David T. Smith takes a look at what can happen when teamwork triumphs - CitroLondon Dry Gin!
New to That Boutique-y Gin Company comes a collaboration with 58 Gin and author of “10 Gin to Try Before You Die”, Ian Buxton.
58 Gin was founded by Mark Marmont in 2014. The distillery is located underneath a railway arch in Hackney Down Studios, Hackney, London and they use a selection of traditional alembic copper pot stills to create their gins.
Citrus is a very important part of the Gin 58 botanical profile and Mark has endeavoured to source quality and unusual citrus; this even involves him undertaking his own drying process to ensure a reliable, year-round supply.
For That Boutique-y Gin Company's CitroLondon Dry Gin, Mark and his colleague, Carmen, liaised with Ian Buxton to create a new gin. They used the botanical foundation of 58 Gin, tweaked with the addition of London Citron.
What is Citron?
Citron (citrus medica) is one of the four original citrus fruit* from which all other citrus fruits descend, whether by natural or artificial hybridization. The fruit look like bumpy, oversized lemons, typically measuring around 25cm in length and weighing a couple of kilos. The fruit has a very thick white rind with a small, acidic pulp in the centre.
Incredibly the particular citrons used in this gin are grow wild in London, an area that was once cultivated but has now been reclaimed by the wild, the exact whereabouts are a secret.
*The other three being mandarin, papeda and pomelo.
The scene is set outside the 58 Gin Distillery. The doors are flung open to the world, revealing the cavernous interior beneath the railway arches. To the right are the various stills that Mark uses to make spirit and, to the left, a selection of fine botanicals. In the centre we find Mark Marmont himself in angelic, haloed form - a reference to the distillery’s logo - where he is picking fruit from two citron trees.
Above him is spirits expert and author of “101 Gins to Try Before Your Die”, Ian Buxton, at the helm of beautiful old steam locomotive, the 101G Express. He even has a copy of his book in hand - full steam ahead to another great gin!
Nose: The citron jumps from the glass, fresh and vibrant, followed by an array of other citrus notes: lively orange and grapefruit. Warming earthy spices also come through with a good dose of juniper and fresh leafy notes.
Palate: Thick, mouth-filling citrus and juniper, with other classic London dry notes, too: coriander, cardamom and angelica.
Finish: Long and lush, morphing into warming spices.
50ml Citro-London Gin
Dash of orange bitters
An unorthodox way to mix gin, perhaps, but it really is superb. Bright, lively citrus with some sweet, herbal notes, too. Easy to mix and a pleasure to drink.
50ml Citro-London Gin
25ml lemon juice
25ml Bergamotti Liqueur (or other orange liqueur)
A real zinger of a drink that would be perfect to enjoy on a hot afternoon in the summer in the city. The sweet fragrance of the bergamot liqueur brings out the dryer notes in the gin, whilst the lemon adds a fresh balance.
25ml ml Citro-London Gin
Garnish with a thin slice of lemon peel.
Add gin and limoncello to a Champagne flute and stir gently with a swizzle stick. Top-up with prosecco and add the garnish.
The citrus really comes through well in this drink. The limoncello and prosecco add body and balance, producing a well-rounded drink with a pleasant fizz. A good choice for a pre-dinner cocktail.