The Liquorists Gincident Review

Gincident

If you live in Manchester, or indeed the North, or just have yourself access to social media or have a friend who’s a bartender, you may have come across the tag-team of The Liquorists. The pairing of Tom Sneesby and Jody Monteith have given us many a night since their inception back in 2010, with their most commonly known trait coming in the form of their trails. I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of a fair few of these over the last year or so, and the reason why it’s many and not just the one is purely for the reasons of the following –

– Offer new and exciting bars to visit
– Showcase spirits that combine classic and new-age brands
– Deep knowledge that caters for all levels of expertise
– Food to match and compliment the spirit style

Many of these trails sell out in a heartbeat, but none as quickly as there summer expedition – Gincident.

Messa-gin a Bottle
Messa-gin a Bottle

Gincident offers all of the above list minus the bars. Reason why? The setting comes in the form of a canal barge. And from the name, gin is the choice of tipple. So, add 25 people to a barge with 5 brands of gin and what was described as a botanical feast of food and what do you get? Myself wanting to get onto the next trail immediately. Role on trail number 13! But how have I come to this conclusion?

Greeted by L.S. Lowry (the boat, not the artist) of City Centre Cruises at Castlefield Locks, the expanded Liquorists line-up were on hand to walk us safely aboard. Jamie Jones of pop-up Manchester bars fame The Yacht Club and Moose Bar amongst others, was to play host, with Craig MacDonald his trusty side-kick. Not forgetting original Liquorists member Jody Monteith was to be on hand to create us our five gin based cocktails on the boats very own bar.

Once on our merry way towards Salford Quays, the aforementioned botanical feast was served, all cooked and created by chef Hannah Eddleston. With dishes that included cured salmon with dill, spiced ham hock with juniper and cous cous, spicy chicken drumsticks on white bean salad and a savoury strawberry salad with feta cheese. Using inspiration from not only the gin brands of the evening, but the botanicals within them, Hannah served up a treat that from looking around the boat, left many an empty plate. Same could be said for our welcome drink – a round of G’Vine Nouaison and Fever Tree tonics for us all. 

Jamie Jones, who this year has won one of the worlds premier gin competitions – the G’Vine Gin Connoisseurs Programme, is the right man to talk to us all about gin itself, its history and how gin is created. I’m not going to go into detail about gin itself, that you can find by clicking on each brand that was available on the evening. Whilst Jamie was talking all things gin, Craig dished out neat samples of Bols Genever, Pymouth and G’Vine Floraison for us all to try. Three completely different styles, with Bols offering the sweeter juniper palate, Plymouth more your usual style gin, and G’Vine the new-age French floral. Plymouth was the tipple of choice for The Liquorists first cocktail offering of the evening – Hogarths Fizz. Combining sugar, lemon juice and camomile with a dusting of nutmeg gave this cocktail a smooth citrus feel with subtle aromas and bursts of freshness.

A personal favourite of mine, Martin Millers, was up next, and in true Liquorists pun fashion, the aptly named Messa-gin in a Bottle came within their own green bottle and brown paper bag. Using Martin Millers, home-made kaffir lime juice, orange bitters, jasmine tea and their own ginger beer, it created something rather unique, with huge bold flavours of fresh lime and ginger blending well with the Martin Millers and jasmine tea. One that you didn’t want to end, which is surely a good sign?

La Floraison De'tre
La Floraison De’tre

One gin that I’m very familiar with is Warrington based BLOOM. A brand that I’ve created cocktails for in the past, i was interested to see how The Liquorists would do with their Rosie and Gin (they love their puns). A mixture of BLOOM, strawberry liqueur, lime juice and topped within a jam jar with Fever Tree Elderflower tonic created one of the stronger cocktails of the evening, but more due to its bolder statement. The flavours did mellow as the drink went on, with the BLOOM complimenting the strawberry and lime.

Onto the French now, and as most of you know, although I represent this brand here in the UK, I came at the following with an unbiased opinion. G’Vine Nouaison, the stronger out of the two expressions was used as the base gin for the 22nd Century Cocktail. A twist of the original 20th Century Cocktail that was created back in 1937, it came with a blend of G’Vine, lemon juice, crème de cacao white and topped with tonic. In no simpler words, and being a massive chocolate fan, it tasted like chocolate orange in a glass. If your like Dawn French and me, you’ll love this tipple.

The last cocktail of the Gincident came again with a twist to not only a recipe, but an award-winning recipe. Jamie Jones offered the gathering his own creation that won him the title of G’Vine Connoisseur as mentioned above. Despite a few changes to his recipe, his La Floraison De’tre gave the finish the night deserved. G’Vine Floraison, egg white, olive oil, lemon juice, apricot liqueur and Fever Tree Sicilian Lemonade with a rose petal to garnish added a touch of sophistication as Salford Quays lit up both the boat and the night sky.

Heading back to Castlefield, The Liquorists made sure we were comfortable, well watered and fed before disembarking the barge for the evening. There tag of #nohangoverguaranteed is 100% correct yet again. Well done guys.

To get yourselves on The Liquorists trails, check them out via there website or twitter.

Check out the rest of my photos via my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

G’Vine Tasting Notes

G’Vine, handcrafted in France, seems to have redefined the frontiers of the gin category, erasing traditional ideas and changing the perception of this centuries-old spirit. While most of the world’s gin is made from grain spirit, G’Vine Gin is crafted from grape spirit which creates a silky, luxurious feel. France’s Cognac region is the birthplace of G’Vine, using Ugni Blanc grapes which in every September, are harvested and immediately pressed and converted to wine. The result is then distilled in a column still producing a neutral grape spirit over 96.4 % abv. Unlike traditional grain spirit associated with Gin production, the neutral grape spirit is significantly smoother with a heady body.

Once a year, in mid-June, the rare green grape flower blossoms but only exists for just a few days before maturing into a grape berry. This delicate flower is immediately hand picked and carefully macerated in the neutral grape spirit over a period of several days to obtain the best floral essence. The infusion is then distilled in a small Florentine pot still.

As the neutral grape spirit and the green grape flower infusion are nurtured, nine fresh whole-fruit botanicals of juniper berries, ginger root, liquorice, cassia bark, green cardamom, coriander, cubeb berries, nutmeg and lime are macerated over a two to five day process. Small bespoken liquor stills are used to insure the best quality.

In the final step, the green grape flowers infusion, the botanicals distillates and more neutral grape spirit are blended together and undergo a final distillation in a copper pot still affectionately nicknamed “Lily Fleur.”

G’Vine embodies the vine’s life cycle, resulting in G’Vine Floraison and G’Vine Nouaison. The two products represent the evolution of the grape through its various stages, from the blossoming period right through to the harvest. G’Vine Floraison captures the essence of the exhilarating fragrance of the vineyard when the vine flower blooms to life, and the warmth of the arrival of summer. whilst G’Vine Nouaison captures the emotion around the birth of the berry.

So with a unique process of creation compared to your traditional gin brands, lets see what they represent when each G’Vine is sipped –

 

G’Vine Floraison – 40%

G'Vine Floraison

Winning gold at the International Review of Spirits in 2007 and 2008 and a silver medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. On the nose there’s a clean, crisp scent with a slight sweetness lingering with ginger making an easy appearance as it enters your palate. A fresh floral hit to begin with but mellows out rather quickly with the flavours of juniper and ginger leaving a lasting, slightly dry finish.

G’Vine Nouaison – 43.9%

Winning gold at the Drinks International Gin Challenge in 2008. A cleaner, more forest aroma on the nose which turns into a richer, sweeter, and fruitier flavour on the palate. Hints of citrus and cinnamon create small bursts in your mouth that leaves a rather silky feel that evolves into a fruity after-taste.

If I was to pick between the two, the Nouaison would be my preferred choice, with its richer sweetness on the palate (perfect for sweet tooth drinkers!).

Both G’Vine products are considered premium gins and you can expect to pay around £25-30 retail.

G’Vine has also created its very own Gin Connoisseur Program, and now in its third year, it searches for the most gifted gin-loving bartender in the world. In addition to challenging bartenders with the basics of hands-on cocktail creation, the contest also includes some seriously academic elements that set this competition a world apart from the typical shake-off. Winners of this years programme will receive the title of G’Vine Gin Connoisseur 2012, $3,000, a platinum pin worth 800 €, a trophy, a trip to Tales of the Cocktail 2012 and a trip to Bar Convent Berlin 2012 as well as a year’s supply of G’Vine gin for his or her bar. So no pressure. Enter here.

If your not in the bar trade, or just fancy creating some cocktails, try out some of the recipes below, or better still, ask your local bartender to create. Enjoy!

G’Vine Ruby

G'Vine Ruby

Glass –

Champagne Flute

Ingredients –

45ml G’Vine Nouaison
15ml Cherry cream
15ml Blackcurrant cream
7.5ml Simple syrup
15ml Lemon juice
15ml Pomegranate juice
45ml Brut Champagne

Method –

Pour all ingredients in a mixing glass, except the champagne, then add ice, shake and strain into a flute and top off with Champagne. Garnish with a kumquat floret and orange zest.

G’Literring Fruits

G'literring Fruits

Glass –

Champagne Flute

Ingredients –

60ml G’Vine Floraison
3 Kumquats
2/6 Lime’s
15ml Ginger-elderflower syrup or simple syrup
30ml Brut Champagne

Method –

Muddle the kumquats, lime and syrup then pour G’Vine Floraison. Add ice, shake and double strain into a cocktail glass containing the Champagne. Garnish with a kumquat flower and raspberry in the middle.

To check out some more photos of G’Vine gin, head over to my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

RIGHT Gin Tasting Notes

This is the gin that got me back. I’ve never been a lover of gin but I first tried RIGHT way back at the Restaurant Show in 2009 when it was under the portfolio of Cellar Trends. And WOW. I don’t know whether it’s me and my sweet tooth but RIGHT gin doesn’t seem to give you a dryness that has always put me off the category. It’s filtered 5 times from corn all the way from the USA and then given the mix of 8 botanicals including juniper, coriander, bergamot, lime and bitter orange.

RIGHT Gin

So with this in mind, the aroma of a soft mix of all 8 botanicals is present, with the coriander poking its way through as the more dominant flavour. On taste, the bitter orange powers through, with the citrus lemon refreshing your palate as black pepper notes lead you to a sweet after-taste that lingers, and begs you to have more.

RIGHT gin is a classic on its own or over ice, but shouldn’t be discounted from being used in cocktails such as Tom Collins or Mojito, and is a great addition to a Martini. Priced at around £35, its in the league of the premium gins and should be rubbing shoulders with Chase Williams, Tanqueray 10, G’Vine or Martin Millers Westbourne on any back bar.

This is a spectacular gin, and will be the first addition to my own bar.

Purchase a bottle here – http://www.thedrinkshop.com/products/nlpdetail.php?prodid=4927

Check out RIGHT website here – http://www.rightgin.com/