I have a bit of a soft spot for Pothecary Gin; it was the first gin I formally reviewed, it comes from Dorset where my husband and I married, and its signature colour is my favourite too. It’s also a damn fine gin with a fascinating story behind it; a winning combination in my opinion. So you can imagine my delight when Pothecary collaborated with another local business, who produce another one of my favourite vices, and then asked me to review it!
The story of Pothecary Gin is one of innovation and determination which has seen them go from strength to strength; from a still in a spare bedroom to winning double gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and two silvers at the International Wine and Spirit Competition. Now, just in time for Christmas, they have launched a new gift box, pairing their premium gin with gourmet chocolates by Miss Witt.
Michelin Star-trained pastry chef Kerry Witt grew up on the edge of the New Forest close to Pothecary Gin, and still makes her chocolates there. Kerry established award-winning Chocolate By Miss Witt in 2012 and, like Pothecary, she uses contemporary methods of production to intensify the flavour of the ingredients with which she works.
Lukasz Dwornik and Martin Jennings of Pothecary Gin settled on their unusual combination of Provençal lavender, Anatolian black mulberries, tilia flowers, juniper and lemon peel after experimenting with over 100 ingredients. Pothecary Gin is then made by using the less common fractional distillation process whereby each botanical is individually distilled before the distillates are then carefully blended together to achieve the final product.
Kerry has taken these flavour profiles as the inspiration for her latest chocolate creations and used her signature water ganache, created using Hildon Mineral Water, to bring the best out of each botanical. Kerry developed her innovative water ganache as she felt the traditional use of cream and butter masked the pure taste of her flavour combinations.
The gift box is a real stunner, beautifully presenting the two products in a symphony of Pothecary’s signature teal and gold colours. Inside lies a 100ml Pothecary miniature, just as beautiful as the larger 500ml bottle, with its cork-and-wooden-stoppered bottle inspired by vintage apothecary jars. Alongside this sits a dainty box of four of Miss Witt’s gold and teal hemispherical chocolates. The inlay also beautifully portrays the five botanicals, which feature in both Pothecary gin and the accompanying chocolates, giving a little hint as to what awaits.
Pothecary Gin is smooth, dry and one of a kind. A floral and aromatic gin, lavender assaults the senses before giving way to sweeter, almost butterscotch-like, notes. The citrus comes in on the finish with a tangy marmalade flavour. Pothecary Gin is wonderful consumed neat, and the chocolates are designed to accompany the gin in this way, although it also makes an outstanding gin and tonic or martini.
The teal Provençal chocolate is named after the area in France where the lavender is grown. The shell is made of white chocolate from the Dominican Republic, within which sits a soft mousse centre with the intense flavour of lavender and a touch of sea salt.
The gold Ana chocolate features a black mulberry ganache, and is named after Anatolia; the region where the mulberries originate. Kerry has used Venezuelan 40% milk chocolate, organic black mulberry extract post-distillation, and organic Sicilian lemon distillate, to create the mulberry ganache which is then encased in a crisp dark chocolate shell.
The exceptional quality of the chocolates is immediately obvious and they showcase, and complement, the Pothecary Gin superbly. The Provençal chocolate is smooth and creamy and the lavender and salt shine though. This chocolate is closest in taste to the Pothecary Gin with some light citrus notes. The Ana chocolate is completely different; deep and rich and fruity with an almost rum-like molasses flavour. The dark chocolate shell is almost bitter (presumably due to a high cocoa content) and balances the sweeter ganache perfectly.
Both Pothecary Gin and Chocolates By Miss Witt are premium products and this collaboration works wonderfully together. The flavours are unusual and this gift box will make a wonderfully unique gift for the more adventurous gin-lover in your life this Christmas.
The Pothecary Gin Gift Box is available on pre-order from Gin Kiosk (£25).
With thanks to Pothecary Gin for sending me a sample box to review.