G & J Greenall’s Gin has been around since the middle of the Gin Craze. Today they are the oldest continuous gin distillers in the world. Over the last 250 years they have had only seven Master Distillers, which proves an enviable rate of staff retention. The current Master distiller is Joanne Moore. To my knowledge she and Lesley Gracie at Hendrick’s are the only women who are Master Distillers of gin, though there are a number of women who are Master Distillers of scotch. If you know of other women who are making gin please let me know!
I was sent a bottle of Greenalls Gin as part of a gin and tea promotion. I was sent the gin along with a packet of honey and vanilla flavoured tea and instructions to make a ‘marteani’.
Greenall’s is a distilled gin and qualifies as London Dry, meaning nothing is added after the distillation process. The botanicals are added to the grain spirit in the belly of the still and left to infuse, but their website doesn’t say for how long it’s infused before distillation begins. They also add water from foothills of the Cheshire Plains at the beginning of the distillation process, rather than adding water at the end. It comes in at a relatively low ABV of 37.5%.
The Greenall’s Gin botanical recipe is ‘closely guarded secret, known only to the seven Master Distillers’, but they do give us hints:
The scent it quite light. Most prominent after the alcohol is lemon with just a hint of juniper. On the palate the most noticeable thing is sweetness. I’m not sure how it’s so sweet, it’s a London Dry so there isn’t any added sugar, but I suspect some of the secret botanicals are floral.
In a gin and tonic I wanted more kick, the sweetness of the gin along with sweet tonic left me craving a bit of spice, though it paired well with lemon peel.
Next I made the ‘marteani’. Using the honey and vanilla tea bags I made tea sugar syrup:
1/2 boiling water
4 tea bags
1/2 cup sugar
Infuse the tea bags in the boiling water to make a very strong tea, add sugar and stir until dissolved.
30mL tea syrup
30mL lemon juice
Combine ingredients with ice in a shaker, shake and strain into a martini glass, or a tea cup!
I wasn’t a huge fan of the ‘marteani’ but I think that was largely due to the artificial taste of flavoured tea. I think it would have been much more delicious with a regular black tea syrup. However think this style of cocktail is a good use for Greenall’s Gin, and iced tea or punch style.
Greenall’s Gin is a low price gin, and at around $30 expectations can’t be high. It’s perfectly serviceable for a ideal tasty punch.
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Disclaimer I was sent a bottle of Greenall’s Gin (oh, and a tea towel!) for review consideration. While I appreciate the generosity of this gift, my appreciation has not influenced this article.