Manchester Gin – Wedding Ginspiration

manchester gin wedding ginspiration lila bailey blog

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.

 

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.

machester gin creators ever after blog

“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…

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Tasting Notes

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.

manchester gin ever after blog

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…

manchester gin ever after blog

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.

manchester gin ever after blog

 

Craft Gin Club’s Cocktail Suggestion – Gimlet

machester gin ever after blog

Ingredients

  • 35ml Manchester Gin, Distillers cut
  • 35ml lime cordial
  • 15ml fresh lime juice
  • Twist of lime peel to garnish

Method

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…

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Sabatini Gin – Wedding Ginspiration from the Italian Hills of Tuscany

sabatini gin lila bailey gin blog wedding ginspiration

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).

 

SABATINI GIN

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.

sabatini gin ever after wedding ginspiration blog post

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.

 

TASING NOTES

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.

sabatini gin ever after wedding ginspiration blog post

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.

sabatini gin ever after wedding ginspiration blog post

sabatini gin ever after wedding ginspiration blog post

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!

sabatini gin ever after wedding ginspiration blog post

 

BRANDING

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.

 

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GIN COCKTAIL

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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.

 

Ingredients

  • 50ml Sabatini Gin
  • 1/2 a freshly squeezed lemon
  • 25ml (max) sugar syrup
  • Soda water
  • Lemon to garnish

 

Method

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!).

Batch Gin; Wedding Ginspiration (festive edition)

lila bailey gin blog batch gin

BATCH GIN; WEDDING GINSPIRATION (FESTIVE EDITION)

 

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 lila bailey gin blog

THE GIN

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.

How to drink it…

Perfect Serve – Batch G&T
• 50ml of Batch Premium Gin
• Fever-Tree Premium Indian Tonic
• Frozen raspberries
• Lime peel
• Ice

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.

 

TASTING NOTES

batch gin lila bailey gin blog

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!

batch gin lila bailey gin blog

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

lila bailey gin blog batch gin

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.

Fifty Eight gin; wedding ginspiration from the heart of the East End

fifty eight ginspiration lila bailey gin blog

FIFTY EIGHT GIN; WEDDING GINSPIRATION

 

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 ginspiration lila bailey gin blog

THE GIN

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;

  • Juniper
  • Coriander seed
  • Orris root
  • Angelica
  • Cubeb pepper
  • Sicilian lemon
  • Pink grapefruit
  • Bergamot
  • Bourbon vanilla

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…

 

TASTING NOTES

fifty eight ginspiration lila bailey gin blog

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…)!

fifty eight ginspiration lila bailey gin blog

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.

fifty eight ginspiration lila bailey gin blog

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…).

 

BRANDING

fifty eight ginspiration lila bailey gin blog

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.

fifty eight ginspiration lila bailey gin blog

WEDDING COCKTAILS

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

fifty eight ginspiration lila bailey gin blog

  • 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!

Marmont Fizz

fifty eight ginspiration lila bailey gin blog

  • 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.

 

VLOG TIME!

If reading is too much of a hassle, why not watch us try the gin instead?!