Master of Malt Single Estate Origin Gins – Part II

Holmes was stumped so Watson looked it up on MasterofMalt.com and found the bottle contained a delicious array of botanicals!

In Part One, I tasted the Origin Range of Single Estate Gins from Master of Malt on their own, in their pure juniper form, but what about the little vial that accompanied each bottle?

This contains a mixture made using a number of other popular gin botanicals, such as coriander and cardamom, which can be added to the juniper spirit to make a multi-botanical gin. I mixed each of the four varieties of gin with their vials (all of which are the same strength and made using the same botanicals; I also mixed them to the same quantities).

So what did they taste like?


1) BULGARIA – VELIKI PRESLAV


i) On its own
Nose: Juniper, coriander, and a touch of cardamom.
Taste: This seemed quite viscous and strong (alcohol-wise); there is also a touch of saltiness, which is followed by some sweetness. The predominant flavour of fresh juniper is followed by big and spicy notes of green cardamom. All wrapped up nicely with a long, delicious finish.

ii) Gin & Tonic
Quite sweet for a Gin & Tonic – almost sherbety – this also had notes of lemon, cardamom and vanilla. Some will probably prefer a drier drink, although I found that the sweetness levels improved with a little ice-melt, making it more refreshing and bring out more of the nutty cardamom.

iii) Martini
Clean and crisp, although it seems quite strong in terms of ABV. Lots of green cardamom notes. This chills well and is nice and spicy.

iv) Negroni
An impressive Negroni: oodles of flavour with a strong juniper and citrus presence. Textbook.


2) NETHERLANDS – MEPPEL


i) On its own
Nose: Spicy juniper and coriander, salt and pepper.
Taste: The juniper is strong and prominent amongst the other botanicals, although there is  a notable liquorice sweetness, citrus, vanilla and a touch of cardamom. A complex, balanced gin with a long finish.

ii) Gin & Tonic
Fresh and crisp with juniper, citrus and cardamom, along with a touch of coriander. Refreshing, this provides everything you could want from a Gin & Tonic.

iii) Martini
Very clean and raising to the appetite, with equal measures of juniper, citrus and spice. This was certainly complex, but not overwhelmingly so; it will compete with the best of its contemporaries.

iv) Negroni
A clean and soft Negroni; bittersweet and easy to drink with all of the characteristics that aficionados look for, plus a good deal more. A pleasure to drink.


3) ALBANIA – VALBONE


i) On its own
Nose: Clean and not aggressive, with citrus (lemon & lemon verbena) and some juniper.
Taste: Quite savoury, with some saltiness and a hint of tomato, I think this would work well in a Red Snapper. A good finish of dry juniper.

ii) Gin & Tonic
Creamy, with a little sweetness that’s followed by a bitter, earthy juniper flavour that works well with the quinine. Cooling and quite light, making it the height of refreshment.

iii) Martini
Smooth, easy to drink and spicy with coriander, cardamom and liquorice. Again, a dry finish.

iv) Negroni
A very straightforward Negroni that will please, but not wow. It has a good balance, but the gin presence could be stronger.


4) ITALY – AREZZO


i) On its own
Nose: Quite gentle, with a mix of citrus, biscuits, nuts and juniper, finishing with spicy cardamom.
Taste: A good, solid gin with a generally good balance, although it leans a little towards cardamom (not that I’ll complain about that!). This gin is one for fans of Plymouth/Sacred/Boodles, plus many other folks, too. Very good, indeed.

ii) Gin & Tonic
Easy to drink, although the gin is a little lost behind the tonic. That said, the drink is delightful and refreshing; it would just be nice if you could taste more of the gin (maybe just add an extra splash?).

iii) Martini
Exceptionally smooth, with hints of anise and coriander. There’s some citrus, but it’s by no means overpowering. I think it would work well with an olive garnish.

iv) Negroni
Full of flavour, this is a rather spicy Negroni that will please fanciers of cardamom as this flavour takes centre stage. Despites having such prominent flavour in its midst, the balance of the cocktail is good and it is refreshing. It has so much flavour that I think I’d drink it ungarnished.

In Conclusion
It is amazing what a difference the source of juniper makes to the overall flavour of gin and I hope that Master of Malt do many more events like this so that others can get a chance to taste them first hand (although, of course, you can buy them from the site too!).

My favourite of the four was easily the one made using juniper from the Netherlands, which, for me, outperformed the others in almost every cocktail. It was so complex that I preferred it without the extra botanicals and so will be drinking the rest of bottle as is.

Many thanks to everyone that has made this article possible and I look forward to Macedonia (I have heard intriguing things!) and Kosovo.

Also, watch out for our review of the Master of Malt Summer Fruit Cup (good name, eh?).

But wait! There’s more….

Ben and his Cask

As a final touch to our tasting at the Juniper Society, Ben presented us with a 50 litre barrel and asked us what our favourite of the four gins was. The majority chose the Netherlands Gin (a choice with which I agreed). We were then told that it was to be mixed in an Negroni (for aging in that very barrel) and proceeded to be asked whether we wanted to use just the juniper spirit on its own or the multi-botanical mix. A huge majority voted for the unadulterated Netherland Juniper on its own.

Mrs B and I add to the cask

Mrs B and I add to the cask

We all got a chance to pour in some of the ingredients and sign the cask and were then given a little stub (we have 00006 and 00007), which entitles us to a glass of the 1 Year Old Negroni at the Juniper Society’s third birthday in 2013. The barrel is now proudly displayed on the bar at Graphic.

Master of Malt Origin Gins are available at £34.95 a bottle (71cl) from  their website.

Special thanks to Ben, Cat and Rhyan of Master of Malt, Adam & Sarah of The Juniper society and zack and his team at Graphic Bar.

Master of Malt Single Estate Origin Gins – Part I

A lot has changed since Mrs. B & I first made our way up to London for the first ever Juniper Society (the launch of SW4 Gin) in July 2010; since then, we have written a plethora of articles, contributed to trade magazines and I’m now writer-in-residence for Graphic Bar, the very location of that first meeting.

An artist’s impressionof the Professor – sketched on the back of an envelope.

As such, it was with considerable anticipation that I travelled up to London for the 2nd birthday party to celebrate this special group of people. Of course, if you are looking for special and unique products, then look no further than Master of Malt, the drinks and spirits shop that are now pioneering a new wave of drink innovation with their in-house products. The revolution is spearheaded by Professor Cornelius Ampleforth, whose crazy concoctions we have written about on a number of occasions.

Today’s focus is on Master of Malt’s new range of Single Estate Gins, which are the brainchild of Ben Ellefsen, their Sales Director (I like to think of him more as Head of Innovation). Whilst he was making his Bathtub Gin, he uncovered inconsistencies in the batches of juniper that he was using, even though his supplier insisted they were from the same country. Sadly, they could not be more precise regarding the exact origin of the berries and, thus, a project was born.

Even Holmes struggles with this mystery bottle.

Even Holmes struggles with this mystery bottle.

Ben set out to source quality juniper berries that could be traced back to a much narrower area. A bounty was placed on such juniper and advertised on the Master of Malt website. After a lot of leg work from Ben and his team, the first four Single Estate Gins are finally ready.

Each bottle contains 700ml of Juniper Spirit (or single botanical gin, if you will); the juniper of which all comes from a single geographical source. The actual species of the berries (Juniperus Communis) is constant throughout. Each bottle is also accompanied by a small 10ml vial, but I’ll write more on that in part 2 of this article. For now, here are my tasting notes for the four Single Estate Gins.


1) BULGARIA – VELIKI PRESLAV


i) On its own
Nose: Full and leafy, with fresh, ripe juniper and some citrus. This is bursting with character and very inviting.
Taste: There’s an initial smoothness with a touch of citrus, followed by sweetness in the middle. This then moves towards an earthy bitterness, including dark chocolate on the finish, as well as a slight pepperiness.

ii) Gin & Tonic
Crisp, fresh and leafy green. There’s a distinctive taste of fresh juniper berries, along with a dash of citrus and a touch of lavender. This could probably do with a garnish, just to perfect it.

iii) Martini
Creamy, but with the juniper family’s recognisable leafy-green flavours. It’s definitely dry, but manages to retain its creaminess; very distinctive.

iv) Negroni
A relatively sweet drink; a touch syrupy, with a pronounced bitter finish. Good level of dryness. Classic in style, but perhaps a little lacking in depth. There’s a coffee or chocolate-like bitterness towards the end.


2) NETHERLANDS – MEPPEL


i) On its own
Nose: Deep piney and resinous juniper notes, with a slight nuttiness. A mix of savoury, citrus and floral notes gives this a full and very complex flavour, especially given that it is only one botanical.
Taste: Silky to begin; a little creamy, quite thick and rich. There is a lot going on, but the balance of the various notes is good. Coriander pops up halfway through. This is easily as complex as many other gins, which, given that it’s all from the juniper, is incredible, really.

ii) Gin &Tonic
Quite a citrusy Gin & Tonic with a touch of hazelnut. Very fresh and deliciously crisp. This is a drink that easily competes with the best of them – rather superb!

iii) Martini
A well-rounded Martini: clean and crisp, with notable some herbal notes in addition to those of the juniper. A hint of dry bitterness on the finish. This is a very Classic Martini, with a long fresh finish. Very good.

iv) Negroni
Smooth and fruity with a good bittersweet balance, I think this is quite accessible. Fans of Negronis will be content and it may even convert some very reluctant drinkers of Campari.
It’s smoothness makes it very easy to drink, but it’s still packed full of flavour.


3) ALBANIA – VALBONE


i) On its own
Nose: More subtle than the previous two; the juniper is lighter, but still clearly there and accompanied by floral notes, such as violet. The whole spirit seems rather confectionary, with a biscuity spiciness (maybe cayenne pepper) and hints of sweet liquorice and coconut.
Taste: Soft and smooth. There’s some juniper, but the spirit seems sweeter than the previous two, although obviously not sugary. The sweetness is a botanical one and actually reminded some of the Jolly Gin Fellows of varieties of Old Tom Gin; perhaps this gin would make a good base for one? Sweet citrus and liquorice root on the finish.

ii) Gin &Tonic
A real departure from the previous two, showing how much of a difference the berries make. This drink is lighter and cleaner, although, as such, it doesn’t stand up so well to the tonic water. Overall, this is still a pleasant drink with a dry, juniper finish.

iii) Martini
A silky Martini, although the juniper seems a lot less prominent – it’s almost as if this is 50/50 mix of a gin and vodka Martini. Subtle and a touch on the sweet side (that liquorice again!), but by no means a bad drink.

iv) Negroni
This starts with a gentle, earthy bitterness. It’s not very sweet, but there’s a good dose of herbal flavours, along with some deep, spicy notes. On reflection, this is quite a gentle Negroni that is much improved with a slice of orange.


4) ITALY – AREZZO


i) On its own
Nose: A clean nose of dry, zesty juniper, like pine needles; reminds me of a forest after its been raining.
Taste: The green pine continues to remind me of a forest. There is also a hint of vanilla, a creamy smoothness and a touch of lemon peel.

ii) Gin &Tonic
This was a rather a powerful Gin & Tonic, so if you like your drinks to be made with a powerful gin, then this is for you! Definitely a no-nonsense drink: juniper, quinine, and bubbles, making for great refreshment.

iii) Martini
A very clean and ultra-smooth Martini that adds a little warmth to the stomach once you have swallowed it. This is a drink that really makes an impact and, in my opinion, explains why Martinis are sometimes said to remind people of the purity of diamonds.

iv) Negroni
Quite a sweet Negroni, but with some bitterness at the end. Quite good, but maybe a touch too syrupy. A zesty garnish should perks things up, though.

There are also plans to add a fifth and sixth locational variety (Macedonia and Kosovo), but, for the moment, this ends Part One; Part Two can be found here.

Master of Malt Origin Gins are available at £34.95 a bottle (71cl) from  their website.

Scottish Gin Tasting

In recent years there has been an increase in gin distilling in Scotland and, what with the patriotic nature of some of the brands, we decided to look a little closer at the Caledonian Gin.*

I was particularly interested as to whether or not there were any shared characteristics amongst the group that might not be so common in non-Scottish gins; this will be addressed at the end.The tasting was conducted at Graphic Bar in Golden Sq., Soho; a fine example of a Modern Gin Palace with a range of over 130 gins. The panel was made up of willing volunteers from The Juniper Society, which is hosted by Graphic two times a month.
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L-R: Boe, Hendricks (USA), Old Raj Blue, Edinburgh Gin, Cadenhead Classic, The Botanist, Darnley’s View, Old Raj Red, Hendricks(UK), Caorunn

The gins were tasted blind and we tried them on their own and with tonic water, with no garnish. The gins are listed in the order tasted and alcoholic strength is denoted by %ABV.

#1 Old Raj Red (46%)
This made by Cadenhead and was created in 1972. It contains 8 botanicals and then has saffron added to it. Rather than being clear, it is a light golden colour; having said that, only one member of the panel noticed this.

Nose: Juniper, citrus, slightly floral.
Taste: Strong flavours: lime, juniper, citrus and coriander. Not massively complex, but lots of flavour.
With tonic: The panel found this rather pleasant, and spicier with tonic. Fresh and refreshing, it was thought that it wouldn’t really need a garnish.

For more information on Old Raj click here.

Old Raj Red is available from The Whisky Exchange for around £23 for 70cl.

#2 Edinburgh Gin (46%)

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Nose: Juniper, floral, herbacious.
Taste: Almost all of the panel found strong flavours of nutmeg and cinnamon, as well as some creaminess and a Plymouth-like sweetness.
With Tonic: Mixed views here: some of the panel found it clean, crisp and liked its spiciness, but others found it to be a bit flat.

Edinburgh Gin is available from The Drink Shop for around £25 for 70cl..

#3 Cadenhead’s Classic (50%)
Made by the same folks as Old Raj Red and Blue.

Nose: Subdued, fruity, juniper.
Taste: A more intense taste than nose, with heavy juniper, some pepper, citrus and a hint of bitterness, rather like a classic London Dry Gin style. One of the panel described it as “rather lovely”.
With tonic: Dry and bitter, with a little sherbet sweetness. Generally the panel thought that this was a robust, no nonsense Gin & Tonic.

Cadenhead’s Classic Gin is available from The Whisky Exchange for around £25 for 70cl.

#4 Hendrick’s UK (41.4%)
Made by William Grants and containing 13 botanicals. The gin is made using a combination of distillation from both pot and Carterhead stills and is finished off with the addition of cucumber and rose essences.

Nose: Fresh, leafy, floral, cucumber rind.
Taste: Fresh, smooth and silky. Floral, in particular rose and lavender. A general, green leafy flavour; maybe cucumber? One panelist described it as “pretty”.
With tonic: Refreshing, crisp and fresh. Delicious; this was very popular with the panel.

For our full review Hendrick’s click here.

Hendrick’s UK is available from Tesco and Waitrose for around £22 for 70cl.

The Panel

#5 Caoruun (41.8 %)
Caoruun contains five Scottish Celtic botanicals; dandelion, bog myrtle, heather, coul blush apple and rowan berry.
Nose: Juniper, citrus and a little aggressive
Taste: Quite light, a musky juniper and citrus as well as some earthy notes, very clean, quite nice.
With Tonic: A soft flavour, juniper, citrus and quite smooth.
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Caorunn is available from Master of Malt for around £25 for 70cl.
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#6 Hendrick’s (44%)
This is the US version of #4, which is bottled 2.6%ABV higher than the UK version; it makes a surprising difference to the taste.
Nose: Minimal citrus, some juniper, strong floral.
Taste: Very floral, with hints of lavender, violet, rose, plus juniper and some green leaves.
With Tonic: Very tasty; well-balanced, flavourful and fresh. A real hit with the panel, although one member would prefer to drink it on its own than with tonic.

For our full review Hendrick’s click here.

#7 The Botanist (46%)
This made by Brudladdich, a Scottish whisky distillery in Islay. It contains a staggering 31 botanicals, a list of which can be found here.

Nose: Quite soft; juniper, spice, a slight soapy, floral quality.
Taste: Juniper and coriander and quite a heavy perfume quality, with different flowers and herbal notes. Quite smooth and a long finish.
With Tonic: Rather pleasant, with a good finish; balanced. This was particularly liked by one member of the panel.

For our full review of The Botanist click here.

The Botanist is available from Master of Malt for around £25 for 70cl.

#8 Boe (47%)
Boe Gin is

Nose: Floral, herbs, pine, vanilla.
Taste: Quite a complex taste; herbs, lavender, spice, cinnamon, angelica and, towards the end, a vanilla-oak note. Quite strong, alcohol-wise, but this comes through as warmth rather than burn.
With Tonic: An excellent fresh and moreish gin and tonic, this was a favourite of a few of the panel members.

Boe Gin is available from Master of Malt for around £28 for 70cl.

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#9 Old Raj Blue (55%)
The high-strength version of Old Raj Red.
Nose: A very strong nose; almost perfume-like, with juniper and flowers.
Taste: The perception of alcoholic strength continues in the flavour, as does the juniper and refined floral notes.
With Tonic: The panel thought that this Gin & Tonic had a real kick to it and that it tasted very strong; that said, most of them really enjoyed it and their drinks were quickly finished off.
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For our full review of Old Raj click here.
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Old Raj Blue is available from The Whisky Exchange for around £26 for 70cl.
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#10 Darnley’s View (40%)
Named after the husband of Mary Queen of Scots and containing six botanicals including locally sourced Elderflower this is the newest Scottish Gin on the market.
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Nose: Juniper, floral a slight mineral quality.
Taste: Very soft with a water-like smoothness and a slight warmth at the end. Juniper and rather floral with hints of rose and violets, long finish.
With Tonic: Soft, flavourful and refreshing. Rather pleasant although less intense then some of the others.

For our full review of Darnley’s View click here.

Darnley’s View is available from Royal Mile Whiskies for around £25 for 70cl.

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#11 Blackwoods Vintage 2008 (40%)
A scottish Gin using a variety of botanicals include those that grow wild in the Shetland Isles. Blackwoods also make 60% version of their gin.
Nose: Strong and complex with juniper, citrus and earthy herbal notes.
Taste: Very smooth and soft, citrus juniper and herbs as well a s touch of floral. Juicy and excellent.
With Tonic: Very refreshing and juicy as well as being full of flavour.
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Blackwoods is available from The Whisky Exchange for around £19 for 70cl.
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The Results

Each member of the panel ranked their top three gins and these choices were recorded. We then allocated points as follows: three points for a first choice, two for second, and one for third.
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The results were:
#1 Hendrick’s USA
#2 Old Raj Blue
#3 Hendrick’s UK
#4 Old Raj Red
#5 Cadenhead Classic
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Scottish Gin Characteristics

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After the tasting and some thought, I remain unconvinced as to whether there is a particular set of flavour characteristics common to Scottish Gins; some seemed to be more floral and less juniper-led then a  London Dry Gin, but then others seemed rather classic in style. The control gin (meant to stand out as a classic style) was lost amongst the rest of them.
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There was definitely a trend for the bottles to emphasise their Scottish heritage and quite a few use locally sourced or indigenous botanicals – heather and bog myrtle being quite popular – but this is no different to the sourcing techniques of other gins such as Moore’s (Australia) and Death’s Door (Wisconsin, USA).
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Many thanks to the panel, Graphic Bar and the Gin Producers of Scotland for making this article possible.

*I’ve not included Tanqueray and Gordon’s as they used to be made in London and the move to Scotland was one of economics. In addition, today there is, otherwise, nothing particularly Scottish about them.

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Juniper Society in May

After the Bank Holiday breaks the Juniper Society @ Graphic will be back for two events in May:

Monday 9th May 2011 – Whitely Neill

Monday 23rd May 2011 – Bulldog

The Juniper Society is open to everyone from Gin-connoisseurs to to folks interested in trying Gin for the first time. It provides an opportunity to learn about a bit more about the featured Gin Brand and of course a chance to taste it. The Juniper Society is a free event and includes a complimentary drink on arrival.

Graphic Bar has a selection of over 100 Gins and they feature a different “Guest Gin” each week, with this spirit available in a Gin & Tonic at a bargainous £3.50.

Graphic Bar

4 Golden Square
London W1F 9HT
020 7287 9241

An finally congratulation to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William & Kate) on their marriage today. Nice choice on the Aston Martin too.

We’ve not had any royal Cocktail here but we have been drinking some Regal Gin & Tonics (with Beefeater Crown Jewel)

Bruce Cost’s REAL Ginger Ale

Bruce Cost’s Ginger Ale


For me, the real ace in the pack was Bruce Cost’s Fresh Ginger Ale. Mr Cost wrote a very comprehensive book on ginger, “Ginger East meets West”, where he documents the origins of ginger soft drinks and how he finally decided to make his own ginger ale.
But this is no Canada Dry, however. Bruce has taken his inspiration from the more hearty Belfast-style of ginger ale; it is something of a hybrid between modern ginger beer and ginger ale, but, in reality, was the ancestor of both. Belfast Ginger Ale is more fiery than ginger ale, but not as sweet as ginger beer, and it’s delicious.
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Tasting Notes:
There’s a fruity nose with a hint of spice. In terms of taste, the fruitiness appears again, maybe passion fruit, as well as some malt and a bit of yeast. It has a medium fizz and tasted like a fresh, home-made variety; rustic, but absolutely superb. To my mind, this is a good example of Belfast-style ginger ale. I wish more ginger beers were like this; Bruce Cost’s Ginger Ale has to be one of my favourites.I also tried Mr Cost’s Ginger Ale in a variety of ginger ale cocktails, the recipes for which can be found here.
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Postmaster [50ml Gin, 100ml  Fresh Ginger Ale, Build over Ice]
Pleasant and refreshing, but probably a bit sweet for me; half a measure of citrus juice would turn this into a buck and that would solve the problem.
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Sloe Bump [50ml Sloe Gin, 100ml  Fresh Ginger Ale, Build over Ice]
Rather pleasant, as it freshens up the sloe gin. It may, perhaps, be too sweet for some, but if you were to use a variety such as Sloeth or Foxdenton, this wouldn’t be a problem.
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Horses Neck [50ml Brandy, 100ml  Fresh Ginger Ale; Add Ice and a Citrus twist]
Sweet & smooth and the twist of citrus sets off the flavours nicely. Not too fizzy and very tasty.
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Typically, you would use a ginger beer for the two drinks below, but I was intrigued to try them, as Bruce Cost’s Ginger Ale is rather ginger-beer-like.
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Moscow Mule
Great, not so heavy of the ginger and a little bit of lemongrass comes through. Fresh an very quenching of one’s thirst.
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Dark  & Stormy
Pretty good rink, maybe a bit watery but the way the ginger ale and the rum interacts it certainly looks stormy. Visually spectacular.
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I’m really impressed with this product and I’m keen to try the Passion-fruit and Jasmine Ginger Ales that they also make. It tasted just as good mixed as it did on its own and I hope that it’s available in the UK sometime soon.

Plymouth Martini Book & Home-made Vermouth

Barroom Bookshelf #3:
The Joy of The Plymouth Martini

 

Yesterday, Mrs. B and I had the fortune to attend the Plymouth Gin Juniper Society and Martini Masterclass; or, as I like to call it, the Plymouth Gin Christmas Extravaganza. For a full round-up of the evening’s festivities, check out the Institute for Alcoholic Experimentation (article coming soon).

One of the gifts in our, very generous, goody bag was a book entitled, “The Joy of the Plymouth Martini”, and this shall be the basis of this post.

This 28-page booklet was created especially for the event and starts with some in-depth information on making a Martini, with notes on balance, stirring, ice, twists and ratios. My two favourite tips were:
1) Double strain; using a cocktails strainer and then a tea strainer, this removes the tiny shards of ice that can leave a drink watery.
2) Be Ready! Don’t allow your ingredients to sit in the ice for long before mixing, once again this leads to a more watery drink.

The process of making a Martini is described on the next page and there is a page on “Describing Dryness”, see below:

Given my curiosity concerning things like Martini Stones, I found this classification system of interest and discovered that, although I hadn’t heard of the term before, it appears that I like my Martinis “off-dry”. (Noilly Prat being my current Vermouth of choice).

Fruity Martinis can be controversial, but I agree with the many great bartenders before me that, if it tastes good and you like it, drink it. Either way, I didn’t see many people turning away their Fruit Martini welcome drink! My watermelon one was delicious.

What is particualrly clever and useful about this section is that you start with a generic recipe:

50ml Plymouth Gin
2 tbsp fresh fruit
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp water

Add fruit and sugar to shaker and muddle; add water and Plymouth Gin and ice.
Shake 15-20 secs, taste and sweeten if necessary.
Strain and serve.

Now you can make any kind of Fruit Martini you like, maybe even a Medlar Martini. Should you be stuck with a lack of ideas, Plymouth do make some suggestions. On the other hand, if you fancy returning to a classic, there is also a very comprehensive, yet concise, history of the classic Dry Martini or the Marquerite.

Now for the really interesting stuff: the folks at Plymouth also provide you with a recipe for a custom vermouth & bitters, both of which are specifically designed to complement Plymouth Gin.

 

 

I was distracted whilst writing this post by a sudden urge to make Vermouth to this recipe. Having only cloves and Plymouth Gin in the house, I was soon heading into town to find the rest of the ingredients and was surprised when I managed to return some time later with all of them.

 

 

This was quite fun to make and took about an hour, muddling the ingredients together first certainly help the flavour to come out. When tasting, the nose is very much if the wine base but also the angelica and star anise come out too. The initial flavour is quite sweet and then more herbally, some wormwood, fennel  and anis are noticeable. It is also quite soft as vermouths go.

 

The vermouth, in a glass, in a bottle and mixed in a martini. Why "Three"? Well, it was formualtion #3 of the dozen they tried that the Plymouth team liked best.

The book concludes as any good cocktail book should with space for you to write-in your own ingredients. This is a great little booklet, one of the best I have seen created by a specific brand, get hold of one if you can.

 


For more Barroom Bookshelf Reviews click here.

Event Invite: Plymouth Martini Masterclass

Thank you to Plymouth & Graphic for holding such a great evening and a fitting way to end this year-top-notch Juniper Societies: https://summerfruitcup.wordpress.com/2010/12/14/plymouth-martini-book-home-made-vermouth/

Plymouth Gin Christmas Cracker

Brought to you by The Juniper Society @ Graphic

 

 

 

 

 

Plymouth twinned with Tonic (a small mountainous village in Peru, famous for it effervescent springs and forests of Fevertrees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I sit here in the Gog & Magog, a pub a few steps away from the Plymouth Gin Distillery, I would like to tell readers about an event involving the great spirit of this city.

Monday 29th November (Cancelled due to Tube Strike)

Monday 13TH DECEMBER 2010

19:00

Graphic, 4 Golden Square, London, W1F 9HT.

Plymouth Gin – The Martini Sessions will take place at the excellent Graphic Bar in London (a modern gin palace with 70+ varieties of Gin on hand) and I’m sure will be great event for the last Juniper Society for the year.

You will be greeted with a free cocktail on arrival and then will take part in two sessions:

1) The first, revolving around the Martini, with a bit of background and then some all important tastings of some variations of this classic drink; and

2) A short tasting of Plymouth Gin itself.

I’m also looking forward to what I expect to be an informative and entertaining piece on “making cocktails at home”.

A trip to the actual distillery in Plymouth is a real treat, but until you can make it down there, this is surely the next best thing. (Rumour has it the Master Distiller may be coming along, too!)

For further information, and to reserve your place, please see the Juniper Society Website or contact the bar on 0207 287 9241.

All are welcome (not just Jolly Gin Fellows) and there is no charge for the Gin Tasting, Martini Masterclass or the welcome cocktail.