We were hugely grateful to Tom and his British Beverages Bar for some mighty Chilgrove Gin and Vodka tastings and cocktails – what a great set up, ideal for parties and weddings. While I probably should have had my lunch before the tasting, it was a fantastically smooth gin and made a cracking cocktail.
Chilgrove Gin and Vodka were conceived by Christopher and Celia Beaumont-Hutchings in the White Horse at Chilgrove, using water from the South Downs Water company in Southbourne. The gin is unusual in that it is grape based as opposed to grain – and with 11 botanicals is described as “a big, powerful, complex gin”. The European gins of the 16th century were grape based, until the mini-ice age brought wine production to a halt across much of Europe.
The unique recipe contains the botanicals wild water mint, grains of paradise and citrus peel, using them to complement the extraordinary juniper berry and coriander seed. Each small batch of Chilgrove Gin is crafted in traditional pot stills under the watchful eye of a master distiller, who comes from a gin distilling dynasty that stretches back to the 17th Century.
To enjoy your gin, try this delicious cocktail:
- 2 measures of Chilgrove Dry Gin
- 1½ measures fresh lime juice
- 1 measure of simple syrup (equal parts water & sugar)
- Soda water
Add the ingredients to a Collins glass with ice, stir well. Top up with chilled soda water and garnish with a lime wedge.
The Chilgrove gin is also fantastic for gin and tonic, although I would recommend Fever Tree tonic – at least until they bring out Chilgrove Tonic which should match the gin perfectly.