When I first came across Turncoat Gin, and met its founder – Terry Langton – at the small and intimate Catford Gin Festival earlier this year, I was intrigued. At first its seemingly simple bottle didn’t particularly leap out at me, but it did grab the attention of my somewhat geeky husband. And the more I chatted to Terry, learnt about, and tasted, Turncoat Gin, the more it grabbed me too. From the backstory, to the brand, to the bottle, this gin is different.
When so many new gins are launching every month in the UK and further afield, how do we bloggers and enthusiasts keep up? I like to keep a close eye on Instagram and Twitter where I share my finds with a #newginalert, while gin festivals are also a great way to not only hear about new releases but taste them too. I can still walk into a bar or pub and spot a gin that I’ve yet to try, but it’s pretty rare that I’ll never even have heard of it before. But that was how I first came across Inshriach Gin, and that was just the beginning of this serendipitous story.
Gin-lovers, I find, are a friendly bunch and if there’s one thing we love almost as much as drinking gin it’s introducing our friends (and their friends!) to our latest discoveries and favourite tipples. So what better way to share the passion, and show the gin-lover in your life just how much you love them, than with a gorgeous gin gift box? Bottle in a Box offer just such a service and I was lucky enough to receive one of their beautiful boxes.
In a recent interview with The Gin Guide I was asked what my top tip was for people just starting to discover gin. My answer? Get yourself to a gin festival; quite probably the most fun and relaxing way to learn about gin and discover what you like, love and occasionally even loathe! There are, thankfully, plenty of festivals taking place up and down the country nowadays, and each one tends to have a slightly different set-up, but one of the newest and most exciting has got to be The Catford Gin Festival in south east London.
There is something of the perfectionist apparent in the packaging of the 6 O’Clock Gin range, with its clean lines and bold yet intricate cog pattern. And little wonder really. 6 O’Clock gin was inspired by the engineer Edward Kain, great-grandfather of the founder, Michael. Mr Kain sr was clearly a man with a fine eye for detail – as well as a great fondness for gin – he once said that any intricate blueprint demands and deserves balance, poise and precision; the mantra by which 6 O’Clock Gin is still created.
With many gins come many gin awards. And even more medals. For even the most prestigious competitions have a tendency to award a multitude of medals. Consequently the value of such achievements is being diluted; forget bronze – even silver and gold medals make few ripples. And, perhaps more tellingly, most gin-lovers say they do not consider award stickers of being indicative of a gin’s quality either. A Double Gold (such as Pothecary was awarded at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition) certainly stands out within the industry at least, as does Hernö‘s recognition as “Europe’s most awarded gin”, but it takes something really special to catch the attention of the press and public alike. Something like Napue Gin‘s well-deserved title as “The World’s Best Gin for Gin and Tonic”.
Perhaps better known as a craft beer subscription service, Flavourly.com have recently added a Gin Discovery box to their line-up and it looks pretty tempting indeed. Unlike all of their competitors, Flavourly offer their subscribers three 200ml bottles of craft gin in addition to mixers and snacks.
So, Valentine’s Day. It’s all a bit rubbish really, isn’t it? As much as we all like to be swept off our feet occasionally, special occasions dictated by guilt and commercialisation aren’t actually all that special, are they? But happily (especially for those of us who suffer from FOMO), that’s where the gin industry comes riding gallantly to the rescue. Everything looks much rosier from the bottom of a decent G&T (even, in some cases, the gin itself), so pick up a cracking bottle for the gin-lover in your life (and if that happens to be you, well, make it a good one), holler “Bottoms Up!” and ring that bell! It’s Valentines’ Gins; Gin A Ding Ding!
A recent poll I ran indicted that only 8% of my Twitter followers intended to attempt Dry January, with the vast majority opting instead for a boozy Ginuary! However, with more and more so-called millenials cutting down their drinking in favour of a more healthy lifestyle and plenty of other reasons to decline a double G&T – pregnancy, designated driver duties, marathon training or simply a nasty hangover – there is increasing demand for booze-free adult-style drinks.
I love gin. And I also love writing about gin. It’s not just about the spirit for me though. Yes, of course, I love interesting botanicals and a delicious drink. But I also look for a good story, and a stunning bottle. And, according to The Gin Guild, I’m not alone. Truth be told, it’s pretty rare to find a gin that really ticks all the boxes. Rarer still to be asked to review one. Ladies and gentlemen, Trevethan Cornish Gin is, for me, that gin.