In the heart of the beautiful Cotswolds, there is a distillery producing award-winning Gins and Whiskies. I sampled their Dry Gin to see if it would make the perfect Fathers day cocktail.
Sitting in the garden one evening watching the sunset in a glorious pink glow, I experienced my first sip of Cotswold Gin, and even with everything that’s going on, all felt ‘right with the World’.
At that moment, I knew this was a premium gin to be savoured and appreciated.
To make this lovely-tasting tipple, wheat is turned into a ‘neutral grain spirit’ which forms the blank canvas to which flavour is added in the form of a recipe of botanicals.
Together with water, this spirit is placed in a copper pot and is distilled. The bowl is not completely filled so that the vapours get plenty of contact with the copper.
The base botanicals are then added including the juniper berries and these macerate for 15 hours. In the morning, the extra quantity of essential oils and botanical extracts are added to ensure a premium gin with a distinctive richness.
Distillation then begins with the contents of the still being slowly boiled to drive off the vapours which contain the alcohol and flavours. The only gin that is used is from the middle or ‘heart’ of the run, which is the finest part of the run with no impurities. This means that only a minimal number of bottles are produced but that the quality is fantastic.
The hearts which are at 83% ABV are then rested for 5 days to allow the flavours to come together. Then filtered water is added to reduce the strength to 46%, and the gin is then bottled in the Stourton distillery.
This is known as single-shot distillation which is a less efficient way of making gin but ensures the best possible flavour and quality. The gin is not chill-filtered, which guarantees a rich and robust mouthfeel.
Many botanical gins are available with most supermarkets selling their own brands at affordable prices. While Cotswold Gin may command a higher price, it is evident from the taste that it is in a different league.
Mixing with tonic, you get a flavour that lingers in the mouth and just does not disappear like a mass-produced product. Adding Elderflower tonic gives a slightly less dry taste, and subtle zing while Peach tonic provides a delicate but complementary fruit flavour.
Cotswolds Dry Gin has a very high botanical load – up to 10 times the weight of botanicals versus most other gins available. We also don’t chill-filter our gin, which means that all the botanical oils are retained. The two key benefits mean that not only does it look excellent when ice or tonic are added, but it also tastes fantastic.
As soon as you add tonic or ice, a pearlescent cloud appears. This pearlescent glow, also known as a “louche”, is due to the volume of essential oils, particularly from the freshly peeled lime and grapefruit used in production. The signature serve for Cotswolds Dry Gin is ‘The Cloudy G&T’.
How to make a Cotswold Gin Cloudy G&T
50ml Cotswolds Dry Gin
150ml Indian Tonic Water
How to make:
Fill a Copa (balloon) glass with ice – more ice means it holds its temperature better and won’t melt as quickly. Gently pour the gin over the ice, and watch the pearlescent louche forming. Top with a splash of classic Indian tonic water, to taste.
A slice of pink grapefruit and a fresh bay leaf.
In my opinion, this gin would make a perfect gift for Father’s Day – Jeremy Webb.
Cotswolds Distillery – Where and how?
The distillery is the first full-scale one in the Cotswolds. Here they craft a range of single malt whiskies, gins and liqueurs, including the award-winning Cotswolds Dry Gin and Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky. The company opened its doors five years ago and have welcomed visitors to the site every day since, offering Tour & Tastings, Gin and Whisky Blending Masterclasses and Cocktail Masterclasses.
Customers can buy their Cotswolds Distillery favourites from Waitrose, Amazon, Laithwaites, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Fortnum and Mason, and of course, online at cotswoldsdistillery.com.
There is currently free delivery for orders over the value of £25 (usually over £75).
Address: Phillip’s Field, Whichford Road, Stourton, Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire CV36 5EX.
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