Wint & Lila London Dry Gin review


The Three Amigos, Part I – The Cadiz Kid …

Regular readers will recall how this time last year our gin scouts, Bill and Lesley returned from holiday in the Canary Islands with a bottle of Macaronesian Gin, made using water flavoured by its passage through volcanic rocks.  Well on this year’s winter break they discovered three more gins having Spanish heritage so, with a nod to John Landis’s Mexico set comedy western, we bring you the first instalment of our Three Amigos in the form of Wint & Lila London Dry Gin.

Like the Macaronesian it comes in a solid stone bottle, though the styling is slightly spoiled by a stopper which looks as though it has been plucked from a baby’s slobbery lips: it promptly disassembled as I extracted it from the cork lined neck.  Better things lay beyond, however, as the sharp citrus (lemon, lime and orange) aromas get to work on our senses, along with the Juniper and a hint of mint.  Angelica and Angelica Root add some sweetness while cinnamon and coriander complete the cast list.

Along with the base grain spirit, they are distilled five times using the indirect, Bain Marie method which makes for a blessed marriage that echoes the producer’s Cadiz back story regarding the union of Juan de Wint and Margarita de Lila.  They in turn were the offspring of two successful merchant families who plied their trade through the port, better known to the English for Sir Francis Drake’s audacious raid which was said to have “Singed the King of Spain’s beard.”

Singeing the King of Spain’s beard

Today the 40% fragrant spirit comes from the Casalbor Distillery in Puerto de Santa Monica, but is widely available through on-line retailers and a few specialist outlets around Blighty.  It is perhaps not as distinctive as the Macaronesian, but compares well with the slightly stronger Gin Mare – another Spanish export we reviewed recently.

We’ve tried it with both Fever-Tree Indian and Fever-Tree Clementine tonics; and found ourselves wishing for some warmer weather to provide the perfect environment for what would make a lovely sundowner on the decking.

A professional Bain Marie