- Food & Drink
Grenall's London Dry Gin
Note to Peter: The Hendrick’s is on order, but I had to drink something in the meantime.
Up until last week I’d never heard of G & J Greenall, a 250-year-old distillery that has been quietly guiding my unsteady steps for years without ever troubling the fuzzy edges of my mind. But without G & J Greenall I would never have talked to anyone at parties. Without them, the sophistication of a mixed drink chinking with ice would’ve always stayed beyond me. Without them, I would still be on pints.
G & J Greenall distill 70% of all the UK’s own label gin (and, pah, vodka). 70%. Pretty much every supermarket gin you buy for a party and then decant into a Gordon’s bottle has poured from their gleaming vats. They are the ones that make gin drinking affordable. They keep Gin Lane open to the masses, letting us all enjoy the pleasures and black outs that come with grain spirit drinking. From my soft furnished section of the gutter, I salute you.
But I didn’t know this until last week, when I saw a bottle of Greenall’s London Dry Gin looking smart with its green and gold label and fancy crest. This, apparently, is their premium gin, launched to appeal to gin drinkers like me, who are steadily making their way up through the gin labels as their behaviour descends down through the bounds of social acceptability.
Already disposed to like it because of the snazzy bottle, my investigations into the company’s gin-based activities enamoured me even more. But the proof is in the drinking and the sicking, so I put it to taste test.
Day or night gin? It’s 40%, so it’s a glamourous night gin.
Smell? A gin for springtime, it has a fresh whiff of lemon zest, creamy nail polish and, right at the back, Copydex. There’s always one piece of rotting fish that turns up to spoil the party.
How does it taste? This is a gin that could get me into trouble and I like that. It’s very creamy and gentle to start, like a gin custard, then it picks up with twists of lemon and a peppery, grassy flavour – a little like Szechuan peppercorns.
Buy it? It was £11.99 for 70cl, which is dammed reasonable. Mixed with tonic it’d make a smooth early evening drink that’d vanish like the setting sun and all your inhibitions. Perfect pre-dinner drinks fodder.