Clemengold Gin is distilled from sugar cane at Cape Town’s Hope Distillery. However, what makes it special and so unique among citrus-forward gins is that it features the peels of South African grown mandarins. These specific mandarins, marketed as Clemengold are popular in several world markets, especially China where nearly half of the brand’s mandarins are exported. There’s an element of South African terroir that makes these fruits so particularly desirable.
Among its eight botanicals, the “sun dried Clemengold peels” are its most important. They use a combination of maceration and vapor infusion during distillation.
Aroma: Clemengold Gin has a very strong citrus-forward nose. Sweet juicy orange with only vague subtle hints of spice along the edges. It’s a vivid, memorable, one-note nose— that smells delicious, like fresh mandarin and sweet orange.
Flavor: A hint of coriander and spice comes through early before a bold assertive pop of honeyed, juicy orange takes over the palate. Cinnamon adds some warmth late.
Finish: Seville orange, cinnamon. Fairly long lasting with moderate warmth and a strong citrus character that settles on the palate long after a sip.
Clemengold Gin mixes beautifully, whether gin and soda, gin and tonic, or gin and lemonade it brings a bright orange note to every drink.
In cocktail craft, bartenders should treat it as a specialty gin and use it in cocktails where strong citrus flavors are desired. It also works well as a replacement for citrus flavored vodka. I rather enjoyed Clemengold Gin in a Martini, Negroni and Aviation. Though in the latter, it reminded me of Gaz Regan’s Moonlight Cocktail, owing to the dominant orange note.
Overall, Clemengold Gin
Fans of citrus-flavored spirits will love Clemengold Gin. The orange that comes through is absolutely beautiful and is among the best I’ve tasted.
However, classic gin fans and those looking for juniper will likely be left disappointed. Clemengold Gin reads more to me as a citrus spirit that balances the citrus with other botanicals, than a gin.
Overall— it’s delicious and pushes the categories boundaries.
Recommended for fans of citrus contemporary gin.