I’ve been developing a taste for gin recently, thanks largely to Andrew Burtenshaw, internationally renowned supertaster and my co-hort at The Ugly Chapatti. Until recently I had no idea how the nuances and botanicals of different gins contributed to a completely unique gin and tonic experience. I suppose I knew this on some level, having enjoyed many gin & tonics made with Hendricks gin and cucumber, which were so good that I thought it was the end all be all gin. But thanks to Andrew, and to various bottles including Gin Mare, Bathtub Gin, and Trevathan gin (just to name a few), I’m discovering a whole new world of gin and tonics, where the gin, the tonic and the choice of garnish all contribute to a beverage that’s uniquely its own.
This was illustrated to (mostly) exquisite standards last night at The Pump House in Bristol, reputed for its vast gin collection. We stopped in for a quick G&T before dinner and experienced a gin journey that far exceeded our expectations.
Psychopomp Woden Distilled Gin
Psychopomp is a Bristol-based distillery whose flagship gin contains botanicals including juniper berries, coriander seed, angelica root, cassia bark, grapefruit zest and fennel seed.
This gin boasts a rich juniper flavour that is complimented by the coriander, angelica root and cassia bark. Grapefruit zest provides citrus notes with a slight bitterness that is rounded by the distinct but subtle fennel seed on the finish.
The Pump House served Psychopomp with Six O’Clock Tonic garnished with frozen grapefruit (a move I’ve copied since for other gins).
Psychopomp Ogmios Gin
This is Psychopomp’s seasonal spring gin, containing hints of lemon zest, honey suckle & lemongrass. Served with Six O’Clock tonic with ice cubes containing edible flowers. I thoroughly adored this and avowed to make some edible flower ice cubes of my own ASAP.
Skin Gin (Reptile Brown)
Skin Gin is a German dry gin, distilled near Hamburg, made with juniper, Moroccan mint, lime, lemon, grapefruit, orange and coriander. Cool bottole, too.
The Pump House served Skin Gin with Fentimen’s Light Tonic, kaffir lime leaves and white peppercorns. (Other suggested garnish is orange peel and rosemary, but we’re thinking about getting hold of a bottle so we can try something a little spicier in the garnish.) Regardless, this was by far the most memorable gin and tonic of the evening, totally different from anything we’d had before.
Hepple Gin boasts a three-stage process to bring out three levels of juniper. Although we’ve previously enjoyed Hepple Gin with Fever Tree Light, we were probably least enamoured with this particular iteration of gin and tonic (here garnished with apple and lemon twist). It seemed watered down somehow, particularly compared to the other drinks we were having.
The Pump House
Merchants Road, Hotwells, Bristol, BS8 4PZ