Cocktails with… Hammer Gin from Norway

I’ve been aware of Hammer Gin from Norway for a little while, so I was excited to recently try it. Launched within the Norwegian Market in 2003, Hammer Gin is made near Oslo, Norway by Arcus, who currently operate the only distillery in the country. The Gin’s recipe is originally from England and dates back to 1776.

Hammer uses water from springs in Hadeland near Oslo. This water is said to be filtered and purified by the sedimentary rock minerals in the air. These rock formations are estimated to be over 300 million years old. Hammer uses a double distillation process, as well as a special filtration system, to achieve the best flavours from its botanicals.

The Taste

#1) Own
Nose: A classic London Dry; there are notes of juniper and coriander, with a little violet.
Taste: Pleasantly smooth, the prominent flavour is classic, with juniper, coriander and a little angelica at the forefront.  Long dry finish from the juniper.

#2) Gin & Tonic
This is a great example of a Gin & Tonic: there were some bitter-fresh notes from the juniper and citrus, with a little pine in the mix, too. Extremely refreshing and a great way to enjoy the gin.

#3) Martini
Very, very smooth. I used a 4:1 ratio of gin to vermouth, which achieves a nice balance. The flavour is a subtle mix of juniper, coriander and a very light hint of cinnamon on the finish. Full of flavour and easy to drink.

#4) Tom Collins
Quite tasty; it is not uncommon for a gin to be lost in a Collins, but Hammer Gin holds its own and can be easily tasted. Full of flavour, the gin works well with the citrus from the lemon juice.

#5) Gin Buck
A simple, but effective way to cool down on a hot late afternoon and a delicious way to quench your thirst. There’s a pleasant interaction between citrus juice, gin and the sweet warmth of the ginger ale. I like this an alternative to a Gin & Tonic.

#6) Basil Smash
Fresh notes of green salad from the basil went very well with the citrus and herbal notes of the gin. The lemon juice and sugar syrup add some depth to drink, but it maintains its balance nonetheless. A very approachable way to enjoy the gin.

#7) Gin Sour
This is, essentially, a compact Collins and with Hammer Gin it was tart, but it also rather rousing and would make a good pre-dinner cocktail. Exceptionally refreshing, with a finish reminiscent of fruit salad.

Jungle Juice

Jungle Juice

#8) Jungle Juice
A variation on the Moscow Mule it comes from T.E Carlings 1951 “Complete Book of Drink” his recipe calls for:

“a nip of gin, a nip of lime juice, add ice top up with ginger beer”

Delicious, fizz warmth, spice and sweetness from the Hartirdges Ginger Beer balanced out by the lime and the juniper of the gin. This really cools you down and is a pleasure to drink. For this drink my “nip equated to 25ml.

In Conclusion

I was really pleased to be able to try Hammer Gin and it’s great to experience a superb example of the London Dry style of Gin that was made outside of the UK. Albeit still to a British recipe. This gin will do well in any of the classic dry gin drinks – Gimlets, G&T and Martinis and these were some of my favourites. I also have a new found fondness for the Jungle Juice.