The London No. 1: The Story of A Blue Gin
Gin is everybody’s friend. Okay, not really, but it should be and could be. I was tardy to the party when it comes to gin. Now I get why it’s so popular.
In the 18th century from 1720 to 1751, a gin craze hit England. Due to the low price, the spirit was the selection for the poor. The spirit was so popular it was called “the mother’s ruin.” There were about 7,000 shops dedicated to gin. It was everybody’s favorite addiction. It created a hot mess.
Most people are familiar with the popularity of gin during the 1920’s. Who doesn’t think of flappers, The Great Gatsby, and Prohibition when gin is mentioned? One of the big reasons gin was popular was because it was easy to produce. A bottle was in the hands of everyone at all times of the day.
Gin has had another delicious revival. The glamour and charm of a gin cocktail is en vogue. It doesn’t hurt that millennials can’t get enough of it. There are new gins popping up every day. However, one that is causing a stir is The London Gin No. 1. It’s a seductive blue gin that was primarily intended for the Spanish market, but it’s getting attention around the globe. The bottle has won its share of design awards. It’s posh and sleek, just like the spirit.
The creators of the gin are Gonzales Byass, a Spanish wine company that also produces brandy, anisette, and botanical vodka. The triple-distilled gin is made under the direction of master distiller Charles Maxwell, in small batches in London. Made with the highest quality English grain from Suffolk and Norfolk, 12 exquisite botanicals from different countries are used in the distillation process. The botanicals include: juniper from Croatia, angelica root and savory from France, coriander from Morocco, liquorice from Turkey, cinnamon from Ceylon, almond from Greece, cassia bark from China, and lemon peel, orange peel, lily root, and bergamot from Italy.
The aquamarine color of the spirit is derived, in part, from gardenia flowers and bergamot oil. The vibrant aromas in the gin are floral, juniper berries, lavender, and citrus. Some of the cocktails that The London Gin No. 1 is perfect for a gin and tonic, gin martini, and negroni. This gin is also great on the rocks.
Here are two drink recipes suggested for this gin:
A drink that was popular during the 20’s was ‘The Bronx’. The drink allegedly was created pre-Prohibition by Johnnie Solan at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. It’s named after the strange animals that the bartender saw at the Bronx Zoo.
2 oz gin
1/2 oz dry vermouth
1/2 oz sweet vermouth
1 oz fresh orange juice
Shake all ingredients well with ice; then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Gin and tonics are a go-to cocktail for many people. While this drink requires few ingredients, it’s the skill with which it’s poured into the glass that makes it or breaks it.
This version of the cocktail is rather chic:
The Perfect Gin Tonic
(recipe from The London No. 1)
Fill a highball glass with ice. The large diameter rim will bring out all of the nuances of the gin.
Put a lemon peel in the glass to boost the flavour of the gin. Gently swirl the ice to cool the glass.
Gradually add The London Nº1 until the bluish colour is well-distributed throughout the glass.
Add two parts tonic water for each part gin. Do so slowly so the bubbles remain strong.
Flavour with an aromatic lime peel and add some juniper berries.