Gin of the Month: April

This month’s tipple is a recent addition to the tasty world of gin: York Gin.  Now a year old, York Gin has already caught the attention at spirits awards. From the square bottle that emulates the city walls, to the still named Ebor, after the Roman name for York, we love the tradition, history and story of York Gin.

The distillation was not an easy process with the distillers foraging for the right blend of botanicals that would allow for a smooth tasting gin that could be enjoyed neat but also with botanicals that would be available in an 18th Century spice rack. We love this thoughtful touch into their process. The botanicals include juniper, coriander, cinnamon, orris root, angelica, cardamom, black pepper, lemon peel and grains of paradise.

Initially we are hit by the floral yet sweet smell of the gin. It reminds us of a liquorice smell, this will be the orris root and coriander notes coming through. We tasted it neat and there was a combination of citrus and spicy notes. We agree it is drinkable neat, but we much prefer it with a tonic.

We tried it with a Fentimans original tonic and we felt it did not work very well.  The delicate spicy notes were drowned out by the quinine and the citrus sweetness was lost.  We much prefer the gin with a light tonic and a slice of lime if you like the sour or lemon a little sweeter. This draws out as opposed to drowning out the flavours of the gin. This is a perfect example of showing how the right choice of tonic can often make or break a gin. The complex flavours of the gin are enough for it and doesn't need to be over complicated. Bare in mind, we highly doubt that in 18th century York, they were too worried about the perfect pairing of a g and t garnish!

We were also able to try the Roman Fruit Gin, this is another one of the 4 gins that the York Gin Company produce. Roman Fruit Gin is where the Gin is infused with Yorkshire-made tea infusion that includes berries, apples, strawberry and hibiscus (what is it with the Yorkshiremen and their tea).  All of these fruits have links with the Romans. Hibiscus was found in pills in a sunken ship off Tuscany, Roman poets and writers all mention strawberries in their work and the Romans can be credited with delivering tastier varieties of apple to Britain. Thanks!

What we truly love about York Gin is how just like The Gin Fayre, it is a small start-up company hailing from Yorkshire. Started by 5 friends with a passion for food, drink and promoting York’s history. We love that they have encapsulated the spirit and legacy of York through the bottle and the gin. The label features a black cat, which symbolises the many buildings within the city that have lucky black cat statues. Something you can complete a trail of if you visit the city. The York Gin Company have two other Gins; an award winning Cocoa Gin, which we think would make a perfect alternative to an easter egg, and Outlaw Gin, a navy strength gin that is fit for some of York’s famous outlaws such as Guy Fawkes and Dick Turpin.

This is definitely a bottle that would look great on any shelf and we think would be great for special occasions. York Gin would be best suited for ‘experienced’ gin drinkers who would really appreciate the delicate flavours.