Cocktails with… Crossbill Gin

With Christmas only days away, I was excited to receive a parcel that I had been eagerly awaiting: one of the first two bottles of a new gin from Argyle, Crossbill Gin.

It was around this time last year that I tried my finest gin of 2012, the excellent Warner Edwards, and the botanical simplicity of Crossbill Gin held great promise.

Crossbill Gin is the brainchild of Jonathan Engel, who also owns Pincer Vodka. The recipe has takes a long time to perfect largely because of the difficulty of sourcing 100% of the botanicals from Scotland. But now, just in time for the last days of 2013, the gin is ready to drink.

Bottled at 45.8% ABV distilled in a new microdistillery near Loch a’Bhaillidh and contains two botanicals: juniper and rosehip. Both are 100% sourced from Scotland – a first for a British gin since at least the Second World War.

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Own
nose: heaps of juniper with a little saline too and a hint of celery and cracked black pepper
taste: A smooth texture with a luscious almost citrus crispness up front this leads to an array of different juniper nnotes, green, piney, sappy and then a slight floral lift and sweetness before a long dry finish. Very intense and the character and quality of the juniper really shine through.

Gin and Tonic
Pack with juniper pine the drink is dry, crisp and very flavourful, some hint of floral citrus and a hint of wood sap. Simple clean and delicious.

Martini
A complex Martini with plenty of green and herbaceous notes including a hint of olive, some salty slaine elements as well as the bold juniper. Oily and viscous with a little floral woodiness. Unusually I would recommend an olive garnish. Lovely.

Negroni
Big bold full pine and juniper and the gin flavours match the intensity of the herbal vermouth and bitter sweet campari well. Orange or Pink Grapefruit slice or twist would be a great garnish. A Negroni for those who like explosively flavourful version of the drink – like me.