The Best of British Gin

Like most of us I love a tipple….. or maybe two. My tipple is gin and tonic. Not any old gin but one that comes from near to where I live. I was joking a few weeks ago to some friends about how my gin consumption was ethical as my “gin miles” (well, we all know of food miles!) are low. My favourite gin is distilled 4 tube stops from my flat in London. A distillery on the door step! I’m proud of this fact which something that people like Betty Ford may cringe about, but when you have a London Dry Gin that has won more awards than any other gin and is the only premium London Dry Gin still distilled in London, one can be proud of of what they are enjoying as they sup.

gingemsI have lived in London for many years now, always flying in and out with work. I’ve always said that it takes many years to see all of the tourist attractions London has to offer and it took me a few years until I finally got round to visiting the Tower of London. What’s this got to do with gin? Beefeater! The guards of Her Majesty The Queen who stand proud protecting the Crown Jewels. In my view Beefeater Gin is as iconic as the Tower of London or the majestic Tower Bridge itself.

Yesterday I spent the day in the Beefeater distillery in Kennington. It’s not open to the general public, so i was lucky! The smell of juniper, the cleanness of the facilities, the knowledge of the Master Distiller (who has over 40 years experience) and the pride of London that was displayed was fantastic.

A London Dry Gin does not need to be distilled in London. Desmond Payne, the Master Distiller, explained that it’s a type of gin that is made by re-distilling spirit and natural flavourings but it must include juniper berries. As I was shown around the distillery, Desmond pointed out the different flavourings; dried Seville orange and lemon peel, whole juniper berries, angelica and coriander seed, ground almonds, and a mix of other exotic botanicals.

Like some of the foods I’ve mentioned this past few weeks I’m proud to say, being British, that such a great product as Beefeater London Dry Gin is made so close to where I live and is sold in more than 100 countries. Desmond – keep distilling!

Tomorrow I’m off to Christchurch to the food festival with AGA Rangemaster. Come and say ‘Hi’!

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