Before this year’s Copenhagen Spirits and Cocktails (more about that in a later post) I had never heard of Berkeley Square London Gin. However, in Copenhagen I had the pleasure of meeting Mike Nield and master distiller Joanne Moore and sampled not only the aforementioned gin, but also G&J Greenall’s other gins Greenall’s and Bloom, of which the first is a rather traditional London Dry Gin, and the second one have more floral notes, hence the name.
Berkeley Square has been around for a few years already, but it hasn’t been available in Sweden until last week – therefore I was also invited to a tasting at Orangeriet here in Stockholm. I got the opportunity to compare all three gins again, smell the eight botanicals used in Berkeley Square (juniper, coriander, basil, angelica root, lavender, cubebs, kaffir lime leaves and sage) and also taste it in a few cocktails.
On its own, you can definitely taste where it’s coming from – there’s the pepper, earth, a hint of citrus and of course also juniper – so far familiar London Dry Gin notes. The other botanicals adds complexity, which unfortunately is not only positive. The basil, lavender, sage and kaffir lime leaves all work well, but for some reason I think that the angelica root is too prominent. Overall, it’s a sophisticated but acquired taste, which made me interested in how it would work in cocktails.
First I tried Berkeley Square gin in two of Orangeriet’s signature cocktails, in which I think they normally use Tanqueray 10. Both of them were really nice, complementing the different layers of the gin – tasty and very promising!
Last but not least I tried a Gin & Tonic, using Fever Tree tonic and basil garnish as suggested by Joanne and Mike. To my surprise they didn’t work very well together, and I think it might be because of the angelica root. Anyway, it might taste better with another tonic, but I have yet to find out.
As previously mentioned, Berkeley Square is an acquired taste, but I’m definitely intrigued enough so I hope I can try it out some more in the near future. However, I’m not sure if Swedish consumers are ready for it, though…
Oh, and by the way – there will be more product reviews in this blog from now on, so anyone interested in providing me with samples, send an e-mail to tradermagus (at) gmail.com for further details.