Attend any gin tour and you will hear stories about the growth of gin, including how gin came to be after the introduction of Jenever, a strong Dutch liqueur that was flavoured with Juniper for its medicinal properties.
Distilled to around 50% abv, this very early drink, which is also thought to give rise to the term ‘Dutch Courage’, was adapted to produce British Gin
Others however says that Gin itself was also invented by a Dutchman, William of Orange, the Dutch king of England, who first made the drink in 1689.
1689 Gin is the result of an 18 month journey of discovery, by 2 Dutch lads, who decided to trace the history of this spirit and discovered an ancient recipe located in a dark corner of the Royal British Library’s rare book section.
After acquiring the rights to this recipe, they set about recreating it with the help of Herman Jansen, the Dutch distilling company.
Within the recipe book of this original gin, it is recommended that it is served with Strawberries and Raspberries, ‘bruised’ in a glass, therefore creating the very first ‘Pink Gin’
Using this inspiration, 1689 have added these two fruits to the distillation of their original recipe 1689 gin, to create the Queen Mary Edition, named after King William III’s wife.
The bottle is striking in its bright pink frosted glass with gold numbering, you couldn’t miss this on a shelf, flamboyant Dutch friends come to mind, loud and in your face, but totally adorable.
On opening of the bottle, fruit is noticeable in the aroma, however this is not overpowering and Juniper is still strong.
Sipping neat, the spirit is surprisingly refreshing with little to no alcohol burn, despite its 38.5% abv.
The red fruits add a touch of sweetness on the palette, while citrus brings a freshness. The finish is complex with a hint of sweet spice.
Adding a tonic brings the fruit alive further and it creates a gin and tonic that is so light and pleasing, that you can finish a double in ‘double quick’ time and before you know it, the bottle is half empty.
One of the things I love about gin, is its diversity. How it adapts to the botanicals used to showcase its origin, I love a gin with a big personality, one that hits you in the face with its own signature, but this doesn’t do that.
It doesn’t overwhelm me with it’s presence or being, in fact what it does is discreet, reserved and its quite the opposite of any Dutch people I know (Sorry if you’re reading this), its quiet and subtle, but despite all of that – I love it.
The calmness of the flavours work well, its subtleness doesn’t take away from its complexity – would I buy it – definitely.
1689 gin is available online in the UK from site such as Master of Malt
I was sent this gin as a sample from the producers of the product in return for an honest review – all thoughts and opinions contained within are the thoughts of Manchester Food Tourist