Posted on 09/08/2013 by Mistercocktail

In a summer filled with activations to promote their new brand message “Crusading for Le Charme“, yesterday’s boatride was a picture perfect setting to indulge a few lucky ones in French hospitality. Our two charming hosts made sure we were welcomed with the Grand Ginger, a mix they have been promoting for the past few years. With the release of last year’s limited edition bottle, Grand Marnier is now fully embracing the French romantic lifestyle.

The strategy to find the perfect longdrink to widen the use of a liqueur is broadly adapted in the world of spirits. Most white spirits already have their own longdrink (G&T, screwdriver and Moscow Mule are just a few famous examples) and succesfully claiming a mix would be the ultimate win. There are some that have succeeded (like this brand) in this but many have failed.

Balance is of course very important, as overpouring with a liqueur can make the taste go overboard very fast. A rocking boat in the canals of Amsterdam can be a tricky stage to pour with a steady hand, but our hosts were well balanced themselves and managed our well-being even when we were stopped over by the waterpolice for over an hour to check on permits. I’m pretty sure they just wanted to get a Grand Ginger themselves.

The recipe for the Grand Ginger is simple and refreshing:

Mix 35 ml Grand Marnier and 120 ml Ginger Ale in a longdrink filled with icecubes. Garnish with a limesqueeze (that’s one wedge that you squeeze in the glass to release the juice). Give it a gentle stir and enjoy!

Posted on 18/06/2013 by Mistercocktail

What could possibly be better then combining great food with one of the best spirits Mother Earth has given us: Mezcales. The kind people looking after Tequila Ocho, Don Julio Tequila and, Del Maguey Mezcal and Ilegal Mezcal in Holland decided do organize an event with exactly those ingredients. Combined with friends of course.

One thing about this is truly remarkable: these are 4 competing brands from 4 competing distributors, organizing an event together. They realise that in order to be a category, they need to create one first. That’s how it should be done.

Hosts for the evening were Herman van der Meij (Brand Ambassador for Don Julio), Thomas Forster & Oscar Steginga (brand activators for Tequila Ocho) and Tomás Estes (Tequila Ambassador & founder of Tequila Ocho) and the stage was set in Dvars, a new cocktailbar in Amsterdam by Andrew Nichols. Enough name-dropping for now, how was the food and, more importantly, how were the drinks!

Tequila Ocho & Corona with some real mexican food

 

We were welcomed with a nice mix of Don Julio Reposado & Fever Tree Ginger Ale with fresh lime, a very nice starter and a well-balanced drink. It’s a longdrink, so no rocket-science: mix 35 ml of the Don Julio with 150 ml Ginger Ale, loads of icecubes and a wedge of fresh lime. The drinks were accompanied by melonsticks soaked in Tequila Ocho, off to a good start!

The dinner consisted of 3 parts and the starter was a Sangrita, a mix-it-yourself drink that dates back to the 1920’s in Mexico. People there used to collect the left-over juice from fruit salads and drink it with a glass of tequila. The drink is coloured bright red, but please note: there shouldn’t be any tomato in it! It takes it’s colour from the fine pepper powder, spices and pomegranate  with sweetend orange or limejuice. It was served with a vanilla & pear syrup created in-house and both the Ocho Blanco and Reposado were on the table to try it with.

Tequila Ocho uses very ripe agaves that sometimes even have started to ferment while still growing. After cutting them, they are fermented in a 700-litre open top pine barrel where a so-called igniter is used to start the fermentation (as opposed to spontaneous fermentation where you let nature decide fully on how it will ferment).
After that, the mash is distilled in 300 litre potstills. The distillate is not filtered through carbon, nor chill-filtered, leaving loads of flavours in the drink. The result is a nice and smokey taste, that is still very crisp. Ripe fruit and fresh citrus with lots of agave and some earthy and peppery notes in the finish.

 

Next up we had the Don Julio, from which we could try the blanco, the reposado and the anejo to see which one would match the next course: a cucumber-coriander wrap with mezal marinated beef. Don Julio González learned to make tequila around 1932 and he started producing his own in 1942. He made his first tequilas  for friends only, but when his spirits became better-known he started to produce more. The agaves that are used for Don Julio contain at least 23% sugar, resulting in a full bodied, yet round flavour – accessible for the beginner yet challenging for the discerning drinker. Don Julio ferments the agaves for about 24 hrs, after which a potstill distillation gives length, a great mouthfeel and a silky taste.

The dessert was, well, the dessert, but more interestingly there was a nice table containing all tequila’s mentioned above, but also a few extra. There was the Don Julio 1942, a tequila that has been aged for a minimum of 2,5 years. It has a rich taste with dominating flavours of caramel and toffee, ripe tropical fruit and spices. Something completely different was the Del Maguey Vida, a single village Mezcal which is a handcrafted, unblended, double distilled mezcal from the Espadín Agave. The taste is full bodied and smokey, with hints of cinnamon, roasted agave and banana.

Mister Tomás Estes brought one special bottle with him, the Tequila Ocho Single Barrel Anejo, bottled at 54.8 % cask strenght.  A true gem from his range with a wonderful palate.

I truly hope more events like this will be organized throughout the world and not only for Mezcales, but for other categories that need some more explanation to be fully understood and appreciated. A call to all brands, that they sometimes need eachother to create a market of appreciating consumers before that can start worrying about marketshare.

Posted on 17/02/2013 by Mistercocktail

You may have noticed that I haven’t updated my blog the last couple of months on a regular base. Some larger projects, travels and tradeshows have taken up a lot of my time, but I intend to provide you with new information, insights, reports and reviews again!

First up is Venuez BE, the Belgian Barshow. The only good tradeshow for hospitailty professionals regarding spirits in Belgium and Holland. This means that there will be loads of Dutch visitors in Antwerp, making this a very international tradeshow. Seminars play an important role during these two days and some very well-known (or famous, depending on how deeply involved you are in bartending) people have been invited to show their skills. My old collegue Giuseppe Gallo is one person I’m looking forward to hear and there will be loads of laughter during the presentation of Mr Rum himself: Ian Burrell, organizer of the world’s largest rumevent. One seminar in particular is one to look out for and that is where Marian Beke and Luca Cinalli, the 2 bartenders of Nightjar, London will show their deep knowledge of making drinks and, more in particular, their skills for making drinks beautiful.

Amidst this line-up there’s also a small place for your humble narrator to spread the love for Gin & Tonic, by explaining how and why certain gins go along really well with certain tonics. Or not.

On both Monday and Tuesday, you can witness me go down in a sea of gin&tonic and I hope you will join me!

Posted on 16/12/2012 by Mistercocktail

I’m still updating my first posts I made earlier this year when I started with the G&T Sunday Reviews. I only tested Hendrick’s with Fentiman’s, so 3 others left to go with this most peculiar Scottish gin.

A quick update on what Hendrick’s is, just in case you’ve forgotten: “It has a distinctive bottle, resembling an Apothecary bottle from long time ago, coloured almost black. When you turn the bottle, you may notice the sentence “It is not for Everyone” and I must say: it isn’t. You can read the ingredients on the back label as well and the first stage of the distillation is making a ‘vapour-distilled’ gin, which could be classified as a London Dry Gin. In this first step, ‘ordinary’ botanicals are infused in a neutral grain spirit. Think of Juniper, Coriander and Citrus Peel. But Hendrick’s Gin becomes, well, Hendrick’s Gin after the addition of two extra infusions: Cucumber and Rose Petals. Here’s a link to their blog, where you can read a lot more about their gin.”

1724: The nose is strong and cucumber-rose combination comes directly to you. The taste reveals mainly these 2 flavours with only a slight bitterness. In the aftertaste the coriander comes through, taking over completely. I think this tonic water is not strong enough to complement the dominant flavourings in Hendrick’s Gin
7.5/10

Fever Tree: This taste just scream Coriander from the first sip! CO-RI-ANDEEEER!!!! Cucumber is detectable in the middle which is a bit more sweet and it gets more floury (=rose) towards the end, but wow, I’ve never taste so much coriander in one sip!
7/10

Thomas Henry: Here I also get a little bit of the Coriander-experience, but milder. The taste is much more balanced and I get very pleasant sweet notes in the middle, accompanied by the typical rose and cucumber.
9/10

Fentiman’s: I needed to try this mix again, since I rated it with a 6 last time. One of worst combinations I tried but did I make a mistake in judgement? Time to find out!

Nope. It’s a terrible mix, too citrussy, too perfumed and there’s hardly any cucumber nor rose left in the taste. Both are great products, but not together.
6/10

Conclusion: Hendrick’s Gin has such an outspoken bouquet that it is more difficult to match with a tonic water. Most make an all-right mix, but we’re looking for the best combination, the one tonic water that really compliments the gin and that lets it shine. I only found Thomas Henry to do this for Hendrick’s really well, but with the addition of fresh cucumber I’m pretty sure that the mix with all other tonic waters will be very pleasant. But in my tastings I compare without garnishes so I can taste the combination best.

Posted on 11/12/2012 by Mistercocktail

Now that I’ve got some time to try the other tonic waters with each different gin, I’m meeting old friends again. Tanqueray, one of the world’s leading gins, created by Charles Tanqueray in 1820 is now waiting for me to be tested with the 3 remaining tonic waters: Fentiman’s, Thomas Henry and 1724. Just like in last Sunday’s tasting with Bombay Sapphire, I’m curious how I will rate these gin & tonics considering the amount of specialty gins I’ve been tasting over the past few months. It’s not that my taste is spoiled, but if you’re spectrum of taste gets wider and more experienced there is always a chance that you keep comparing everything to that one perfect gin. It’s like buying a new suit: the one you like most is always the most expensive one and you keep comparing everything else with that perfect € 2000 suit.

It also made me reflect on what I’m actually rating: is it my own taste or the way the gin and tonic match? Letting your own taste lead you towards picking the best tasting g&t is very tempting, as it is the easiest to describe: you like it, you don’t or something in between (that’s some quality writing btw). But since my taste probably doesn’t reflect anyone else’s, this tasting needs to describe only the way the gin and the tonic waters mix together. I do throw in a personal note from time to time (yes, I know: everything I taste is personal anyway) but I try to describe the flavours I get in each mix as objective as possible and the rating below each mix is mostly how these 2 complement eachother. Each gin has another tonic to match and the more outspoken the taste of a gin is, the less likely you can match every tonic with it. There is of course a little bit of my taste in the verdict, so evertime you see a 9,5 it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the best gin&tonic on the planet, it means that the g&t match (almost) perfectly and that I really like that mix.

So, how does Tanqueray mix with my tonic-panel?

1724: The gin is very dominant in the nose with loads of juniper. The taste is soft, yet firm and a bit floury. The middle part of the taste is more sweet, coming from the liquorice and the soft taste of 1724 really lets the botanicals in Tanqueray come out. The atertaste is slightly bitter with a salty edge.
8.5/10

Fever Tree: These 2 complement each other quite nicely: The angelica-notes come in from the gin, balancing the bitterness of the quinine very well. The natural sweetness of the tonic goes great with the citrus-notes that are quite dominant in the Tanqueray and together with the pleasantly sweet taste of liquorice it creates a very nice aftertaste.
8.0/10

Thomas Henry: The nose in this mix is very soft and the juniper and citrus stay very well balanced. Sipping this mix underlines how the sweet notes work perfectly together with the angelica and coriander. The tonic adds a lot of length to the Tanqueray in a very good way!
9.5/10

Fentiman’s: The opening is soft and floury with a gentle juniper and a nice bitter. The citrus is quite present, obviously, as both the gin and the tonic are citrus-heavy. It is a very fresh taste and not perfumed as sometimes can be the case with Fentiman’s.
8.5/10

Conclusion: the differences in rating are not too large between these tonic waters, indicating that Tanqueray is easily mixable. It is of course a much stronger gin than, let’s say, Bombay Sapphire, but both gins were created in a very different time. I was quite impressed by the mix with Thomas Henry and I gave it the best rating of these 4. Again, this means that the match just about perfectly ànd I like this mix even more that the other 3. I am very curious if any of my readers (anyone? Echo?) has conducted a similar tasting

Posted on 09/12/2012 by Mistercocktail

When I first started off with my G&T Sundays, I figured that I would rate just 1 tonic with a gin each Sunday. That would give me 52/4 = 13 gins tested. I soon realised that a) there are far more gins than that and b) my posts would become quite boring after a while (if not already). So I switched to testing 4 tonic waters each Sunday which would subsequently give me 52 * 4 = 208 G&T combinations. Admittedly, I couldn’t get through each session anywhere near sober so I had to skip quite a few Sundays. It takes good planning and preparation to execute such a tasting!

Today I decided to complete the Bombay Sapphire tasting. Since I already made a review of the spirit itself and of the combination with Fever Tree, I only had to try it with 1724, Thomas Henry and Fentiman’s. But I threw in a bottle of   Fever Tree just to see if I got it right the first time (spoiler alert: I did, so I just copied the previous text)

Since my tasting with Bombay Sapphire early March, I’ve learned about so many new gins that I was curious on how I would rate this gin now. It’s easy of course to say that it’s mainstream, almost a vodka or just plain boring. But when you put it in historical perspective it’s far from boring. Mainstream: up to a certain level, yes, but thanks to this brand we have been enjoying the revival of gin. Almost a vodka: not at all. Compared to a lot of gins it would be tempting to say so  but to me there’s still so many great flavours in Bombay Sapphire, that saying this doesn’t do any justice at all. And we all know that gins basically are flavoured vodka’s anyway. Boring: it does what it was meant to be doing from the very first start: get those vodka-people on board of the Gin-train. Of course time has kept up with the flavour of Bombay Sapphire with all these new gins that have been launched over the years. But if that makes Bombay Sapphire mainstream, than we’re all in a very good place!

Now on to the important part: the tasting.

1724: The nose is very fresh, with light juniper and some orange. A slight and lovely bitterness comes in when I started sipping and it has a sweet body. A long aftertaste with fresh notes which is slightly spicy follows. A great mix. The only thing is that it’s a bit too perfect, too easy. This combination just lacks that extra  bit of excitement, but these two match very well.
8.5/10

Fever Tree: The nice thing is that together these products become a very interesting mix, complementing each other nicely. Because the juniper is not so heavy in Bombay Sapphire, the upper tones in flavour are those of citrus, coming from the coriander and lemon in Bombay and also from the tonic itself. The bitter elements in Fever Tree are still there, and the sweet notes in Bombay Sapphire, like cinnamon and liquorice balance it out quite nicely. The smell of the two combined is especially nice: the vapour distillation of the gin delivers a light-bodied spirit, but with a strong nose. Fever Tree is well carbonated, so these aromas reach your nose before you take a sip – an extra dimension to the taste.
8.0/10

Thomas Henry: Balance. That’s the first word that comes to mind. The bubble in this tonic is not too strong so the nose is more gentle with a fresh citrus aroma. The first sip brings a floury, slightly silty taste (must be Orris and Angelica) with little juniper.  The middle of the taste is more sweet with liquorice and cassia and also here I get a bit of orange in the flavour. Aftertaste is pleasant and long with just  a hunch of bitterness
9.0/10

Fentiman’s: This tonic water is obviously too much for the delicate bouquet of Bombay Sapphire. A very strong nose and overpowering citrus in Fentiman’s just blow it out of the water/glass, leaving not enough to make a happy couple .
6.5/10

Conclusion: Thomas Henry is for Bombay Sapphire the best companion: well balanced, never overpowering and complimentary where necessary. It’s not just a good combination, but a great G&T in itself so very much the worth of pouring for oneself!

Posted on 19/11/2012 by Mistercocktail

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the Chase Distillery in Herefordshire. I was given an extensive tour around the farm with great weather accompanying me. Master Distiller and also my guide for today Jamie Baggott took a good few hours to show me around, taking me through all the processes they work with to create their 70+ variations. Mainly the production of their alcohol was explained to me: Potato for their Vodka and Williams Gin and Apple for thier Williams  Gin. The two main agricultural products of Herefordshire are indeed Apples (Producing cider is the big thing in this area) and potatoes, for which the red clay soil is perfect.

Chase Distillery was established by Will Chase in 2008, when he sold his previous company: Tyrrell’s Potato Chips. Having learnt a great deal about potatoes, he recognized the potential of launching a spirit-brand and after a testing period of 4 years he launched Chase Vodka. In 2010 it got awarded  Double Gold and best in class at the IWSC in San Fransisco over  249 other brands and it could name itself World’s Best Vodka. I found a great interview with Will Chase here, no need for me to rewrite all that.

Williams Gin is distilled at the farm, where both the apples (gin) and potatoes (vodka) needed for the base-spirit are grown. First, a base spirit made of apples is distilled for the gin. This is then re-distilled with the botanicals, being Juniper, Coriander, Orris, Liquorice, Angelica, Hops, Orange, Lemon, Elderflower and Brambley Apple. They use a small carterhead still for this, making sure the small batch distilling gives it the elegance it needs. To read about their full process of making their products, check here.

The bottle: The shoulder and foot of the bottle are about 2 mm wider than the middle at both sides, creating the optical illusion of a very slender bottle. It is fully transparent, except for the lowest 5 cms, with the absolute minumum of information displayed on the bottle: only the name, origin and some practical information is printed on it. It is decorated with an old apple tree in wintertime and because of the dark bottom, the Union Jack is a nice eyecatcher.
92/100

The nose: Creamy and slightly sweet on the nose, with juniper and coriander coming through right after. It has a somewhat damp yet fresh flavour that I recognise from ciders. This  is logically caused by the base-alcohol being created from  apples. 97/100

The contents:  The first taste I get is juniper and coriander. Due to the high level of alcohol (48 % abv/96 proof), the gin releases some of it’s flavours only later. I kept the fluid in my mouth for 10 seconds and I noticed it started releasing more floral and fruity notes. It also reminded me of a fine Jasmin tea. The orange and lemon zest are part of the very long aftertaste, together with apple and elderflower. The mouth feel is silky-like and doesn’t get tart at any point.
98/100

The Mixability:
You might get the idea that I’m writing a raving review on this product because I had visited the distillery, but I can assure you that this is not the case. I have visited a lot of distilleries (some of them more visitors centres actually) over the past few years and although visiting a location definitely contributes to appreciate a brand more, I’m focussing on the product, which basically is what it is. And on how it combines with Tonic Water. Chase produces both the “Elegant Crisp Gin” and the “Extra Dry Gin”, the latter at 40 % ABV. However, I carried a bottle of the “Elegant Crisp Gin” home with me, so here we go, in the mix!

Fever Tree: I must admit that I expected this to be the perfect match, but it wasn’t. A very dominant bitter taste is produced in this mix. A little strange, since neither the gin nor the tonic are very bitter. Especially in the aftertaste, the bitterness suppresses the palate too much. In the middle there are some sweeter (orange, liquorice, elderflower) and citrus notes. It is not a bad combination, don’t get me wrong, and you can still enjoy this mix for both are great products.
8.0/10

Fentiman’s: This mix goes in a completely different direction, but also not he one I was hoping for. A little too perfumed for my taste, very high on the citrus notes and with a floury (not floral) mouth feel.
7.5/10

Thomas Henry: The first sip indicates that this could be a very good combination. The characteristics of the gin are clearly present, with a nice juniper and citrus note at the beginning. The tastes evolves to more floral and fruity, slight bitterness in still present (quinine of course) but never predominant. The citrus in the gin and tonic work together great an to me this is a great example of how a tonic should serve the gin.
9.5/10 

1724: A nice combination with Chase Gin, as it is a very soft tonic water. Especially the aftertaste is long and nice with citrus (both lemon and orange) and elderflower.

Conclusion: This is an amazing gin to taste neat and surprisingly more difficult to match with a the right Tonic Water. Thomas Henry was by far the best combination for me, but as tastes vary, another tonic water may be better for your taste. I also stirred a Dry Martini and this serves the gin much better. It is an amazing product, with a great story behind it that is honest and true (as I have seen with my own eyes), just like the people behind it.
96/100 

Posted on 07/11/2012 by Mistercocktail

About 90 years ago, in 1927, Grand Marnier did a collaboration with several French artists to celebrate their 100th anniversary. A number of bottles were individually painted and some are now treasured by the family LaPostolle, owners of Grand Marnier. These handpainted bottles inspired the family to design a new bottle for their 150th anniversary in 1977. The result was a beautiful, and also hand-painted bottle containing a unique blend of cognacs from the Grande and Petite Champagne aged between 35 and 50 years, together with their trademarked orange distillate. In 2003, Grand Marnier decided to honour this tradition, by launching a new Limited Edition. And they continue to do so  today.

A stunning location was found to celebrate the launch of the 2012 bottle. A workplace for renovating 19th and 20th century mirrors proved to be the perfect decor for this French brand and the theme of this years’ edition is Paris by Midnight. The city of light, the city of love, all captured in the design of the bottle which is blue-grey lacquered on the outside and that displays the starry skyline of Paris. Indeed, by Midnight. Candles were placed all around the venue and the abundance of mirrors made it look like a sea of lights.

Everyone who has ever taken a stroll along the river Seine has seen these: the Caricaturist. Ridiculously expensive when they’re very good and when you think you’ve made a great deal you find out that the drawings on display were probably made by his talented brother. Fortunately, I found myself in the capable hands of Jeroen Busschers, specialized in both good and fast caricatures. See the result on my Facebook page.

And what is the launch of a spirit without a good bar? Indeed, boring as hell and a waste of good money. The 2 focus drinks were the Grand Ginger and the Grand’O, the latter being a mixture with fresh Orangejuice and sodawater. In this intimate setting it was easy to forget the time and I enjoyed the evening, met some old friend and we shared some drinks and exchanged business cards. Thanks to daylight saving I could head back home under a starry sky and to me Amsterdam was perfect as well!

Recipes, all longdrinks. You can build them in the glass with loads of ice!

Grand Ginger: 45 ml Grand Marnier Rouge, 120 ml Ginger Ale, 1 squeeze of lime

Grand’O: 45 ml Grand Marnier Rouge, 60 ml fresh Orange Juice, 60 ml Sparkling water, lemon squeeze optional

Posted on 06/11/2012 by Mistercocktail

Cognac and Hiphop…horse and carriage. You know what I mean, they get along just fine. In the mid ’90s, rappers like Tupac and Digital Underground started expressing their spirit of choice was Cognac, and more specifically the brand Hennessy. Despite several other brands having been named and ‘promoted’  in songs and videoclips, Hennessy was and still is the most loved brand of Cognac in this scene. Besides that, it also the world’s number 1 luxury spirit-brand (41.1 % marketshare and worth $ 4.6 billion).

It makes a lot of sense for Hennessy to use this to their full advantage in local markets where a thriving hiphop-scene is present as is the case in The Netherlands. One of the leading record-labels is Top-Notch, representing rappers like Sjaak, Sef, Dio, Faberyayo and Sticks, but also artists from different kinds of music: The Flexican, Drs P. and James Worthy.
These two brands have collaborated last year for the first time and they decided it was a good idea to continue this in 2012, under the name Hennessy Artistry. A great line-up, showcasing the versatility of this label, was mailed to me as an invitation and combined with a very promising  location I was expecting quite a party. Besides this, the dresscode was black tie with a twist so I expected quite a stylish party.

I arrived 1 hour after the party had kicked off and when I hung my coat I noticed I was rather late than early and the artists that were working on a huge painting were obviously even earlier present. A great crew of roaring 20’s styled hostesses made sure that the reception was very hospitable and that all guests were escorted to the 11th floor. The nightly view over Amsterdam was stunning of course and together with the necessary (but not excessive) branding of Hennessy, it was the perfect decor for an intimate night, filled with Cognac drinks and live music.

The crowd really excelled themselves in dressing up: the ladies in cocktaildresses, the gents in tuxedo and sneakers. The bar was a bit crowded as the thirsty crowd was looking for some nice cocktails made by one of the three cocktailshakers. I decided to stick with a Fine de Cognac on the rocks until the lines were a bit shorter. And then someone pointed out to me that there were bottles of X.O. in the cigar lounge. Joy oh joy! This night was for the incrowd: people affiliated with the Top Notch-label mainly for this event had some fierce competition: the première of Skyfall, drawing away some guests for sure, but the vibe was great and music even better.

I returned home buzzing from the great music and with a very nicely designed goodiebag. The art of blending was clear to me: mixing great live music and Hennessy cocktails, mixing high-street chique with street and creating fine blends of Cognac. If only they would organize this event more often!

Check here for more pictures!

 

Posted on 28/10/2012 by Mistercocktail


Geranium Gin
 is a Danish brand created by Henrik Hammer and his father, who worked around the concept of incorporating geranium in a gin. They found historical links between the use of Juniper and Geranium and investigated this combination on a scientific level. They concluded that these two are indeed a great marriage and they proceeded with the development of the gin. It is a London Dry Gin, which means that all 10 botanicals (Juniper, Geranium, Coriander seeds, Lemon, Orange, Liquorice, Cassia, Angelica, Orris root and 1 is a secret!) are distilled at once in a neutral grain spirit. The production of the gin takes place in the U.K. (Birmingham more precisely) and Geranium Gin is distilled in a copper pot-still that is over a century old.

When tasted neat, Geranium Gin is a very smooth and mild spirit. It combines the freshness of citrus (coriander, lemon) and juniper very stylishly with the floral taste of geranium. What a surprising ingredient! The taste is full-bodied, but never out of balance with a great sweetness from liquorice and orange.

Fever Tree Tonic: The combination is an extremely smooth G&T. The bitter notes from the quinine in Fever Tree are nicely balanced by the geranium, which still doesn’t overpower. The long lemony taste from Geranium Gin gives the drink a very long aftertaste, which made me decide not to use a juice-containing garnish in here. Instead of a lime or lemonwedge, I used an orangezest which made the drink just perfect for me.
9.5/10

1724: This is a very soft and gentle combination. A subtle bitterness really complements the taste of the geranium. The bubble in the 1724 tonic is small and slow and combines very well with this gin. In the aftertaste there’s a very pleasant hint of spicy orange. Great g&t for he or she who enjoyes a mild and gentle gin & tonic.
9.5/10

Fentiman’s: When I poured the tonic, a very pleasant small of rosewater arose from the mix. The tonic is the first you taste, the gin a bit later and it gives a very surprising effect. The lemontones are much stronger in this mix and this is the perfect tonic if you like a g&t with a bite.
9.5/10

Thomas Henry: This mix accentuates the more earthy notes like Orris and Angelica. In the middle more floral and fruity notes come through, the Orange and Geranium. A slight bitterness is present from beginning until long in the aftertaste.
9.5/10

Conclusion: This is actually the first gin I’ve tried for this blog that matches great with all the tonic waters that I tasted it with. But is is very important to note at the same time that all 4 mixes are for different g&t-drinkers. I tried to describe along each mix which match is good for which type of drinker. Just like the mix with Fever Tree (which I tested a few months ago), I used a fresh orange zest as a garnish additionally, but the rating is based on just the plain mix of Geranium Gin with each Tonic Water.