After what has felt like an absolute age, I’ve finally got this parenting malarkey nailed enough to be able to get back into my writing again. Don’t get me wrong, although I may have been on something of a writing hiatus, that is where the abstinence ends and since Baby Button has made his appearance I’ve been able to start training those taste buds up again.
My reentry into writing couldn’t have been better timed as it seemed to perfectly coincide with being contacted by the lovely folks at Cantium Gin, who asked if I was interested in tasting, reviewing and featuring their gin on my blog. Yes please! Even more exciting for me is the story behind the name, and we all know how I love a good story.
Although I am a teacher, I didn’t actually do a degree in education, I instead spent my three years of studying at the University of Nottingham, reading Classical Civilisation. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, it’s basically Ancient Greek and Roman history. I must confess I do prefer the Greeks to the Romans but I promise that won’t influence my opinions of this gin, but where on earth am I going with this? Well, you’ll soon find out…
A G&T has always been the go to drink for Kevin Andrews, the brain behind the Cantium brand. After working tirelessly on the recipe for over a year, he reached his goal of producing a contemporary gin which in his eyes not only made a cracking G&T, but also tasted great neat. After receiving positive feedback from friends and family Kevin had another hurdle to overcome. As we know all too well, these days there’s a lot of gin out there and it can therefore be hard to stand out in such a saturated market. Kevin’s take on it,
‘if you’re going to join this party you better bring something new…’
Cantium Gin takes it’s name from the Roman word for Kent, (…this is the point I started geeking out,) which is where Cantium Head Quarters is based. Roman influence doesn’t end there as the distinctive Cantium logo is inspired by the design of a Roman mosaic tile which was found in Lullingstone Villa, a mere stones throw away from Cantium HQ. Just to keep up with the Roman feel the Roman numerals MMXVIII also feature on the bottle, that’s 2018 for those of you who aren’t fully versed and rehearsed in this stuff, the year the brand was established.
The bottle itself is particularly striking and eye-catching, with a pure, brilliant white background which acts as a stark contrast to it’s black logo and lettering. This is most definitely a bottle which will stand out from the other gins on a bar shelf.
Now, here is where Cantium Gin really is bringing something new to the table. The bottle is not so much a bottle at all, but is in fact a reusable, stainless steel flask. Once you have finished it’s contents, the flask can be used to keep your cold drinks cold and your hot drinks hot…whether or not these future contents are gin related is completely up to you! Climate change is undeniably an incredibly important subject at the moment, with many of us trying desperately to reduce our use of single use packaging and focus more on sustainability and recycling and this is most definitely a rather fun and interesting way of doing it. If you do for some reason tire of your flask, it can be returned to Cantium who will donate them to be used in the winter months by their charity partner, Warming Up The Homeless. (One thing to note about this flask is that it is easily marked, my rings for example have made a few scuffs on it, so do take care to wrap it in something if you’re going to chuck it in your bag for the day.)
Now all of this sustainable packaging and helping the homeless sounds pretty fabulous, but at the end of the day it’s the gin we’re here for, so, here goes…
Cantium Gin is created using 13 botanicals including blackberries, hops, cobnuts and lavender, all of which are locally sourced from within the Sevenoaks and Maidstone areas, meaning that every mouthful of your Cantium Gin is designed to give a real flavour of the Garden of England. At first sniff I thought this was going to be quite a floral gin, but each time you go back another layer seems to appear. The gin has a deliciously smooth and creamy mouthfeel and seems to hit every flavour combination with layers of floral, fruity, citrus and a hint of spice. It’s quite enjoyable neat over ice, then when mixed with tonic it opens up even further allowing for some real orange notes to push through. I found the gin to have quite a long finish, leaving me with a warm spice for quite a while between
gulps *ahem* delicate sips. I found the orange and spice quite reminiscent of Christmas and I’m quite keen to try Cantium out in some form of warm, mulled concoction. It is most definitely a very pleasant a decidedly quaffable gin which firmly sits in the contemporary** category.
So what does the future hold for Cantium Gin? In short, lots. The Spring will see two more additions joining the Cantium family, in the forms of Rubesco, a pink gin infused with Kentish strawberry and housed in a pink flask. Rubesco is a very clever choice of name for this gin as it is a Latin verb meaning to turn red or blush. The second offering will be Alternagin, an alcohol free spirit designed to trick your taste buds. Plans are also afoot to set up a scheme whereby if customers have finished their Cantium but want more, they will be able to exchange their used Cantium flask for a discount against their next purchase. The biggest future plan however lies in production as Cantium Gin is currently third party distilled, using the recipe which Kevin has created. The long term goal is to build a dedicated Cantium distillery in Kent, which Kevin says will be established in time, once the company grows.
So there you have it, a yummy gin in sustainable packaging, what’s not to like? Head over to the Cantium Store to order you bottle, priced at £40. There are other goodies available, including gin glasses and also a Cantium Cup, made from the same material as the flask and designed to keep your gin cooler for that little bit longer.
Thank you so much to Kevin and Katie at Cantium for their delicious gin and having patience with me while I juggled writing and being a mum. I wish you every success for the future.
Cantium Gin Flask was gifted
**A contemporary gin’s predominant flavour is not that of juniper. Juniper should always be present, but other botanicals or flavours such as floral, herbal, citrus or spice will be more dominant.