A marriage of citrus and spice…
As with the Oriental Spiced gin from this distiller, the Arabian Edition of this tangy tipple is also inspired by the romance of the Spice Routes, with the intense citrus and spice-led gin being influenced by the Iranian love for Persian black lemons, or ‘loomi’ (which are actually sun-dried limes).
“Used to create an earthy flavour to Middle Eastern chutneys and stews, black lemons play a central part in Persian cooking due to their sweet citrus flavour and the lack of bitterness in comparison to other lemons; it is the drying process that gives the lemons their blackness.”
The first sip of this London Dry-based gin brought on the powerful taste of black lemons, followed by a wave of zesty citrusy grapefruit-like flavours from the Timut peppers. On the palette, the softness of camphor and heat from the spices preside, which doesn’t grow in intensity unlike some spicy gin.
Timut peppers – a wonder food
Interestingly, native to the Himalayan region of Asia, whose people have been using Timut peppers for generations, not only for their taste but also for medicinal effects. Some of the most common benefits of the pepper include its ability to reduce pain: when it comes into contact with a person’s mouth or any other body part, the spice occupies the pain receptors and helps to eliminate the nervous system’s reactions of discomfort or worse.
The peppers also contains high levels of iron, so are deemed to be useful for the circulation by oxygenating the blood; while the concentrated zinc improves immunity. Timut pepper also contains antioxidants and organic acids such as phytosterols and terpenes that provide anti-inflammatory effects throughout the body. It also, apparently, stimulates the appetite and speeds up the metabolism. A wonder food indeed!
We purchased ours from Amazon, but Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose sell it too, for around £25.00
We very much enjoyed our Opihr Arabian with Indian tonic and grapefruit, although the recommended serve is with a citrus-based tonic and kaffir leaves. All in all, this 43% ABV distillation is one we’d buy again … purely for medicinal reasons, of course ….