We are in the middle of a gin revival and it seems new labels are popping up almost every week.
Recently I met Christopher Tetley, co- founder of the newly-released Chilgrove Gin, produced in the West Sussex hamlet of Chilgrove at the foot of the South Downs.
Christopher explained a bit about gin’s heritage to me, saying: ‘English gin as we know it today has its roots in 16th century Holland.
‘It is derived from the juniper-based drink jenever, which was originally made using alcohol distilled from wine. The change to a cereal base occurred as a result of a wine shortage in Holland.’
Chilgrove Dry Gin is the first gin to be made in England using a neutral spirit distilled from grapes and it is the first time that master distiller Charles Maxwell has used this method.
I love that fact that here is a gin with a great story to tell and that it is based locally. This is definitely a complex gin with floral notes as well as citrus, particularly orange peel, spices and botanicals. It has a very smooth mouth feel and makes a delicious gin and tonic.
Available at Majestic, The General Wine Company, Petersfield and Hennings Wine Merchants from £29.