Tuesday, 4 November 2014

The Wonderful World of Spiced Gin

Last week, the lovely people over at Wemyss Vintage Malts sent me a small, cuddly package with bubble wrap in it. Now, someone must've told them how much I love bubble wrap, but more importantly, someone must've let them know how much I love bubble-wrapped gin, because nestled neatly inside were two adorable miniature bottles from Darnley's View.

After I stopped pretending to be a giant with the miniature bottles of botanical goodness, I sat myself down, pen and paper in hand, ballon glass, tonic water and ice at the ready, waiting for the clock to strike a socially-acceptable time for gin-drinking.

Five minutes later, I couldn't help myself (it was Monday morning after all). I poured a little neat of each to get an idea of what they're all about, gave em a whirl and a taste. Here's what I discovered.

Gin has enjoyed a brilliant year so far, and with the nights closing in, a lot of us will be at a loss of what to drink on these colder nights, and how to warm the cockles. Fortunately, Darnley's have thought of that, with their Darnley's View Spiced Gin. It's an infusion of the usual botanicals, with the addition of Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Grains of Paradise & Cumin. The result is an excellent, smooth and rich gin that seduces the senses and is warm and cuddly, just like that bubble wrap!

I mixed the Spiced Gin with Fever Tree tonic, because, quite frankly, there is no other tonic worth mixing with, sprayed a bit of orange pith over it and gave it another whirl. There's a rush of Cinnamon on the immediate palate, with peppery spice and lots of aromatic Lavender. Absolutely lovely.

What's better about this gin, however, is its application and versatility with cocktails. My particular favourite is a recipe for a Hot Cider Punch, and a Ginger Martini. Both are below.

Darnley's View has been created by Wemyss with traditional methods and values at heart, and although made in London because it's a London Dry Gin, it's heritage is tied closely with that of the Wemyss family.

Hot Gin Punch

250ml Darnley's View Spiced Gin
500ml Organic Apple Cider
750ml Ginger Beer
100g Demerara Sugar
1 Split Vanilla Pod
1 Cinnamon Quill
100ml Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
Apple Rounds (cored)
Juniper Berries

Pour all the ingredients into a pot and simmer gently until the sugar has dissolved. Leave on the heat for another 5 minutes and serve warm in a jar.

Ginger Martini

60ml Darnley's View Spiced Gin
1 Knob Ginger
15ml Sugar Syrup

Muddle the Ginger in the bottom of the shaker, add remaining ingredients and fill with cubed ice. Shake well and double strain into a Martini glass. Garnish with slithers of Ginger.

Darnley's View is an excellent Spiced Gin, available from Master of Malt now for £28.00, but they'll also be stocked in your local Majestic Wine Warehouse by the end of the month. Other great Spiced Gins include Whitley Neill, Edinburgh Spiced Orange Gin and Opihr.

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