In my several decades on this earth I reckon I have necked a fair drop of gin. (According to my unlamented spouse altogether too much, but he caught religious fervour on his fortieth birthday and mostly looked on me as Satan’s daughter from that day forward anyway.)
In my youth there was Gordons, Plymouth and bathtub. Which was fine and mostly you knew where you stood – unless some unscrupulous licensee shoved bathtub into a branded bottle. Incidentally, this is not a good idea, as many a misguided landlord has found to his cost – bathtub gin tends to bring out the worst in people and the repairs after a Saturday night brawl will often cost more than the extra profit on the bootleg gin.
Now. Where was I?
*picks up long G&T made with Bombay Sapphire gin and Fever Tree tonic and stares lovingly into its pale blue depths*
Snap out of it woman…
Who makes your gin?
Personally, I keep two sorts. One for me and one for the ravening hordes (which I also use for making flavoured gins – of which more later).
But neither is a ‘craft gin’ from a suspiciously small unit on an industrial estate in the arse end of nowhere. I don’t care if your gin blender is called Malachi and has spent two decades perched on a pole contemplating the meaning of flavour and his own rancid toenails. The only respectable flavouring for gin is juniper berries. Anything else is a poncey middle-class irrelevance.
I am not paying forty quid for a bottle because it has a picture of a frigging woodlouse on the label. And even less likely is me parting with great dollops of cash for flavoured gins. They are effing cocktails and I can make them better at home – my sloe gin has been known to reduce grown men to tears of gratitude, and as for my rhubarb and ginger!
Therefore all you craft gin makers are welcome to sell your suspiciously overdescribed wares to the weak, feeble and suggestible. Me? I have no need of your ‘forty aromatics’, I just want a reliable gin to mix with my favourite tonic.
And don’t get me started on the rankness of a lot of tonics…
That’s for another day!