- Food & Drink
‘Tis the season to have a drink and, God, don’t we need a drink at the moment. I’m amazed I haven’t started swapping milk for gin in my breakfast tea. Luckily for me, the kind people at Chase Distillery have sent me a bottle of Williams GB Extra Dry Gin to try, so I can face the twin evils of the Christmas party season and the collapse of western society with pink cheeks and a overwhelming desire to dance.
Chase Distillery is based on Chase Farm in Herefordshire, where they grow potatoes and then turn them into vodka. If you haven’t tried the vodka, you should. The Marmalade Vodka is particularly worth slamming, and they didn’t need to send me a bottle to get me to say that. I just really like it. The vodka is used as the base for their gin. They have five gins in their range, and the gin I’m trying out is the bottle in a jaunty Union Jack bowtie.
Day or night gin? 40%, which makes it night gin. And given that night now starts at around 3.30pm, I would get those glasses chilling early.
What does it smell of? Rich, spicy and full of wood. When those bratty evacuee children climbed into that wardrobe and pushed their way past the fur coats into Narnia, this is what they could smell. There’s the scratch of bark, a creamy lick of citrus and an arctic breath of cold air that carries the promise of pine forests and Christmas.
What does it taste of? So this is where my spice cupboard comes to party. I don’t get that much juniper from it, but there’s warmth, spice and a something a little festive. Perhaps it’s the mix of flavours. A curl of cinnamon, a grating of nutmeg and, at the end, a slab of liquorice that sweetly lingers. Or perhaps I’m just over excited because some of our neighbours have already got their lights and decorations up. But this does taste a little like Christmas to me. A sophisticated and classy Christmas, obviously. The kind that involves big band Christmas carols, a real tree decorated with satin bows, and a double staircase that you can run down while wearing a beautiful silk dress, saying “Darling! I’m so glad you are home. Let’s mix martinis, dance and eat lobster.” Is that classy? I feel like that’s classy.
It’s a very dry gin, but easy to drink. The kind that makes martinis you enjoy so much that you lose count of them, and then eventually lose count of everything. I was recently sent some Franklin & Sons tonic water to try, which was also very dry. I can imagine them pairing up nicely, especially with a slice of ginger as a garnish (as recommended by Chase).
Buy it? Trying this gin, I briefly remembered how bad the gins I used to taste when I started this blog were. Gin has come a long way, hasn’t it? This is a lovely gin. You can buy it for around £28 from The Whisky Exchange, or go for a bottle in a presentation tin (make a lovely present, missus) from Williams Chase for £35.