The Gin To My Tonic Club March 2021
Meet-the-Makers Virtually on Saturday 27th March 6.00pm-8.30pm
The Gin To My Tonic are back with our 3rd Virtual Gin Festival of 2021.
We are guaranteeing you another fabulous celebration of Gin, as we welcome the creators, makers and champions of Beaufort Fifty-Seven Gin, Hendrick’s Gin, Hyke Gin, Salcombe Rose Sainte Marie and The Gin To My Tonic Folly Gin.
This month we’ve included an extra miniature for you to enrich your evening with us, so you’ll find not five but SIX miniatures as part of your kit, with the extra miniature coming courtesy of Hendrick’s Gin for use in a cocktail tutorial. We also have a ‘Gin To My Tonic’ exclusive coming courtesy of Hendrick’s Master Distiller Lesley Gracie, and The Gin To My Tonic will also be making a rare LIVE presentation to share our latest woodland inspired creation, Folly Gin.
Whether this is your first time joining us, or you are a ‘Gin To My Tonic’ returnee, we can’t wait to share a drink with you virtually and take on you another epic gin-venture.
Love, Em & Paul – Co-Founders, Best Friends & Fellow Gin Enthusiasts
ON THE NIGHT - MIX WITH THE BEST
SALCOMBE Rosé Sainte Marie Gin: Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic & Strawberry
FOXHOLE SPIRITS Hyke Gin: Fever-Tree Indian Tonic & Lemon and Thyme
HENDRICK’S GIN 1: Fever-Tree Raspberry & Rose Soda & Cucumber
HENDRICK’S GIN 2: French 75 Cocktail. To join in at home you’ll need Lemon Juice, Sugar Syrup (can be made at home using equal parts sugar and water), Champagne or Prosecco
BEAUFORT Fifty Seven Gin: Fever-Tree Aromatic Tonic & Lemon
THE GIN TO MY TONIC Folly Gin: Fever-Tree Indian Toni & Blackberries or Lemon and Rosemary
PLEASE NOTE, you may wish to purchase an additional Fever-Tree Indian Tonic to pair with SALCOMBE and an additional Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic to pair with BEAUFORT. The mixers provided as part of your tasting kit are the suggested serves of The Gin To My Tonic and Fever-Tree, and distilleries may demonstrate with different Fever-Tree Mixers on the night.
6.00PM - 6.30PM: Coastal Sipping with Salcombe Distilling Company
Founded in 2014 by friends Howard Davis and Angus Lugsdin, Salcombe Distilling Company’s award-winning collection of spirits are distilled and crafted at their waterside distillery in the beautiful seaside town Salcombe, Devon. Nestled amongst traditional boatbuilders on Island Street, it is one of the world’s only distilleries and gin schools directly accessible by boat.
Drawing influence from the famous 19th century Salcombe Fruit Schooners and their precious cargo, Salcombe use only the finest citrus fruits and spices, to create their multi-award winning collection of gins, each led by flavour and inspired by history. Their range includes ‘Start Point’ a London dry, ‘Rosé Sainte Marie’ a naturally pink Provence led gin, their ‘Voyager Series’, a collection of limited-edition gins developed in collaboration with world renowned chefs and iconic winemakers, and ‘New London Light’ an award-winning non-alcoholic spirit.
Each of the botanicals used within these have a story to tell, none are mass produced, all are traceable to their source and all are picked at their best. Water plays a very important part in creating Salcombe Gin’s phenomenally smooth collection, blended with Dartmoor water; some of the softest and purest water in England. Every drop of Salcombe spirits is produced with an unrivalled passion, care and attention to detail.
Their flagship creation Start Point, is their classic citrus led London Dry gin, which is distilled according to the one-shot methodology. Very traditional, all the botanicals including the three freshly peeled citrus peels go straight into the still with their English wheat spirit and Dartmoor water. Post distillation they add nothing but water to blend down to bottling strength.
Focusing in on Rosé Sainte Marie which you’ll find in your tasting box, it’s produced in a similar way to a one shot method, the difference being delicate botanicals such as orange blossom, lemon verbena and rose petals which are added to the botanical basket vapour infused. This helps preserve the more delicate floral aromas. Post distillation they then steep fresh strawberries in the distillate for 24 hours, which complements the subtle strawberry notes and adds a delicate blush to the liquid.
It’s fair to say that Salcombe and gin are a match made in heaven!
Tell us something we might not know…
“Our distillery in Salcombe is one of the only in the world that you can access directly by boat. The Salcombe fruit schooners that inspire our gin, in their heyday imported up to 80% of citrus fruit and spices into England’s ports of London, Liverpool, Bristol, Hull and Southampton”
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
“I think it has been managing the growth whilst staying true to the brand values. We have taken a conscious choice to turn down business and potential distribution deals where we felt our brand would not be represented in the way we would like. In the short term this is always a hard thing to do whilst trying to grow the business, but it has helped us build and strengthen our brand positioning”
What do you love about gin / distilling?
“The ability to create and craft from scratch, in a time-honored tradition a fantastic liquid that brings a smile to peoples faces when they take their first sip. The amazing feedback we continue to receive never gets boring and drives us forward”
6.30PM - 7.00PM: Reclaim, Repurpose and Reimagine with Foxhole Spirits
As the world’s resources become scarcer, Foxhole want to inspire people to ask; What does happen to food surplus, and how can we help reduce it in the most delicious way possible?
Today, Foxhole Spirits produce luxurious spirits distilled with sustainable resources. Their aim is to prove that sustainably sourced surplus materials can create spirits more delicious than those that use grown single purpose materials. So, with this in mind they don’t just distill from industrially produced spirit, instead they work all the way up from surplus fruit with English wine grapes left over from harvest for Foxhole Gin, or surplus supermarket grapes for HYKE Gin. The secret is that these surplus materials are incredibly high quality and produce beautiful gins that are full of textures and flavours.
The interest in quality ingredients and provenance came whilst Founder, James, was on a working holiday in Australia and landed a job on MasterChef. This experience prompted him to explore working within the food and drink industry upon his return to the UK where he got a job running a café at a winery in West Sussex. In 2012 he then moved into production, gained some experience in the winery and began studying for a BA at Plumpton (the only college in Europe that offers degrees in Wine Business and Production in English.)
The idea for Foxhole Gin came from a discussion between James and Sam Linter, Head Winemaker, at one of their partner vineyards during the English wine harvest in 2013. Both had been independently thinking about what could be done with the surplus grape material and realised that they could work on the idea together. Having been fuelled by seeing the valuable resources discarded in the winery – combined with the practical learnings from Plumpton – the idea for Foxhole Gin which is distilled with the by-products of the English grape harvest came about. Fast forward to three years later, using the know-how and expertise from Foxhole Gin, they released HYKE Gin which utilises a different raw material, fresh table grapes surplus to the supermarket supply chain.
Hyke Gin is a delightful gin with superb complexity, a botanical blend of Grape Spirit, Juniper, Myrrh, Nigella Seed, Rooibos, Cumin, Bay Leaf, Green Cardamom, Black Cardamom, Coriander, Angelica Root, Angelica Seed, Orris Root, Liquorice Root, Aniseed, Lemon Zest. There is a nose of zesty citrus peel and coriander which leads onto flavours of vanilla, resinous juniper and cedar wood, and a long complex finish.
Their innovative and resourceful spirit continues with the launch of additional products in the range such as Hyke Signature Series Orange that uses oranges that would have been discarded, to the Mad City Botanical Rum which is a 100% Fairtrade Certified Rum Blend.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
“Focus on product first and make the very best product that you can. At the end of the day that’s what will end up in people’s hands and they will make a decision based on taste. Don’t compromise, within reason of course, and create a product which strikes the right balance between taste, quality and price.”
Where would you like to see the gin industry in 5 years-time?
“We’re passionate about utilising surplus materials so for me can the question be not just about the gin industry but about the drinks industry more broadly. I’d like to think that sustainability will be the norm and not the exception as the approach to production changes.”
Tell us something we might not know…
“You can find a ‘marc’ number on each bottle of Foxhole Gin which corresponds to the batch it’s from and as with a wine we get a variation. The result is a smooth, aromatic gin whose flavours subtly change with each new harvest.”
7.00pm - 7.30pm: The Most Gloriously Inefficient and Peculiar Story of Hendrick’s Gin
The Hendrick’s Gin Palace hails from the tiny seaside village of Girvan, which lies in Ayrshire, South-West Scotland. The distillery lies just a mile inland and overlooks the mysterious volcanic island of Ailsa Craig. They quote themselves as “behaving unusually” because what they make is made unusually, and that comes from the distillation method and botanicals.
The team that works within the stunning Hendrick’s Gin Palace is small, in fact only 10 people work there at present, which is just remarkable considering that Hendrick’s is one of the best selling gin brands in the world. Within the palace two hothouses have been installed to recreate Mediterranean and rainforest climates where botanicals and plants can be grown. Outside there is a garden that hosts a wide range of wildflowers, to allow Master Distiller Lesley Gracie’s passion for experimental chemistry to continue, which often leads Hendrick’s into exciting and unchartered waters.
Hendrick’s Original was inspired by curiosity and the desire to make something the world had never seen before. It uses two dissimilar stills in it’s creation (Bennett and Carter-Head). The Bennett steeps the botanicals in spirit overnight prior to distillation resulting in a rich, complex liquid. Whereas the Carter-Head gently steams the botanicals atop in its lofty neck, so influence is imparted upon the spirit in something akin to a botanical steam bath. With essences of Bulgarian Rosa Damascena (Rose) and specially selected cucumbers the blend remains unique to this day, and still to no other gin is made like Hendrick’s.The result is reminiscent of the quintessential British afternoon of eating a cucumber sandwich in a rose garden.
Each batch of Hendrick’s Gin is crafted in batches of just 500 litres at a time. It is how Hendrick’s Gin started in 1999 and how it will always remain. This allows Master Distiller Lesley Gracie to have greater control of her artistry.
Lesley Gracie has recently been inducted into the Gin Hall of Fame in recognition for her 22 years of service. Known for continuously pushing boundaries, Gracie is being celebrated not only for her innovative nature but also her impressive contributions to the gin world, which sparked a ‘ginnaissance.’
As well as Hendrick’s Original, Lesley Gracie has also released specially curated Limited Editions such as Lunar, Midsummer Solstice and Orbium, all of which are now available on The Gin To My Tonic Store.
7.30PM- 8.00PM: Exploring Uncharted Territory with Beaufort Spirits
The Beaufort story takes an interesting path by exploring the links between gin and fine fragrances.
In 2016 Founder Leo began working on developing a perfume which relied heavily on alcoholic notes, botanical ingredients and extracts sourced from alcoholic spirits. From here a natural conversation began about the parallels of fragrance and gin production, and how this is often overlooked. The idea developed quite quickly, however the end result ended up being a ‘gin’ built around fragrance. The idea was to explore the aromatic aspects of the spirit, and push this a little further, thus Beaufort Fifty Seven Gin was born.
To describe Beaufort Fifty Seven Gin is an uncompromising ‘gunpowder proof’ gin bottled at 57% ABV, intensely spiced with pink and szechwan peppers, balanced with smoked oak and hickory, finished with ‘whisky smoked’ spring water. It’s a deceptively smooth strength spirit with unparalleled depth of flavour. It’s perfect for sipping neat. An iron fist in a velvet glove if you will.
Today, Beaufort Fifty Seven is contract-distilled at Langley in the Black Country by Master Distiller Rob Dorsett. The gin is prepared as a London Dry as a nod to tradition, although the botanical mix is anything but and selected for its ‘forthright’ aromatic qualities with the aim of pushing boundaries.
As with many distilleries COVID has been a big bump in the road. Leo had planned to launch with a bang last year, but saw his thunder stolen. However they have used this time to think laterally, and focus the mind on the bigger picture. Despite this there have been incredible achievements to date including winning 98 points at the International Wine & Spirit Competition in 2020, and being named as one of the top 8 contemporary gins in the world! Not bad for year 1 hey…!
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
“Winning 98 points at the IWSC 2020 and being named as one of the top 8 contemporary gins in the world! Not bad for year 1.”
What do you think your unique selling points are in three words?
“Smoked – Overproof – Uncompromising”
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
“Don’t try and replicate anyone else’s success; the world doesn’t need another ‘gin’. Create something with its own personality that has a different voice”
Do you have any exciting plans for the future?
“We do…. A secret project due to launch officially later this year… we are working with some of the giants of the food industry to reduce food waste, heat waste and the carbon footprints of our businesses. More to come on that soon!”
8.00PM - 8.30PM: Embracing Eccentricity with The Gin To My Tonic
A creation that comes straight from the heart of The Gin To My Tonic.
Folly Gin is the brainchild of Co-Founders Em & Paul, and is the result of a long held dream to create a Gin and Gin Destination that supports our local community. Folly Gin takes inspiration from The Folly Tower, Lord Berners and the local history of Faringdon in Oxfordshire.
Local hero Lord Berner’s (1883-1950) was an eccentric Baron, and well known for throwing wild and debauched parties at Faringdon House that hosted the likes of Salvador Dali. Berners was notorious for his eccentricity, dyeing pigeons vibrant colours and at one point entertaining his horse to tea. There were paper flowers in the garden and the interior of the house was adorned with joke books. He also decided to build a Folly Tower at the highest point in the Town for no other reason that because he wanted to. Today, Lord Berner’s legacy lives on in Faringdon.
Faringdon, like most small market towns, has seen incredible growth in recent years with new housing developments aplenty, but it’s small high street and independent retailers continue to face challenging trading environments due to slowing footfall, the impact of online retailers and large supermarkets. In October 2020 we opened The Gin To My Tonic Bar as a way of bringing more people into the Town, and in February 2021 we took this one step further with the launch of Folly Gin. These projects are our way of giving back to the town that we live in, raising awareness, and supporting charitable endeavours with 10% of profits going to The Folly Tower Trust to protect and conserve Faringdon’s history
To describe, Folly Gin has a botanical blend that includes juniper, angelica, orris, scots pine, rowan berries, blackberries, elderberries and rose all of which can be found in the Folly Woodland. We have also chosen a couple of signature botanicals of our own such as pink peppercorns and lemon. The result is a rich, complex and flavourful gin that celebrates local provenance. Rich piney juniper notes greet you, with flavourful bursts of berry, flora and citrus mid palate. The finish contains just a subtle spice from the pink peppercorns, but leaves a lasting impression.
The Folly Tower and Woodland is a place where we (Em and Paul) have spent time with our families, going for picnics or on walks, so it holds a very special place in their heart and we hope you enjoy this gin as much as we enjoyed creating it.
Did you know The Gin To My Tonic opened their first Bar and Gin Tasting HQ in October 2020? Stocking over 150+ craft spirits we hope to create a gin destination for people to stop by and visit on their travels, with Gin Tastings, Afternoon G&Tea’s and hopefully one day a Gin School. The bar itself has unfortunately only been open for 3 weeks so far due to the pandemic, but we are excited to finally be able to re-open in May.
Built On Friendship…
The Gin To My Tonic has been built on a best friendship. The top hat and heel in the logo represents Em being Best Woman at Paul’s Wedding, whilst the name ‘The Gin To My Tonic’ is a play on our relationship as we are literally the gin to each other’s tonic in life.
What’s Next For Folly Gin?
We have an exciting Summer release coming soon….!
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH FEVER-TREE
Fever-Tree began in 2003 with a meeting of minds and one simple premise: if three quarters of your G&T is the tonic, wouldn’t you want it to be the best?
It became apparent that Charles and Tim had both come to the same conclusion – namely that the growing prevalence and popularity of premium spirits had not been matched by what was on offer in the tonic category.
From the very beginning, Charles and Tim approached their business in a different way – there would be no compromise at Fever-Tree. Flavour and quality were of the utmost importance. This mindset led them on an 18-month adventure from the archives of the British Library to facing the wrong end of a Kalashnikov in the Democratic Republic of Congo and concluded with the launch of our Premium Indian Tonic Water in 2005, with the belief we still operate by today.. If 3/4 of your drink is a mixer, mix with the best. As well as quality, Charles and Tim wanted to put the choice back into the category.
The whole company has been built on innovation. Constantly developing new mixers, new flavours, new ideas, thus creating, an array of flavours to pair with the myriad of premium Gins, Vodkas, Whisky’s and Vermouths.