Gin Mare at Juniper Club

Events, Tasting notes

Last Monday I popped along to Juniper Club at the super cool Graphic Bar in Soho. For those who don’t know, Juniper Club (formerly the Juniper Society) is held fortnightly at the specialist gin-meets-art bar, with a different brand showcasing its wares each time.

Last week was the turn of Spanish brand Gin Mare (42.7% ABV). Starting with its signature serve (1724 Tonic (named after the height at which the quinine is picked on the Inca trail – but that’s another story all together), orange peel and rosemary), brand expert Sarah Moorhead took us through the history of Gin Mare, which took over three years to develop. Made with eight botanicals from across the Mediterranean – Spanish juniper, Arbequina olive, three different types of citrus, basil, rosemary, thyme, coriander and cardomom – each of which is individually macerated (rather than being stilled together), it’s a truly unique spirit.

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The citrus is heavier on the nose than the palette, which is why the orange peel in the signature serve works so well and helps to lift the almost oily texture. Rosemary is the stand-out flavour for me, although in a Martini, the olive comes into its own.

In a nutshell, this is a quality, smooth and versatile spirit which tastes fab with savoury flavours and really packs a punch. Make mine a double.

Bombay Sapphire’s Ultimate Gin & Tonic Pop-up

Events

Nestled in the courtyard of the beautiful Rosewood Hotel in London, Bombay Sapphire’s Ultimate Gin & Tonic Pop-up bar is designed to take gin-lovers on an exciting ride through the Mediterranean, Africa, China and Indonesia with a variety of twists on the classic G&T.

You can win a stay at the Rosewood by sharing a photo of your experience at the pop-up on Twitter or Instagram, following and tagging Bombay Sapphire UK, and using the hashtag #UltimateGT. It closes tomorrow night, so get down there fast for the ultimate G&T in ultra-luxurious surroundings.

The Rosewood Hotel, 252 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7EN. Open 12 – late

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Gin tasting at The Allium, Bath

Tasting notes

Whenever I visit Bath, it’s become customary to stop at the Abbey Hotel’s Allium Brasserie and Art Bar for a G&T.

With a ‘gin of the month’, all the gins you’d expect from a hotel bar, plus several others to boot, there’s always something new to try. Add to that a range of tonics, gin-based cocktails and mixers, and you’ve got yourself a very happy afternoon.

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On this occasion, we elected to try five. With a bit of advice from resident gin expert and Bar Manager, Bella, we ended up with Langley’s No. 8 (41.7% ABV) with Fentimans tonic (which my mum’s husband has proclaimed his new favourite gin), Gin Mare (42.7% ABV) with Fever-Tree Indian Tonic (which is my mum’s new favourite), Origin – Klanac (47% ABV) with Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic (which is a Croatian gin, and my boyfriend’s new favourite), a No. 3 (46% ABV) and Fever-Tree Indian Tonic, and a 6 O’Clock (43% ABV) and 6 O’Clock tonic to match.

While I’d be hard pushed to pick a favourite, this only goes to show just how varied the gin world is. From a classic gentleman’s gin like Langley’s, to an oh-so-quaffable 6 O’Clock, to the Mediterranean and aromatic Gin Mare, there’s got to be something for everyone.

As for me? I’ll be hunting down some more of the Klanac, with its sweet, soft, fruity notes and grapefruit and basil kick. Delicious.

Fever-Tree’s Ultimate Gin & Tonic Pop Up Bar

Events

Located in London’s Hoxton Square, and boasting over 160 different gins from across the world, the Fever-Tree Ultimate Gin & Tonic Pop Up Bar is a must for any gin lover.

The rules are simple; select a gin from the menu (categorised loosely by flavour) and pair it with one of the many Fever-Tree tonics.

fevertree menu

For those who really want to play barman, G&Tree Flights give you the choice of 4 gins to try with a selection of the tonic waters.

Due to my visit being toward the end of the six week long pop up, the first three gins I wanted to try had run out. Having said that, the barman recommended something he thought I’d like based on my other choices: Dà Mhìle Organic Seaweed Gin (42% ABV).

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Paired with Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water and garnished with black pepper and mint, it was aromatic, dry, slightly spicy and salty. It’s a clean, fresh taste with a floral scent and punchy, peppery bite.

Infused with fresh seaweed for three weeks, Dà Mhìle is truly unique in flavour.

The second gin of the evening was Foxdenton 48 (48% ABV), again paired with the Indian Tonic. It had a floral, almost perfumed scent, with clean, sweet notes. Recipient of Best in Class at the International Wine and Spirit Competition 2011.

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With beautiful decor (and a neon light I’m lusting after), super-friendly staff, and a cracking gin selection my own grandmother would be proud of, the Fever-Tree Ultimate Gin & Tonic Pop Up is well worth a visit; just make sure you get down there before they run out of the good stuff.

The Fever-Tree Ultimate Gin & Tonic Pop Up is open until Friday 26 July.

Heston for Waitrose Earl Grey & Lemon Gin

Tasting notes

I’d been hankering to try this for a while so, after grabbing the last bottle on the shelf in my local Waitrose, I rushed home for a Sunday afternoon tasting session.

It comes in a heavy based clear bottle with a cork stopper (for which I’m a sucker – there’s just something about that popping sound when you remove the lid that’s oh so satisfying). This gin has a strong citrus smell, although the Earl Grey comes through more in the taste. It has a clean flavour with a slight aniseed after taste. The label on the bottle lists almond as one of the (several) botanicals, and although that doesn’t come through for me in taste or smell, it must add to the smooth, slightly sweet base of the spirit.

With Schweppe’s Indian tonic, there’s a noticeable coriander after taste and it tastes even sweeter. With Fever-Tree Indian tonic, the lemon flavour is dominant. Both work well.

This is a fresh and clean gin with well-balanced flavours. A great all rounder.

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