Friday, July 8, 2011

Martin Miller's Gin

Born of love, obsession and some degree of madness, Martin Miller's Gin is an exceptional spirit that embodies the history, romance and adventure of a modern classic. Determined to rescue cocktail menus from the sub-par gin and tonic, Martin Miller embarked on the journey of a lifetime - to create a traditional, yet seductive, high quality gin that's as "sharp as a Savile Row suit, yet as smooth and refined as a classic Bentley".

The Martin Miller's distillery is located in the heart of England's Black Country, home to the industrial revolution. Distillation takes place in a single, three stories high, balloon-bellied, Samovarish pot still - fondly referred to as Angela - which was created back in 1904 by John Dore & Sons, and is universally accepted as the "Rolls Royce" of spirit still production. The gin is distilled in small batches from high quality grain then steeped and macerated with a wide array of berries, herbs, roots and spices including coriander, liquorice, Florentine iris, cinnamon, cassia, nutmeg, angelica and orris root, orange and lemon peel, and of course, Juniper, which has been harvested from the hills of Tuscany, India or Macedonia. The dried peels of the citrus fruits are distilled separately from the more grounded, earthy botanicals, creating a more balanced gin with brighter citrus notes.

Once distillation is complete, the spirit must be blended with water to reach bottling strength. Martin Miller's insists on using the purest, softest water on earth and therefore transports the gin 1,500 miles to Iceland, where the glacial waters are up to ten times purer than most of the bottled waters on sale today. The spring lies in the town of Borganes, where the water rises from the depths of the Basalt mountains - the place where it has rested for almost 800 years. Martin Miller's blends this clean, unpolluted, ice cold water with their gin, which not only showcases the botanical flavors already present in the spirit, but adds a soft, almost sweet mouthfeel to the finished product.

Since 2003, Martin Miller's Gin has received consistent recognition by being awarded multiple gold medals by the International Spirits Challenge and numerous double gold medals by the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Wine Enthusiast has awarded Martin Miller's Gin 93 Points and has described it as "one of the most aromatic and least junipery gins, with aromas of cucumber, white pepper and lemon zest. On the tongue, look for a brief sweetness and floral taste, which rolls into invigorating, pleasingly bitter flavors of orange pith and pine." Martin Miller's Westbourne Gin, bottled at 45.2% ABV, has received 92 Points from Wine Enthusiast and was described as having "a soft feel and English-garden aroma reminiscent of cucumber and fresh-cut flowers. On the tongue, look for cucumber and juniper, and a sweet and slightly floral finish."

Martin Miller - the man behind the brand.

Martin Miller's can be enjoyed neat or in a variety of classic and contemporary cocktails. Martin Miller himself recommends a classic Gin & Tonic, using a Spanish-style large-stemmed balloon glass to hold in the bubbles - much like a champagne flute does for champagne. He then adds a long twist of lime peel and is careful not to include any pulp from the lime as this again reduces the effervescence. He then pours the tonic down a mixing spoon, allowing the tonic to find its own way around the ice, the gin and the lime. Don't be tempted to use the spoon to mix the ingredients - stirring and mixing take the life out.

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

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