When Dry January became Ginuary
New Year’s Resolutions
Like a lot of people, I started off the New Year with one or two resolutions and the best intention of keeping them. One of the resolutions was to embrace Dry January. Combined with the foregoing of chocolate, crisps and biscuits I was looking forward to a healthier, and hopefully slimmer, Me as the month segued into February.
The problem with New Year’s resolutions is if you go it alone you are often faced with other people’s total disinterest or polite lack of comprehension as to why you have set out on a crusade of self-denial. And crusade it is. While all around you are enjoying the fruits of their gin cabinet and leftover Christmas chocolates you are determined to see the whole miserable month through without a single drop of juniper juice. Onlookers can be forgiven for looking wonderingly at you as if you have joined some obscure cult. ‘But for a gin blogger you don’t drink that much anyway’ seemed to be the words on most of my friend’s lips.
I lasted a fortnight. The second weekend in I found myself drooling as my other half blatantly, and with total disregard for my abstemious sensibilities, poured himself a rather tasty looking gin and tonic with grapefruit zest and a splash of pomegranate juice. (My mouth is watering as I type this). One small sip and my NY resolution to see Dry January through was out of the window along with my other resolutions. I had avoided chocolate for a week, biscuits even less.
But I’m not beating myself up over this lapse of will power. I think if you really want to do something then you usually achieve it. Maybe I just didn’t want it enough.
This month I also continued my exploration of gin botanicals with hibiscus. Having a rectifying licence and my own little still means I can experiment with flavours and distil botanicals singly. I now have a ‘library’ of over 40 botanicals.
I have always had a love-hate relationship with hibiscus. Its tart floral note is a tad bitter to my taste. But this month while distilling and writing about it (full article here) I discovered Franklin & Sons Pomegranate & Hibiscus infused soda. Combining this with Eden Mill’s Love Gin, which has hibiscus as its key botanical, was a wow combination. Read my thoughts on Love Gin here.
My first gin review of the year was an unseasonal one. I have always classed the Larios gins as summer gins, and not just because they are Spanish gins. Larios 12 is no exception. With its predominance of zesty flavours, drinking Larios 12 in a G&T in January has a certain wistful appeal. I’m not sure whether I was harking back to last year’s glorious summer or the eternal hope that this coming summer will last longer than a wet weekend in Blackpool. Read my full review of Larios 12 here.
Head Distiller Tim Stones
Talking of gins from sunnier climes this month sees the launch of Australia’s Manly Spirits in the UK. Manly have 3 gin expressions: Australian Dry Gin, Coastal Citrus Gin and Barrel Aged Gin. From the 22nd January, they have been available in the UK. A relatively young company, formed in 2017, they, like many other start-up distilleries, make gin and vodka while waiting for their whisky to mature. And good gin it is too. I caught up with Head Distiller Tim Stones prior to the launch. To read what Tim had to say about his career as a distiller and Manly’s UK launch click here.
One resolution I did keep was to buy my ticket for this year’s Junipalooza London in June. Last year was fabulous and I’m looking forward to celebrating World Gin Day 2019 on June 8th in good company.
And that’s about it for this month.