The new arrival siren is sounding so that must mean we’ve got some new deliciousness to discuss. This week it’s a Master of Malt exclusive that we’ll donate £20.20 for every bottle sold to help those affected by Covid-19. How delightful.
When the good folks at Bathtub Gin see an opportunity to help, help they do. It’s also useful that they really like creating new and delicious things. The result of both these facts in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis is Bathtub Gin 2020 – a new limited-run Bathtub Gin expression that raises vital funds for those in the hospitality industry badly affected by the pandemic.
So what is Bathtub Gin 2020, and how exactly does it help? The new bottling gets its name for three reasons. One, it’s 2020 (obviously). Secondly, the usual ten-botanical Bathtub Gin recipe has been bolstered by another ten to make 20! Speedy maths. And last, but very clearly and obviously not least, for every bottle sold we’re donating £20.20 to help people in the hospitality industry affected by Covid-19. That’s a triple whammy of 20-based goodness right there.
And what does it actually taste like? Is it just like a supercharged Bathtub Gin? Yes and no. The second you lift your tasting glass to your nose, it’s different and distinct. It’s a great deal more complex (as you’d expect from the bolstered botanical list), but it’s genuinely different, too. The ‘regular’ Bathtub Gin starts its life as a distilled gin, and then the usual characters of juniper, orange peel, coriander, cassia, cloves and cardamom are all infused into it for an average of seven days. The new additions include dried yuzu peel, cubeb berries, camomile, silver needle tea, allspice and black pepper. The result is a distinct departure – but the family resemblance is for sure there.
Bathtub Gin 2020 is rich, oily and inviting, with all those tasty baking spice notes enticing you in for a second sniff. On the palate, it’s distinctly Bathtub – all the usual citrus notes you get from the usual infusion, plus entirely new flavours and textures. It remains smooth and mouth-filling, but there’s some extra vibrancy from the yuzu, an intriguing forestry-floral vibe from the tea, and a delightful peppery warmth cutting through all that oiliness from the juniper. It’s a tasty little number, indeed.
And what to do with it? Gins of this intensity and vibrancy can make or break a cocktail. We reckon the oiliness will stand up well in a Negroni, and at the smidge higher 45.3%, it would absolutely sing in a G&T (just keep the tonic neutral, you don’t want to shout over all those wonderful botanical flavours). We also think Bathtub Gin 2020 would be a dreamy component in a Hanky Panky, with the sweet vermouth and Fernet-Branca beautifully balancing those sweet spices for something with a delectable punch indeed.
Hanky Panky recipe:
45ml Bathtub Gin 2020
45ml sweet vermouth
2 dashes Fernet-Branca
An orange twist to garnish
This is a super simple one – pop it all into a mixing glass with a good helping of ice and stir. Then just strain into a chilled glass and pop the orange twist on top. Voilà!
Last but not least, this isn’t just a new gin for gin’s sake. Bathtub Gin 2020 was created to help continue to raise funds for hospitality workers affected by the Covid-19 crisis. As we all know, restaurants, bars and clubs will remain affected for a very long time – challenges are myriad, from working out financially viable ways to reopen while maintaining social distancing, to opening up new platforms to sell drinks either outside or by mail order. And this is not a small problem – more than 3.2 million people are employed in the hospitality sector in the UK, according to UKHospitality. The industry has rallied round, and this is another way you can help. For every bottle of Bathtub Gin 2020 sold, £20.20 will be donated to a group of charities, including Hospitality Action, that helps those worst hit by the impact of Covid-19. Drink good stuff and do good stuff all in one!
Bathtub Gin 2020 tasting note:
Nose: Rich baking spices and black peppercorns combine with the earthy juniper for a luxuriously warming nose. Aromatic citrus peels add a vibrancy, while a fragrant tea note contributes further complexity.
Palate: The juniper is immediately apparent and imparts a wonderfully oily texture. On the mid-palate, the nutmeg and liquorice turn into old-school cola cube sweeties, and there’s a lush berry component, too. The sweet spices give a pleasingly warming prickle around the side of the tongue.
Finish: Long and luscious, with those rich spices rolling on and on.
Overall: An incredibly complex, expressive gin. Give it a go lengthened with a neutral tonic, or in a Hanky Panky.