Not a review of London Dry Gin; just a girl musing on which gin is easiest to use in cocktails
How does it Taste?
Do the words “Downton Abbey” mean anything to you? A sprawling manse built in England’s south in the 17th century, it is a central character of that very British TV show. The mansion, known (for real) as Highclere Castle, has its own gin, Highclere Castle Gin. A gin made in the style called “London Dry,” it is unsweetened and starts life as a rather neutral distilled spirit. While all gin must maintain the character of juniper, London Dry gins vary in style. Some are juniper-forward while others add botanicals during later distillations. (Look here for more on the London Dry style.)
Highclere Castle Gin, dressed in a regal blue bottle that evokes the highest societal strata, does not knock you out with juniper. The berry’s piney flavor is present, but the aromatics lean towards the herbaceous, the botanicals infused into the spirit pulled straight from the castle gardens. There is a citrus character which, combined with the softer-than-usual London Dry juniper notes, would work well in most cocktails.
Gin’s Perfect Cocktail
Inspiration comes in many forms and my bottle’s arrival coincided with a holiday card from my architect friend, Jeff. The gin cocktail recipe here graced the card’s back cover but originally appeared in The Austin Cookbook (pg. 188) by Paula Forbes. The flavors of the fresh cucumber and lime juice worked beautifully with Highclere Castle Gin and Aperol to make a wonderfully refreshing cocktail. As the recipe headnote suggests, the cocktail really does taste like watermelon, an easy-drinking reminder during winter’s coldest months, that summer’s warm breezes are not far away.
*I received a free sample of this product.