The idea for St. Giles Gin came when professional diver Simon and his wife Alison were enjoying a range of gins at home. As a diver, Simon has travelled around the globe, and it soon became a habit for him to bring a bottle of gin from all his travels to sample at home. On one of those evenings, the couple started to play around with the idea of making their own gin.
The talks continued for years, but once their paths crossed with distiller Pete Margree, their minds were finally made up. It took months to find the perfect still maker, and when they did find one, it then took another five months to build their still (the still is named Anna). After getting their licence and converting an old barn on the edge of Norwich into a distillery, it was time to finalise the recipe.
Simon and the team did their homework well; they researched the history of gin making, tested several botanicals and created over 100 small-batch gins, which they tweaked and sampled, before they could agree on a final recipe.
St. Giles is a modern gin when it comes to the flavour profile. It is made with 11 carefully selected botanicals. The known botanicals include juniper, coriander, orris root, black pepper, rose petals, pink peppercorn, grains of paradise and lemongrass. Three of the botanicals are a mystery, but there are some clear citrus notes so I predict at least one of the mystery botanicals is a citrus peel. The grains of paradise and peppercorns add a little spiciness, which is followed by honey-like sweetness and citrus.
If you like slightly peppery and fragrant gins I recommend you give St. Giles a go, or even better, take part in the competition at the end of this post and you might even win yourself a bottle!
The name St. Giles refers to the parish of St. Giles in London, an area also known as Gin Lane. In fact, in 1750, over a quarter of the residences in St. Giles parish were gin shops. Simon and his family also used to have their own 18th-century shop on a historic road called St. Giles in Norwich.
St. Giles Gin is very smooth and therefore perfect when served on its own with a cube of ice. To garnish a G&T use an orange slice or pink grapefruit peel. A slice of orange will balance the peppery notes, when pink grapefruit adds a little freshness without taking away from other botanicals. If you would like to bring out the juniper notes a bit more, garnish with juniper berries as in this gin juniper is more of an after taste.
The gin has just won a Gold Award at the World Gin Awards. At Easter the distillery will be celebrating its first year by launching its second gin, a naval-strength Diver’s Edition! Exciting times for this new distillery!
Competition for gin lovers!
Believe me, you want to win this bottle… It is a unique gin with perfectly balanced flavour combinations. I can’t decide whether it is a floral, fruity or citrusy gin, or perhaps it is a perfect harmony of all of them.
Competition ends 14th March 2018. COMPETITION IS CLOSED!
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by St. Giles Gin, but, as always, all words and opinions are my own.