Where has the time gone?! It seems like an absolute age ago that I did a ginspiration blog post. There has been loads happening recently, but there are plenty of gin blogs coming your way! Today, it’s all about Manchester Gin.
A contemporary style gin using hand-foraged Orange, Lemon and the Northern favourites Dandelion & Burdock Root. It all began one cold February evening in 2013 – the typical dark and rainy night you come to expect from Manchester – when Seb and Jen first crossed paths in a basement night spot in the centre of their beloved city.
“Manchester is a city of industrial heritage and the Mancunian work ethic has been a point of pride since the industrial revolution, when the men and women in the factories that lined the city were coined “Worker Bees”. It’s since this time that Manchester adopted the bee as it’s motif, and we couldn’t make a gin without paying homage to it. Our bee is a modern interpretation of the traditional Manchester symbol, reflecting the modern style of gin we produce. Next time you’re in the city, look out for the bee on bins, signs, buildings and even in bars and restaurants.”
Jen & Seb have created 4 different gins, under the umbrella of ‘Manchester Gin’; Signature, Raspberry Infused, Wild Spirit, and Overboard. They also created a ‘Distillers Cut’ version, exclusive to Craft Gin Clubmembers as a celebration of their progression over the past 2 years. The Distillers Cut is the gin that Euan & I tried…
Along with the gin, we were given one of the new ‘up-market’ schweppes tonic bottles to try with the gin. Sorry, schweppes, but I was not a fan. I think the tonic itself was okay but it hid all the flavours of the gin. Initially, we tried the gin with a slice of apple (as recomended by Craft Gin Club) and the schweppes tonic. I found the drink completely underwhelming with no real flavour hitting me at all. Euan felt there were a fair few flavours in the gin, but nothing was overpowering enough to pick out.
That was, however, before we tried the gin with fever tree tonic & a wedge of lime. Oh, wow! A completely different drink altogether. I absolutely loved the gin this time, like seriously loved it. The bitter taste I got from the previous drink was non-existent and it was full of exciting flavours. Finished off perfectly with a sweet aftertaste. I would 100% recommend this gin, but not with the original tonic & garnish combination…
Euan said the gin had a flavoursome kick and he could easily pick out the elderberries. He agreed about the sweet aftertaste, and an initially crisp flavour.
Conclusion & Cocktails
This tasting was a really interesting (albeit unintentional) experiment. It just goes to show what a difference the choice of tonic and/or garnish can make to a gin. And something that is super important to get right! I think the schweppes tonic does have a place in the gin industry, but absolutely not for Manchester gin. I’d be interested in giving it a second chance and trying it with a more ‘traditional’ or less flavoursome gin as I think it could definitely enhance a slightly blander gin.
Craft Gin Club’s Cocktail Suggestion – Gimlet
35ml Manchester Gin, Distillers cut
35ml lime cordial
15ml fresh lime juice
Twist of lime peel to garnish
Shake all three ingredients with ice and double strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with a slice of lime.
For more ginspiration, or to refresh your memory on all things ‘gin’, take a look at my previous ginspiration blog posts…
I’ve had a serious amount of writer’s block recently. I’ve been working super hard on blogs for work and completely neglected my own blog. I’d like to say that it’s because I’ve been incredibly busy, but that’s not necessarily true. The truth is that I’ve put a stupid amount of pressure on myself to create the perfect post. Hey, guess what? It doesn’t exist.
Most of wedding blogs are about beautiful images of beautiful weddings which, of course, are always favourable. And I get to write loads of them for work (you can check them out here). This blog, however, was not created for that. I’m not a photographer, florist, or venue, who needs stunning images to showcase their work. My blog is about advice, experiences, and ‘real talk’. Weddings mainly, but ‘life’ stuff too.
I like writing my mind (because I have a lot to say, soz). And I love having a platform to share my world of weddings with anyone who is interested. Stunning images are always fabulous, and I try to make my instagram page the home to all things pretty. Here, though, I’m expressing and sharing. In the hope that one or two of you might take something away from my words (advice? Not sure I can quite call it that).
About 20 minutes ago I re-read a few of my blog posts and reminded myself how much I enjoyed writing them, and asked myself why I’m not writing for myself every single day. Committing to a daily blog is probably slightly too ambitious (a girl can dream) but my epiphany has happened. Expect to hear from me a lot more (again, soz).
So, here is the perfect imperfect blog post, to explain how the perfect post does not exist… Does that even make any sense? Not really… Hence the imperfect.
It’s time for gin! Last month, as it was December, we got our hands on the Christmas edition of Batch Gin and it was fabulous. It’s packed with festive flavour and definitely leaves you wanting more!
Batch gin is a premium gin made in Lancashire by Batch Brew Limited. It’s distilled using 12 botanicals including juniper, coriander and lemongrass, with the most unusual however, being frankincense and myrrh. A bold, unique gin with flavours to match.
Fill a Copa glass with ice, swirl to cool the glass and drain excess water. Add gin, top up with tonic and garnish with crumbled frozen raspberries and lime peel.
As we were trying a festive edition of batch gin, naturally we had to add some festive touches…
Not only did Euan try the gin straight, but I did too (round of applause, please). Unfortunately, I was slightly too busy complaining about my burning oesophagus to give any constructive feedback, but Euan had lots to say to make up for it. He loved the initial hit of juniper and cardamon and was adamant he could taste cinnamon in the aftertaste. He felt the gin had a ‘licorice-ness’ (the technical term) and enjoyed the blend of spices. You’ll also be pleased to hear that, although not listed on the bottle, the gin does contain cinnamon bark, so Euan’s senses didn’t fail him after all!
We then made the G&Ts (with fever tree, as recommended) and, as usual, did one with lemon and one with lime. There was a significant difference between the gin with lemon and the gin with lime. The lemon did not compliment the gin at all and somehow took a lot of the flavour away. However the lime really enhanced the flavours and made it a very enjoyable drink indeed!
We loved this gin. It is very unique, and packed with lots of different flavours. You experience an initial hit of the ‘classic’ gin taste, followed by the blend of spices which give it an edge. This has probably taken the number 1 spot on our favourite craft gin club gins so far… We even started setting the scene for a gorgeous intimate winter wedding with an open fire and a couple of bottles of batch (Christmas edition) gin being served. Euan (as always) came up with creative ways to garnish the gin, such as sprigs of holly with frozen cranberries.
The branding of this Christmas edition is super. I think the gold design is beautiful and instantly christmassy, plus the mention of Frankincense and Myrrh make this the most festive gin, like, ever! Drink a couple of bottles and pop a candle in the top and voilà, you have yourself some Christmas table centrepieces!
In case you missed it, below is the video of us trying the gin (enjoy!). And for more ginspiration checkout my post about Fifty Eight Gin.
Let’s be-gin (classic pun)… I love when it’s time to try another gin (I mean, who doesn’t?!), especially when it’s one as nice as fifty eight! It’s amazing how much gin can vary from one to another, and the rise of creative gin making is most definitely on the up.
Fifty eight, or 58, is single shot distilled in Hackney, London. * Single shot distillation; the head and tail parts are cut off leaving more of the heart. This removes any initial sharpness or unpleasant aftertaste and is replaced with a crisp taste and a soft finish. *
There are 9 botanicals used in 58 gin;
58 Gin is produced in a traditional manner using beautiful alembic copper stills. The 58 experts claim it has a distinctive smooth and clean taste, but let’s see what we thought…
As usual, Euan tried the gin neat first of all (I’m still unwilling) and experienced a soft, clean, and crisp taste (as the experts said!), with a hint of citrus.
He then made the gin & tonics, using fever tree tonic and garnishing one glass with lemon (yuck!) and one glass with lime (yum!). In the craft gin club magazine, which comes with each monthly gin, they suggested using a grapefruit and rosemary tonic with this particular gin. Euan disagrees with this (has to be different), and thinks this particular gin doesn’t need flavoured tonic, but I’m always up for trying something new (and proving Euan wrong…)!
I really enjoyed this gin. It was pleasant, smooth, and very drinkable. Out of all the gins I have tried so far through the craft gin club, it is probably coming out top (but very closely followed by the Kyro Napue gin). Interestingly, one of the first things I said was it reminded me of Plymouth gin, which is also a single shot distilled gin (I am officially an expert, just saying).
Euan said much the same; very pleasant, smooth, and enjoyable. We both tend to go for gins with a bit more of a ‘kick’, however sometimes something smooth and easy drinking is all you need.
We both agreed that there is an initial citrus taste to this gin, followed by after-tones that we couldn’t quite put our fingers on, but suspect it could be the vanilla.
Euan also said that this gin was (obviously) stronger neat, but the actual flavour was much the same. What he found with a couple of the previous gins were that they were very different neat than with tonic, hence being more in favour of flavoured tonics for those gins rather than this particular one.
We tried the gin with the lemon and the lime and both concluded there wasn’t a lot of difference between the two. Euan said this was positive as a garnish isn’t designed to flavour a gin. I very rarely enjoy gin & tonics with lemon, and will always have lime (unless an alternative garnish is suggested), but with this gin I found the lemon to be equally as tasty as the lime (honestly, it’s a miracle!). I would most definitely choose this gin in a restaurant, and even to have in the house (Christmas present ideas…).
We loved the shape of the bottle, the blue wax seal, and the lettering, however we weren’t so keen on the image in the middle. I assumed it had some relevance (I love to assume), but I couldn’t find much about the branding online. I don’t think the bottle/label stands out quite like some of the previous gins have done, but I do think it’s in-keeping with the smooth and almost calm feel to the gin.
Euan was very much adamant that he would make a simple Gin Martini with an olive to garnish. He thought the gin had a great flavour and doesn’t think there’s any need to cover it up with complicated cocktail ingredients (but colourful cocktails are fun!).
Euan’s Gin Martini
50ml of fifty eight gin
15ml of dry vermouth
One olive to garnish
Pour the gin and vermouth into a shaker with lots of ice and stir (much to the dismay of James Bond). Strain into a martini glass and garnish.
The craft gin club magazine created a cocktail called the ‘Marmont Fizz’ which I very much like the sound of!
6 mint leaves, plus one to garnish
20ml of lemon juice
15ml of elderflower cordial
35ml of fifty eight gin
15ml of apple juice
Champagne, chilled, to top
Add all the ingredients into a shaker over ice. Shake and strain. Top with champagne and a mint leaf to garnish.
If reading is too much of a hassle, why not watch us try the gin instead?!
Okay, so I’ve officially opened the business Facebook page for Lila Bailey. It might seem like a small thing, but it is the final step to Lila Bailey’s online presence and I’m quite nervous. But it’s done, it’s there, and there’s no going back now…