By Kate McCart | Posted in For Your Consideration | 12 July 2012 12:02PM
Please take a seat... And welcome to Gin 101…
First up, it’s all about the botanicals: licorice, almond, cucumber, rose petal, peppercorn and (for some) the obvious - juniper berry.
Mixing gin isn’t all that simple… Well, that’s a bit of a white lie. It can be as non-complex as you wish - a nip of whatever’s on offer, swamped with Schweppes tonic water and a squeeze of lemon.
But, if you’re somewhat of a gin snob or would like to consider yourself an aficionado, there’s a bit more to it. You wouldn’t ruin a seafood pasta with parmesan, or cook your eye fillet to within an inch of its life, so why taint your Hendricks with a dry, two-day old slice of dodgy bar lemon?
The drink of the Scots, Hendricks distills their gin in miniscule batches. Producing only 450 litres at a time to maintain a greater amount of control over the artistry, let’s not spoil their masterpiece with ignorance. Infused with Bulgarian rose and cucumber, that’s exactly what you serve it with - a slice or two of cucumber. Call me crazy, but I’ve also heard a crack or two of pepper does the drink a service.
Bombay is infused with ten botanicals, which is why it’s best served simply. A slice of lime (not lemon) and a splash of tonic will suffice. Sourced from around the world, it’s infused with: grains of paradise from West Africa, licorice from China, angelica root from Saxony, coriander seeds from Morocco, cassia bark from Indo China, cubeb berries from Java, orris root juniper berries from Italy and almonds and lemon peel from Spain. As one would imagine, it’s quite a complex distilling process.
If it‘s a martini that tickles your fancy, Plymouth is your drop. A bit of history lesson for you… Plymouth has been making gin according to the original family recipe since 1793, and is the oldest gin distillery in England. It’s Plymouth that is specifically called for in the earliest known written recipe for the martini, circa 1896. Add a splash of Vermouth, mix over ice, strain and serve straight up with an olive or a lemon twist as a garnish.