We will make a bold claim and say gin is one of the most nuanced white liquors offered today. Its neutral alcohol base downplays a complexity that stems from numerous gin styles and the combination of botanicals that can dramatically alter a gin’s taste.
While traditional London Drys contain juniper in various quantities, new age varieties, especially those hailing from Asia, do away with juniper altogether and toy with native ingredients to flavour the spirit. A broad playing field exists for gin’s components. That, coupled with modern drinkers who are more educated and discerning, has led to one British microdistillery’s offering of a gin tailoring service.
The Cambridge Distillery, run by William Lowe, is the first in the world to allow customers to create their very own bespoke gin. Lauded for its creation of Watenashi, the world’s most expensive gin made with an extremely low-yield distillation method, as well as its production of a wood ant gin that was served at René Redzepi’s Noma, the gin tailoring scheme is but another notch on the bedpost for a distillery challenging the norms of the spirit.
Much like a perfume service of the same persuasion, drinkers can opt to have a consultation with the distillery in order to better craft something to their liking. At the one-on-one session, the client goes through a blind tasting with numerous gin flights to better determine their palate preferences, and to tailor a gin that forms the right fit.
Fees begin at a humble £400 (S$735), and steadily increase depending on the botanicals required. It’s a standard one bottle for the fee, but up to 60 can be produced.
A premium tier to this service also exists. For a starting price of £5,000 (S$9,200) Lowe himself can come and tend your personal garden, sourcing for herbs, flowers and roots you (or your army of gardeners) have grown. With his loot comes a gin that takes the concept of a personal drink to another level, since it is seasoned with your own botanicals. Small price to pay? You decide.
Gin tailoring is currently available only in London, by advance appointment. Don’t despair just yet, as this microdistillery is the first, but potentially not the last to enter the market with such a unique concept.
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