“New Western Dry” is the proclamation that Aviation Gin makes, indicating this is going to be something different than the gins that are around. The creators of this spirit, which was launched in 2006, have chosen a rather unusual set of botanicals to work with, outside of the compulsory Juniper of course and the best-known citrus flavouring agent in any gin, Coriander. One of the first botanicals that you can taste is Cardamom, giving it a spicy citrus flavour, reminiscent of ginger. Other eccentric ingredients are Lavender, giving Aviation Gin a sweet floral and mellow taste, while the distinct sweetness comes from the Anise-seed which gives a liquorice-like taste to the spirit. Another citrusfruit that has been added is orange in the shape of Dried Orange Peel which shines through in the aftertaste really nice.
My Tonic Water for today is Fever Tree, which has a nice bitter taste from real quinine, together with a pleasant natural sweetness that does not come from loads of added sugars and that has a nice liquorice taste as well.
These two great products have a lot of similarities: both carry the sweetness of liquorice and both have nice gentle citric flavour. On the other hand they have some very distinct differences in flavour: Aviation Gin has nice floral notes from the lavender, while Fever Tree has a stronger bitterness. Could these two be the perfect match for each other?
The strong taste of Cardamom is even more accentuated by the bitter components of Fever Tree Tonic. Somehow this keeps lingering for a long time, dominating the sweeter notes of Anise-seed and orange. The citric notes stay there, but also battling with the strong combination of cardamom and quinine. These two products are great on their won, but together they don’t create that magic. Let’s see what other tonic waters can do for Aviation Gin! But that’s for a next time.