Gin was probably my first ‘grown up’ drink, it seemed very sophisticated to ask for a gin and tonic rather than the Cinzano and lemonade that started my foray into alcoholic drinks. Good grief, that dates me squarely in the 1970s! However time moves on and I was seduced away from drinking spirits by the increasing quality, and reducing price, of wine. However, recently in an attempt to drink less (lets face it, once the bottle is open….) we have turned our attention back to the hard stuff.
It started with the bottle of vodka which had been given to my husband as a gift, but vodka has never been my spirit of choice, so when Martin Miller’s offered me a bottle of their Arctic Quality Gin I was more than pleased to accept.
The bottle is really very beautiful and shows the UK and Iceland, as the gin is distilled in England and blended with Icelandic water. I also received a glossy ‘coffee table’ book with more information than you could possibly want to know about Martin Miller’s Gin and a cocktail recipe book. In the book there are some nice little quotes from Martin Miller e.g ” I want my gin to have the scent of Oriental flowers at dusk and to have the fragrance of orange groves on a warm night in Seville” probably my favourite chapter is the one called ‘Gin, Janes and Jazz’ which tells you about the birth of the ‘Cocktail Hour’ which replaced afternoon tea in the Grand American Hotels at the start of the twentieth century, shortly followed by prohibition in the 1920s which gave gin attitude!
The flavour of the gin is very clean. It doesn’t have the harsh ‘scented’ quality that some other brands seem to have. It felt as if you could taste each of the individual botanicals that go to make up the flavourings for this gin: Juniper, Coriander, Angelica, Lime Peel, Liquorice Root, Cassia Bark and Florentine Iris and it was very smooth, no harsh spirity kick probably down to the way it is distilled with only the ‘heart’ of the spirit being kept. Or maybe it has something to do with the pollution free Icelandic water. All I can say is that it is a very good gin indeed!
Having tried the Martin Miller’s Gin with tonic, I thought I would make a cocktail. But rather than use one of the recipes provided by Martin Miller’s I decided to create my own cocktail: