History states that many cities in the UK including most ports had their own Gin Distilleries present at one time or another. Despite all the negative connotations with Gin (See Hogarth’s Gin Lane propaganda and the rather negative moniker of ‘Mother’s Ruin’ which Gin acquired), it is now a rather fashionable drink and not just during summer months when the obligatory refreshment of sliced lemon or lime and heaps of ice is sought. Many food and drink programmes and other media outlets have been championing the rise of artisan Gin and styles that require other sundry flavour agents aside from citrus fruits. For a while cucumber has been associated with the likes of Hendricks, some others work best with grapefruit or mint. With Liverpool Gin, the addition of juniper berries and watermelon is a slight departure but one in keeping with the premium nature of the spirit. The distillery have held a number of tasting sessions in Liverpool now (including sales at recent beer festivals at Waterloo Christ Church and St. George’s Hall) and have rolled out production with more intent, supplying small batches out beyond Liverpool to other Gin purveying establishments in the capital, such as the Gin School night at Charlotte’s Bistro.
There are a number of bars and pubs in Liverpool, which now stock Liverpool Gin; which has diamond like clarity with a fresh and punchy aroma with a slight herbiness lingering, giving a rather clever amount of length to the Gin. Having tried both the orange and berry and the watermelon and juniper combinations, the latter gives a slightly more interesting compliment with a good quality tonic. The tastings that I have personally attended prove that the distillery is keen to listen to its intended audience and build on the early momentum.
I asked how did he become so fascinated with Gin that he felt the need to set up the Ginasium and ultimately release his own brand of Gin?
John: “I spent a lot of time in Madrid and saw the growth and interest in gin so created Ginasium so Liverpool could enjoy as many gins as possible (noted a lot of competitors coming in to Belvedere and quietly taking photos of Ginasium and creating their own gin range). Then after tasting small batch production Bourbon I realised there was an opportunity to create a Liverpool gin.”
When asked about how did the collaboration with Liverpool Organic Brewery came about, giving rise to the product, John replied that Liverpool Organic Brewery were supplier to Belvedere and so he came to know Mark Hensby (MD of Liverpool Gin and Liverpool Organic Brewery) personally. When John came up with the idea of gin and needed a partner as he didn't have time to do it by himself and suggest to Mark; who said "Distillery! I'm not sure about that". When John looked at his emails next day, there was one at 7.30am from Mark - “I've been up all night researching -- I think it’s a great idea!”
So where does John see the distillery being in a few years time? Producing other Gin/lines of spirit?
He was a little coyer on the subject, answering that “Currently there is enough to do with Gin and we do expect to expand the gin range later this year and we expect to have considerable activity over the summer over the International Festival Business.”
At £36 a bottle, it isn’t a cheap item to pick up, indeed it weighs in around £10 heavier on the wallet than some other premium Gins. But then there’s a reason things of such quality hurt your pocket a bit more than larger production batch spirits, this becomes evident when they address your tastebuds in a manner you’re not usually used to. This is an excellent Gin and it can proudly wear its Golden Liver bird on its label for some time to come.
Liverpool Gin Web: http://www.liverpoolgin.com/
Liverpool Distillery Twitter: https://twitter.com/LiverpoolGin
Facebook Website: https://www.facebook.com/liverpooldistillery
The Belvedere, Sugnall Street: https://www.facebook.com/liverpooldistillery
The Belvedere Twitter: https://twitter.com/belvederelpool
You can drink Liverpool Gin in (including, but not restricted to):
The Hub, Hanover Street, Liverpool
The Kazimier/Kazimier Gardens, Wolstenholme Square/Seel Street, Liverpool
The Freshfield, 1 Massams Lane, Formby
Jenny’s Bar, The Old Ropery, Fenwick Street, Liverpool
Berry and Rye, Berry Street, Liverpool
R&H Fine Wines (Retail), Queens Arcade, Liverpool
Cholmondeley Arms, Wrenbury Road, Malpas
The Sparrowhawk, Southport Old Road, Formby