Monday, 27 October 2014

4Spirits: 4Gin Tasting Set & Cookies 4Gin

What’s that? A gin tasting set, you say? And some sugary snacks designed to accompany it? Surely this must be a dream...

Thankfully, no, this really is a thing, and it’s all down to Spanish taste and flavour experimentalists, 4Spirits.

We’ve all heard about the ‘slow food’ movement, well 4Spirits are drivers of the ‘slow drink’ movement; promoting a new philosophy that combines pleasure and knowledge in tasting beverages. Their 4Gin product, which is “an exclusive version of aromatic cocktail bitters”, are perfect for those of us who like to savour the depth of a decent drink and experience the variety of flavours that nature offers us. The Cookies 4Gin add an extra dimension to the gin tasting, giving you texture whilst stimulating your taste buds with juniper, lemon peel and honey; essentially, it’s a botanical biscuit!

4Gin tasting sets are available in four varieties, each priced at €16 per box. One box contains 8 different botanicals, and a leaflet prepared by 4Spirit expert Sazerac, which details 5 combinations to play with: 3 unique G&Ts, and 2 special maceration recipes (which I’ve not yet tried). The black box is full of classic gin ingredients – cardamom, juniper, allspice, pink pepper, chamomile, clove, star anise and cinnamon sticks – the red gives you spice and strong flavours – ginger, Sichuan pepper, chilli pepper, saffron, caraway, black mustard, black pepper and nutmeg – and the green presents fresh and floral combos – ceylon, jasmine, rooibos, chamomile, linden, lavender, green tea and vanilla.

I was lucky enough to be sent a purple box, which contained sweeter, Mediterranean styled botanicals; coriander seeds, cassia, savory, rosemary, liquorice, tarragon, sage and cumin. I ruthlessly cleared my diary of any Saturday afternoon plans, got some glasses out, and set up my gin tasting station, complete with cookies!

Other than your 4Gin box, all you need is some tonic water, ice cubes, a strainer, lemon and orange peel, and gin of course! You really don’t want a fancy one with prominent flavours and complexity; Gordon’s would be perfect, though I used Tesco Finest Aromatic Gin (£17).

We’ve been ingrained with the phrase “don’t play with your food,” a favourite from parents across the globe, but 4Gin positively encourages you to play with your drink! I can’t describe how happy I was, adding a bit of sage to this, rosemary to that... And there’s enough in the box to make 8-12 drinks, so this could easily be done with a group of friends (aka GIN PARTY!).

I followed the recipes, which instruct you to put specific botanicals into a glass, add 50ml of gin and leave to infuse for three minutes, before straining over ice, adding tonic, and finishing it off with a garnish. 4Gin Purple makes an aromatic G&T, a dry G&T and an Old Tom G&T. 

The aromatic was smooth and well rounded, quite a contrast to the herbal dry G&T – both popular styles of gin – whereas the last was something completely different. With cumin and savory (related to rosemary and thyme), it was super spicy – not hot, but fragrant – and smelt as if it had come straight out of Morocco. I’d never tried anything quite like it!

The typical juniper that you don’t get in the mix comes at you in the form of the delicious cookies (€5.50 for a 125g box). The smell as you open the packaging is amazing, and the taste is just as good too! They remind me of speculoos biscuits, with that crunchy caramelised sugar kind of thing going on; they’re sweet, zesty, and gin scented... Could it get much better? No, I don’t think so either. (And if you’re not drinking a G&T, I reckon these would be lovely with an Earl Grey or Lady Grey tea!).

Now if you fancy following 4Spirits slow drink movement yourself, or are looking for that perfect present for a gin-fiend-friend, then look no further; this is it! 4Gin and Cookies 4Gin are just brilliant (and they deliver to the UK)!

Be free... experiment... and have a little nibble on the way!

No comments:

Post a Comment