Fri. Jul 3rd, 2020

We help you to find a French Gin suitable to your taste!

31 min read

For a long time, relegated at a second role, notably behind Vodka and Rum, the Gin spirit meets a rebirth with a strong success, since the late 80s. To a large extent, dedicated to the universe of cocktails and particularly of mixology, providing much inspiration, as proves this floral creation (pictured nearby), realized by For Cocktail Sake. Comparing to vintage methods, from the producers’ side, the distillers nowadays use new aromatics and spices. With the constant goal to innovate new flavored elixirs, in order to make this legendary beverage great again and then, meet the demands of a more and more educated and sophisticated clientele (cover picture: Elephant Gin).

Among this new trend, we have the pleasure to discover that French players are really involved in this revival. Most of them are honored and proud to fall back on as much flavored grain or simply molasses distillate. For sure, this flavoring can be naturally carried out, by infusion or maceration of alcohol with spices, herbs and fruits, or even artificially, by the addition of natural or artificial essences. As a prerequisite, the Juniper Berry is the compulsory component of the Gin DNA. For your information, in Europe, the minimum required degree for a Gin is 37.5%, then the distillery may adjust, at their discretion, the taste and appearance, while for example adding sugar and coloring.

Although, the vast majority of Gins are made from a neutral grain alcohol or molasses. In the case of grain alcohol, their wort is often composed of a mixture of cereals, such as mostly corn, barley and other types of cereals (10%), including rye. By Alex Plato


We find it important to introduce the main production methods.

The usual method to produce the common distilled gin is recognized for its guarantee of quality. The distillation is often processed through batches, frequently conferred in traditional stills. Those alambics are heated with the help of a steam, using a resistance, placed at the bottom of the boiler. Then, this boiler receives neutral alcohol, reduced to around 45-60%. Once the alcohol is brought to a boil, the emanating vapors then absorb the aromas, composed of berries and aromatics. The less pure distillation heads and tails are recycled and then redistilled while the heating core is sent to the bottling center for dilution and bottling (photo credits: Cheers To Happy Hour).

The other alternative is the flavoring by maceration, this principle consists in macerating juniper berries, herbs and spices, directly in a neutral alcohol (usually at a level of 45%), by letting them soak altogether in alcohol or also by placing this ensemble, for 2 days approximately, inside sachets. Some distilleries filter the mixture before distillation, to separate the aromatics from the alcohol. Others distill all the ensemble, de facto producing an alcohol, particularly loaded with aromas (photo credits: Loft 14 Berlin).

Furthermore, the method of flavoring by infusion consists in hanging a cotton bag containing all the aromatics, including juniper berries and spices in the alambic, or placing those ingredients in a perforated chamber, installed in the bottom level of a still neck. Therefore, upon contact, the alcohol vapors infuse and soak up the essences, released by the herbs (photo credits: The Amazing Jules).

Last but not least, the compound gin relies on a technique, based on the mixture of a neutral alcohol (usually molasses). Thus, involving a concentrate of Gin aroma (cold compounding) or the same artificial essences of juniper berries, spices and aromatics (gasoline compound). This method does not involve any redistillation, since it is mainly used for the production of mass consumption Gin.


We start our exploration with a collaboration between the Vinet Delpech Distillery and the Dream Of Spirits. This first one has been able to respond to the original request for constituting a quality Gin project.

Whether in terms of container or content, this distillery is intimately pleased to offer their beverage expertise, distillation infrastructure (including 3 bottling lines) and their large distribution network, in order to support any kind of innovative projects, matching random potentials of customers‘ expectations. For instance, Vinet Delpech Distillery is ready to boost any adventure, attracted by their ready-to-go capacity, composed of different bottles shapes and decanters of all sizes, along stoppers, original capsules, labels and serigraphs to personalize, plus many other facilities. It’s a fact that the available tools and components is pretty wide, especially for any one willing to forecast a future in spirits.

In this case, the Dream Of Spirits has been seduced by this all-in-one structure, to help them to make their spirit dream come true and to give birth to the Hold Up Gin. 

Thus, this elixir is the result of a maturated collaboration influenced by the imagination of a writer, keen on crime novels. Therefore, the founder of this Dream Of Spirits project imagined a whole thematics around a police investigation to hold up this Gin! Indeed, as an epicurean, the guilty of this suspense initiative, he had a precise vision of the recipe of his singular investigation, deeply inspired by a detective story, from the brand name to the packaging details (starring a barrel-shaped stopper). 

Thereafter, the aftermath of this Hold Up Gin is an artisanal Gin distilled in a tradition copper alambic, located in the Cognac region, producing an achieved and balanced marriage of flavors, combining a pleasant and robust perfume, hopefully fulfilling you many gustatory sensations (photo credits: Dream Of Spirits).

Its unique recipe highlights at first sight, the quintessence of carefully selected botanical essences, including anise and coriander. Deeper in it, you would surely feel the soft notes of a juniper blend, in sweet harmony with the more pronounced notes of tonka bean, elegantly expressed in accordance with a slight hint of lemon. The texture in mouth offers a certain round length. The complex and very aromatic ensemble would appeal to any Gin enthusiasts. Since there are multiple possibilities to savor it, whether simply on the rocks, or mixed in a classic Gin Tonic (eventually decorated with Timut pepper berries, like in their alternative bloody red Vampyr Vodka). An other suggestion to accompany this Hold Up Gin in a Negroni or in any other random cocktail, where it will would surely make a solid and convincing aromatic base.

That’s not a surprise if this artwork won a well deserved Silver Medal for French Contemporary Style Gin at the World Gin Awards

More information on the official website, where you’re invited to explore the entire selection in the online store.


Created by sailors, above the Breton edges from the illustrious Gulf of Morbihan, we take the opportunity to taste the H2B Gin… (photo credits: H2B).
 
Who never dreamed to wet his lips in a glass full of an ocean of wild life? Here, this elixir is fueled by the passion of two founders, shared by Henri and Bertrand, for fine distillation. This ambitious spirituous project gave birth to their first baby boat, this homemade H2B Gin,  after two years of development and research.  
The initial objective was to create a range of fine spirits inspired with the surrounding local maritime identity and thus, mostly inspired by iodine. A sweet ingredient boosted by the benefits, emanating from the marine life.
 
This original production was made possible thanks to a specific process, starting from a committed distillation, offering qualitative and singular spirits. A bunch of aspects respectful of the environment and from the traditional patrimony.  
Indeed, their alcohols are distilled in their Stupfler alambic, which is a copper distillation system, heated with an open flame.

Once you get the bottle, you have to know that this H2B Gin is undoubtedly unique, thanks to a bucket of selected local plants, collected from the Breton coast.
Otherwise, this Gin pursues all the strength of its originality, within its distillation carried out in a traditional way, through a naked heat, inside a high-quality copper still.  
 
After the first sip, you would be surely bewitched by the strong expression of this “new generation” spirit, composed of authentic marine notes. Indeed, this distillate abound in an explosion of those aromatic plants, proud ambassadors of the local moor, such as the juniper berry, fresh thyme, lemon zest, coriander seeds, blackcurrant berries and from the Atlantic Ocean‘s fields, not to mention some sea brass, dulse seaweed.
 
In an other part, this young but inventive factory has more than one bag of tricks… since it also proposes rum (sourced from different regions around the world), vodka (released in July 2018) and would soon add their first whiskeys to maturation.  
  
More information on the official website, and find the closest store.

Not so far from Brittany stands the Normandy region, where you would find the Calvados Coquerel exploitation, famous for its multiple Calvados brandies, exported to all over the World! You may learn from them, notably in our dedicated article. Indeed, their small traditional column stills are not only intended for the production of this spirit, because since 2017, the manager Pierre-Martin Neuhaus has also decided to distillate from there his own Normindia Gin (photo credits: Calvados Coquerel).

Close to the Mont-Saint-Michel, this estate, established since 1937, enjoys a protected AOC label, guaranteeing a quality for their products (from the apple orchards until the final bottles). Logically inspired by the omnipresence of these multiple Norman local apple varieties, the recipe of this original Normindia Gin includes no less than 15 botanicals, as you would get more details below. 

For the story, after traveling six months through India, in order to into a new culture and of course new flavors, Pierre-Martin Neuhaus, the third generation at the head of this Domaine du Coquerel returned to France while keeping anchored this incredible experience, full of colors and spices.

Furthermore, thanks to his following stay in France and in the USA, he got the opportunity to get into other spirits, different than his native Calvados. This inspiration made him appreciate the whole complexity and aromatic diversity of Gin, that he got the idea to develop this Normindia project, once he joined the family distillery, in 2015. In fact, a hybrid name between his native Normandy region and India, where the young man identified real alternative kinds of scented benchmarks.

This was made possible thanks to a gastronomy book dating from 1765, entitled “La Chymie du Goût et de l’Odorat” by the time eventually approved by the King Louis XV, where he found a distillate recipe starring the illustrious juniper berry.

This was obviously the starting point of almost 2 years of research and introspection, to imagine how would stand this innovative juice, while still keeping a look for complementary botanical ingredients to fulfill the unique taste of this first Norman Gin. Then came the test sessions in the home laboratory, through no less than 42 macerations to find the right formula and 33 micro-distillations to get the proper aromatic balance, with the help of a team made up of flavorists, oenologists and distillers, to give birth to this brand new appealing elixir.

As far as we know, the choice has been taken to compose the inner juice with 15 natural botanicals, among them you would either detect regional essences, such as for sure apple, lily, coriander, juniper berry, but also more exotic ones: orange, cinnamon, clover and last but not least, ginger! We insure you that you may feel all of them in your palate! Thereafter, the solution would have been macerated between 4 and 12 days, before being distilled in the original Coquerel‘s column alambic, which is normally used for their Calvados and where the future Gin would embody its structure and roundness! 

The result is a smooth perfumed Gin, through seductive orange and floral notes, savors that you would also sense once in your mouth along other reminiscent apple, coriander and ginger major aspects, according to us! We recommend to appreciate this Normindia concept, either on the rocks or through a classic Gin Tonic, where the source material would better express itself, supported by to its delicate texture and its long fruitful finish.

More information on the official website, and also explore their authentic wide Calvados range.

Have you ever drunk a blue Gin, while wearing blue jeans in a citadel? Founded 30 years ago by Alexandre Gabriel, the Maison Ferrand proposes you a large choice of spirits and among them, an original creation to fulfill your needs, the Gin Citadelle. Protected in a true blue and delicately carved collector package, this first French artisanal Gin was born in 1996, after a long reflexion about its contents but also due to a turn of events. Indeed, his alambics basically dedicated for Cognacs, were meant to have a break… so the distillery decided to split them the other half of the year for this Gin production (photo credits: Maison Ferrand).

Everything takes place in the Château de Bonbonnet, where is luckily cultivated the Gin flagship ingredient, the juniper berry. Effectively, in this other maritime settlement, situated a few kilometers away of the famous oysters of Marennes-Oléron. Therefore, the local climate is suitable for a fertile agriculture, which basically welcomed the wild juniper bushes before the vine cultivation even happened… The house’s goal is to reach 5 hectares of cultivated junipers, in the next five years.
Its distillation along 18 other subtle and distinguished aromas, are invited to dance above the open flames, in those, not anymore, abandoned small copper stills! We do you a favor, while unveiling those 18 other spices: coriander, cardamom, angelica, cumin, nutmeg, almonds, cinnamon, star aniseblackcurrant, iris, violet, fennel, orange and lemon zests, plus confidential species, like liquorice, cubeb, grains of paradise and savory make together in one, in an atypical process.
 
That’s one of the reasons why you would notice that the concept of aromatic balance is the Maison Ferrand‘s main leitmotif. Thanks to 25 years of intense research, this distillery tweaked a patented technique, baptized the progressive infusion. In order to obtain a designed Gin, each of those 19 spices owns its proper infusion duration, according to their aromatic composition. This complete infusion process is made to last between 3 to 4 days, in a neutral French wheat alcohol, whose degree also varies according to the nature of the ingredient. For example, the juniper berries require a high level of alcohol and a long infusion, although the star anise is rather able to be brewed in a lower degree of alcohol and for a shorter time. A real combined work of goldsmith and chef at the same time!
 
Further, comes the distillation after the infusion, through a bewitching naked heat, in small Charente typed stills, of 25 hectoliters. Thanks to a kind drop by drop flowing, the Citadelle Gin would then suddenly appear, full of its complex and balanced aromas. Once in your palate, let yourself be drown within the major subtle juniper and citrus, anticipating a long finish. Like its blue bottle color, you would appreciate the fair alcohol content of 44%, allowing to alternate between intensity and finesse. Proud to be several times voted as Best Gin of the World in London, crowned by a shower of 60 medals, among them the Spirits of the Year at the World Spirits Award 2017 and as well the Gin Grand Master, also in London. Those prizes rightly distinguish the quality of this “blue Gin”, relevant to experiment through its complementary peppery, nutmeg and cinnamon gustatory pleasuresVolume: 70cl
 
Pursuing the ageless tradition of the Maison Ferrand, for their spirits maturation in barrels, they wished a certain revival of what made the prestige of vintage Gins, which also used to travel the World in wooden barrels!
After several years of experimentation, the Gin Citadelle Réserve was born to make you happy, with the help of its revolutionary formula, starring this time the use of ancestral aging techniques. This was made possible by choosing unique wood species with forgotten flavors, in order to wind up this jewel, no less than 5 months of aging, in those barrels. More concretely, you would attend a multiple wedding between acacia, mulberry, cherry, chestnut and oak woods, to flavor the endless juniper. Thus, several stages were necessary to succeed this renaissance of the illustrious golden Gins, a traditional vision is back!
 
At the end of this precise aging period, the final aromatic encounter happens in an egg-shaped oak barrel of 2.45 meters high, were would be cautiously refined this juice! As far as we know, this is such a consistent avant-garde maturing technique, really coherent with the inner Maison Ferrand‘s philosophy. All the more since the Citadelle Gins are the only spirits to date, to use this aging process, in France. This particular breeding enhanced by bottling at a 45.2% notable degree, both confer to intensify those herbaceous notes extracted from its dried spices, but also the combo of coconut peel, tobacco and orange blossoms’ touch. If you’re more sensitive to mature juices, this old Gin is for you! Thereafter, after a few seconds, a second nose would eventually bring out the lasting notes of juniper berries and green tea. Once in your mouth, let’s get seduced by the first silky impression, revealing an uprising spicy and peppery expression. Further in a raw tasting, the notes of dried tobacco would perfectly match the following compatible juniper, ginger, almond and citrus, for an unforgettable tasting experience… Volume: 70cl.
 
At a practical level, the Maison Ferrand thought of you, with some practicum suggestions, in order to appreciate as convenient as possible, their Gins. Therefore, here’s their recipe of their Citadelle & Tonic cocktail! Perfect to accompany a friendly aperitif, generously garnished with ice cubes in a balloon glass, with the shape of your choice…
 
Your friends would undoubtedly feel the soul of the Gin Citadelle Gin Original, that you would be glad to share. Just 4cl of this nectar are necessary, to implement with some quality Tonic. On top of that, add a lemon zest, quirkily chiseled to impress your community, and eventually spread the last lemon drops in and around! 
Another house tip, since the Citadelle Gins are made close to the sea, you would maybe sense some iodine, somehow appropriate to precede any sea fruits or fishes dishes, like the previously quoted H2B Gin!
 
More information on the official website, and get their last news.
 

Still in the West Side of France, but this time in the Loire Valley, we get in touch with the Combier Distillery. This historical factory transmits a certain proper know-how, alive and producing fine spirits since 1834, thanks to the initial keystones developed by its founder and also master distiller, Jean-Baptiste Combier and nowadays succeeded by Franck Choisne (photos credits: Combier).

This authentic Anjou institution, settled in Saumur, close to castles and roses fields, has experienced many evolutions, over the years, in order to keep itself anchored in the French heritage. Through several homemade recipes signatures of liquors, syrups and other kinds of spirits magnify a meticulous selection of fruits and plant aromas, mainly extracted from the ideal position of the Combier Distillery, inside the so-called “Jardin de la France”. A fertile area, rich in natural essences, thanks to a mild climate, baptized the “Douceur Angevine”. Those ideal conditions are conducive to source local products, even emanating from the river traffic, allowed by the Loire river, straight from the port of Nantes, bringing its share of exotic foodstuffs, to compose their ingredients.  

Deeply committed into this incomparable craftsmanship, enabled by the tradition that has built the success of this Combier Distillery, notably conveyed by the imagination of bartenders and baristas. Those players are prone to revisit those distillates and even to explore some affinities with gastronomy. A reference that still encourages the distillery to use the same 19th century copper alambics, shaped in long swan necks. Those are a must in the spirit industry, since they have laid the groundwork for the upcoming refining methods.

Passionately elaborated on those traditional solid foundations, we get in touch with a typical London Dry Gin, still conceived in this beautiful Anjou area, close to Angers. Inseparably named Gin Meridor, in tribute to the illustrious writer Alexandre Dumas. Indeed, this novelist mentioned Françoise de Maridor, lady of honor of Catherine de Medici, in one of his books, the La Dame De Montsoreau, then becoming the character of Diane de Meridor. 
 
This connection gave birth to a flavorful achievement, fruit of a single distillation of all the ingredients in the historic stills of the Combier Distillery. The original recipe was developed by the actual manager Franck Choisne, after more than two years of research. Purposely suited to this kind of spirit, the ancestral home long swan neck alambics are qualified to extract, for a crystalline transparence, a maximum of fragrances, from the carefully selected ingredients.
 
Thus, you would appreciate in this Gin Meridor a subtle spicy floral nose, that captivates many of the regional senses, from the sweetness of rose petals and elderflower, revived by a final touch of peppery notes. Both elegant and characterful, we bet that this is a Gin wouldn’t leave you indifferent, either for a single tasting or through an association with other compatible juices, like shows the example pictured above. 
 
More information on the official website, where you may explore some associated cocktail recipes, in the online store.

A tightening torque, back to nature…

This time we land in the Cognac area, with a Gin turning into a light pink robe! That’s was the avant-garde choice of Balbine Spirits. This project was initiated by Julien Maingraud in 2016, in order to bring some colors in this traditional spirits galaxy. Indeed, this Gin and mixology enthusiast already launched the ExtraTerrien blog in 2009, allowing him a wide mastering of those topics (photo credits: Alex Plato).

Associating with some olfactory talents and a Cognac producer, Julien dove into the Gin adventure within this Balbine given name, inspired by The Cocktail Hour book, written by Marcel Requien and Lucien Farnoux-Reynaud. Indeed, in this literary reference published deeply during the Roaring Twenties, in 1927, its authors have dedicated this effort to a certain Balbine, who was apparently their muse. Therefore, this woman seemed to be representative of this carefree period, full of essences from all kinds. Moreover, a sentence was extracted from the book to become the official Balbine Spirits‘ motto: “the cocktail is a gourmet kiss”. And which color would suit the best a kiss? Undoubtedly, pink!

In this case, Balbine Spirits proposes you to endorse a glamorous experience, thanks to fantasy detail, spread into two singular Gins available versions. A classical Balbine Spirits Gin and a Balbine Spirits Old Tom Gin, which is a softer Gin, perfect alternative for cocktails, like the timeless Gin Tonic.

 

Naturally Made in France and more precisely in the Corrèze department, in Auvergne, the simply Balbine Spirits Gin is composed of no less than 9 plants and spices, for sure including juniper berry above all, coriander, angelica, cardamom and even ginger! Then, the distillation is done in a Charentais type alambic, which is able to bring a lot of aromatic materials. Thus, those provide really fresh scented sensations until your nostrils, especially emanating from the juniper berries (photo credits: Balbine Spirits).

The other major point is the color of the Gin, particularly obtained by maceration of some dried hibiscus petals, at the end of the process of development, in order to brings an additional visual experience.
Once in mouth, you would be surely amazed by the surprising complex texture of this Gin, full of mixed compatible ingredients. A farfetched wedding between those juniper berries, the fresh coriander, before the floral final offered by a peppery hint. In fact, an original way to appreciate this nectar, whether nature or in a Gin Tonic. Try at home the Balbine Spirits Gin Tonic, including 5 cl. of the Balbine Spirits Gin, 15 cl. of a good Tonic and a couple of dried hibiscus flowers for decoration! Volume: 50cl, recommended price: 33 euros.

 

On the other hand, we have a look on the Balbine Spirits Old Tom Gin, a genuine concentrate of history in a bottle, since its recipe comes straight from the British prohibition, occurred in the 18th Century! Effectively, during this period, many wooden plates, in a cat shape, were mounted on some pubs‘ facades, starring the Old Tom patronym. For your information, this revolutionary concept was in fact a clandestine idea, invented by the Puss & Mew distributors. The principle was to attract the Gin lovers, who just had to discreetly whisper the “Kitty” words to get their favorite elixir, in return for 2 pennies, only if they heard back the “Meow” term. 

In a way to pursue this subversive tradition, the updated French version of this Old Tom Gin relies on the original recipe, unless a slight touch of sugar brought in extra. A sweetness already recognizable within the round juniper comforting fragrance, still significant in your pinky glass. Indeed, during your tasting, you wouldn’t miss the velvet and aromatic long floral notes, punctuated by a sparkling peppery background. It’s not a doubt that this old-school edition is definitely suitable on ice, and of course better in a cocktail form, notably through a Martinez or a Tom Collins. This ancestral cocktail is also homemade possible, if you wanna see your life in pink! The formula is simple, mix together 6 cl. of Balbine Spirits Old Tom Gin with 2.5 cl. of lemon juice, in ice cubes. On top of that, complete your glass with sparkling water and a lemon zest for decoration. Volume: 50cl, recommended price: 33 euros.

More information on the official website, where you may explore their wide spirits selection, in the online store.

Unless its name sound very British, this Thompson’s spirits structure is really French! At the beginning, the founder of this unique adventure, an “English Man in Bordeaux” noticed that many French regions had developed at least their own brandy. In another way, he has always been surprised that his native famous region of Bordeaux was deprived of this asset (photo credits: Thompson’s).

Thus, during one of his several walks in those local wineries, Simon Thompson had the chance and the opportunity to discover all the possibilities allowed by the Fine Bordeaux appellation.

Inspired by the heritage of the region and the quality of its grape varieties, such as Ugni blanc and Colombard, distilled twice and then maturing many years in traditional copper stills, plus in Limousin oak barrels, Simon Thompson decided to create in 2010 his own range of spirits, composed of Fine Bordeaux, Vodka, Brandy and Gin, and only made from Bordeaux grapes.

The result is a subtle alliance between an ancestral local know-how in wine production and a contemporary brand identity, developed by this Thompson’s spirit revealing the multiple rich historic ties, uniting Aquitaine and England.

For instance, the entity proposes two sorts of Gins, the first is simply baptized Thompson’s Gin, made from the maceration of fifteen natural ingredients, including Aquitaine Caviar, peaches and of course the unmistakable grape distillation. This distilled floral and aromatic Gin includes lemony notes doubled with a notable presence of juniper, exactly suiting for any kind of cocktails, such as the classic Gin Tonic.

The second item is considered as the Gin du Sommelier, matured in specific barrels from the Château Labouade, located in Sauternes. Packed in numbered bottles, surmounted by a gracious glass stopper, bringing the light inside the solution, this round but intense distillate offers structured herbal and tasty notes. Furthermore, this spirit is described as “elegant and intense, with a silky texture, its complex spicy notes bring originality and length, whether you taste it pure, in a cocktail or within your favorite Gin & Tonic formula”, admits Andreas Larsson, a former World Best Sommelier.

More information on the official website, where you may explore the entire selection in the online store.


We stay in Bordeaux, exploring another distillery, the Moon Harbour. Based in a former German WWII bunker. This recent project, refers to the famous crescent moon drawing the Garonne river, at the entrance of the city. This shape is so emblematic, that it also appears on its coat of arms!

It’s a proper way to remind you that in the past times, on the cobblestone docks of the aptly named Port de la Lune, the Bordeaux berths waited to be loaded at night, on departing ships (photo credits: Moon Harbour).

The Moon Harbour adventure started with the help of a recognized craftsman from Bordeaux, Jean-Louis Stupfler, designer of his homonym alambics, also used by many distillers above; as well as plenty of famous local winehouses, notably specialists in Sauternes. A collective work which proves that in terms of human skills, good assemblies also count.

For instance, their own Gin has been developed Moon Gin, while using the famous London Dry Gin technique. You have to know that the ingredients employed in their Gin slowly infuse, within a sluggish distillation, which dominates the impression of bitterness of the juniper berries. The final touch is slightly spicy, accompanied by the lemongrass flavors, enhanced all of their aromas.

A unique recipe that brings freshness and intensity to their homemade spirit, composed for sure of combava citrus from Reunion Island, coriander and goji berries mainly in Chinatimut or grapefruit pepper, straight from Nepal, moreover Espelette pepper, native of the French Basque region. So we advise you to try this cosmopolitan combination and tell us your feedback!

As you know, this premium distillate would unequivocally surprise you for sure… As you know, this Gin can also be enjoyed alone with ice, accompanied by mint leaves, or in a cocktail, like the famous Gin Tonic, neutral in aroma… A good recommendation, in order to avoid inhibiting the sincere aromas of this Moon Gin.

More information on the official website, where you may explore the entire selection in the online store.


Have you ever tried a Gin made with apples? We have previously seen that the Gin galaxy is fulfilled by its complexity and by original and even some antagonistic perfumes (photo credits: Drouin).

The Gin range developed by the famous Normandy based, Christian Drouin distillery, contains more than 30 varieties of apples. Since three generations, famous for its Calvados and its Ciders, this family affair masters the art of blending premium eaux-de-vie. Pursuing this spirit, a trio of artisanal Gins were homemade imagined by Guillaume Drouin. Thus, it’s been a few years now that the use of Calvados has been developing in cocktail bars and its related universe appeared as a real inspiration, especially for launching innovative sensorial spirit experiences.

For your information, the production process of this house flagship item, baptized Le Gin, comes from a rigorous distillation lead in small stainless stills, including Ciders naturally from Normandy, as well as from the distillation of the inevitable juniper, completed by a selection of seven other regional typical herbs.

Indeed, the starting point for Le Gin (launched in 2015) was to look for any flavorings that could complement and enhance the compatible heavy and high balance between juniper and cider apple, really crunchily explicit in the smell and of course in the taste! After having distilled those different aromatics separately, a final selection of eight plants, representative of the Calvados soul, have been married to prepare a flavorful blend. For instance, you could imagine a real work operated on proportions, in order to adjust this patchwork as close as possible to the original Gin recipe, since the plant-by-plant distillation protocol requires a case-by-case attention before a general batch communion. 

 

Once got your precious elixir, you may admire the sky blue packaging of the bottle, a mix between anchored tradition and an aerial personality. After your first sip, you would feel this singular result, as an osmosis between ginger, vanilla, cinnamon and almond offering a slight touch, along rose and lemon bringing their vision of finesse, strengthened by the power of spicy and round notes of cardamom and cinnamon.

Furthermore, you may also explore the other Gin reference. The Calvados Cask Finish Gin benefits from the mature house spirit aging know-how. That’s why, the Christian Drouin tribe decided to raise a limited volume of their Gin. Just a bunch of old 225 liter Calvados barrels have been selected to age some Gin, during six months, and to give birth to a more complex juice, reinforced with apple aromas.

An other alternative would be the Gin Carmina, a blend dedicated to red fruits, where Guillaume Drouin continues to explore new flavor associations.

The distillery recommends to appreciate its product, either pure or on ice, a good way to feel the subtlety of its aromas. Otherwise, the second option would be within the traditional Gin Tonic, better in a large balloon glass, adorned with ice and two thin slices of freshly cut apples, innately macerated in a little Calvados liquor bath.

Two other cocktail recipes are also proposed:

  • The legendary Gin Fizz, with the following contents to mix with a shaker: Gin: 6cl, lemon juice: 4cl, sugar syrup: 2cl, sparkling water: 12cl.
  • The Angel Face cocktail, from a 1928 recipe, a Roaring Twenties creation in homage to the French actress Annabella:, starring: Gin: 3cl, Calvados: 3cl, Apricot liquor: 3cl.

More information on the official website, where you may explore the entire selection in the online store.


Still in Normandy, the C’est Nous distillery proposes their own vision of Gin. Settled in Caen, this artisanal production, was launched in 2016 by a British citizen and a sommelier lady. The Gin C’est Nous project was born from their mutual project to provide more popularity to promote the culture of premium Gins, in France. Based on an example on how it goes in its England neighbor, where Gin breaks records of sales (photo credits: C’est Nous).

They wanted an aromatic Gin, dressed with an endowed beautiful freshness. Their spirits are slowly distilled in a single-pass copper still, before being bottled and cautiously finalized by the manufacturing team. A good way to enhance their Gin, made from French wheat alcohol and 9 precious herbs including the emblematic juniper berry, as well as Angélique roots, lemon, orange and coriander. Those elements are infused, during a consistent maceration of these spices, kicking off the distillation. After this distillation phase, the Gin get the opportunity to be stored in stainless steel alambics, for a period of several days in order to allow the juice to get harmonized.

Therefore, you would appreciate a very perfumed Gin C’est Nous, it makes you want. Once in mouth, the attack is on juniper berry, then followed, by the freshness of citrus notes. In fact, a good balance results on slightly spicy accents, notably thanks to coriander, before a lingering final gustative moment. This multi-awarded elixir is designed either for a pure tasting, or via any cocktail, for sure like the G&T… Available online, 40° for a 70cl edition.


Satisfied with a rich experience into the rum galaxy, two associates Thibault de la Fournière et Christian Vergier launched in 2015 a new Gin section for their Ôdevie Creative Spirits, thus anticipating the strong development of this spirits category nowadays (photo credits: Ôdevie Creative Spirits).

The original idea was to create a French Gin, fueled by fine aromatic fragrances, composed of carefully selected natural ingredients. A way to show the generosity of Mother Nature… That’s why this nectar, evolved (once again) in the region of Cognac, has logically been baptized Generous Gin, offering two distinct expressions dedicated to all kind of tastes, still depending on the way you usually savor this beverage.

Furthermore, in any store, you couldn’t miss their innovative packaging, a porcelain flask, fully adorned by inspired by a vegetal wall of flowers and leaves. This initial ideal for this design was to reconstitute a traditional botanist bottle,  one starring black patterns for the Original Gin and green for the Organic Gin, both interspersed through an opal immaculate white background and surmounted by an elegant wooden stopper.

 

Regarding the Original Generous Gin, this elixir exudes a subtle and floral perfume, at first glance. This was made possible thanks to a balanced wedding between a dominant base of juniper, softened by a slew of white flowers’ petals, such as elderberry and jasmine, among other secret contents…

Deeper in your mouth, you would undoubtedly feel the various notes of tangerine and lemon, giving birth to a fruity and floral aromatic explosion. The final notes are considered as long as enriched, due to persistent notes of red pepper, citrus and spices providing a fresh wind to this distilled Gin, suitable for being combined into a Gin Tonic (decorated with some pink berries and a basil leaf), or simply “On the rocks” and even associated with a whole plate of fresh oysters. 

Available online, 44 ° for a 70cl edition.

 

Regarding the Organic Generous Gin, the same secret base notes have been kept, with the adding of new organic shades. However here, you would be seduced by different nuances of fresh exotic lemon, still set on an even fresher and delicate juniper seat, delivering fruity notes of combava and coriander. Those two botanicals bring a reasonable balance, and likewise a bit of acidity, pursued with a slight bitterness, sensitive from attack to final mouthing. A couple of attributes that would surely delight any fans of Dry Martini

Indeed, the constant alcohol degree of 44 °, has been specifically studied to fulfill the countless expectations regarding the mixology science, and thus attribute the full expression of a lively and universal Gin, fitted with a light and shiny texture, open to all!

With the help of those benefits, the Organic Generous Gin is recommended to be appreciated in a pure way or just lengthened with a very good Tonic Water.

Available online, 44 ° for a 70cl edition.

More information on the official website, where you may explore the entire selection in the online store.


A new organic Gin for you, with this Monsieur Gin. The production is made in the Spirits Valley (situated in Cognac), by Cyrielle Arnold from ARSpirits. The basic philosophy was to produce different types of spirits, but always with the objective to respect an ethic, green and sustainable method. For that reason, the distillery is certified ECOCERT and USDA organic, those two entities bringing a recognition for its involvement paid for the promotion of a certain organic and responsible agriculture.

Adding to this, the ARSpirits parent company offers 1% of its revenues to support the ReforestAction, the trees plantation in France and thus to avoid deforestation, plus engages its forces with SURFRIDER association through their MAX&O collection, which intervenes in particular regarding the waste reduction, and coastal planning and raising awareness answer to the endless actual issues emanating from the climate change (photo credits: Monsieur Gin).

 

Regarding this gluten-free and vegan Monsieur Gin, this is also the first French spirit to be infused with verbena leaves and elderflowers, respecting the traditional London Dry Gin recipe. Then, in order to reach the purest result as possible, the distillation is processed in a copper alambic, before a reduction carried out with local Gensac-La-Pallue pure spring water. Once the operation is ready, you would admire that each of their bottles are numbered, reinforcing the exclusive and handcrafted side of their production.

Thanks to a delicate and precise tradition, this gluten free Monsieur Gin has abilities to express the best wedding between the fresh notes of coriander and verbena, behind the juniper berries, to feel once your glass is filled.
When you taste this original Gin, it’s a true fact that there’s a sweet and correct balance between what you smell and what you savor, thanks to an able combination between a harmonious and elegant texture, some freshness and creamy penchants. On top of that, Monsieur Gin may be appreciated either pure on the rocks, in cocktails or can paired with appetizers.

More information on the official website, where you may explore the entire selection in the online store.


Furthermore, we step into a revolutionary German Gin… Indeed, like the non-alcoholic Rum imagined by the French Lyon-based company Fin Pallet, their German neighbors from Bonn, the Rheinland Distillers developed a non-alcoholic Gin version. Inspired by its fellow “real” homemade Siegfried Rheinland Dry Gin‘s original recipe, the Siegfried Wonderleaf faced this unbelievable challenge to happen as an authentic Gin alternative, while keeping the native identity! Indeed, this classic Dry Gin already held an incomparable taste, really distinctive thanks to a weighted composition made 18 fine botanicals. Among them, a large part has been given to the linden blooms highlighting this floral spirit. These come from the illustrious linden tree, as a tribute to this legendary element of the ancient German Nibelung Saga, especially when a leaf landed on Siegfried’s back, while he enjoyed his bath in the blood of a dragon. Like in this Saga, incredible but true, this elixir holds all the gustatory assets usually found in a Gin, from the smell until the mouth… Unless, it may not be officially called as a Gin, since a regular Gin requires at least 37.5° alcohol volume, facing the statement (photo credits: Rheinland Distillers).

Otherwise, you would be amazed to discover the complexity of this Siegfried Wonderleaf, embodied with no less than 18 distinct botanical essences, necessary to flavor this unmissable element of your future soft cocktails! A perfect match for anyone who can’t or don’t want to drink anymore alcohol, while feeling the inner tasting memories of a premium Gin, still without any artificial flavors nor additives.

For your information, this challenging project started with a random social media prank, initiated on April Fools’ Day 2016 when a non-alcoholic edition of the Siegfried Rheinland Dry Gin was eventually and in a humorous way announced. This joke made such a big buzz, that the Rheinland Distillers finally took seriously all the clientele‘s ideal vows, and started the development of this singular soft version of their Siegfried Rheinland Dry Gin, only based on natural botanicals and even without any sugar added! As far as we know, their secretly kept technique achieved to extract and macerate this vegetal basis, through a traditional distillation, very similar to a classic Gin method, but reaching a non-alcoholic prowess. The result turned into a successful Gin imitation, enriched with vegan and diet values, since it only contains 2 kcal for 100ml… Don’t feel guilty anymore at the cocktail bar!

As you may have understood it, suitable for alcohol-free people, such as pregnant women and kids, this poetically named Siegfried Wonderleaf is undoubtedly a proper initiation for some wise mixology, since it’s highly recommended to employ it mixed with other juices. Find some recipes suggestions on their dedicated section. Regarding the conservation tips, once opened, you may enjoy your own Siegfried Wonderleaf at least 8 weeks, without refrigerating, but avoid it from heat.

More information on the official website and explore their wider selection on the online store.


The last player here is also German, but very committed into humanitarian actions… Indeed, since 2015, Elephant Gin has been supporting the exemplary work of different wildlife associations. For instance, 15 % of proceeds, from every large bottle of Elephant Gin, are donated to two philanthropic African foundations, committed to save the African elephant species from extinction, Big Life Foundation and Space For Elephants Foundation. In another hand, 15% of profits from their miniature bottles go towards Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, an elephant orphanage, located near Nairobi. This especially in order to support various direct associated costs including round-the-clock specialist care, proper nutrition, veterinary care & treatment, medications, keepers’ salaries and a well-constructed and maintained stockade for housing (photo credits: Elephant Gin).

This laudable action wouldn’t be possible without focusing on the quality of the three distillates proposed by the factory. In 2013, they developed the award-winning Elephant London Dry Gin (45%) that uses 14 rare African botanicals combining rare African ingredients, with an undertone of mountain pine plus other herbaceous notes, and fresh apples and focuses on resolutely artisan production methods. 

In addition to this, each bottle is custom-made and embossed with a crest in the shape of the typical tribal shield. Indeed, Elephant Gin’s labels are hand-written by a calligrapher and carry the name of a past great tusker or elephant that its partner foundations currently help to protect.

Furthermore, since December 2015, the company has complemented its portfolio with an aromatic Elephant Sloe Gin (35%) and in 2017, Elephant Strength Gin (57%). In both cases, releasing a strictly limited small batch edition of each handcrafted Elephant Gin bottle. Combining the taste of the award-winning Elephant London Dry Gin, with the classic flavor of fresh sloes, those wild berries are added in a richly rounded, lightly sweet and exquisitely fruity bouquet, as well as a typical warm red color.

Compared to other sloe gins, Elephant Sloe Gin has a relatively low sugar content, paired with a higher alcohol volume of 35 percent. This makes it ideally suited to mixing in cocktails as well as enjoying neat. All of their Elephant Sloe Gin bottles are adorned with beautiful traditional beads, handmade by three Maasai tribe members from Kenya.

Otherwise, the Elephant Strength Gin encompasses twice the quantity of botanicals and a focus on the extraordinary African buchu, sweet orange peel and herbaceous mountain pine. This powerful Gin, like the elephants, is intense and full-bodied, rich in fresh aroma and a higher viscosity than the original; really dedicated for cocktails or to decorate your boat, since their bottles’ design takes inspiration from its naval origins, illustrated with navy blue accents and an inviting map of the ocean, conjuring far-flung exploration and the spirit of adventure anchored at the heart of this responsible brand.

One last key point, after a long back-and-forth struggle with strict packaging regulations, Elephant Gin (also branded Satao Gin in Benelux) has managed to replace the standard PEC/PET plastic shrink, usually present on bottle caps, by fully-biodegradable shrink sleeves. Thus, thanks to polylactic acid, many of their packagings are 100% plastic free, moreover filled with those characteristics:
– Made out of recyclable glass
– Closed airtight with natural cork
– Sealed with a biodegradable shrink sleeve
– Adorned with a glass-bead string
– Secured with carton instead of bubble wrap

More information on the official website, where you may explore the entire selection in the online store.

1 thought on “We help you to find a French Gin suitable to your taste!

Leave a Reply