Monday, 30 June 2014

Brand Spanking New: Sibling Triple Distilled Gin

Sometimes all you need is a bit of family time; catching up over a leisurely weekend lunch, a few (over competitive) board games, or simply watching a film with a cuppa in hand. Whilst this all sounds great, family time can now mean something much different. It’s all about GIN-etics with a brand new gin from Cheltenham; Sibling.

Earlier in June Sibling Distillery launched its first premium small batch gin, and as the name suggests, its run by four siblings. What might come as quite a surprise is that they’re all under the age of 23, with the youngest being just 15 years old! Don’t let age put you off though; Felix, Clarice, Cicely and Digby have grown up in the industry thanks to their parents owning Battledown Brewery, so they’re pretty clued up.

The Elliot-Berry clan consider themselves to be part of the ‘new generation’ of gin drinkers; not tied down with the notion of ‘tradition’, they’ve opted for an unusual still made of glass and steel – the first of its kind in Europe – and have some interesting ingredients too.

Having met with Felix and Cicely last week, they explained that their love of gin cocktails influenced their decision to start producing their own gin and, taste-wise, they wanted something so smooth that it could easily be drank on its own, over ice.

It took four months to create a base spirit that they were happy with – yup, they don’t buy it in – and its double filtered to ensure the cleanest slate possible before being distilled a third time with their chosen botanicals. Blueberries and vanilla are the main ingredients – these are what give Sibling its softness – along with orange, lemon, and some of the classics; cardamom, coriander, orris root, and liquorice. They prepare all the ingredients themselves – baking the blueberries, grating the zest, etc – ensuring the freshest flavours for the end product, and the water they use is sourced locally in Cheltenham.

Personally, what stands out most to me is the fact that juniper isn’t very prominent; quite curious for a gin. So how do you serve such a drink?

Other than sipping it on its own, it works well in a G&T. The ‘Sibling’s suggest Fever Tree tonic, with plenty of ice but no slice; citrus is a bit overpowering, but if you really want a garnish, then a twist of orange peel works well. Cocktails are the driving force behind the operation though, and the four are having fun experimenting with Sibling’s potential. There are a few ideas to try on their website, all with family orientated names, (the Sibling Spritz sounds gorgeous; gin, lime, vanilla, crushed blueberries and prosecco) but they’re keen to try more. In fact, whilst I was there they were playing around with a lychee liqueur, so keep your eyes peeled for a recipe including that.

At 42%, a bottle comes at a price of £32 (you can buy it direct from the Sibling Distillery website). A bloody beautiful bottle it is too. It’s currently working its way into a selection of bars in local areas, steadily progressing further afield. Actually, if you’re London-based, The Oliver Conquest stocks it and are making it July’s ‘Gin of the Month’, so go in and have a tipple.

What are you waiting for? Cancel your plans and have a bit of ‘family time’. *wink wink*

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