NEW! Exclusive! Cocktails with… Gordon’s Gin with a Spot of Elderflower

GordonsElderflowerTitle

Bottled at 37.5% ABV, Gordon’s Gin with a spot of Elderflower is combination of classic Gordon’s Gin with natural elderflower flavour.

Gordons Spot of Elderflower Gin Bottle Picture

On its own
Nose: Some dry juniper, then a little coriander citrus, followed by a little green stalkiness and, finally, the bright, floral scent of elderflower.
Taste: Dry juniper upfront, with a little angelica and coriander citrus. This then moves onto the slightly sweet and jammy floral notes of the elderflower, before finishing with the dry notes of a refreshing elderflower presse.

Gin & Tonic
[50ml Gordon’s Gin with a spot of Elderflower, 120ml Tonic Water]

Schweppes Regular
Lovely, elegant and refreshing; the lemon garnish adds a little zest that compliments the floral elderflower well. This finds a good balance between sweetness and dryness, making it perfect for a simple, no-fuss afternoon cooler.

Gordon's with a Spot of Elderflower Gin & Tonic and Gin Tonica

Gordon’s with a Spot of Elderflower Gin & Tonic and Gin Tonica

Fevertree Regular
A dryer drink that allows for a greater balance between the flavour of the gin’s botanicals and the elderflower. It is also more complex than the Schweppes variety, but no less refreshing. I think the Fevertree works particularly well when served in the large goblet glass (see picture) in the Spanish Gin Tonica style, made using plenty of ice and a twist of lemon peel instead of a wedge. Squeezing the peel over the drink before dropping it into the glass expresses the citrus oil, which works well with the perfumed elderflower.

Martini
[50ml Gordon’s Elderflower Gin, 10ml Dry Vermouth – STIR]
A soft and relativeky sweet Martini with plenty of citrus and elderflower as well as some juniper and coriander. Potentially a rather good way to introduce people to the gin Martini. I
preferred this ungarnished but if you did want to add some colour I’d advice a thing slice of lemon peel but no olive.

Gordon's Elderflower Martini

Gordon’s Elderflower Martini

Negroni
[Equal parts Gordon’s Elderflower, Campari and Red Vermouth]
This makes quite a soft, smooth and sweet Negroni. The herbal and bitter elements arrive early on in the drink and the finish has a greater focus on the gin, with some jammy elderberry as well as elderflower and a little citrus. I’d recommend a pink grapefruit or even a lime garnish with this drink, rather than a more traditional orange one.

With Apple Juice
[50ml Gordon’s Gin with a spot of Elderflower, 150ml Apple Juice]
It’s not often that I think of putting gin with apple juice, but in this case it works surprisingly well: the sweet, floral jamminess of the elderflower is nicely offset by the tangy, but not too
sour, flavours of the juice. This drink provides a very nice alternative for those who want a break from tonic’s effervescence. One tip is to make sure that you give the drink a good stir before serving, to ensure that it is well mixed.

Serving Suggestion - Gordon's Elderflower with Apple Juice and a Lemon Wedge

Serving Suggestion – Gordon’s Elderflower with Apple Juice and a Lemon Wedge

In Conclusion
I think that Gordon’s Elderflower is a pleasant addition to their range and makes some very refreshing and tasty drinks. I think I’d be quite keen to add a tot to a jug of Pimm’s to spice up the flavours a little. Of those that I tried, my favourite drink was the Gin & Tonic, closely followed by the gin served with apple juice.

Gordon’s with a Spot of Elderflower is available for around £16 for 70cl from Tesco.

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Cocktails with… Knockeen Hills Elderflower Gin


Not content with the success of their Irish Poteen and Heather Gin the folks at Knockeen Hills decided to release another product, an elderflower gin that uses elderflower as one of the botanicals, this is not a very common botanical to use and is a tricky ingredient to get right.
Bottled at 47.3%ABV Knockeen Hills uses a base Irish Spirit that is distilled five times and the botanicals it uses are steeped for 24 hours. It is described as “London Cut” which means in addition to being a London Dry Gin it is, distilled and cut in London.

Knockeen Hills Elderflower Gin is distilled at Thames Distillers and uses only four botanicals (a stark difference to the last Gin I reviewed) these are:

  • Organic Juniper Berries
  • Organic Coriander Seeds
  • Organic Elderflower
  • Liquorice powder

#1) Neat
Good nose, medium amount of juniper with some floral notes. Great warmth (not burn) on the tongue with juniper and elderflower. Not overpowering and subtle. The warmth of the texture intrigues me.

#2) Gin & Tonic
This makes quite a strong Gin & Tonic (the gin is 47.3%). The very heart of the gin seems to come through with a floral taste at the back of the mouth; the straight-forward juniper flavour is followed by the dryness from the elderflower. It’s interesting, because elderflower is often associated with something sweet (cordial, liqueurs, etc.), but this is definitely dry. Mrs. B was very fond of this drink, as it reminded her of cut green apples.

#3) Martini
I used some home-made vermouth for this martini, which complemented the Gin quite well and seemed to give the drink more flavour than usual. Knockeen Elderflower Gin does not make a classic Martini: it’s not so clean and crisp as others, but it is not overpowering and has a lot of character. I like this drink and it makes a nice change.

#4) Gimlet
An unusual Gimlet; less sweet than usual and, in the middle of the taste profile, the drink has a remarkably clean edge, almost Martini-like. There were subtle notes from the floral elements and the gin stands up well to the lime cordial.

#5) Aviation
There’s some great interaction of the elderflower and other floral elements with the violette and maraschino in this drink; it’s complex, but the flavours are all in equilibrium. Very tasty.

#6) Tom Collins
This Collins is, like many, a wonderful cooler. It is very refreshing, but sadly the gin is a little overpowered.

#7) Bramble
Very tasty; there’s equal intensity from each of the various ingredients, all combining to produce a fresh drink that reminds me of Spring. Crisp & delicious.

#8) White Lady:
Fresh and crisp, perfect for Spring or early Summer. There’s a good amount of juniper and distinct floral elements on the finish.

#9) Alexander
I increased the proportions of Gin for this one, so that some of the dry muskiness of gin comes through. The Knockeen Elderflower contributes more to the cocktail that most other gins that I’ve tried.

#10) Gin Bump (Buck)
The Gin Bump was a disappointment as the sweetness of the ginger ale clashed with the floral notes of the gin. Not recommended.

#11) Gin Sour
Pretty strong; you seem to feel the full whack of the 47.3% in this drink. It seemed to warm me up, rather than cool me down (which a gin sour typically would do), and, flavour-wise, it doesn’t do the Gin justice.

#12) Sweet Gin
This was an idea for a cocktail (if you can call it that) that just occurred to me: I simply added half a teaspoon of simple syrup to a measure of Gin. I was surprised at how well it worked and how it brought out a new dimension of flavours: it was almost like an elderflower liqueur, but tasted more complex.

#13) Clover Club
In a similar way to the White Lady, this was balanced, simple, tasty and enjoyable to drink.

#14) Gin Old-fashioned
Fast becoming a new favourite of mine, the Gin Old-Fashioned with Knockeen Hills Elderflower is delicious. Sugar sweetens up the floral elements (just like the Sweet Gin) which stops the Angostura from dominating the drink. This is a superb way to enjoy the gin.

In Conclusion
Knockeen Hills Elderflower Gin is crisp and flavourful. The floral elements lend themselves well to a variety of cooling drinks, making it perfect for Spring or Summer (although I am still enjoying it during Winter!). Sometimes I think that when gins highlight one, single, botanical it can be a bit gimmicky and the rest of the gin profile seems to suffer, but I don’t think that that is the case with this gin.

Cocktail highlights included: Gin & Tonic (especially James Bond style),  the Gimlet,  the Aviation & the Gin Old Fashioned.

Knockeen Hills Elderflower Gin is available from The Drink Shop here: for £26.44 for 70cl.