Buckle up for the Muddy gin flight
The Muddy gin flight is ready for take off. Fasten your seatbelts for a world tour of six countries and seven gins. Hangover turbulence to be expected.
Monsoon May can do one, bring on summer, the giant yellow ball in the sky and endless balmy evenings sipping sundowners with your pals. Absolute bliss. While wine has overtaken beer as the nation’s favourite tipple, we reckon gin is a close third. Although it’s top of the podium in the Muddy household as the perfect summer serve.
Let’s be honest, there’s a lot of gin being produced these days. Even the Queen has one available in the Buckingham Palace gift shop. To celebrate the return of Gin Thursdays at Newbury Racecourse (on every Thursday from 1 Jul) we thought we’d take a boozy gin flight to give your tastebuds a holiday even if you’re stuck on home soil. Buckle up, charge your balloon glasses and tuck into the in-flight menu..
No point taking a gin flight without Aviation American – it’s like American Airlines but drinking it gets you one step closer to the lips of Ryan Reynolds. The Hollywood actor bought into this gin in 2018 and sold to the big boys for $610m – but has to be the face of the brand for the next 10 years. We’re not complaining, easy on the eye and the palette, this is a spicy gin, floral notes and a strong juniper flavour.
A boutique gin with cult status. There’s not a posh cocktail bar or restaurant that doesn’t have it on its shelf. Produced in Germany’s Black Forest, this critically-acclaimed gin is a surprise hit from a region more famous for fruit brandies and cuckoo clocks. Even more surprising is that its heritage comes from RAF Wing Commander Montgomery Collins who fell in love, moved to the Black Forest and started making gin at his Wild Monkey guest house. It’s made with a unique combination of 47 botanicals, with plenty of spice, fruit and herb flavours. Definitely packs a punch.
DESTINATION: ICELAND (and ENGLAND)
Martin Miller’s Gin is something of a curiosity. It starts its journey in London – distilled twice to get the perfect balance of citrus and juniper. The liquid is then blended to strength using Icelandic spring water. The result is a gin that’s as smooth as an Nordic fisherman’s bottom. No need to artificially demineralise or distill it, the gentle citrus bouquet simply shines through.
Sacré bleu! A gin from France, what will the wine producers say? Made in Cognac, Audemus Pink Pepper gin is a small-batch spirit with each batch dedicated to family members, good friends and people who are part of the Audemus story. How cool is that? This is a full-bodied, aromatic gin with its spicy notes of pink pepper, juniper and cardamom. Plus notes of patisserie; vanilla and honey. It’s like breakfast with a kick.
If you wanted to taste the wildness of Scotland, pour yourself a shot of Botanist Islay Dry Gin. It’s the first and only Islay dry gin, created using 22 hand-foraged local botanicals which are then added to nine berries, barks, seeds and peels during an achingly slow distillation. This is a gin with a lot going on. The flavour profile is nothing short of complex, but it’s quite delicious.
Coming into land, London’s Oxley Gin is a bottle to have on your radar. While Heston’s science lab approach to cookery caused ripples in the world of fine dining, Oxley Gin is doing the same for gin. It’s distilled under vacuum – the distillate boils at -5°C, and re-condenses at -100°C! What?! It sounds like it can’t possibly work, but it does. This Willy Wonka wizardry captures some delicate flavours from the botanicals that might be lost when distilling the conventional way (y’know, with heat and all that). The texture is creamy, and the gin is soft and smooth enough to be drunk neat.
Time to taxi back to Berks. Distilled just down the road from Newbury Racecourse, 137 Gin is as local as you can possibly get. Launched in early 2019, this award-winning Berkshire gin now has five varieties – Navy Royal, Berkshire Dry, London Dry, Navy Strength and Country Garden. Country Garden is a Muddy fave, a beautifully balanced gin, with a hint of floral botanicals that tastes like summer without a hint of soapiness. That’s because those floral notes are tamed by a delicate dry herbal finish. Fill your chilled glass with big ice cubes, pour Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic gently on a bar spoon to keep the fizz. Garnish with a few juniper berries and a sprig of rosemary.
Gin Thursdays are back at Newbury Racecourse from 1 Jul a for a cheeky double and a night of racing. All the gins mentioned and more will be available at the Botanical Bar.
Need more ginspiration?