You know once again this blog entry comes a week late. I have three more which need written too.
Anyway two Friday’s ago we did one of our dedicated brand nights where we take things a little more seriously and actually serve you some facts with your gin.
This months dedicated brand night was all about Professor Cornelius Ampleforth Gin and as it happens is our first Gin featured at this months Gin Club.
The rather well informed (about booze facts) Dan Crowther from PCA (I can’t bring myself to type the full title each time). Came along to Kroma hair to serve a select few 30 of you Gin Clubbers a fair bit of his fine product. Four bottles of the Bathtub, two of the Sloe and one of the Navy strength might I add.
At Gin Club we are featuring the Bathtub Gin which is part of The PCA (growing line) which is; Bathtub Gin, Old Tom Gin, Sloe Gin, Summer Fruit Cup and Cask Aged. Fingers crossed Dan brings the whole line this week.
Bathtub Gin is made using a technique called cold compounding (this was me taking notes from Dans speech). In Dan’s words what this means is they get a big tea bag, fill it full of the botanicals and plant it in a vat of neutral grain spirit.
Dan explained that it is an old technique of basically infusing spirit with botanicals. In the past it was seen as a cheap way to distil and now not really used. Historically (hence the name) this was done at home by self Brewers in the bathtub. But in the olden days the spirit was so cheap the addition of botanical other than juniper was to hide the other ingredients which were not alcohol.
Distilling this way isn’t an exact science. It means that each batch will be different from the one before and because it hasn’t gone through a heated still the gin retains a hue from the infusion. We think this is great, every batch a different beast and the computation adds to the charm!
As discussed the name of this type of gin production is believed to originate in the US Prohibition era. Bootleggers used to create spirits in their home using stills and then water the Gin down to drinking strength with tap water, but had to use the taps in the bathtub as the large bottles wouldn’t fit in the sink. Or bootleggers actually using their bathtubs to infuse the spirit to hide the “yes this may kill you smell”.
PCA use six botanicals: juniper (it is a gin) coriander, orange peel, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. The final spirit is bottled at 43.3% ABV and has a slight hue caused by the infusion process.
So to smell it, citrus and juniper for me. Taste it’s a straight hit if juniper and alcohol which leaves quick leaving pine, citrus and cardamom. The company behind the gin Master of Malts tell us it’s a “manly kind of gin”. Like an allotment.
We will be serving it one of two ways.
Straight up gin and tonic
Orange peel, cardamom and tonic
Or orange peel and ginger ale