Talking Gin!

The warmer weather is back to stay and we have another long weekend ahead with the end of May bank holiday. We are getting excited about our next supper club which is themed round gin.

Gin parties, gin menus, ginvent calendars and even a Ginstitute hotel: the UK’s renewed passion for all things gins created a whole new industry.

There are 315 distilleries in Britain – more than double the number operating five years ago. According to figures collected by HM Revenue & Customs, which hands out licences to produce spirits, nearly 50 opened last year, while just a handful shut up shop.

Demand for interesting gins, made by small scale craft and artisan producers has driven a near-20% rise in the total amount of the juniper-flavoured spirit sold. Gin has now become one of the best loved alcoholic spirits around due to its aromatic blend of juniper berries and other botanicals.

Gin comes in many flavours and forms which includes rhubarb gin, spiced gin, pink gin, violet gin and blood orange gin.

A good Gin for me regular starts with the story. The passion behind it often comes through in a good Gin. There are many examples with the number of British distilled gins rising every year. Whilst it does not have to have a good story, naturally it should taste good.  I am not a Gin snob, I am happy to try the big brand Gin as much as the smaller distillers too. I do like to see effort in the base spirit process and botanicals, this grabs my attention. I have tasted some amazing gins with just two or three botanicals. In the end, it is simple. If it makes a good G&T or Martini, I’m in.

I was doing my homework online and found this out about local Surrey-based Silent Pool Distillers has created what is thought to be the world’s largest (9 liter) and most expensive bottle of gin, costing £5,000 (about $7,000). Hand painted and signed by artist Laura Barrett, it contains the 24-botanical Silent Pool Gin.

GIN THEMED SUPPER CLUB – 5th June 2019

  • Time: 7-9.30pm
  • Venue: Hurst Farm B&B, Crockham Hill
  • Cost: £35 and bring your own drinks

You may love a gin and tonic but this supper club will be learning a lot more about how gin is made, and why certain botanicals are used. We are particularly excited to meet the maker of Pipehouse Gin, Tunbridge Wells.

We will be dining alfresco in the beautiful gardens at Hurst Farm B&B, if the weather is kind. If not we will be bringing the sunshine in to this beautiful barn kitchen and tucking into some delicious food. 

Gin adds a twist to our carefully chosen menu, adding something different to our summery supper. We will start with sipping a Pipehouse Gin cocktail accompanied by some colourful canapes. Then we plan to delve in to some blind tasting and a few games with the gin to get to know some of the botanicals in the flavours Pipehouse have chosen. Sitting back and enjoying our starter of home cured salmon in gin with creme fraiche and homemade rye bread, roast chicken with sumac, za’atar and lemon, gin and cucumber raita, with seasonal salads. As expected gin is in the perfect accompaniment to pink grapefruit and cardamon so we are serving a homemade tart with a combination of all those flavours and boozy chocolate brownies.

Booking closes on the 30th May so please drop me an email at jobanks@alivewithflavour.com if you would like to reserve a place at our table. Paying by credit card its easy online, just click here.

Just as I conclude talking gin, here are a few facts:

To confuse matters, many gins are labelled as “London Gin”, but this has nothing to do with where it’s made, and everything to do with the style or recipe of the gin. Back in the day, most gin distillers could be found in London and hence the name has stuck.

If you happen to be traveling to a country where malaria occurs, you may want to order a gin and tonic when you get there. The gin and tonic was developed in the 1800s to make quinine more palatable. And quinine, derived from cinchona or ‘fever’ tree bark, was an essential medicine that worked to both cure and prevent malaria.

Herbal remedies and teas can work wonders, and the composition of gin makes it an excellent choice for those who seek a more “natural” alcohol. Made of juniper berries, coriander, cassia, nutmeg, sage, angelica root, and rosemary (among others), it’s a smorgasbord of natural and nutritious herbs. In short, gin is probably the healthiest liquor on the market today.

In addition to potentially warding off obesity and weight gain, gin is surprisingly low in calories. A shot of gin weighs in at 97 calories… A shot of gin has an average of 72 calories, and given the fact that gin typically has no less than 37% alcohol ABV – you can get quite merry on gin without having to sacrifice your diet or healthy lifestyle. I’ll drink to that!

If your favourite way to drink G is with the T, then it’s important you don’t skimp on quality – after all, it’s often three quarters of the glass. Aside from the perennially popular Fever Tree, we’d also recommend Double Dutch and Sekforde (a non-quinine alternative to tonic). You’ll find that almost every gin has its own signature serve so it’s worth updating your ice and a slice with the various suggestions to really bring out the best of the gin. A large balloon glass (fish bowl)  is our vessel of choice. Cheers…

 

 

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