. You can also get creative with the garnish: I used star anise, but a sprinkle of cinnamon powder, some cloves or orange would do just as well.

10) Spring Collins
[40ml Chase Seville Orange Gin, 20ml Elderflower Cordial, 20ml lemon juice – Top Up with Soda Water]
Crisp and zesty, with tangy orange and sweet elderflower notes, all signing off with a pleasantly tart finish. There’s a little bit of floral, too, making this quite light and refreshing, just like Spring.

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11) Summer Sour
[30ml Chase Seville Orange Gin, 30ml Lemon Juice, 30ml Sugar Syrup – Build over Ice and Stir ]
This is lovely; very, very crisp and clean. The flavour is of the gin initially, followed by the rich, sweet orange notes. This is a short drink, but bursting with freshness. It would make a lovely, late afternoon drink to enjoy outside.

In Conclusion
I think I’ve demonstrated the excellent versatility of the Chase Seville Orange Gin, using it in drinks from crisp coolers to winter warmers. Having a little experience with the orange gins of old, I think that this product brings the idea bang up-to-date and – importantly – gives people the choice to add extra sugar or not. The lack of sugar is also a sign of the quality of distillation and a note of distinction between spirits in the 21st Century, compared to those of the early 20th Century.

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Seagram’s Sunday – Seagram’s Apple Twisted Gin

This is the first of nine installments where I will be featuring products from Seagram’s Gin. Before we crack on, I need to offer my profound thanks to Seva in the US for sending me a rather lovely selection of these gins, as well as a number of other interesting products; this series of articles is dedicated to him.

 

Released in 2007, Seagram’s Twisted Apple is part of the company’s fruit-flavoured gin range, which also includes gins with flavours of: orange, lime, raspberry and purple grape. Flavoured gins used to be all the rage, starting off with cordial gins in the 1930s and moving on to more contemporary flavoured dry gins in the 1980s and ‘90s. In days gone by, almost all of the big names, including Gordons, Beefeater and Plymouth, all made flavoured gins.

Apple Gin, interestingly enough, was once very popular in England and Scotland. I looked at recreating it and some cocktails here. As such, I was intrigued to try Seagram’s Twisted Apple; here are my thoughts.

On its own:
Nose: Strong apple, followed by a little almond. It seems a touch sour.
Taste: Initially, there was the flavour of slightly oxidised, cut apple, then some vanilla, although the flavour seems rather artificial; in my opinion, it needs to be fuller and more genuine. The gin is quite sweet with a particular note of sweetness at the end.

Gin & Tonic
Juicy apple flavours make themselves known from the outset, along with a touch of almond bitterness. This reminded me of Appletizer or Apple Tango (apple soda). Although this was far from a “classic” Gin & Tonic, I found it to be a refreshing drink that was quite tasty.

Martini
Very flavourful: apples, vanilla, almond and even a hint of coconut! As fruit martinis go, this was quite good; the vermouth brought out some complexity in the spirit, including more notes of  spiced apple. A fair drink, but not one for the traditionalists.

Negroni
Like the other cocktails, this had a strong apple nose. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this cocktail, but I thought it was really quite good, being bittersweet, with an overlay of juicy apple flavour. A genuine surprise, but a very pleasant one, indeed.

In Conclusion
I was more impressed with Seagram’s Twisted Apple Gin than I had anticipated myself being (I think their apple vodka is pretty horrible) and, although it needs to mixed to bring out it’s best qualities, I think that some drinks, like the Negroni, I’d very happily mix and drink again.

Apple Gin – Raiders of the Lost Cocktail Cabinet XVII

T.E Carling’s “Complete Book of Drink”, which is something of a go-to-guide for Raiders like myself, describes Apple Gin as:

“colourless scot(ish) proprietary”

Apple Gin is not to be confused with gins that use fermented apples as the base for their alcohol, such as Chase and CapRock.

I made my gin using a pretty straightforward method: I simply infused peeled apple in gin for about a week. I was lucky enough to get a variety of freshly-picked apples from a local orchard and tried out three different varieties: Bramley, Katy and Worchester. Here’s how the results tasted.

A Bottle of Apples Steeping in Gin

A Bottle of Apples Steeping in Gin

On its own
[At room temperature]

Bramley
Nose: Marzipan, almond and slightly sour apple,
Taste: Quite pleasant; this had a lot of character, with an initial honey sweetness, vanilla and then sharp, crisp and sour apple on the finish.

Katy
Nose: Although this was the lightest in colour of the apple gins, it had a very intense nose, being slightly salty with some nutty elements, too.
Taste: Certainly dryer, this was slighty vermouth-like, with a quite tart, but very creamy finish. Quite odd, but a very different style.

Worchester
Nose: A rich amber in colour, this had a stronger nose, more like cider. It was also dryer, with some citrus and almond in addition to the apple.
Taste: Very smooth, with an almost honey-like texture. Fresh apple notes were followed by warmer cream and vanilla notes, reminding me of a baked apple with spice. The juniper comes through at the end.

Gin & Tonic
[1 part Apple Gin, 2 parts Tonic Water]

Bramley
This wasn’t bad. It tasted like a normal Gin & Tonic, but with a hint of musky apple at the end. I didn’t think that it tasted that different to a Gin & Tonic garnished with a slice of apple.

Katy
This apple gin didn’t stand up to the tonic water too well, although it did come through at the end. OK, but not great.

Worchester
A mix that looks like ginger ale. I think this really works well: you get your standard Gin & Tonic flavour, but with an added fresh, sweet, spiced apple note. This gives it a bit of a lift and makes it less bitter.

Coronation Cocktail
[30ml Apple Gin 10ml Kirsch 10ml Lemon Juice 10ml Orgeat (Almond) Syrup – SHAKE]

Bramley
This was simply super: the dry, sweet, creamy apple notes work exceptionally well with the Kirsch (dry), lemon (sour) and Orgeat (sweet and creamy). It was very smooth and not too sweet, but very fresh, too!

Katy
The kirsch came through a lot more in this, which is a dryer cocktail with hint of both apples and pear. The lemon and orgeat add depth and balance. If you find the Bramley version too sweet, this could be for you.

Worchester
All of the ingredients seem to be more in sync in this version, but, at the same time, it seems to have a little less character. Nonetheless, it’s still a very flavourful and enjoyable drink to drink and tastes more well-rounded and sophisticated than the others.

In Conclusion
I think that Apple Gin is a rather tasty concoction and would be perfect as an ingredient in many a summer cooler. Overall, my favourite of the three varieties that I tried was the Worchester. I thought that this variety complemented the gin the best, producing an Apple Gin that had both a good, fresh apple flavour as well as distinctive gin notes. As a result, it produced the best cocktails, full of tasty and vibrant, but balanced flavours.

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For more on Apple Gin why not check out this excellent article over at Gin Fool?