My 2017 gin journey has been incredible. I’m definitely far better educated on all things gin than I was at this point last year, but in an industry which is constantly changing and growing, there is still so much more that I want to know.
What I have definitely decided based on many tipples over the past year, is that there is one botanical which, if used, I am almost guaranteed to consume the entire contents of the bottle. What is it? I hear you ask, well here are a few clues to get you going. It features in each of these gins…
Hint: It’s got nothing to do with blue bottles/labels.
Still stumped? Here’s another couple of teasers…
Surely you’ve got it now…
Whether it be white, pink, red, the flesh, the peel, it turns out I utterly adore it. I find that grapefruit, as a botanical, adds a very distinct flavour to gin. In my opinion it adds a sweetness, which reminds me very much of children’s sweets, like Love Hearts or Refreshers. A delicious sherbet taste which I find immediately identifiable and very tasty…I do have rather a sweet tooth. Even when trying “Outstanding Gin,” a creation concocted by a fellow gin friend while at City of London Distillery, I picked out the grapefruit straightaway. Hubby didn’t believe me, gin friend couldn’t remember at the time, but I was adamant and absolutely spot on too.
I tried these four gins for the first time in 2017, and they each use grapefruit, in some form, as a botanical. If you like one but haven’t tried the others or if you haven’t tried any, then I absolutely insist you do.
58 gin uses pink grapefruit to “provide the perfect balance between dry and sweet” and I would have to agree that it really does provide something which is perfect. We received this gin as part of our Craft Gin Club subscription and after one 58 gin and tonic, I insisted on making just about every cocktail which was in the Ginned! Magazine. Cocktail Kate did an amazing job coming up with these little beauties! Clean and refreshing, this gin definitely leaves you wanting more and more and more…hiccup.
Malfy Originale, which I reviewed a few weeks ago, made my eyes pop with excitement at the first sip as I realised grapefruit was involved! A complete contrast to the Malfy Con Limone, this gin adopts a more subtle tone with grapefruit adding to the citrus side, rather than the boldness of lemon. I must also add that the bottle is also rather beautiful although I’m pretty sure that there’s a hole in it because the gin level is depleting at quite a rate.
Mary-Le-Bone Gin uses grapefruit peel as a botanical and is made by the Pleasure Gardens Distilling Co. Inspiration for these names came from one of the largest and most famous of the six London Pleasure Gardens, which were melting pots for society 400 years ago. You can find out more about Mary-Le-Bone gin in one of my previous articles. At the time of London’s pleasure gardens, the grapefruit was known as the shaddock. The outer peel contains the highest amount of floral and tangy oil, and it is this which is used to give Marylebone its distinctive, zesty citrus lift.
Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin uses oriental grapefruit as a botanical. Known in China as the “forbidden fruit” it is a hybrid of the Indonesian pomelo and the Jamaican sweet orange, bred by Captain Shaddock in the late 18th Century. I’ve been utterly delighted to find this is now stocked in ASDA and Tesco supermarkets as it is truly an absolutely stunning gin. Hubby and I have very different gin tastes, he tends to enjoy more robust bold flavours, were I prefer more subtle floral or light citrus tones, however, this gin is the one which really unites us.
Grapefruit features in many other gins too, to name but a few, Tanqueray No. TEN uses white grapefruit and East London Liquor Company Premium Gin Batch No.1 features Pink grapefruit peel. Skin Gin, which I am yet to try also uses grapefruit and, although not strictly grapefruit, Bloom gin does use pomelo as a botanical. To taste, the pomelo is like a sweet, mild grapefruit, with very little, of the common grapefruit’s bitterness.
As 2017 draws to a close, I’d like to say thank you so much to everyone who takes the time to read my ramblings, it is hugely appreciated, and quite humbling to see just how far around the world I get! I truly hope your 2017 has been as GIN-joyable as mine and I wish you all a happy and exciting 2018!