Emily Says . . . . ‘Yorkshire Tea’

Masons Dry Yorkshire Gin

In her fifth feature under ‘Emily Says . . .’, the voice to the Manchester bar scene in Emily Puckering looks at the Yorkshire Tea and Gin combination;

Gin has truly taken over the world in the last couple of years. It is what everyone is talking about, and it is what everyone is ordering over the bar. More and more brands and varieties of gin appear day by day, making ones choice of what to drink rather difficult.

A gin that stands out to me is Masons Dry Yorkshire Gin… and I promise this has nothing to do with the fact that I’m from Yorkshire! Masons was created by Karl and Cathy Mason, a pair of gin enthusiasts who initially began blogging and reviewing different types of gin prior to their creation.

What makes their gin truly unique is what the Masons decided to put in it. Using pure Yorkshire water and the classic essence of Juniper, alongside Fennel, Coriander seeds, Cardamom and Szechuan pepper, Masons gin became known for its bold and distinctive dry taste.

But I am not here to talk about Masons original dry gin. Masons Dry Yorkshire gin Tea Edition has taken centre stage. Again, I’m sure this has nothing to do with me being from Yorkshire, but I absolutely love tea… as do many of us Brits. And what could possibly be better than a collaboration of gin and the finest Yorkshire tea?

The distillation process of this 42 percent gin involves 665 Yorkshire teabags (to be precise!) being cut up and mixed with the rest of the classic recipe before being distilled. A pairing of flavours that doesn’t often trend, the combination of tea and gin is truly an unusual one, but one of curiosity and individuality.

On the nose, this gin delivers lovely dark tannin notes, mixing beautifully with the bold juniper and the spices of fennel and cardamom. On first sip, these spices instantly bring out the crisp punch of Yorkshire Tea; something pleasantly different compared to a usual gin and tonic. The risk of collaborating tea with gin is the chance of bringing out the perfumed notes, of which can be way too tangent on the mouth. The presence of citrus fruits such as lemons in Masons, however, prevents the gin from being overpowered by these perfume essences, and instead gives a refreshing and punchy finish.

The perfect serve of Masons Dry Yorkshire gin Tea Edition is recommended to be served with a premium Indian tonic, and a simple twist of lemon peel for a garnish. Perfect!

Masons Gin
Buon Vino

Masons Yorkshire Gin Soon to Celebrate First Birthday

Masons Gin - Rudding Park Rose

World Gin Day 2014 is fast approaching which can only mean one thing, the quintessentially Yorkshire spirit, Masons Yorkshire Gin, is about to celebrate its first birthday! To celebrate this accomplishment, Rory Gilbert, senior bar tender at Rudding Park Hotel, has created a unique cocktail using Masons Gin, and has christened it the ‘Rudding Park Rose’. It has certainly been a spectacular first year for Masons, with some phenomenal achievements, and of course, plenty of happy customers.

The Rudding Park Rose
(Created by Rory Gilbert, Senior Bar Tender at Rudding Park Hotel)
50 ml Masons Gin
25 ml Cointreau
50 ml of Fresh Orange Juice
12.5 ml Sugar Syrup
Shaken and served over crushed ice with a splash of soda in a large balloon glass.

The turn of 2014 saw Masons getting some serious attention from both local and national press, with reviews and editorial featuring in publications ranging from The Yorkshire Post to La Di Da Magazine. But it doesn’t stop there; earlier this April Karl and Cathy Mason garnered some serious attention with interviews from the BBC, on both TV and radio, and in the same month were invited to showcase their gin at the esteemed British Embassy in Paris.

Masons Yorkshire Gin is rapidly growing, and nothing characterises this more than the recent arrival of their new custom-made 300 litre copper alembic still. Christened ‘Steve’ by Karl, the still is already busy creating the fantastic artisan spirit that many have come to love. “Interest in Masons Yorkshire Gin is growing all the time” said Karl, “and we’re hoping that soon we can get a visitor centre set up in our distillery in Bedale”, truly an exciting prospect for any locals keen to see Steve the Still in action.

Further evidence of Masons Yorkshire Gin’s success can simply be found by looking at the prestigious venues now stocking the spirit. From Michelin Starred restaurants like the Pipe and Glass, to exclusive connoisseur venues such as The London Gin Club, the list of spirit vendors rushing to stock this premium Yorkshire product is growing fast, and with Mason’s partnership with prominent distributer Gordon and McPhail in late 2013, it doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon.

One thing is for certain, this past year has been one big success for Masons Yorkshire Gin, but it’s definitely not over yet, with many exciting events planned for the rest of 2014 and beyond, the quintessential Yorkshire spirit is set to conquer the nation!

Masons Distillery


It’s always a pleasure to hear that producers of spirit don’t just go for the easiest way or the quickest route to making money. Karl Mason, the man behind one of Yorkshire’s most prominent distilleries in Bedale, rejected many a recipe in search for a gin that you would ‘choose to drink’.

Launched back in 2013 on World Gin Day (June), a recipe was deemed suitable and he utilised the services of the English Spirit Company to help his idea become reality. Fast track two years later, and Karl has reached the heights of being able to have his own distillery, and more importantly, his own copper pot still named Steve. The move has changed the recipe slightly from the early days of Masons Yorkshire gin, but with more positivity as shown with the awarding of a silver medal at the New York World, Wine and Spirits competition in 2014, as well as another silver at the San Francisco World Spirits competition this year.

Using originally just one small copper alembic still, but as of August 2015 a second still to help with the demand, both hold just 200 litres. Karl and his Head Distiller Gerrard Macluskey (an ex Tanqueray gin distiller) find the ‘right balance of juniper, citrus elements and secret botanicals’, and utilise Harrogate spring water to reduce down to its bottling strength before being bottled and labelled by hand. Each bottle also comes adorned with a hand-written batch and bottle number on the neck.

Question is, how does the range fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Gerrard and Karl
Gerrard and Karl

Masons Dry Yorkshire Gin – 42% – Original bottle from 2013

Plenty of fennel on the nose with a slight hint of coriander making its presence known. Fennel and pine take centre stage on the palate, producing a smooth base. A little citrus follows, with some sweet liquorice found near the end. Long, and a little dry.

Masons Dry Yorkshire Gin – 42%

Light fennel upon the nose with fresh, damp grass notes mixed with soft juniper, lime and orange rind, leading to a subtle aniseed finish. On the palate, a ripe aniseed start, becoming sweet with fresh, bold citrus flavours including deep orange rind. Plenty of fennel, green apple and dandelion blend well, leading to a warm, long, mouth-watering finish.

Masons Yorkshire Vodka – 42%

Fresh, soft with a creamy scent upon the nose. Very smooth once onto the palate, with a soft texture and bold, creamy flavour profile. Fresh grain notes come through, with a tingle on the tongue after several sips. A sharp, slightly bold, long finish.

Masons Dry Yorkshire Tea Gin – 42%

Dry notes of Yorkshire tea are present on the nose, with fresh, light hits as the aromas swirl around. Rather light upon the palate, with a slight citrus sharpness hitting the senses. Plenty of dry Yorkshire tea notes blast through, with fresh aniseed making an appearance upon the long finish.

Masons Lavender Edition Gin – 42%

Dry lavender notes upon the nose, creating a rather soft and subtle experience, followed by a slight fennel aroma. Soft texture once onto the palate, with a fresh candied lavender sweet flavour dominating. Rather subtle across the senses, with anise creeping in on the dry finish.

Four great expressions, with the limited editions of the Yorkshire Tea and Lavender a surprise hit. Karl recommend a good gin and tonic to go with his creations, but he also suggests the following –

“Masons Moors Martini
Make a standard dry Martini with Vermouth but then also add a few drops of lavender syrup and garnish with lavender. Of course, the lavender has to be from Yorkshire!”

“Gin Yorkshire Rose
Take 1 measure each of Masons Yorkshire Gin and Cointreau, add a wedge of fresh orange and a little sugar syrup. Garnish with a white rose petal.”

Always good to have one in your collection for something to show your friends that not all gins are the same, and the vodka makes a great addition to the British vodka market. Look out for some other creations that are in the pipeline too. When I popped over a month or so ago, there’s some more interesting ideas coming to fruition!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. 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.