One of my local pubs – The Colonel Fawcett – has a little passion for gin and has started hosting gin tastings, starting with Saffron gin.
So I summoned a reduced gin club (just Sarah and I) to go along and take advantage.
After taking us through a potted history of gin (all the way from Persia through to Hogarth and to modern times) Gavin McGowan Madoo (what a name!) got to talking about Saffron gin specifically:
Saffron is made by a French man, Gabriel Boudier, based in Dijon. He is quoted as saying he was ‘not going to teach the English to drink London Dry!’ and so wanted to make something a bit different, a traditional style with a twist….
He used the spice route as inspiration for his botanicals – hence the vibrant saffron addition post distillation.
Saffron gin is not for using in martini’s but makes a great gin and tonic – each gin has its own strengths!
A great hue from the saffron infused in it – it doesn’t take long for the colour to come out of the saffron!
Gabriel starts with his base spirit made from French Winter wheat, similar to how they make Grey Goose vodka. He distils this to 96%, a very high quality spirit.
Then 9 fresh botanicals are added – juniper, coriander, lemon, orange, angelica, orris root, fennel and distilled into London Dry style gin. The gin is then finished by steeping saffron in it – this addition means that it can’t be called a London Dry, but that’s fine with Gabriel!
When we tasted it neat, it has the classic juniper hit of a London Dry and spice on the nose. On tasting you can pick up the fennel and spice from the saffron, giving a savoury note. With a little water the orange from the citrus becomes more prominent.
I love it when gin is reserved for me! Here are the two suggested servings – with orange or orange and mint for a more fresh summery flavour.
We tried it with Fentiman’s tonic – which is not my favourite, I thought it overpowered the flavours a bit – Gavin recommends serving with FeverTree Mediterrean tonic as this is lighter in quinine (originally designed to go with vodka) and so makes a great match to let the flavour shine through.
Are you going to give it a go now? See you at the next gin tasting!
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