A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by the lovely Georgia from GribbonBerry communications agency, who asked if I would like to attend the launch of Nouaison Gin by G’Vine…why people even need to ask these questions is completely beyond me!
“Of course I would!!”
I was already a fan of G’Vine’s Floraison Gin, which I tried in Spain over the summer. It’s made using a grape base spirit and is the only gin to use vine flowers as a botanical. As it’s name name suggests, it’s quite a floral gin which really is right up my street, so I was really intrigued by this new addition to the brand. Nouaison literally translates to “setting” and has been crafted to “represent the metamorphosis stage of the star ingredient, the grape, from aromatic vine flower to luscious grape berry.” Nouaison boasts 14 botanicals, including sandalwood, bergamot, prune, java pepper and vetiveria, so rather different to to the Floraison. If I’m perfectly honest, those two weeks could not go by fast enough, I really needed to try it!
Finally, Tuesday 21st November arrived. Making sure I was out of work bang on time, Hubby and I headed to the Nobu Hotel, Shorditch to attend the launch of Nouaison Gin by G’Vine. Arriving at 6:30 prompt, we were greeted with a choice of cocktails, a Divinus, created by David Rios (2013 world best bartender) or a Negroni à la française, both of which looked absolutely stunning. Hubby went Negroni, I went Divinus…not such a Negroni fan, they’re a touch too bitter and pokey for me.
The cocktails were visually stunning and the flavours were utterly incredible. We had a wonderful chat with with a couple of others about which ingredients were in the Divinus, trying to guess from the scent, flavours and the garnishes. Definitely sweet…bit of ginger in there…herby?…
At this point Georgia found me to introduce herself, and highlight the social media selfie booth. Off we headed…
Social media box number one ticked! A new drink in hand…this time a G&T…now on with meeting people.
I had the absolute pleasure of finally meeting the lovely Em and Paul from The Gin To My Tonic. I have followed them for months on Instagram, if you aren’t already familiar with these guys, you really need to check out their Instagram and Events page. Gin reviews, gin events, all things gin, they know their stuff. I’m pretty sure I actually turned green with envy when they told me they had a 30 minute interview with Jean-Sébastien Robicquet himself, the founder and master distiller of G’Vine Gin. Which leads me almost seamlessly onto the main event, the launch.
The launch was being held simultaneously at the Nobu Shoreditch in London, the Tiger Bar in Paris, and the Atlas Bar in Singapore. After a fantastic speech and introduction from the insanely charismatic Philip Duff from “Tales of the Cocktail,” Jean-Sébastien himself took to the floor to formally introduce us all to Nouaison Gin. He spoke passionately about Maison Villevert, the thought process behind Nouaison Gin and his commitment to the creation of world class spirits. His speech reached it’s climax with the unveiling of a stunning ice sculpture, carved to resemble the Nouaison Gin bottle, with two other bottles either side, one completely encased in gin and lit from underneath.
Suitably enthused and excited, we needed little encouragement when invited to try another cocktail. This time in the form of the Kakuteru, which was developed specifically for Nouaison Gin by Nobu’s Beverage Director, Stuart Finlay. I loved this cocktail…to be honest I loved all the cocktails, but this one really got me and it looked beautiful too. It combined Nobu house sake with the Nouaison gin by G’Vine, and then incorporated sisho syrup (a simple syrup made from shishi leaves.) This mixture was then combined with an orange and grapefruit reduction and mixed with fresh grapefruit juice and lemon juice. To finish it off, the cocktail was topped with a Yuzu foam and a rather large shiso leaf. It added a wonderful aroma when taking a sip, which gave another dimension to the cocktail. I did ask the bartender what the leaf was and I’m pretty sure he said it was Japanese mint, although there was quite a buzz of noise and excitement around the bar, so I can’t be 100% sure. This is sadly something which we can not all just casually knock up at home, well, at least that was my justification when reaching for my second glass!
They say time flies when you’re having fun, and the remainder of the evening seemed to pass by so quickly. Not too quickly for me to sneak in a few more drinks though, I tried the Nouaison neat over ice, I found it to be such a bold and flavoursome gin, which balanced spicy with sweet and left a wonderfully rich woody, herby, taste in my mouth. It has even converted me to liking a Negroni, and that is something I never thought I would hear myself say. In fact, I felt so passionately about this (and had obviously consumed enough Dutch courage,) that I decided I simply must tell Jean-Sébastien Robicquet, so I did. What a brilliantly charming and charismatic man. We had a wonderful chat about his experimentation when developing his gins…mixing various bits and pieces together in order to form a base for what he ultimately wanted to create and the flavours he wanted to include. Hubby certainly seemed to have an absolute blast with him and conversation did go off on amusing tangents…at this point I left them to it and found myself speaking with Roland Giscard d’Estaing, Managing partner of Spirited Brands, who relatively recently purchased Izarra, what a fascinating spirit! Now there is definite scope for gin cocktail here! Sadly it wasn’t long before we were being handed a goody bag each and making a dash for the train, ensuring water was purchased en-route.
I’m sure my words wont do justice to such a fabulous evening and I will definitely be following this up with a Gin Shot specifically about Nouaison Gin and what to do with it! The only thing left to do is to say thank you.
It was wonderful to meet so many fantastic people from the Gin Community and finally put faces to some of the names I have connected with online. I’ve already mentioned Tales of the Cocktail, then there was also Summer Fruit Cup, That Boutique-y Gin Company and Gin Monkey; trying to play it cool while being completely in awe and excited is definitely something which I need to work on…although the gin did help. So thank you to the community for being so welcoming and inviting. Thank you to GribbonBerry for hosting such a wonderful event and lastly thank you to G’Vine gin, for creating such a beautiful spirit and converting me…I am now officially a Negroni lover, but only when it’s made with Nouaison Gin, thankfully we have two bottles of the stuff!