Gin Lover of Christchurch
I am not usually keen to show pictures of myself on this blog as it is all about the food and drink but this picture sums me up and in a not so subtle way shows my favourite tipple.
The Christchurch Confectioner & gin shop owned by Sally and Lloyd Barwick
have the most amazing stock of different gins, not only that but they are now hosting gin discovery evenings!
I am a big fan of gin myself (but no expert) and have my own little collection, but nothing close to the 60+ that the shop stocks. How could we resist the lure of the gin just 10mins walk from our house? My mother- in-law visiting for her birthday, was also rather keen to come along.
As a local food and drink blogger I was already familiar with some of the local brands and their start up stories but Lloyd talked to us about gin in general, some history behind the spirit and how popular it has become in recent years.
Did you know gin originated in Holland? I assumed as most of the famous gins around the world come from the UK that the spirit first came from here. Wrong!
The English discovered it during the 17th century, when they saw Dutch soldiers drinking Jenever to give them courage to go into battle. That also explains the term "Dutch Courage". One hundred and fifty years later we came up with our own version and called it gin.
The evening at The Christchurch Confectioner and gin shop gives you the opportunity to sample 8 artisan small batch gins and a range of tonics, they have such a large selection they are able to vary the samples at each event. Having attended this evening it became clear that we all have very different tastes in gin but there is always one you will like - if you are still to find yours, just keep on trying!
Some notes from the retailer, distiller and my thoughts.
1. Conker gin is a local gin and really popular in bars and restaurants in the area, it contains ten select botanicals including three foraged in Dorset. It is refreshing and smooth and can be drunk on its own or mixed at your pleasure.
2. Fatty's organic gin produced in a garden in Dulwich is deliciously fresh and as the bottle states fully organic. In 2017 this small batch gin won a silver medal at The International Wine & Spirits Competition when it was up agains hundreds of established brands.
3. Lilliput Dorset Gin comes from a micro distillery in the little village of Lilliput, it has more savoury taste and we felt it went well with the Mediterranean tonic.
4. Caspyn Midsummer Dry Gin hails from Cornwall, infused with fresh English cucumbers it has a slight green hint to it from the natural ingredients used. Perfectly served with tonic water and cucumber or mint for an extra zing.
5. Garden Tiger Gin from the Cotswolds uses an astonishing 34 botanicals but its overriding sweetness comes from organic blood orange. This one was my favourite of the evening and was a very popular choice amongst the other guests.
6. Pothecary Gin produced a stones throw from my house (well my husbands throw not mine) in contrast to the above gin only has five botanicals but the distiller goes to great lengths to source the botanicals from around the world where ever the quality is best. This gin is a double gold award winner at IWSC and a must try.
7. HMS Victory Navy Strength Gin is made under licence to the Museum of the Royal Navy and is Navy strength at 57%, i expected this to be quite harsh but it is far from it and a really smooth drink. I really loved this undiluted.
8. Keepr's Honey Gin is an infused gin with, you guessed it, the finest raw honey sourced from the Cotswolds where it is distilled. Not my personal favourite because of its sweetness, but you never know if you don't try.
Alongside the fantastic selection of gins the shop also has a mouthwatering selection of chocolates and a fab local products such as beer from Drop The Anchor brewery and other spirits from Dancing Cows, both feature in previous blogs.
If you are searching for that illusive bottle of gin or want to join a gin discovery evening give them a call on 01202 483978.
Gin Discovery Evening dates:
Friday, 13th July, 2018
Friday, 3rd August, 2018
Friday, 17th August, 2018
Friday, 31st August, 2018
Christchurch Confectioner and Gin Shop
72 High Street