When my parents owned a vineyard for ten years it never ceased to amaze me how much they knew about wine. As much as they knew though there was always more to learn and I really envied that knowledge of a subject and the ability to keep learning. As I approach my fifties I keep thinking my brain is going to mush as I don’t work it enough, don’t learn enough and that I needed to find “a thing” to learn and to keep learning. For a while I looked into learning about tea since I am a huge drinker of it, but that would probably involve trips to India or Sri Lanka and whilst that is no bad thing, both are on my bucket list, it isn’t something you can do on a whim.
At pretty much the same time as I was dismissing tea (and Mandarin and flying) I had this revelation that I do like gin after years of trying it with tonic and realising it was the latter that had to go rather than the former. So I hit on the idea of discovering more about gin than the big names that everyone has heard of and I began my quest to learn more about small batch gin. Since there about fifteen distilleries within an hour’s drive of home it felt like a much easier subject to learn about and explore. The metaphorical mountain had come to Mohammed. Or something.
And #Ginmas was born, along with my own advent calendar to store them all in (the post I wrote about it is here: Making your own gin advent calendar. A gin a day for a whole month, shared online with a little bit about said gin and it’s origin and history or a recipe that includes gin. The feedback has been lovely so far and it seems that a lot of other people have also loved learning a bit more about the different gin featured each day at 6pm. Which made me think that it might also be nice to document them here too for those that are not on social media as much as me, and also so we can find the info in the future.
So these are the gins that have formed the first week or Ginmas
First up was the Liverpool Gin
The gin behind the first door today was this one from Liverpool Gin. An organic gin that is handmade in small batches in the heart of the home of gin. The docks of Liverpool are where the spices and botanicals from the Far East originally arrived into the U.K so it stands to reason gin was soon being made on the doorstep of the docks. Lots of citrus in this gin and a real hit of juniper too!
Day 2 was from Rock Rose
By rights this wee gin is only a toddler as it was first distilled in 2014 but since then it has grown up fast and won all sorts of major industry awards. Made up in Scotland it’s called Rock Rose Gin and was the gin behind door number 2 on my #ginmas advent calendar this morning. There are all sorts of botanicals in it including rhodiola rosea which grows near the distillery in Caithness. Vikings thought it gave them strength for their long journeys, I don’t know about that but I do know if gives this gin a lovely rose aroma Do join me tomorrow to see which gin lies behind the third door on my calendar.
The third was from Sipsmith
Started in 2009 in Hammersmith, London, Sipsmith’s original still, Prudence, was the first new one in London for nearly 200 years Prudence has now moved to Chiswick and been joined by Patience and Constance. Made in small batches the batch number is stamped on bottles and you can then look up what was happening on the day when your batch was made. I’ve paired this one today with a little gingerbread cake because gin used to be served warm with a slab of ginger cake.
And December 4th was Portobello Road
What’s really exciting about this gin right now is that in two weeks they are opening London’s first gin hotel. Four floors dedicated to the making of gin. Imagine sleeping in an actual distillery! Hello heaven. Until then I’m enjoying this one tonight over ice and seeing if I can pick out the nutmeg amongst the other eight botanicals
I am desperate to get into that new hotel, it sounds like a whole load of fun. Though I might not want to leave!
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