- Food & Drink
If you’d told me 17 months ago that starting this blog would one day result in me being sent a free bottle of gin, I would’ve laughed in your face and then punched you for putting such crazy, unachievable dreams into my head. Who’d be foolish enough to send me a free bottle of gin? Surely I’d just drink it all in one go and then roam around the bars of London, waving the empty bottle and demanding martinis because I’m the Queen of Free Gin.
Not according to trusting folks of Tanqueray, who’s PR actually courried me a bottle of gin across London on a Friday afternoon. That’s faith for you.
And they didn’t even send me a bottle of normal Tanqueray. They sent me a bottle of Tanqueray no TEN, their Super Premium brand that’s made in small batches to a secret recipe by hyper-focussed gin scientists working in harmony with the ebb and flow of the moon (that last part may not be true. I lost the press release they sent with the bottle, so I’m filling in the gaps).
Since the sleek green bottle arrived, it has entirely replaced my hot water bottle as the container of liquid I most like to hug at night. But I can only worship an unopened bottle of gin for so long. The seal had to be broken.
Day or night gin? At 47.3% this is an after midnight gin, for those times when you really don’t expect to do much after drinking it. If you can arrange for someone to put you to bed and ensure your vital organs keep working, so much the better for your gin drinking.
What does it smell of? It’s suspiciously subtle for a gin. There’s a faint whiff of Copydex, the scent that marks gin out from any other spirit, but mostly it’s very clean – chillily floral with a touch of green herbs.
What does it taste of? Given how delicate it smells, there’s a surprising amount going on in the glass. Lots of citrus – it’s quite grapefruity – and then a dash of sweet spice comes riding in at the last moment. Coriander and juniper give a last hurrah before collapsing into the warm burn of your friend and mine, alcohol. It also has a very thick texture, clinging onto the glass in oily rivulets. Chilled for a martini, I imagine the mouthfeel becomes dangerously seductive.
Buy it? Well if you’re me, you get it free, FREE FOR LIFE (that was the deal, right?). But if you have to pay, then it’s priced around £30 for 70cl (Oddbins seems to be cheapest at £27.99), putting it comfortably in the connoisseur’s class.
For some reason I keep imagining a ladies tea party as the perfect occasion to pour this out and if I was cocktail maker, then this is the gin I’d keep in my cabinet. It’s sweet for a gin and I want to shake it up with astringent fruit juices, pour it into tall glasses filled with crushed ice and top it off with a little umbrella and a cherry. I think it’s too smooth for a martini – I like a bit more challenge in my glass – but for sundowners in sparkly dresses, this would fit right in.