Another month means another ‘gin of the month’ at The Oliver Conquest and June’s is Bobby’s.
So naturally I dragged some friends and colleagues along to the tasting!
We met the lovely Sebastian, here popping up behind a wall of Bobby’s Gin bottles!
He explained the origins of his gin, a long time family recipe, originally made with the Dutch spirit Genever, flavoured with the aromatic spices of Indonesia.
A little history here – Sebastian is half Dutch and half Moluccan – from Indonesia. The link between the Dutch and Indonesia comes from colonial times when the Dutch colonised areas in Indonesia. I recently wrote about the impact this had on food in Amsterdam – Indonesian food is one of the specialties due to these links.
This gin is named after his grandpa Bobby. Sebastian came up with the idea of recreating the special drink his grandpa favoured when he was working in the drinks industry at Duvel. The town he is from in the Netherlands, Scheidam, is known for its genever, and his grandparents always had the traditional clay bottles in the house. One in particular was his grandpa’s where he flavoured his genever with his own recipe infused with Indonesian herbs – cloves, lemongrass & cinnamon. 8 botanicals in all, effectively a bathub gin!
So Sebastian decided to quit his job at Duvel to make his own genever and recreated his grandpa’s recipe.
So what about Bobby’s gin? Well it’s sweet on nose with a hint of spice. The taste is all about the fragrant lemongrass and cloves – it reminded me of strepsils (in a good way!) – lemon and honey flavours. A spiciness comes from the cubeb peppers also.
Quality of ingredients is key and the botanicals include the traditional gin ones of coriander & cinnamon but also the more unusual rose hips, fennel and of course juniper, all from Europe – marrying the Dutch & Indonesian heritage.
It’s an incredibly zingy gin with all that lemongrass. The pepper lingers in your mouth afterwards as designed. Sebastian started with malt liquor from the local genever distillery and reduced the quantity in the gin until it was only half. This got rid of the punch of roughness and the result is a gin that you can sip neat, and indeed I did!
Perfect serve gin & tonic
Sebastian recommends serving the gin and tonic with a garnish of orange studded with cloves, the orange taking the role of the 9th botantical. We were very lucky to be able to enjoy cloves from the village where his grandpa was born – picked by Sebastian’s uncle in 1993!
The gin stands up to the flavour of the tonic, it’s less peppery but super refreshing – I could imagine this gin in plenty of eastern inspired cocktails!
So this is a classic rather than an eastern inspired cocktail, but you can’t miss a good Negroni and the Oliver Conquest does them so well – also it was world Negroni day that week!
I took the opportunity to quiz Sebastian over said Negroni:
On his method: the gin is made with 8 pot stills, one for each botanical, and then blended together to make Bobby’s.
On his favourite drink: he likes both beer and gin! He appreciates the skill in both, having seen how master brewers are craftsmen. There has been a big link between gin and beer over the ages.
Bobby’s is gin of the month at The Oliver Conquest – which means you can try it on special offer.
There is usually a gin tasting once a month – follow them on Twitter or Facebook to keep in the loop on which gin is next!