So, we’re in a bit of a Gin craze right now, if you hadn’t noticed! The drinks industry is the same as all the rest; it has fashions and they go in cycles; what is most interesting about the Gin fashion, is that it goes against a lot of the other current fashions of drinks becoming sweeter. We are currently seeing Champagne be replaced by the lighter and sweeter Prosecco, the infamous, yet dry, Rioja being replaced by the rounded and fruity Malbec and the basic spirit and mixer by the naturally sweeter cocktail. So why is Gin so popular again and which Gins are the ones to watch?
Let’s perhaps start with why Gin is so dry. Well ironically, in the early 1800’s it was sweetened after the distillation process, due to the poor taste from the methods used to make the Gin (a common trend in the alcohol world!). However, once the current distillation process was implemented, it allowed Gins to be ‘cleaner’ and more ‘neutral’ and therefore it didn’t need to be sweetened anymore. So, the distillation process makes the Gin quite dry, but so do the traditional botanicals that are used. Botanicals are essentially flavourings for Gin and the lead botanical for London Dry Gin is Juniper; naturally very dry. Finally, how do 9/10 people drink their Gin? With the extremely dry mixer; tonic water. This of course does not mean that the Gin is dry, but it certainly makes us associate the spirit with a dry profile.
You’ll notice that I mentioned the sweetening of Gin in the 1800’s to be ironic earlier, this is because we are now seeing many gins being flavoured and sweetened again. So perhaps it isn’t that surprising that Gin is coming back into fashion; it is indeed following the trend of all other drinks and becoming sweeter. Of course the term London Dry Gin actually refers to the specific process used to make London Dry Gin and not where the Gin is made. So we are seeing a lot of distillers make just Gin, as oppose to London Dry, which really appeal to the modern taste and have branding to match. Many traditionalist see this as a negative, but of course, the more exposure Gin receives, as a whole, the larger customer base there is to serve.
The reason for my detailed background story is to explain how we can’t simply choose one Gin to be the best, because there are various categories and styles. What I can do is perhaps introduce you to something new and something with exquisite value for money. If you have endeavored to read this far, you will, no doubt, have a vague interest in Gin, so you’ll be aware of the standard Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire and Hendricks.
I’d like to introduce you to Silent Pool. It is a beautifully displayed Gin in it’s aqua blue bottle, reminding you of those lazy summer days and how they could have been so much better with this in your hand, then there is the elegant gold leaves, embracing the gin, preparing you for the luxury that you’re about to experience. The Gin itself has the traditional initial top notes of London Dry Gin, but a London Dry, this is not; the profile is delicate, yet powerful and citrusy, yet sweet. You will find that this Gin is unlike no other; it doesn’t demand attention and respect, it just quietly requests it after your first sip. Of course a Gin like this comes with a price tag, but we think that a supermarket price of £35 is very modest and a must for the cabinet.
The best serve for a Silent Pool Gin and Tonic, is with plenty of ice, in a traditional Copa Gin Glass, with Fever Tree tonic and a generous slice of Orange Peel. This folks, is how Silent Pool won Gold in the World Spirits 2016.