- Food & Drink
Summer is icumen in. Loud sing cuckoo! How do I know that summer is knocking at the turn-of-the-season door? There are three signs: 1) a trip to the seaside has been planned; 2) there is a lot of talk about having a barbecue; and 3) I have had to replace the cardboard in the bottom of my shoes because the rain keeps getting in. Also, jokes about the weather have begun.
With the coming of summer, a girl’s mind inevitably turns to Pimm’s. It’s the drink that dominates every wedding, fete and picnic in England from June to September. The muffled rattle of ice cubes and cucumber slices in plastic beakers is the drum track to a thousand polite conversations about what you’re up to these days and where you’re living now (and ye Gods, who are you and why can’t I remember your name?).
The problem with Pimm’s is there’s not quite enough gin in it. Plenty of fruit. But not quite enough gin. Which means an extra bottle has to be pulled from the drinks cabinet. A considerable amount of bending and reaching, that, so you want to make sure you grab the right gin for the job first time. The nice gin fairies at Martin Miller’s Gin sent me a bottle to try and, having drunk it at length, I think it has garden party promise.
Day or night gin? A respectable 40%. It’s a gin you can be seen out with in the evening. And the afternoon. Or the morning. An all-day affair, in fact. Perfect for festivals in that sense.
What does it smell of? Like a cricket pitch by the seaside that’s been lightly misted with Elnett to make sure the grass doesn’t get tousled by the wind.
What does it taste of? If someone were to ferment the contents of my salad drawer, they might end up with a glass of Martin Miller’s Gin. Well, they probably wouldn’t, but it does taste a little like a cucumber that’s spent an evening frugging in a basement bar. As well as cucumber’s watery greenness, there’s a hint of apples, lemons and cinnamon. If it wasn’t gin, it would taste positively wholesome.
Buy it? Martin Miller’s is priced around £25 and is available from all the usual suspects online and in shops. It is a delicious gin that’s both sweet and spicy, but might be a bit too refreshingly fruity (or vegetably) for a G&T. It would make a great summer martini that you could drink way too many of and not realise until you stood up and couldn’t operate your legs. And it’s the obvious choice for adding a bit of oomph to your Pimm’s.