In search of a gin with a bigger juniper hit than the Blackwood’s Vintage, I found myself once again in the booze isle is Sainsbury’s. This time I settled, quite quickly I might add, on Juniper Green Organic Gin.
At £11.07 it was almost disturbingly cheap, but I had read a great review of it over at Gin & Crumpets, so I confidently placed it in the trolley.
Juniper Green has a very short list of botanicals, including only four in its makeup: juniper (funnily), angelica root, coriander and savoury. It is a London dry gin and is packaged in a no-frills bottle with an understated label.
The juniper is very evident upon opening the bottle and in a glass it is no different; this is a big gin with a strong juniper component. I might have even found a candidate for combination with the Fenimans tonic water.
Sampled neat, it is a fairly smooth gin and while the juniper hit is big, the other flavours are well balanced. I disagree with a lot of reviews in that I didn’t find it a particularly complex gin; it doesn’t have much in the way of citrus or floral highs but it screams herbaceous.
Next up was the gin & tonic. I read an interesting article on Liquor Snob about a study commissioned by Miller’s Gin where 200 mixologists were asked about how they thought the perfect G&T should be made. It turns out that 44 per cent thought that 25% gin and 75% tonic was the right balance.
Taking this to heart I made up a G&T with Juniper Green and Fentimans to these proportions. I left out the lime as, to my mind, Fentimans is already heavily citrusy (is that even a real word?). The juniper of the Juniper Green was in evidence and wasn’t totally overridden by the tonic water, and I suppose it was quite pleasant but the strength of the tonic made it into a different drink – it wasn’t a G&T to my mind. I think I might need to consign the Fentimans to the “never-buy-again” category.
So, I tried another Juniper Green G&T with faithful ol’ Schweppes tonic water (and lime). This was more the ticket; a big, clean, crisp gin and tonic with more subtlety than expected. The tonic seems to drag out some sweeter, floral notes. All-in-all, this was a very satisfying drink.
Juniper Green Organic London Dry Gin is a great gin! In many ways I am excited by this find; It is like I have discovered some sort of secret – I have that feeling that you get when you find something with the wrong price-tag on and you end up paying half of what you were expecting. It is a big, bold, well-balanced gin and is fabulously priced. I can see this becoming a common sight in my drinks cabinet.
Update – 18/07/2010
Today I tried the Juniper Green with Fever-Tree tonic and I am in love. This makes for an astounding G&T!