Sips of silken dew …
As promised on the exquisite porcelain bottle, Dancing Dragontail Summer Gin is absolutely redolent of the season’s warmth, flora and fauna but also … well, with hints of mystery and magic, which are revealed when you add the tonic.
For when the mixer joins its spiritual partner, the resulting cocktail does exactly the same as Black Dog – morphing from clear to opaque: “like moonlight on water,” as the writing on the bottle hints – I’ll look for the fairies later, once the fragrant, enchanted lanterns are lit …
Both of your gin bloggers like this grain-based spirit very much, seeing that we approved of the cardamom and zesty pink grapefruit on the nose – we tasted ours with a twist of lime, as recommended by the makers, along with Indian tonic and lashings of ice. Spot on for a warm summer’s evening, the cassia bark, orris root and angelica root, alongside the wild juniper from Kossovo, add just that touch of sweetness on the palate; while the finish is fragrant cardamom, the cassia offering a pleasantly spicy, but subtle, finale.
The small batch gin, at 48% ABV, doesn’t give you that “I’ve just been kicked in the teeth by a donkey” feeling like some of a similar strength do; it’s way too sophisticated for that. Indeed, the bottle tells you all you need to know, the classy watercolour artwork of gently floating Dragontail butterflies is by Helen Sweeting; while a haiku graces the shoulder, one of my favourite forms of poetry: all hinting at the refined contents within.
Fragrant lanterns rise
Through a dancing citrus mist
Sips of silken dew.
(The Gin Kitchen)
The Gin Kitchen – based in the aptly-named Punchbowl Lane in Surrey, was conceived by two best friends Kate and Helen, in January 2016. They believe that creating fabulous spirits is an art form, hence art underlines everything they do and why they work with several talented artists of pen and paintbrush, to present their own artisan offering in the form of rum, absinthe and – of course, their raison d’être – gin.
Give me floral gin
Ripe cardamom in the sun
Dragontails will dance.
Launched by its distillers The Gin Kitchen in May 2017 at Fortnum and Mason, demand was so high for Dancing Dragontail that the retailer sold out in the first week – this didn’t surprise either of us, as it is worthy of a place in our Top Ten … once we’ve decided which of the rest to relegate. For around £45, Dancing Dragontail Summer Gin can be purchased from its makers or found online.
You can also take your bottle to be refilled, as it’s simply just too beautiful to throw away …