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Master of Malt Blog

Tag: Gin

Take a VR tour of Chase Distillery with MoM!

Come and take a tour of Chase Distillery in Herefordshire thanks to our good friend virtual reality… Just because you’re self-isolating or on lockdown, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a…

Come and take a tour of Chase Distillery in Herefordshire thanks to our good friend virtual reality…

Just because you’re self-isolating or on lockdown, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good distillery tour. How is this possible? Thanks to the power of VR, of course. In this series we’re going to take you around some of the finest distilleries across England, Wales and Scotland from the comfort of your own home. The Chase Distillery welcomes us this week to see how it creates its award-winning gins and vodkas. Enjoy!

Chase Distillery was founded by William Chase, who you may know as the guy who made very tasty crisps. After selling Tyrrells in 2008 for almost £40 million, he set up Chase Distillery with the profits. Crisps and booze? This guy is my hero. The £3m distillery operates out of Chase’s farm in Herefordshire, with one of the world’s tallest copper distillation columns (70ft in size), and maintains a sustainable approach to creating spirits. All waste produce goes to feed its herd of pedigree Hereford cattle, and wherever possible, the fresh ingredients used in its products are sourced from the farm, including its King Edward and Lady Claire potatoes, as well as cider apples.

VR tour of Chase Distillery

All that talk of crisps and booze has put me in the mood for a spot of tasty indulgence. If you’re also persuaded, then you should give Chase Pink Grapefruit and Pomelo Gin a go. It’s a supremely delicious summer tipple that will come into its own as the weather picks up but for now, will bring a ray of sunshine into your own home. It’s available with £5 off and we can deliver straight to your door. There’s also a discount on Chase GB Gin and Chase Rhubarb and Bramley Apple Gin. What are you waiting for?

Chase Pink Grapefruit and Pomelo Gin Tasting Note:

Fresh tropical fruit notes sit up front, with plenty of enjoyable citrus acidity at its core. Juniper notes act as a spicy foil to the full-bodied sweetness.

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Get some new and trending tipples!

Looking for what’s hot, new and next in the world of delicious drinks? Then we’ve got what you’re looking for. How do you like the sound of getting your hands…

Looking for what’s hot, new and next in the world of delicious drinks? Then we’ve got what you’re looking for.

How do you like the sound of getting your hands on the most exciting bottles on the shelves at MoM Towers? Hot-off-the-press fresh whiskies. In-demand gins and rums. Trending Tequilas. Everybody hates being out of the loop and we all love tasty things. That’s why we’ve created this selection of spirits to keep you up to date with the latest and greatest in the world of booze no matter if you’re self-isolating or in lockdown.

 

Get some new and trending tipples!

Jaffa Cake Gin

Jaffa Cake Gin is distilled with oranges, fresh orange peel and cocoa powder. Oh yeah, and jaffa cakes. Proper jaffa cakes. Full moon, half-moon, total eclipse. Jaffa cakes. Do you actually need any more information? The label claims it will make the best Negroni mankind has ever seen and I don’t doubt it for one single minute. 

What does it taste like?

Zingy orange (marmalade-esque), rich and earthy chocolate, vanilla-rich cake, a touch of almondy-goodness and a solid backbone of juniper. Also, Jaffa Cakes! 

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Wormtub 

You don’t see too many worm tubs these days. Which is a shame. A lot of distilleries have opted to use efficient, easier to maintain condensers, but the muscular, complex profile it gives whisky is delicious. It’s that distinctive character that Wormtub whisky celebrates by blending together single malts made exclusively in distilleries still using traditional worm tubs. This is one for those who like their whisky to be full, rich and robust.

What does it taste like?

Sherry, leather, dates, cocoa, caramel, walnuts, wood-spice, fresh garden mint, ripe strawberries, candied cherry fudge and a wisp of smoke.

Get some new and trending tipples!

Dead Man’s Fingers Pineapple Rum 

Add the sweet, sour and tropical notes of pineapple to an already delicious rum and what have you got? Doubly tasty rum. That’s what. The folks over at Dead Man’s Fingers created this fun and fruity concoction using roasted and candied pineapple. It’s incredibly refreshing, particularly when paired with lemonade, lots of ice, a wedge of lime and a bunch of fresh mint.

What does it taste like?

Bright and almost tangy at first with fresh pineapple and ginger, followed by homemade caramel, nutmeg, cassia and mango.

Get some new and trending tipples!

Regions of Scotland Whisky Tasting Set 

It’s basically impossible to narrow down what the best thing about Scotch is, but the incredible range of different styles of whisky produced across all of its distinctive regions might just be it. This tasting set by Drinks by the Dram champions these regions with five 30ml samples from the peaty, smoky Islay; to the fruity, malty Highlands; the soft, floral Lowlands; and the honeyed, often Sherried Speyside and more!

What does it taste like?

Please don’t eat the box.

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Aerolite Lyndsay 10 Year Old – The Character of Islay Whisky Company

There’s plenty of mystery around Aerolite Lyndsay 10 Year Old but one thing’s for sure, it’s bloody delicious. It was recently awarded the title of Islay Single Malt 12 Years and Under at the World Whiskies Awards 2020 for good reason. This Islay single malt from The Character of Islay Whisky Company was sourced from an undisclosed distillery on the island, but what we do know is that it was aged for 10 years in a mixture of bourbon barrels and Spanish oak sherry quarter casks. Plus the name is a fun anagram you can work out in your spare self-isolation time. 

What does it taste like?

Maritime peat, iodine, honey sweetness, paprika, salted caramel, old bookshelves, mint dark chocolate, espresso, new leather, soy sauce, liquorice allsorts, bonfire smoke and toffee penny, with a pinch of salt.

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Glenfarclas 25 Year Old

Glenfarclas 25 Year Old is just an absolute classic and whisky this good never goes out of fashion. The single malt Scotch whisky, which was matured 100% Oloroso sherry casks and bottled at 43% ABV, is probably the ultimate example of the kind of delightful sherried goodness that the Speyside distillery specialises in.

What does it taste like?

Classic Sherry notes, creamy barley, hints of gingerbread, nutty chocolate, smoke and a touch of menthol.

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Beavertown Neck Oil Bundle (6 Pack)

Stocking up on good beer while in lockdown is a must and if you’re looking for a sublime session IPA then you won’t do better than Beavertown’s ever-popular Neck Oil beer. This bargain bundle will save you 10% versus buying them individually.

What does it taste like?

Light and crisp but full of flavour – citrusy and hoppy, slightly floral, very moreish.

 

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New Arrival of the Week: Manly Lilly Pilly Pink Gin

This week we’re crossing our fingers for sunshine while sipping a new pink gin with no added sugar all the way from Australia. And there’s a special cocktail at the…

This week we’re crossing our fingers for sunshine while sipping a new pink gin with no added sugar all the way from Australia. And there’s a special cocktail at the end.

Some people get very upset with pink gin. Just mention of it can get gin aficionados harrumphing into their (extremely) dry Martinis. But we’re equal opportunities boozers here at Master of Malt so we say, if you like pink gin, then ignore the snobs and drink it. Whatever blows your hair back. Some brands, however, are a little sweet for those raised on London dry gin which is why we’re so taken with the new Lilly Pilly Pink Gin from Australia which contains no added sugar. 

It gets its name from Lilly Pilly, a native Australian species of myrtle with striking pink coloured fruits known in New Zealand rather sweetly as monkey apples. Vanessa Wilton, co-founder of Manly Gin described them as “slightly tart but ever so Australian.” The gin, however, gets its pretty colour from raspberries, not from the lilly pillies which are distilled along with other exciting botanicals such as native limes, hibiscus rosella flowers, blood orange, sea fig and nasturtium flowers. The resulting gin is then steeped with raspberries for 18 hours. There is no sugar added. According to Wilton, “we were really inspired by the beautiful pink sea fig and nasturtium flowers found scattered on the sand dunes of Freshwater beach near the distillery.”

Top foraging!

The distillery itself is not named after some Burt Reynolds-type figure, disappointingly, but after Manly, a suburb of Sydney. It was set up by David Whittaker and Vanessa Wilton who got the spirits bug after visiting a distillery in Tasmania. The Manly range arrived in the UK only last year but has already made quite a splash. In addition to the Lilly Pilly, they produce two dry gins, a barrel-aged gin which tastes like an Australian Chartreuse, and two stunning flavoured vodkas. Finally, there’s whisky in the pipeline which came of age last year but isn’t commercially available yet. 

You might be surprised that the distiller of these amazingly Australian spirits is actually an Englishman, Tim Stones. He previously worked with Desmond Payne at Beefeater, and he confided in us that the great man himself had given the Australian Dry Gin the thumbs-up. Stones is clearly relishing working with Australia’s native flora, “these botanicals are incredibly pungent – just like the nation”, he told us last year. 

In addition to all the unusual ingredients, Manly has not stinted on the juniper in the Lilly Pilly gin and though it is definitely exotic, it’s not wacky. This means it’s a very versatile gin. It would be lovely just with tonic water, garnished with some raspberries, mixed into the reddest Negroni on the planet or you could try in a cocktail suggested by the distillery called the Pink Gin Sling. Just the thing for sipping in the garden when the sun comes out. Chin Chin! Or here’s mud in your eye, as they say in Australia. 

45ml Lilly Pilly Pink Gin
15ml Campari
45ml pineapple juice
20ml lime juice
15ml simple syrup
3 raspberries

Shake all the ingredients together and strain into an ice-filled Highball glass. Garnish with a lime wheel and a raspberry. 

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Top 5 drink books (and a jigsaw)

Taking in cocktails, whisky, gin, Armagnac and every good spirit under the sun, here are our favourite drinks books by the best writers on earth. Plus bonus jigsaw. Fun for…

Taking in cocktails, whisky, gin, Armagnac and every good spirit under the sun, here are our favourite drinks books by the best writers on earth. Plus bonus jigsaw. Fun for all the family!

A good drink has transporting qualities. One sip of Lagavulin and your senses will tell you that you’re on the storm-battered coast of Islay, a chilled glass of Santorini wine is almost as good as a trip to the island itself, and shut your eyes while sipping a good strong Martini and you could be in New York City. The magic is even stronger if you add a good book into the mix which is why we’ve picked five of our favourite drink books in stock at Master of Malt. So, you can explore the world, drink in hand, while maintaining social distancing. If there are any that we have missed, do let us know in the comments or on social. Oh, and we’ve stuck a jigsaw in at the end because you can never have too many whisky-based games. 

 

The Home Bar Henry Jeffreys

If you can’t go out to the bar then why not bring the bar to you? That’s the premise of The Home Bar written by MoM’s very own features editor. It features tips on how to get the right look from an old fashioned pub bar to turning your room into a tiki wonderland, the basic kit you need, and cocktail recipes from the top bartenders. You might never need to leave the house again.

 

Whisky: The Manual Dave Broom

As experienced drinkers you probably think that you don’t need a whisky manual. It’s not a piece of flatpack furniture, just open the bottle and pour. Well, put your scepticism aside because this book from one of the country’s best loved and most majestically bearded whisky writers will take your appreciation of whisky to the next level. 

 

Distilled Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley

The dynamic duo of Harrison and Ridley have written quite a few books but we like this one because it distills (pun fully intended) what the duo do best: insatiable curiosity about drinks, and an amusing style that belies a deep knowledge and understanding of the wide world of booze. Taking in whisky, Calvados, baijiu, Armagnac, gin and more, it’s all here. There’s even a tasting set to go alongside it.

 

 

Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2020

Love him or loathe him, there’s no doubt that Murray has mastered the art of setting the whisky agenda. When Murray made a Japanese whisky, a Yamazaki sherry cask, his whisky of the year in 2014, it made the front page of the papers around the world. Most whisky writers would sell their grannies for that kind of clout. So find out who’s up and who’s down in Murray’s view in this year’s guide, just don’t take it all too seriously.

 

The Curious Bartender’s Gin Palace Tristan Stephenson

If you’re serious about cocktails, then you need to read Tristan Stephenson aka the Curious Bartender. He’s been in the industry since his early twenties, won all kinds of awards and he’s a great writer. You almost want to dislike him. We stock a few of his books and they’re all brilliant but we’ve highlighted this one as we know how much our customers love gin.

 

And finally. . .  The Whiskies of Scotland Jigsaw Puzzle 

Here’s the perfect thing for when you can’t go outside, a whisky jigsaw! Produced by the cleverly-named Bamboozled, it’s a map of Scotland market with famous distilleries. It’s the brainchild of Rebecca Gibb, an actual Master of Wine (she knows a thing or two about whisky as well), so you should learn something while you puzzle. 

 

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Five classic spirits from unusual places

Until fairly recently, beyond international stalwarts like vodka or whisky, there were certain native drinks that were not made outside their home countries. Now, however, this is beginning to change….

Until fairly recently, beyond international stalwarts like vodka or whisky, there were certain native drinks that were not made outside their home countries. Now, however, this is beginning to change. From Canadian aquavit to Australian vermouth, we lift the lid on five classic spirits made in non-traditional places…

The French have Cognac. The Scots have Scotch whisky. In Mexico they make Tequila, and the US boasts bourbon. There are rules and regulations that tie these spirits to their geographical location. But some spirits aren’t bound by such legalities. And with a bit of distiller ingenuity, they can be made anywhere in the world – and often with interesting results. Here, we look at five classic spirits made in unusual places…

Gin from Japan

Holland is widely credited as the birthplace of gin. Following the creation of genever – the region’s beloved malt-based spirit – gin is thought to have been invented by Dutch physician Franciscus Sylvius, who used it for medicinal purposes back in 1550. By the time the 1600s rolled around, there were hundreds of gin distilleries in the city of Amsterdam alone.

Around the same time, gin started to emerge in England in various forms, giving way to a rather bleak period dubbed the ‘Gin Craze’ until production was eventually licensed and tamed. Today, the juniper-forward white spirit is produced in countless western countries the world over, but rarely in the east, which is one of the reasons we were particularly excited to see Ki No Bi Gin launch back in 2016. 

The inaugural release from the Kyoto Distillery – and the first Japanese gin produced in Kyoto – Ki No Bi is made from a rice spirit base and flavoured with locally-sourced botanicals that include yellow yuzu, green sansho and gyokuro tea. The botanicals are split across six flavour categories – base, citrus, Tea, spice, fruity & floral and herbal – and these groupings are distilled individually before being blended together to make the final liquid.

Shochu from California

Historians believe shochu first originated in Persia (or possibly China or Korea) but it’s best known as Japan’s national spirit, having made its way to the rural south of the island country sometime in the 16th century. While it’s typically made from rice, barley, sweet potatoes, buckwheat or brown sugar, Japanese distillers have been known to use chestnut, sesame seeds, potatoes and even carrots to make the clear white liquor – so flavour-wise, it’s super diverse.

Generally speaking, shochu is little-known outside its east Asian home, with confused westerners sometimes referring to the spirit as ‘Japanese vodka’. However in recent years, a handful of experimental distillers, such as those at St. George Spirits, have sought to create their own regional take on the traditional spirit – in this instance, “a full-flavoured shochu from California rice that would complement a hearty bowl of ramen”. 

To create St. George California Shochu, steamed Calrose rice is inoculated with koji spores and fermented (known as ‘sake lees’). Once the rice starch has been transformed into sugar, yeast is added, and the mix is fermented cold. It’s then blended with non-GMO neutral grain spirit and distilled in a copper pot still. On the nose you’ll find cashew, pistachio, sweet mushrooms and dried cocoa, they say – with the latter developing on the palate as bittersweet chocolate.

Absinthe from Scotland

Unlike other spirits categories, we know precisely when and where absinthe was created: the canton of Neuchâtel in Switzerland, 1792. It was the handiwork of French doctor Pierre Ordinaire, who set out to capture the powerful healing effects of wormwood in a potable form. Fast-forward 70 years or so, and this potent anise-flavoured spirit had become the alcoholic drink du jour among bohemian Parisian writers and other arty types.

Where traditional absinthes are bottled anywhere up to 74% ABV – and modern variants up to an eye-watering 90% – Hendrick’s Absinthe stands at an altogether far more reasonable 48%, somewhere in the region of your typical single malt. In a step away from the stereotypical green-tinged liquid we’re accustomed to seeing, this spirit runs clear.

Crafted by master distiller Lesley Gracie at the gin brand’s headquarters in Girvan, Scotland, this variant is flavoured with Hendrick’s signature rose and cucumber botanicals, as well as traditional wormwood and star anise, making it an approachable introduction to absinthe.

Aquavit from Canada

Distilled from grain (or sometimes potatoes), this herbaceous tipple has been produced in Scandiavian countries since the 15th century. Aquavit is characterised by its predominant flavours of caraway or dill or both – the style varies depending on whether you’re in Sweden, Norway or Denmark – and may be matured in a barrel or bottled unaged.

The spirit has found favour outside its Nordic home in the likes of Iceland, Germany, the US, and Canada – the birthplace of Long Table Långbord Akvavit. Produced at Vancouver’s first microdistillery, Long Table Distillery, the liquid is made in small batches according to traditional Scandi style.

Långbord Akvavit is flavoured with six botanicals including caraway, fennel, anise and Seville oranges, and it’s bottled unaged, so there’s no cask influence. Expect ‘complex licorice and orange notes’, ‘a smooth, sweet finish of lingering marmalade’ and ‘prevailing herbal notes on the palate’, the team say.

 

Vermouth from Australia

While it’s more commonly associated with Italy, the history of this fortified wine is rooted in 16th century Germany. In fact, the origin of the word ‘vermouth’ comes from the way French people would pronounce ‘wermut’, the German word for wormwood (an original ingredient that remains a staple to this day). Modern vermouth – as we know it today – was first produced in the 18th century in Italy, with French and Spanish producers creating their own iterations not long after.

Australia may be renowned for its outstanding vineyards, but even so – when Regal Rogue debuted its inaugural new world vermouth, the brand caused a bit of a stir. The four-strong range sees 100% Aussie wines – from Barossa Valley shiraz to Hunter Valley semillon – married with native aromatics including anise myrtle, quandong, pepper berry and more.

This Wild Rosé bottling introduces pale, dry Barossa shiraz rosé from Adelaide Hills to native illawara plums, rosella and strawberry gum, and rhubarb and kina, resulting in a semi-dry vermouth characterised by tropical fruit and fruit spice notes. Delightful.

 

 

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Behold, the World Gin Awards 2020 winners!

It’s official: the World Gin Awards are out! Now you can grab yourself a bottle, make yourself a Gin & Tonic, settle down and tell yourself that you’re drinking the…

It’s official: the World Gin Awards are out! Now you can grab yourself a bottle, make yourself a Gin & Tonic, settle down and tell yourself that you’re drinking the world’s best gin. Now that’s something to brag about. From aged expressions to best Old Tom, we’ve rounded up the best of the best right here. 

world gin awards

It may be easy to see awards as vacuous and unimportant, but with numerous rounds of blind tasting, Gin Magazine’s World Gin Awards is sure to single out spirits that are truly outstanding and worthy of your time as well as your taste buds. Gin-thusiasts, read on!

world gin awards

Drinks by the Dram World Gin Awards Winners 2020 Tasting Set

Want to taste the winners without committing to an entire bottle? Drinks by the Dram has gone and created a handy tasting set boasting five 30cl drams of award-winning gin from this year’s World Gin Awards! You’ll find Bathtub Gin, Lubuski Aged Gin, Marylebone Orange & Geranium Gin, Hayman’s Spiced Sloe Gin and Sky Wave Gin, all in one nifty box. Who says convenience can’t be delicious too?

https://www.instagram.com/shreddy/?hl=en

 

World’s Best Matured Gin: Lubuski Aged Gin

Poland’s Lubuski distillery secured World’s Best Matured Gin this year with its Aged Gin! A combination of oak and chestnut casks gives this one silky caramel alongside green oak notes. One to test twists of classic cocktails with, we reckon.

world gin awards

World’s Best Old Tom Gin: Hernö Old Tom Gin

Sweden’s Country Winner here, with the wonderful Hernö just continuing to scoop up awards! With the same base botanicals as Hernö Dry Gin, though with a dialled up amount of meadowsweet, honey and sugar are also added post distillation for that hallmark Old Tom sweetness.

world gin awards

World’s Best Flavoured Gin: Marylebone Orange & Geranium Gin

It turns out that geraniums aren’t just for the garden thanks to Marylebone Orange & Geranium Gin, the work of London’s Pleasure Gardens Distilling Co.! As you’d expect, it’s all about the floral and citrus notes in this one.

world gin awards

World’s Best Compound Gin: Bathtub Gin

Don’t be fooled by the bootlegger name, Bathtub Gin is a far cry from the Prohibition spirits of old. From England’s very own Ableforth’s comes this year’s World’s Best Compound Gin, named for the 1920s Prohibition method of infusing botanicals in a bathtub. The highly aromatic gin sees the infusion of six botanicals through cold compounding resulting in a rich, viscous mouthfeel boasting orange citrus, fragrant spices and a good core of juniper. 

world gin awards

World’s Best Sloe Gin: Hayman’s Spiced Sloe Gin

How to make sloe gin even more warming? Give it a good kick of spice! The wonderful Hayman’s steeped its own Sloe Gin in sloe fruit flowers and a whole host of seasonal spices to create this Spiced Sloe Gin, which will do rather well as a fruity evening sipper. 

world gin awards

World’s Best Contemporary Gin: Ki No Tea Gin

From the city’s first dedicated gin distillery comes the Kyoto Distillery’s Ki No Tea Gin! Japan’s Country Winner, it was the second release from the distillery and the tasty result of a partnership with local tea grower and blender Hori-Shichimeien. Tencha and Gyokuro teas are among the botanicals used, so it’s full of floral tea notes alongside prominent juniper.

world gin awards

World’s Best London Dry Gin: Manly Spirits Co Australian Dry Gin

If you want to sip on a taste of Australia’s east coast, Australia’s Manly Spirits Co. has bottled up just that with its Australian Dry Gin, Australia’s Country Winner this year. It’s jam-packed full of sustainably foraged Australian botanicals such as sea lettuce, finger lime and mountain pepperberry. A refreshing, savoury and peppery affair, this one.

world gin awards

World’s Best Navy Gin: Conniption Navy Strength Gin

We journey to Durham, North Carolina for America’s Country Winner in the World’s Best Navy Gin category, with the spicy and sweet Conniption Navy Strength Gin! Juniper, cardamom and rosemary are vapour infused in a pot still, while citrus and fig are vacuum distilled at room temperature before being blended together and bottled up at 57% ABV.

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10 different ways to customise your G&T

The shelves of your local supermarket may be leaving a little to the imagination right now, but that’s no reason to sip a lacklustre G&T in isolation – go beyond your…

The shelves of your local supermarket may be leaving a little to the imagination right now, but that’s no reason to sip a lacklustre G&T in isolation – go beyond your typical tonic and garnish variation with a few smart and simple additions. Here, we’ve collected 10 pointers from the pros about how to DIY your favourite juniper serve…

If nothing else, having a little extra spare time allows us to flex our creative muscles a little more than usual – and as we’ve seen in our favourite bars in the world over, no cocktail recipe is more readily adaptable than the Gin and Tonic. 

Usually, this might mean changing our tonic water or experimenting with a new garnish. But let’s be real for a second: half of us are struggling to buy loo roll at the minute. Now is not the time to forage the fresh produce section for exotic fruits.

Luckily, you don’t need wild Himalayan pears to level up your G&T. In fact, you don’t even need to set foot in a supermarket. Whether you’re a fan of flavoured gin or simply adore London dry, you’ll find 10 different expert-approved ways to customise your G&T below…

1) Flavour your ice

With ice being a key element of the serve, it’s an added opportunity to elevate your G&T for both visual and taste benefits, explains Laura Bonner, founder of The Muff Liquor Company. Try freezing your tonic or mixer into ice cubes with botanicals that compliment the tasting notes, such as fruit, herbs, spices, and even edible flowers. Alternatively, you could freeze fruit juice or tea into cubes, or even fresh produce like grapefruit, watermelon or cucumber.

Bombay Bramble, inspired Dick Bradsell’s classic cocktail

2) Introduce a liqueur

Why not add a splash of flavour and colour with a liqueur? Bombay Sapphire has just launched Creations, a colourful gin liqueur range, specifically for this purpose. “Our four trend-based floral and fruity blends all expertly pair with the balanced juniper and citrus notes of our world-famous gin, adding a subtle pink hue from the Rose, a sweet hint of summer from the Strawberry or Raspberry or a more aromatic touch from the Hibiscus,” explains Bombay’s UK brand ambassador Renaud de Bosredon.

Alternatively, pick out the key tasting notes of your gin and experiment with any liqueurs you have at home. “Marylebone London Dry Gin has a very classic base with a great, delicate accent from the lemon balm, lindon and camomile,” says brand ambassador Chris Dennis. “I like to think these give a floral and citrus note. Small additions can go a long way in accentuating these flavours, such as 10ml St.Germain, 10ml Italicus, or 10ml Merlet Pear.

3) Add a dash of bitters

For a subtler approach, try using bitters to intensify certain flavour notes within the gin, say Andrew Kearns and Alex Palu, directors of modern Italian bar Hey Palu in Edinburgh. As a general rule of thumb, they suggest using orange or grapefruit bitters to highlight citrus notes, peach or rhubarb bitters to target fruit flavours, and celery bitters for savoury notes.

Eddie Brook, Cape Byron

Eddie Brook from Brookie’s Gin

4) Pick a fruit-forward gin

Experiment with different styles of gin to enhance the experience, suggests Eddie Brook, the founder of Brookie’s Gin. “Our Brookie’s Byron Slow gin makes for an interesting take on the classic mix,” he says. “We use half tonic and half soda with a strawberry and mint leaf garnish – we call it the Take It Slow.”

Or you can explore other fruit-forward gins. Bombay Sapphire is about to introduce Bombay Bramble, a blackberry and raspberry flavoured gin inspired by the classic Bramble cocktail – “a sophisticated option for those that enjoy a touch of fruit in their G&T,” says de Bosredon.

5) Switch up your glassware

A balloon glass – or copa de balon – is a great choice for bringing out the flavour profile of a gin and tonic, especially gin with a strong citrus or floral fragrance, suggests Bonner. “The bowl shape allows the flavours to be trapped in the glass whilst the carbon in the tonic expands,” she says. “You get a hit of aroma on the nose before drinking the G&T, which gives a more rounded flavour profile experience.”

6) Spritz a mist

Liquid garnishes are all the range, didn’t you hear? You could fashion your own if you have an atomiser bottle, or buy one ready-to-go, à la gin brand Silent Pool. “Our mist garnishes work like a citrus twist garnish as they release the oils and provide that same amazing aroma, but using more unusual botanicals,” explains Silent Pool brand ambassador India Blanch. “Flavour mainly comes from aroma, so this really works to lift certain notes in your G&T.” They’ve just launched a psychedelic CBD-spiked mist. Trippy.

Spritz your G&T to make it up to 20% more delicious

7) Rinse your glass

We don’t mean in the dishwasher (although, make sure you do that too). For an intense herbal aromatic layer, you could try spraying the glass with absinthe first, suggest Kearns and Palu.

8) Flavour your own tonic syrup

Sure, you could make your own tonic tincture from cinchona bark, but being admitted to A&E with accidental quinine poisoning is quite literally the last thing any of us need. However, you could buy (ready-made, safe-to-consume) tonic syrup and use it to flavour your own tincture. “You can make a simple syrup at a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water,” suggests Yusif Al Baggou, bar manager at London’s Tavla. “Once it’s made, add 50ml of the tonic tincture to 500ml of the simple syrup and you have a tonic syrup.” The great thing about making your own syrup is you can add in other flavours to infuse it further, he says, such as cloves and lemongrass. “It’s all about experimenting and finding what flavours suit your palate and gin.”

The magnificent back bar at Hey Palu in Edinburgh

9) Add a splash of cordial

You could also try adding a small measure of cordial, like elderflower, pear or rhubarb, to sweeten and add flavour. “One of the most important things you shouldn’t do when making a G&T is lose the DNA of it,” says Dan Garnell, head bartender at Super Lyan in Amsterdam. “It’s quite a delicate drink when you think about it, as it’s just two ingredients. So you always have to make sure you are amplifying notes either in the gin or a certain spice in the tonic you would love to champion.”

10) Repurpose flat tonic water

Turn your classic G&T into a M&T (that is, a G&T Martini) by boiling flat tonic water and reducing it by half, suggests Tiago Mira, bar manager at The Goring Cocktail Bar in London. “If you want to be more creative, you can simply add aromatic herbs or perhaps some berries to the mix,” he explains. “Once reduced, let it cool, then keep in the fridge.” To make the G&T Martini, add 50ml of your favourite gin and 25ml of the tonic reduction to a mixing glass with plenty of ice. Stir and serve.

 

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Cocktail of the Week: The Betty

Today we’re making a refreshing gin-based cocktail inspired by the great-grandmother of the founder of Ealing Gin. She was quite a gell (say it like the Queen saying ‘girl’ not…

Today we’re making a refreshing gin-based cocktail inspired by the great-grandmother of the founder of Ealing Gin. She was quite a gell (say it like the Queen saying ‘girl’ not like something you might put in your hair). 

America has Hollywood, India has Bollywood and England has. . .  Ealing. Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it but the film studios in Ealing made some of the country’s best loved films like Passport to Pimlico, Whisky Galore! and The Lavender Hill Mob. These intensely British films known as Ealing Comedies were usually about small people (in society, not stature) taking on authority and winning. These were made in the ‘40s and ‘50s but the studio was founded in 1902 and is still going strong today: Shaun of the Dead and parts of Downton Abbey were filmed there. 

Ealing Gin

Amanda and Simon Duncan, with Felicity

Ealing is also home to the Ealing Distillery. Nice segway there, don’t you think? Set up by Amanda and Simon Duncan who came to the gin business from a PR and marketing background respectively, it operates from a tiny premises with one still, called Felicity, in Duncan’s home borough. They have styled their gin rather grandly “The Queen of London dry gins”. It’s not just marketing fluff, however, but a reference to Ealing being known as “The Queen of Suburbs”, a phrase coined by the borough’s surveyor Charles Jones in a book published in 1902, and then repeated ad nauseum by estate agents and developers ever since. Still, it is a nice part of London with it low rise suburban housing, wide open green spaces such as Ealing Common and magnificent art deco architecture like the former Hoover factory (now a Tesco) on Western Avenue, which I use to gaze at in wonder as a child as we drove past on our way back home to Amersham.

The bottle with its pink and green art deco motifs takes its cue from buildings like the Hoover. And happily the contents live up to the packaging, it’s a spicy floral London dry gin smelling headily of pink peppercorns and rose petals, but it’s very much juniper-led making it a good all rounder. The Duncans have come up with a special cocktail which they have christened ‘the Betty’ in honour of Simon’s great grandmother. According to the bumf she was an it girl on the 1920s and 1930s Ealing scene. She trained at RADA, and had bit parts in some of the local films while working as a waitress in the Lyon’s tea room in Berkeley Square. She lived to the ripe old age of 96. What a gell!

Swanky bottle!

The cocktail named in her honour is essentially a Tom Collins with the addition of rose syrup instead of sugar which accentuates the rose petal notes in Ealing Gin.  It’s a great sipper for a warm spring day. So, let’s raise a glass to the little man, to Ealing and, most of all, to Betty. 

50ml Ealing Gin
25ml lemon juice
2tsp rose syrup
50ml soda water

Pour the Ealing Gin, rose syrup and lemon juice into a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes, shake quickly then strain into a high-ball glass filled with more ice. Top up with soda water, give it a quick stir and garnish with a slice of lemon.

 

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We have two bundles of awesome spirits from The Lakes Distillery to be won!

It’s no secret that we love a bundle. What do we love more than a bundle? Two bundles! That’s right, we’ve got two bundles full of wonderful spirits from The…

It’s no secret that we love a bundle. What do we love more than a bundle? Two bundles! That’s right, we’ve got two bundles full of wonderful spirits from The Lakes Distillery to give away.

We’re big fans of The Lakes Distillery, what with all the awesome spirits the beautiful distillery over in Cumbria has graced our palates with since it opened. Now, you could be in with the chance to win five bottles of its delicious liquid in a lip-smacking bundle. Oh, and did we mention there’s two bundles to be won? We know, we are good to you.

So, what’s in this wonderful bundle?

Lakes Distillery Bundle

All this could be yours!

You’ll find a bottle of The Lakes Vodka, as well as a bottle of The Lakes Classic Gin, a super classic, juniper forward tipple. Then you’ll find a bottle each of The Lakes Salted Caramel Vodka Liqueur, The Lakes Elderflower Gin Liqueur and The Lakes Rhubarb and Rosehip Gin Liqueur, all three of which are brand new!

Now that we’ve got your mouths watering, we’re sure you’ll want to know how to enter…

  1. Follow @masterofmalt Instagram account.
  2. Follow @lakesdistillery Instagram account.
  3. Like the competition post⁠.
  4. Tag a friend you’d share your bottles with.

And it’s that simple! Complete those four steps by 22 March and you’re in it to (possibly) win it. Plus, now your chances of winning have doubled! Best of luck to everyone.

MoM Competition 2020 open to entrants 18 years and over. Entries accepted from 16 March to 22 March 2020. Winners chosen at random after close of competition. Prizes not transferable and cannot be exchanged for cash equivalent. See full T&Cs for details.

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Top 10 brilliantly boozy Mother’s Day gifts!

Make sure you’re her favourite this Mother’s Day – these are the most delicious gifts to put a smile on her face (and cement your position as top child) on…

Make sure you’re her favourite this Mother’s Day – these are the most delicious gifts to put a smile on her face (and cement your position as top child) on 22 March!

Choosing the perfect Mother’s Day gift can be a tricky game. You want to make her day. You want to be the generous one round the table. But, if you’re like us, you probably don’t want to spend a fortune either. Well, you’re in luck! We’ve scoured the warehouse shelves to pick out some of our favourite liquid pressies guaranteed to delight both your mum’s palate and your wallet. Hurrah! 

(Pssst… for the latest deals and even more gift ideas, check out our dedicated Mother’s Day page!)

Top 10 brilliantly boozy Mother’s Day gifts!

Silent Pool Gin Gift Pack, £62.95

If your mum adores all things juniper and is also partial to the prettier things in life, we can think of no better pressie than Silent Pool’s gorgeous Gift Pack. Not only is there a full-size bottle of delicious gin (botanicals include chamomile, lavender and honey locally sourced from the Surrey Hills), but there’s a pair of striking glasses, too! She’ll just have to share that G&T with you…

Top 10 brilliantly boozy Mother’s Day gifts!

Two Swallows Cherry & Salted Caramel Rum, £23.95

This flavoured rum is right up our street – and it could well be perfect for your mum, too! The rum base comes from Guyana’s Diamond Distillery (a MoM Towers’ fave), and with cherry and salted caramel too, it’s almost like a Bakewell Tart in a bottle! We also adore the 20s vibes the label is serving us. Winning all round!  

Top 10 brilliantly boozy Mother’s Day gifts!

Glenmorangie Lasanta 12 Year Old, £41.75

An absolute classic from the world of Scotch whisky, this 12 year old, sherry cask-finished Glenmorangie single malt is a joy to behold. The influence from the Oloroso and PX casks used in the latter stages impart delectable dark chocolate, honey and dried raisin notes – a highly giftable bottle, especially if your mum likes her whisky on the luxuriously creamy side…

Top 10 brilliantly boozy Mother’s Day gifts!

Manchester Gin – Raspberry Infused £33.95

If your ma likes to try her hand at mixing drinks, this is a marvellously versatile gin. Infused with oodles of raspberries, Manchester Gin’s fruity concoction works splendidly in a Bramble, a Gin Smash, a twist on a Martini, or even splashed into a glass of fizz. A perfect gift, or one to snap up now so you can make her a drink on Mother’s Day…

Top 10 brilliantly boozy Mother’s Day gifts!

Premium Gin Tasting Set, £19.95

What if your mum’s a bit of a drinks chameleon? Perhaps exploring a world of different tipples is her favourite pastime? We’ve got all sorts of solutions! This Premium Gin Tasting Set looks the part, and comes with five deliciously different 30ml expressions to keep her entertained. But what if she likes whisky, rum, Tequila, vodka, something else? We’ve got all bases covered with our Tasting Sets range. You could even build your own for something truly tailored!

Top 10 brilliantly boozy Mother’s Day gifts!

Bowmore 15 Year Old, £52.90

Perhaps your mum is of a peated whisky persuasion and you’re stuck for what to get her. We’re big fans of Bowmore 15 Year Old, a classic Islay expression that balances that signature smoke with the rich dried fruit sweetness from its sherry cask finish. She’d have to share a dram with you – which means she’d get the gift of a catch-up, too. Two pressies in one! 

Top 10 brilliantly boozy Mother’s Day gifts!

J.J. Corry The Sonas, £59.95

Ok, ok, we’re a bit biased on this one. But it’s our very own Irish whiskey, so how could we not be! Our editor Kristy actually blended this one with our buyer Guy, under the watchful eye of J.J. Corry founder Louise McGuane. A proper sunshine dram (‘Sonas’ means ‘happiness’ in Irish Gaelic), full of fresh fruitiness, creamy vanilla and caramelised pecan notes. And, if you buy a bottle from the J.J. Corry range, you could win a trip to Ireland to blend your very own bottling, too! That would make an epic Mother’s Day gift…

Top 10 brilliantly boozy Mother’s Day gifts!

Bathtub Gin, £28.95

A multi-award-winner, Bathtub Gin is made using a traditional cold compounding method which sees the likes of juniper, orange peel, coriander, cassia, cloves and cardamom-infused in copper pot-spirit for up to a week. The botanicals are depicted on the gift tin as well, which makes it as pretty as a bunch of flowers, but with the added bonus that you can actually drink it. What more could your mum possibly want?!

Top 10 brilliantly boozy Mother’s Day gifts!

Aske Stephenson Garden Bramble, £28.83

We’re well on-board with this pre-mixed cocktail delight. Take the traditional blackberry-based cocktail and add in a host of florals, including elderflower and clary sage, and you get this delectably refreshing sipper that you can simply serve over ice, or give it a go with tonic. Another one that makes a cracking gift, or alternatively it’s an easy solution for pre-Mother’s Day dinner apéritifs. We think of everything. 

Top 10 brilliantly boozy Mother’s Day gifts!

That Boutique-y Gin Company Fruit-y Gin Gift Set, £19.95 

Another splendid solution to Mother’s Day gifting dilemmas if your mum is into all things gin. This brightly colourful gift set features four 50ml bottles of four fabulously flavoursome expressions (Cherry Gin, Chocolate Orange Gin, Strawberry & Balsamico Gin and Spit-Roasted Pineapple Gin) from That Boutique-y Gin Company! It’s a taste extravaganza that’s highly giftable and we’re here for it. 

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