Das aguas nasceu a estrela
From water a star is born
Disclaimer: this gin was given to me as a sample by Amázzoni Gin. All opinions though are definitely my own.
In a country known for its cachaça, it was a bold move in 2017 to establish a gin distillery. But that’s exactly what the founders of Amázzoni Gin did on an old coffee plantation in Fazenda Cachoiera in the Paraiba river valley.
Arturo Isola, Tato Giovannoni and Alexandre Mazza were the three protagonists and only a year later they were winners of the Best World Craft Producer of the Year in the World Gin Awards 2018 and later won a Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco Spirits Competition in 2019. They are ahead of the pack when it comes to the fast-growing Brazilian gin market.
Packaged in a lovely recycled glass bottle with a blue-green tint, the Amázzoni Gin label is quality too. Always a good sign on a bottle of gin to show that someone cares.
At the apex of the label is a symbol of the Arawana, a talisman fish for good luck and health, a legendary warrior to the Aruanã Indians, with the help of Tupã, the God of life and nature. Naià, a Guarani Indian girl who fell in love with Jaci, a lunar warrior and in doing so drowned and was turned into a star also gets a mention. This gin is firmly branding itself as an Amazonian Gin.
As one of only a handful of gins to come out of South America with the Amazon at the heart of its botanical profile I was interested to find out how Amázzoni Gin stacks up to more traditional gins. Exactly what do Amazonian botanicals taste like and would I be able to distinguish them in the gin?
Traditional: juniper, coriander, pink pepper, laurel, lemon, tangerine
Brazilian: cocoa, Brazil nut, maxixe (cucumber), cipó-cravo (clove vine), water lily
On the nose, Amázzoni Gin smells like a classic gin with plenty of juniper and intriguing notes of greenery.
There is plenty of juniper to taste in this gutsy gin. Gutsy could be deemed a derogatory term but not in the description of this gin. It is a smooth, mature, grown-up gin, very much in the London Dry style. An authoritative gin. The flavours are there and you don’t have to go searching for them.
The clove is used sparingly as a warm hint. This spicy warmness entwines pleasantly with herbal green overtones. There is a slight hint of floral perfumery. The medley of flavours combines well with the juniper.
Certainly, Amázzoni isn’t a one-trick pony gin that becomes tedious before the end of the glass. The finish is long enough to keep you going until the second G&T.
With plain premium tonic and a sliver of lemon zest, Amázzoni Gin makes a very good no-nonsense gin and tonic. Traditionalists will love it. It has just the right balance of flavours to partner the lemon: simple and understated.
For a variation, fresh cucumber goes well with the green notes in the gin.
After tasting it I was keen to try it out in a martini, my favourite cocktail. Swapping the traditional lemon zest with cucumber but sticking to the classic ratio of 5:1 for a dry martini the Amázzoni martini or Amázzini(?) was a clear winner. Definitely, one I would mix again.
Amázzoni’s latest expression is Rio Negro launched in the UK in September this year.