Taking a look at the lineup of Nginious! Gins, the summer one is the most overtly, and most over the top non-traditional. Eschewing much of the standards for a wide assortment of exotic and unusual botanicals: Juniper meets blueberry, peach, lime, jasmine (!!!), white pepper, rhubarb roots and rhubarb stalk.
Jasmine stands out as being particularly notable. Perfumers struggled for centuries to properly harness the flavor of jasmine. The delicate buds did not suffer heat well (it destroys the aromatics for which the buds are so prized!), and perfumers used fat to dissolve the aromatics in a method better known as enfleurage. It basically pressed the flowers between pieces of animal fat, until the fat itself became thick and musky with the rich aroma of jasmine. Jasmine is still incredibly hard to distill, and although not optimal, ethanol can be used as a solvent.
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The story of Monkey 47 is attributed to an Indian born British Commander who was stationed in Germany after the second world war. Inspired by the Black Forest through the lens of his family’s heritage he combined British influence, Indian botanicals, and the natural flora of the German forest to create a complex gin he called Schwarzwald Dry Gin, along with the note Max the Monkey.
You see, this Commander also helped rebuild the world-famous Berlin zoo, and during the course of this he came to support Max, an egret monkey, who lived in the zoo. So it might seem natural that years after the fact in retirement, he retained an affection for the monkey he sponsored, and when he made his gin, he named it after him.
On botanicals alone, boasting an ostentatious 47, it might be the most complicated gin on the market, but to throw you one more curveball, it’s also built on a base spirit of molasses.
The nose is mentholated juniper, pineapple sage, lemon verbena, lavender, rose, hibiscus and lime. (!) This encyclopedic list merely reflects how incredibly complex and brightly aromatic this gin is.
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You’re starting to see more and more of this: call it a bonafide trend if you must. Simon Ford made this gin for mixing. For bartenders. For mixologists. For the way that most people drink their gin.
Simon Ford comes with some rather lofty credentials. Some of the gins he’s recently worked with and on include: Plymouth (), Dorothy Parker () and Perry’s Tot (). In fact, in this gin blogger’s opinion not anywhere near a bad gin between them. Out of this experience, Ford’s Gin arose. London Distilled at Thames Distillers, the bottle and feel is steeped heavily in British Colonial icongraphy. References to India, travel, and empire are all prominently placed— and why not? After all, London Gin was distinctly colored by colonialism. The juxtaposition of Eastern hemisphere botanicals, Western Europe botanicals, and the lore of being consumed by shipmen of the British Navy, to do anything less would be a disservice to the history behind it? No?
But oddly Ford’s gin stands against a trend we’re seeing in gin distilling. While many distilleries are going local, or seeking to create a notion of place, Ford’s Gin uses history and lore to create a sense of place [and tradition].
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