Hmm. Hands up who is going to see the word absinthe and raise an eyebrow?
I did, but not because I don’t like absinthe, I’m more than aware that it doesn’t deserve it’s dodgy reputation. It’s more because I do, a lot, and was interested to see how a cross over between the two would work.
This latest from Batch is the sixth edition from their special releases – every month a new creation makes it into my grubby little mitts (or yours, as you can easily subscribe here).
This month the challenge handed to Master Distiller Ollie was to balance the flavour of Absinthe with juniper to create a hybrid of the two. Think of it as the bastard child of gin and absinthe. The gin was distilled with classic botanicals, alongside those more common to absinthe – wormwood, anise and hyssop.
After distillation, a further infusion of anise, mint and a drop of colour produced this unique spirit. And it really is unique.
So let’s head in.
Neat the nose is sweet, with lots of anise, citrus and juniper. It really is a combination of the two. To taste, sweet again, the texture is syrupy, with lots of layers of anise – fennel, herbal notes and a little minty freshness. As you’d expect with such a blend of flavours, it lingers long after you swallow.
Onto a G&T – the nose, as you’d expect, is softer. More citrus and coriander, and mint. I was pleasantly surprised by the G&T as a whole, especially using standard Fever Tree (I generally prefer the lighter Fever Tree, simply because it gives me a lighter consistent base, but I’d simply run out. The tonic increased the background bitterness, and that’s what lingers on the palate after you swallow. But the flavour as a whole is much lighter, softer, and infinitely drinkable.
I was also lucky enough, thanks to the chaps at Lily’s Bar, to try it in a Corpse Reviver No2. Traditionally, this would have an absinthe rinse, but the presence of the botanicals in the gin means it’s simply not necessary, and yes, you do get those anise flavours coming through. However, for those of you unsure about absinthe (anise tends to be very divisive), it’s much gentler than the traditional recipe, and might actually be more approachable as a result. Certainly my date in Lily’s was appreciative, even after the idea of Absinthe Gin made her wrinkle her nose.
This is a definite keeper for me – though I’m kind of sad that colour was used (I don’t think it’s necessary) – it’s still one that’s staying on my shelf at home.
But I might share a teeny bit. If you ask nicely.