What’s in a name?
Well, quite a lot if you are from Cumbria
Origin: Cumbria, England
The modern name Cumbria derives from the old name Cumberland, a historic county in the north west of England.
The name lives on in various ways, one of them being a world famous sausage; another a form of wrestling; a fruity sauce partnered with cold meats and now a gin.
Cumberland Saucy Gin is the brainchild of Andrew Kaye who runs probably one of the most ginny off-licences and village stores in Cumbria: Chestnut House at Pooley Bridge.
Having opened in May 2016 it now sells around 300 different gins, as well as stocking gin cheese, gin jam, gin stones, gin glasses, gin making kits, gin chocolate, gin sweets, gin marmalade, gin baubles, gin crackers ~ you get the picture.
The idea behind the gin is that it shares the fruity characteristics of the sauce, made with redcurrant jelly, lemon, orange and mustard. Served cold this fruity spiced sauce is fantastic on meat such as gammon. And it seems that Andrew is staying true to the sauce’s roots by using mustard as one of the botanicals.
It is a 3rd party gin distilled by Solway Spirits in Dumfries and Galloway by another Andrew, Emmerson this time. But it is still very much Andrew Kaye’s gin.
Solway Spirits is a micro-distillery using a rectification column for a smoother gin and making a minuscule 50 bottles a batch at a time. They also produce a range of gins, vodka, rum and liqueurs, including the tempting sounding Rhubarb Crumble Gin.
The bottle is a nice shape but the labelling and branding could do with some attention as it gives the gin a more basic feel than it warrants.
There is a warm and tart fruity fragrance with more than a hint of juniper.
This is a medium-bodied fruity gin that lives up to its saucy name. Very much sweet orange and tart redcurrants to the fore in the contemporary style, although juniper isn’t lacking and there is enough coming through to make this a well-balanced gin.
The flavour mellows out to become warm and spicy. There are also floral overtones to this gin despite there being no element of flora to the botanical list.
Thankfully, I can’t taste any mustard!
The finish is medium and the juniper lingers just long enough.
Following Andrew’s suggestion of premium Indian tonic with orange I found this to be a nice pairing.
But given the fruitiness of this gin I thought I would try it in a few cocktails. It works very well in a Bee’s Knees cocktail adding to the overall juiciness.
Cumberland Saucy Gin is available from Chestnut House at £34.95 for 70cl or online here.
Thanks must go to Andrew at Chestnut House for sending me a sample of his new gin.