Welcome to the Wonderful World of Weird Gin

Ginvent, Tasting notes

The following is an extract for an article I wrote which first appeared on Flaviar.com in September 2018. You can read the full thing here.

While it’s true that there are some things that probably shouldn’t be distilled into Gin (fish eyes, earwax, old socks…), it all comes down to personal preference, and without experimentation we’d all be drinking the same damn thing, anyway.

So keep an open mind while we take you through some of the most unusual ingredients you’ll find in Gin – from the fun, to the far-fetched, and even the down-right weird.

Actually, since the time of writing, I’ve tried a few other unusual Gins, but I suppose the distinction I haven’t made is what’s weird and brilliant, and what’s weird for the sake of it. I’m dubious that Anty Gin actually tastes good, but the latest limited edition offering from Tarquin’s Gin and GinFoundry.com is certainly the latter.

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Hiding behind #Ginvent door number three is this beauty! . The exclusive and incredibly limited edition Gin, Tan Ha Mor, was made in partnership with @tarquinsgin. . She's a smoky, higher proof beauty – best enjoyed over ice or with Ginger Ale for those tasting later. It's been bottled at 50.5% ABV as a nod to the start co-ordinates of the beach on which the botanicals were prepped. Speaking of which… To make the gin, having set up camp on Polzeath beach we infused wood chips with sea water from the incoming surf, then charred them over two fire pits, along with whole oranges and pink grapefruit peels, coriander seed and juniper. The result is one of process, place and people. . Tan Ha Mor – Fire and Sea. . #Gin #NewGin #Tarquins #Ginvent #Cornwall #MadeInCorwall #Collab #SouthwesternDistillery #GinFoundry

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Tan Ha Mor, which translates to ‘fire and sea’ in Cornish, is outstanding. Devised on Polzeath beach, made with charred oak chips, whole grapefruits and oranges and infused in Tarquin’s Navy Strength Gin before being cut to bottling strength (50.5% ABV), it’s a thing of beauty. Salty, smokey, citrusy-sweet, spiced beauty.

Unsurprisingly, it’s sold out online, as only 500-ish bottles were made, but rumour has it there’s still some lurking around the distillery, and you can try it all this week (while stocks last) at the Gin Kiosk pop up in Old Street Roundabout (until 8th December).

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World Gin Day 2015

Events

World Gin Day – a blatant excuse to drink lots and celebrate – falls this year on Saturday 13 June. Here are my top ways to celebrate in the capital.

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Junipalooza
Hosted by the chaps at Gin Foundry, Junipalooza is sure to be a fun-filled, gin-packed weekend, which sees 24 makers from across the world come together for tastings, masterclasses and Martinis. It’s a sure thing for every gin lover, and we couldn’t NOT include it in this list. See here for more info.

Update: This is a ticketed event which has now sold out. 

Merchant House Masterclass
The super knowledgeable people at Merchant House will take you through gin’s rich history, with four different gins to wash it down. Classes run at 2pm, 4pm and 6pm. Tickets are a snip at just £20. Book yours here.

Shake, Rattle and Stir’s Gin Voyage
Want to make your very own gin, on a boat, floating around London, sipping on cocktails? Of course you do. There are very limited spaces left for this one, which costs £70pp, and guests receive six cocktails and two samples of gin. Find out more and buy tickets here.

Go your own way
Keep it simple, and stock up on gin (Majestic Wines are doing free tastings all day on Saturday, so it’s the perfect excuse to try before you buy, FYI). Invite a few friends round, pour a few G&Ts, and sit back, relax, and revel in the majesty of gin. Cheers!

The Gin Annual 2014 / 2015

Ginspiration

I was absolutely thrilled to receive my copy of Gin Foundry‘s Gin Annual in the post last month. Packed with information on various brands, cocktail recipes and a list of predictions for the Next Big Thing, the 42 page hardback book has taken some time to digest.

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More than just a collection of articles and reviews from their website, the chaps at Gin Foundry have clearly put a lot of love into this first ever Gin Annual; the passion for the spirit is clear in every page of this beautifully designed book. 2014 was a huge year for the gin revival, and according to this, 2015 is set to be bigger.

I was pleased that the predictions for 2015 were more than just the brands with the biggest marketing budgets. I’ll be testing all of the ’10 gins to watch in 2015′ over the coming weeks. Watch this space!

‘Where can I get one?!’ I hear you cry! Well, you can’t, they’re out of stock. Buy me a G&T, and I might let you borrow mine. Sign up now at ginfoundry.com and make sure you get the 2015/16 edition at the end of the year.

Gin Foundry’s Martini Forecaster

Perfect serve

Gin Foundry are at it again. The home of ace infographics, hosts of Junipalooza and all round gin geniuses have come up trumps with a nifty little bit of kit called the Martini Forecaster.

Can’t decide what kind of Martini to order? Well worry no more, folks!

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It’s silly, sure, but charming all the same. Download yours here.

Gin Foundry’s Ginfographic

Perfect serve

A little while ago I took part in Gin Foundry‘s gin-based survey (which, by the way, is the biggest gin-based survey EVER), and the results have just been released!

From the best tonic brand to the nation’s favourite garnish, there’s a lot to digest. My favourite stat is this one – what is the perfect gin to tonic ratio? The eternal question, the long-standing argument, the issue that everyone has an opinion on. While I’m in the minority, I still firmly believe you should be able to taste the gin in your G&T, it seems not everyone agrees…
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You can download the full infographic here.