Another month, another gin! This time we were sampling a gin I’d never heard of before; Sabatini Gin. (If you’re unfamiliar with my gin blog posts, then catchup with number 1 here).
I am completely in love with the story behind this gin. Italy is one of my favourite countries, and I spent a lot of my childhood roaming around Tuscany. So when I realised this gin was from the heart of Tuscany, I was thrilled.
In 2015, the Sabatini family made their gin dream into a reality. They made Sabatini gin using botanicals from the heart of Tuscany, combined with the sacred rules of traditional English distillation. Most of the botanicals are grown on the family’s own land, showcasing their passion for Tuscany (and their passion for gin!).
You can read more about the Sabatini family and their gin on their website.
Now for the fun part! Euan tasted the gin straight first of all, and commented on it’s initial softness with a light and ‘lemony’ favour, followed by a sweet finish.
Euan did a little bit of research prior to our tasting session, and discovered that the gin’s recommended garnishes are either lemon or rosemary. As a result, we tried one glass with lemon and one glass with rosemary and compared the results.
I found Sabatini gin incredibly easy to drink, and (despite already being in love with it because it’s from Tuscany) I did absolutely love it. It was really smooth, and I actually found it very pleasant with lemon (I don’t usually like gin & tonics with lemon), but I definitely preferred it with the rosemary. The two different garnishes brought out completely different elements of the gin. The lemon made it sweeter, whereas the rosemary made it fresher.
Euan thought much the same; pleasant and very drinkable. He, however, preferred it with the lemon (each to their own, I guess…). He would recommend it as a summer gin for ‘everyone’. I agreed. It had enough of a kick that a strong-gin drinker would enjoy it, but wasn’t so overpowering that someone who preferred milder gins wouldn’t enjoy it. Somewhere in the middle, let’s say!
I think the branding for Sabatini is effective. It’s not super bold and ‘in-your-face’, therefore might not stand out on a shelf. However, I think the colours of the glass – to create the illusion of the Tuscan hills and blue sky – is super (and the trees at the bottom are really sweet). I also like the simplicity of the letters, letting the bottle do most of the talking.
For this particular gin, Euan recommends a Classic Tom Collins as the cocktail of choice. A simple and easy-to-make cocktail which emphasises the qualities of the gin.
- 50ml Sabatini Gin
- 1/2 a freshly squeezed lemon
- 25ml (max) sugar syrup
- Soda water
- Lemon to garnish
Fill a tall glass with ice cubes and pour in the gin. Squeeze the lemon, add the sugar syrup and stir thoroughly. Top up with soda water, and garnish with a lemon slice (or two). You can also shake the gin, lemon, and sugar syrup, and strain into a glass over ice (if you want to show off your cocktail shaking skills!).
Ginspiration; Kyrö Napue
Ginspiration; is there any better type of inspo? An integral part of any wedding planning is research… Which is where the gin-tasting you may have seen on social media comes in. A venue who I work closely with, Ever After on Dartmoor, have just launched their brand new pop-up lounges (to read more about them, click here). I’m super excited! The furniture and decor are all fabulous and I can’t wait to see the lounges in full swing (hopefully at every summer wedding next year… 2018 couples…?). But it’s not just about the aesthetics (although they are great), it’s also about the drink.
To ensure the best gins, champagnes, and whiskeys get selected for the lounges one (obviously) needs to try them first… So venue owner Nicola assigned me and Mr Lila Bailey the task (how taxing a task it was…).
For this ginspiration blog post we’re focusing on the rye gin ‘Napue’ from the Kyrö distillery in Finland.
Napue gin was voted as “The World’s Best Gin for Gin & Tonic” by the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) in 2015 and in 2016 Napue won the gold medal in the San Francisco World Spirit Competition premium gin-series.
(You can find out more about the distillery and the gin itself of the distillery website.)
So those are a few facts, and you can find out loads more on their website. But the important stuff is what we thought when we tried the gin. It can have more awards than La La Land had Oscar nominations, but if the consumer doesn’t like it then what’s the point?
Luckily for Napue gin, we loved it. My right-hand-man, Mr Lila Bailey, and gin lover; Euan, and I had a tasting session and we came up with some feedback about the gin.
Euan firstly tried the gin straight and he could taste a good blend of pine needles and juniper berries with and warm & spicy edge which was sharp and punchy. Strong but enjoyable.
We then made the gin with tonic, one glass with lime and one with cucumber to see what a difference the garnishes made.
With the tonic, Euan felt it was a very clean and smooth gin, and I came to the same conclusion. We both tried the gin with lime and then with cucumber and it was definitely better with the cucumber. The aftertaste was complimented by the cucumber, and the fresh/clean taste of the gin didn’t work so well with the lime. Euan, however, concluded that his preference of garnish for this particular gin would be a sprig of rosemary.
We asked ourselves the question ‘would we order it in a restaurant?’. Euan figured the napue gin ranked higher than a lot of standard gins in his opinion, and he would definitely consider choosing it at a restaurant. I would absolutely choose it in a restaurant, however I would specifically request it to be served with cucumber as I didn’t enjoy it with the lime.
Discussion of what we pictured whilst drinking the gin was an important part of the tasting notes too. Napue gin had me picturing a mountain-top scene amongst the snow and pine trees. Whilst Euan thought of a wet/dewey winter’s morning looking over a woodland valley.
Another comment I had (although not relevant to the taste, but still part of the ginspiration) was the look of the bottle and the label. I thought it was bold, simplistic, and eye-catching, and (somehow) reflected the taste of the gin through it’s appearance. I suppose it’s not something I can quite put my finger on, by nevertheless it’d certainly stand out on a shelf which (let’s face it) is half the battle!
So there you have our take on this up-and-coming rye gin… I bet you want to try it for yourself now, am I right?