Gin Botanical: Lemon
Culinarily-speaking, everybody knows lemon; be it from lemonade, sorbet, cheesecake, pancakes, or as a simple garnish, it is a very common ingredient. The same is true in gin and most count lemon among their botanical list. It’s not quite as ubiquitous as coriander, but not far off.
Personally, the best use I’ve come across for lemon, is the Sussex Pond Pudding. Amazing dish.
- Lemon juice denatures the enzymes responsible for oxidative browning of certain fruits. A squeeze of lemon juice on cut apple, banana or avacado will prevent browning.
- The juice, or whole fruit has many household uses beyond the culinary. Lemon is a very good cleaner and will degrease, deodorise, remove stains, disinfect and even polish metals such as copper. The addition of baking soda, as a mild abrasive and buffer for the citric acid, generally improves the cleansing action.
- Vitamin C deficiency is well-known as the cause of scurvy, but in 1747, one James Lind conducted what’s considered the first ever clinical trial, by administering different preventatives to groups of scorbutic sailors. Those given citrus fruits to eat showed signs of recovery. This eventually led to Rear Admiral Alan Gardner, in 1794, insisting on his crew on board the Suffolk, be given lemon juice daily on their 23-week, non stop voyage to India; the ship remained free of scurvy – an unheard-of occurrence. This resulted in widespread demand for lemons across the whole Admiralty.
Unsurprising, lemon is lemony. Marvel at the deep insight.
The flavour of lemon seems to live in the attack, where its presence is brief, and in the after-taste, where it lingers in a subtle but distinct lemony freshness. There’s also a slighly burning, tingly mouth-feel that I associate with having bitten into citrus peel. The overall effect is one of lifting the gin, making if fresher and breezier. It accentuates the lighter notes of the juniper and balances against the spicy, earthy flavours,