Gin Advent Calendar 2020 Part 2 – A cocktail a day keeps the winter blues away
Welcome to part two of my 2020 Gin Advent Calendar. This time my gins have been rather fruity and have included two flavoured gins, a couple with very fruity notes, as well as a couple of classic style gins.
If you want to catch up with the first six gins that I enjoyed in my Gin Advent Calendar click here and if you’re all caught up, please carry on reading to find out what delicious treats I had and what cocktails I made with them
Gin Advent Calendar Part 2
December 7th – Brockmans Gin
This gin actually took me back to late December 2018. It was one of those rare occasions when I was enjoying a meal out and didn’t have to drive so I treated myself to a Gin and Tonic. As I looked along the selection of gins on offer, I kept muttering “had it, that’s okay, meh…” until I noticed one that I hadn’t had before – Brockmans Gin. Given that I ended up buying a full bottle of it and included it in my Gin Advent Calendar tells you that I enjoyed it.
I would be the first to say that this isn’t my usual style of gin, but sometimes a change is as good as a rest. Brockmans Gin is a beautifully fruity gin, rich in summer berry flavours with a sweet herbal flavour preceding the final notes of juniper. This is absolutely perfect as a Gin and Tonic and that’s how I chose to enjoy it this time, although it works equally well as a fruity Martini or a Cosmopolitan.
December 8th – Crabbies 1891 Old Tom Gin
No Gin Advent Calendar is complete without including at least one classic style gin. Old Tom Gin is one of those along with London Dry, Plymouth and Navy Strength. Old Tom is often referred to as the missing link between Dutch Jenever and London Dry as it is a little more sweet than London Dry but a little dryer than Jenever. This style of gin gained popularity after the Gin Act of 1736 was passed causing gin distilling to go underground.
This is the gin that is used in the best Tom Collins cocktails, but it also adds a sweetness to other classic cocktails. I went for a variation on the Negroni. I poured the whole miniature (50ml) over an ice ball then added 40ml of Dubonnet Rouge and 40ml of Aperol. The final result was a beautifully sweet and smooth aperitive with bold citrus notes that was reminiscent of a Negroni, but somehow different.
December 9th – Liverpool Organic Gin Valencian Orange Edition
This was another fruit infused gin. This time, as the name suggests, it was rich and vibrant Valencia oranges. This gin was so rich and sumptuous I couldn’t bring myself to mix this with anything; not even a tonic. Instead, I just had it neat over ice with a generous orange zest and what a delight it was. It tasted almost like an orange liqueur with a hint of gin. Of all the flavoured gins I have tasted over the years, this one has got to be my favourite, hence why it made it in to my Gin Advent Calendar.
December 10th Adnams Copper House Gin
When I first tasted this gin, I was reminded of lemon crème brûlée. Since then, it has been a regular fixture in my drinks cabinet. Tasting it now I still get a beautiful creaminess on the palate. The predominant botanicals are hibiscus flower and orange peel. These along with the traditional juniper and coriander seeds create an amazing alchemy that tastes like lemon meringue pie to me.
To play off the citrus notes, I mixed myself a sumptuous Lemon Drop cocktail. 50ml of gin, 10ml of triple sec and 5ml of Limoncello. I couldn’t help but smile as I sipped the moreish little number that I had mixed myself.
December 11th – Ludlow Elderflower, Chamomile & Lemon Verbena Gin
My next treat from the Gin Advent Calendar was another one with fruity notes. This time it was courtesy of the Craft Gin Club and distilled not far from where I grew up. With some gins, certain flavours are a lot more dominant than others. The Ludlow Elderflower, Chamomile & Lemon Verbena Gin however manages to balance all of the flavours allowing each one to have its moment on your tongue.
The overall flavour sensation of this gin was one of a mildly herbal lemon tart that is equally delicious to sip neat over some ice or enjoy, as I did, in a Blond Martini.
December 12th – Tarquin’s The Seadog Navy Strength Gin
Where most gins that I have in my Gin Advent Calendar are somewhere between 40% and 50%, there are a couple that are considerably stronger and this is one of them.
Navy Strength refers to any alcohol that is 57% ABV or higher. The reason for this is very simple and goes right back to the days of tall ships and canons. All sailors in the Royal Navy were given a daily tot of rum as part of their pay. With all the explosive gunpowder that was kept onboard ship, it was important that this didn’t go to spoil if some of the rum, or gin for the officers, accidently got spilt on it.
It turns out that 57% ABV is the minimum percentage at which gunpowder will still ignite if alcohol is spilt on it. This became the minimum ABV for alcohol on Royal Navy ships and so henceforth it became known as “Navy Strength”.
This particular gin is rich with citrus flavours and liquorice and juniper. Right at the end of the flavour is a sweet tickle of violets that seduce you into thinking that this gin is a lot lower percentage than it actually is. I enjoyed this as a Pegu Club Cocktail by shaking my 50ml gin with 15ml triple sec, 15ml of fresh lime juice, a couple of dashes of Angostura Bitters and plenty of ice.
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The next six drinks from my Gin Advent Calendar will be coming soon, so make sure you come back to find out what they are.