Gins are like buses it seems.
You wait around for ages, then not just one Manchester gin turns up, but another and another and another.
So far we’ve had Thomas Dakin (currently still made in Warrington, but the search is underway for premises), Manchester Victoria (the name isn’t confirmed, but it will be near RedBank and we’re waiting with baited breath for the gin school to open), Zymurgorium who not only have a Manchester Gin, but a vodka, and a wealth of flavoured gins, and now Manchester Gin.
Yes, it could be said it’s a tad confusing. But they are all rather different spirits – and that’s the great thing about gin. You take two initial ingredients – booze (obviously) and juniper, and then you can get creative. And, whilst I love the toasted coriander and royal jelly notes in Zymurgorium, and the savoury radishy hints in Thomas Dakin, Manchester Gin is again, a different flavour profile entirely.
Manchester Gin is the baby of Jennie and Seb – made in the city, in their own small batch still named after Jennie’s mum, Wendy.
And suitably, the gin launched amidst a bit of a rugby scrum at Common in the Northern Quarter, where not only were samples of the near spirit offered, but plenty of cocktails and a G&T or two. Myself and my date, of course, made our way through the entire menu together.
All in the interests of research of course.
So, what makes it different from the other gins on the market? The botanicals include the essential juniper, then coriander, citrus peel and dandelion and burdock root, which gives it a definite northern touch.
On the nose, it’s got that distinctive pine of the juniper, citrus, with a hint of coriander sweetness – such a distinctive soft lemon herbal note.
The mouth feel is slightly viscous, suggesting sweetness, but it’s actually a nicely layered gin. The sweetness comes first counterbalanced by a tickle of white pepper at the tip of the tongue, a good hit of piney juniper, but not overpowering, lots of citrus, earthiness from the dandelion and burdock, and a touch of salinity in the finish, that lingers, really nicely. It makes me yearn for a dirty martini with a fat, buttery Nocellara olive or two.
From a G&T perspective, you can definitely go more than one route with this gin. Soft citrus works well, particularly pink grapefruit or orange, even lemon pulls out the sweetness in the gin. For me, I rather enjoyed it with a touch of rosemary to enhance the earthy notes and even a touch of orange peel to balance it. Those are my initial thoughts anyway.
This is actually a great addition to the gins we have in Manchester. Dakin is savoury, Zymurgorium spicy, their newer one citrussy and this is a good, straightforward, ginny gin. Balanced, layered, a good all rounder. No wonder it made it’s way onto the Gin Journey.
I liked it so much, I’ve even cooked with it. But that post is for tomorrow – and definitely one for the meat eaters.
Now, where’s my glass?
With thanks to Seb and Jennie. This gin is a corker, and I’ve enjoyed playing with it and sampling it.