It was an evening when the International Brand Ambassador of Beefeater gin, Tim Stones was in town and was taking a group of liquor enthusiasts through the journey of Gin.
Gin is a popular drink globally and has been referred to unabashedly in films and books. “Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine,” is a classic line from 1942 film Casablanca, and how can one forget James Bond and his martinis, though he ordered around 19 vodka martinis and 13 gin ones in all the novels put together So What is it? Gin is neutral spirit which has been flavoured with Juniper berries. (In layman terms vodka with a mandatory Juniper flavouring apart from other botanicals which are optional.)
Beefeater is a brand of London dry gin; and in fact the only brand which is still distilled in the heart of London.Now under the umbrella of Pernod Ricard, Beefeater’s origins go back to 1862 when James Burrough the founder started distilling in the Chelsea facility and then moved a couple of places before settling down to its now situated distillery at Kennington in London. Beefeater gets its name from the guards of the Tower of London who are popularly called the Beefeaters!
What is unique about this gin is the 24 hrs steeping of the 9 botanicals before distillation and this gives the gin an intense aroma and flavour. It is the combination of these botanicals and the type of distillation that make every gin so different. It was fun to learn all about gin from Tim while sipping on a Zesty Gin Punch. We had a chance to see and taste the botanicals Juniper berries the key ingredient, Angelica root and seed, Oris Root, dried Seville orange peels, dried lemon peels apart from the commonly seen almonds, licorice and coriander.
This Beefeater’s Gin evening I would say was audacious because they did a tasting of Beefeater alongside other similar priced and popular gins viz: Bombay Sapphire, Tanqueray and Gordon’s. Hats off to team Pernod Ricard for this effort!! I liked Gordon’s which was floral and fruity and the Beefeater which was earthy and lemony with angelica and licorice forward notes, Bombay was very light and Tanqueray seemed more of a cocktail spirit.
How does one drink gin if not in cocktails?
G&T (Gin and Tonic) is the most popular combination although cola instead of tonic also seems popular in the United States. Winston Churchill had once declared “The gin and tonic has saved more Englishmen’s lives, and minds, than all the doctors in the Empire.” By this he referred to the tonic a quinine (found in the bark of the chichona tree) based drink which was a prevention and a cure to Malaria a killer especially in the tropics and guess what this tonic water was invented in India. Now I feel G&T was the cause of the English ruling us for so long, they would have long gone because of Malaria!!! Anyways Tim Stone’s recipe for a perfect G&T is three parts of tonic to one part of gin with lots of ice thrown in.
Ladies drink, liquid colonialism etc are some of the stereotypes associated to gin in the country but in my opinion Gin is a drink which can be intense yet refreshing, simple yet be a talking point. And with the summers approaching, a G&T with lime is imminent!!!!!