May’s Gin Explorer Box featured some heroes of gin and a deliciously different mixer. Have a peek at what gins our explorers are enjoying this month.
We certainly hope you’ve had a chance to enjoy the delectable contents of this month’s box, we know we have. With a few weekends worth of nice weather, now is the perfect time to enjoy a nice G&T or sample some of this month’s surprising mixer creations.
This month, explorers got to try 4 gins that are all heroic in their own way.
Nelson’s Gin is as well travelled as the naval hero it takes its name from, with citrus (lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves) from Thailand, vanilla hailing from Madagascar and Sri Lankan cinnamon. But, at its heart, this is a staunchly British libation made with water from a Staffordshire reed pond. The reed bed naturally filters the water, essential in producing Nelson’s clean taste. An exceptional, and very smooth, spirit.
Few heroes live as large in the British psyche as Robin Hood. Though he adventured in Nottingham Forest he hailed originally from Locksley near Sheffield and was a huge inspiration for the Locksley Distilling Company, the people behind this superlative gin. Sir Robin is a modern classic, smooth and very drinkable neat. With up-front juniper notes and a long citrus finish, this is a gin that always hits its target!
For a 130 years the Glasgow Distillery operated in the heart of one of Scotland’s greatest cities, until a combination of harsher regulations, the Great Depression and two world wars saw the shuttering of Glasgow Distillery, along with many others. From a height of 161 registered distilleries in 1899 only 15 were operating in Scotland in 1933. Now, nearly a hundred years later, the new Glasgow Distillery has restored distilling to that fair city, bringing back a single malt whisky and an exquisite gin! Makar has a well-balanced juniper flavour supported by a fully rounded mouthfeel and a smooth, peppery finish.
A different kind of hero, since day one Elephant Gin has been giving 15% of all their profits to support 2 African elephant charities; Big Life Foundation’s Ranger Club and The Space for Elephants Foundation. Working in Tanzania and Kenya, Big Life Foundation employ hundreds of Maasai rangers who defend 2 million acres of wilderness, undertaking crucial anti-poaching operations to keep the wildlife in the Amboseli-Tsavo-Kilimanjaro ecosystem of East Africa protected. Meanwhile, Space for Elephants aim to re-establish lost space to allow elephants and other wildlife to maintain their natural movement and behavioural patterns.
It’s certainly of benefit to your tastebuds too. Elephant Gin is made of 14 botanicals including exotic African ingredients like Baobab fruit, Buchu plant, African Wormwood, Lion’s Tail and Devil’s Claw. This is a dry and spicy gin that develops into floral and fruity notes. A complex but smooth gin.
This month’s box will reveal one of two delightfully different mixers courtesy of Double Dutch.
Double Dutch Drinks was established by Dutch twins Raissa and Joyce de Haas to provide some much-needed innovation and care to the long neglected mixers market. Their philosophy is to create a mixer that should elevate the spirit, spurring the taste buds to experience new and richer, deeper and more exciting flavours. It should reward the drinker with sensations that improve, rather than diluting their chosen drink.
May’s explorers got to sample one of two different varieties both of which are delicious drinks in their own right. Double Dutch Cucumber & Watermelon Premium Mixer is clean and refreshing, slightly sweet but balanced with the crisp, floral aromas of cucumber. It makes the perfect twin to bright and citrusy gins such as Sir Robin of Locksley or Nelson’s. Double Dutch Pomegranate & Basil Premium Mixer has an intense Italian basil flavour, very savoury, but with pomegranate to mollify the bitterness. This mixer stands up well to very dry and junipery gins such as Makar and Elephant.
Finally, explorers were treated to an indispensable tool this month, a bar spoon. An integral part of any mixologist’s kit a bar spoon has three main uses. Firstly, the rounded base is used for muddling, smashing fruit or herbs in the bottom of a glass to release their flavour, important for cocktails like a gin rickey. Secondly, the twisted stem is for pouring liquids down, as it forces the bartender to pour slowly and eases the liquids into the glass, crucial for creating layered cocktails. Lastly, it’s a spoon, you can stir things with it!
The deadline for June’s box is the 5th of June. The contents are a secret but we do promise a navy strength creation, a fine example of the alchemist’s art and the perfect snack for G&T lovers.
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