My apologies for being one day late, I had the pleasure of visiting the Jenever Festival in Schiedam yesterday. Schiedam is a city, incorporated by the larger Rotterdam and home to a few of the oldest distilleries in the world. For the third year the festival is organized in the Jenever Museum and is drawing a larger crowd every year. Now how does Jenever (or Genever) relate to G&T Sunday? Distillery Van Toor is producing beautiful products like Jenever, Schelvispekel and Bitters but since last year, they’re also distilling gin: VL92 Gin. This gin is based on the old roots of the category, which is Genever and so the circle is complete.
VL92 Gin is based on Malt Wine ( 25 % moutwijn), a distillate from different types of grain. This is re-distilled with botanicals, including fresh corianderleaf, giving a fresh citrus flavour to the spirit and creating a very interesting taste that’s pretty one-of-a-kind for any spirit. This is definitely not a gin for inexperienced G&T drinkers, but all the more interesting for the G&T lover!
I’ve used the Fentiman’s tonic before in combination with Hendrick’s Gin, and described the tonic water as dry, from natural quinine and very citrussy, coming from the lemongrass and lime leaves. The combination with Hendrick’s didn’t work out perfectly, despite the great qualities of the separate products. The prefect G&T needs to have that 1+1=3 logic to it. How does the VL92 combination with fentiman’s stand out in this test?
I was lucky enough to have one served by the creator of the gin, Sietze Kalkwijk, product-designer in his normal life, who turns into a spirits-designer by night. He suggested to serve the G&T not with the standard lime because of the combined citrus already present in both liquids. He served them with a very thin slice of fresh ginger, which added a nice spicy dimension to this mix and also triggers the other botanicals in the gin. The combination of these two works extremely well: the Fentiman’s Tonic leaves enough room for the floral notes of the gin to shine through and the VL92 has a great sweetness from the malt wine and a little from liquorice. Here you notice the special addition of the malt wine and how well that works in the G&T.
Method: Mix 40 ml / 1.5 oz VL92 Gin in a longdrink. Add a thin slice of fresh ginger, fill with icecubes and top with Fentiman’s tonic water. Give a gentle stir and enjoy!