Old Bakery Gin review

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A Baker’s quartet –

As with many who have been involved in refurbishment work across the capital, I spent much of my time in the building trade wondering if the next bit of demolition might reveal some priceless relic – or perhaps an unexploded bomb.   My labours never turned up anything interesting, but for one enterprising individual, renovating a couple of run down properties in North London, a significant discovery came about through research rather than physical effort.

 

And although The Old Bakery in Palmers Green did give up something of value, it had been concealed over the past century for the simple reason it represented criminal activity.

 

While most of the moonshining going on in Britain today turns out high octane vodka, and although artisan gins are now seen as acceptable by most sections of society, the juniper juice was once branded as the ruination of the Victorian era’s working classes. Cheap, rough and mostly illicit, it blighted Blighty.

Mother’s ruin

Now, however, thanks to the efforts of the Puddick family – and this time with the blessing of HM Customs – this once covert gin recipe can be enjoyed by a growing number of enthusiasts; while we have our friend John Ward Turner to thank for providing us with a bottle of Christmas cheer from his local Majestic store.

Some way short of the 13 which traditionally constitute a ‘baker’s dozen’, Ian Puddick’s reinvention of the 100 year old recipe contains just four botanicals; though apart from the juniper, the makers are intent on keeping the other three a secret.  Apparently, having learnt of the building’s colourful history, the businessman contacted the former owner’s descendants for information regarding the gin’s constituents.

Those with more experienced taste buds than mine – such as the Gin Foundry’s reviewer – suggest that the quartet might include coriander seed and liquorice root. I can report that the effect in the mouth supports the 41.2% marked on the unusually interesting label: which also reflects some of the refurbishment work undertaken.

Not only was there a very tall chimney which had to come down – presumably by less spectacular means than celebrity steeplejack, Fred Dibnah used to employ – but Ian Puddick also restored the faded old sign and the ageing yellow colour scheme found on the interior walls.

Old Bakery Gin may be ‘linear’ compared to the taste of many more complex distillations, but the flavour is full and lasts well with ice, tonic and the recommended accompaniment of a grapefruit slice.

 

“I think it would work well either as a pre-dinner appetizer or alongside a swift lunchtime sandwich for busy city workers”

 

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