Twenty years later, it endures as a staple behind the bar for its versatility in cocktails and it’s balanced, relatively classic juniper-led palate.
It was named “Ten” because it was developed on the experimental still named “Tiny Ten.” Tanqueray No. 10 gin features only eight botanicals (not ten!). It adds four new ones to the Tanqueray formula. Juniper, coriander, licorice and angelica root remain.. It adds chamomile flowers and three kinds of fresh, whole citrus.
This gin may not have been possible in 1830 when Charles Tanqueray first developed the recipe for his gin. Fresh citrus, especially in the reliable quantities to make a gin like this would have either been quite expensive or just simply not available in 19th century London on a predictable basis.
The whole citrus is distilled separately from the other botanicals. The two distillates are blended, diluted and bottled.
Nose: Tanqueray No. 10 Gin is juniper led. It has bright lime zest with hints red grapefruit, just above a clean licorice and angelica note.
Flavor: Soft mouthfeel with juniper, bitter orange and lemon early. Mid-palate angelica and pink grapefruit shine through. The back of the palate has creamy licorice root, white grapefruit, piney juniper and hints of peppercorns.
The gin has a long finish with moderate warmth. Juniper fades leaving hints of citrus zest with earthy undertones.
Tanqueray No. Ten was designed specifically for the Martini segment. Pick your garnish— any garnish!
It makes a good Dirty Martini. Great Dry with a Twist. It works well in a Gibson. It’s even a great choice in Martini riffs like the Alaska Cocktail. The lack of strong herbal notes leaves an opening that is nicely complemented by a good Vermouth.
It’s easy to see why Tanqueray Ten has become a staple behind the bar. Further, it works well in mixed drinks like the Gin and Tonic or Gin and Lemonade. It brings a delightful citrus and juniper accord to every cocktail. I’d recommend the Tom Collins or Corpse Reviver #2 (as a starting point).
Tanqueray No. 10 has rightfully earned its space behind the bar as a versatile, premium cocktail gin.
Overall, Tanqueray Ten
Expertly made, Tanqueray’s top shelf gin reads as slightly more classic twenty years later than when it launched. Classic gin fans will love the way the juniper is elevated by citrus. Contemporary gin fans will appreciate the way citrus stars without be coming one note.
Overall, Tanqueray Ten endures not because of the reputation, of the brand that preceded it. It endures because it’s a nearly perfectly made gin.