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Hidden Curiosity Gin

Showing our Hidden Curiosities

We were curious. And now we know!

In a week where London has mostly been shrouded in mist and murk we decided to reveal our inner Hidden Curiosities. And what a strange word curiosities is. Just look at it. All sorts of i and s action in there.

Anyway. We discovered this little gem in the hind-quarters of London’s most social and eclectic offie – Gerry’s Wines on Old Compton Street. Having tripped over the eager beaver flogging sumptuous, smooth and delightfully bottled “Hackney Gin” from Our/London, we found ourselves nestled near gins.

Packaged in a tiny but cute square bottle (50ml size) we loved the typography and the back-of-label illustration. Upon further investigation it touts 20 “intriguing” botanicals. We guess at least 6 are not really packed with intrigue at all. Just along for the Murder Mystery weekend and pretending to be all shady and complex. The lovely folk who make it are based in the Surrey Hills: not an area renowned to be nature’s home of intrigue.

Curiosities jammed into this broad-shouldered pert package of citrus-y crispness include Japanese yuzu and a veritable rainbow of peppercorns. We found ourselves to be fresh out of yuzu for a garnish (poor stock-keeping it must be said). Crying shame. So we went for basic Fever Tree tonic and some pink grapefruit peel. BAM. Three drinks later; no one is keen to hide any degree of curiosity at all. So that all went well then… Well worth exploring it as a super dry martini too.

Bangkok, the home of Thai gin

It’s a couple of months since we started Dry July and gave up the sauce. But in honour of Lord Brace taking leave of London and heading to the Far East, we bid him fare-thee-well with some gin. Thai gin. That’s right. Gin. From. Bangkok…

We were fortunate to be speaking at, and sponsoring, the inaugural IFC Asia earlier this year. It was an inspiring opportunity to learn more about the amazing fundraising going on across Asia. Given we were in Bangkok we escaped for an hour to check out some Iron Balls. Imagine our surprise when it turned out to be a polished beautiful tall strapping and bronzed… distillery.

Nestled in a back street, the bar and distillery makes a fruity and cheeky gin called Iron Balls. They show the versatility of their spirit with a small menu of great mixer : garnish combinations.

With a welcome as warm as the city, though less sweaty, we enjoyed a chat about all-things gin, and bought a little of it back to Blighty.

Aside from being utterly impossible to pour from the squat uniquely orb-esque bottle, this gin rocks. It slaps you in the face with a barrage of fruit and coconut. These show hints of its ancestry: they first make pineapple and coconut wine, then distil a vodka from it, and then craft their gin from that homemade (do you see what we did there?) spirit. You can read a proper grown-up story all about it here.

It works brilliantly with exciting citrus garnishes – mandarin, mango and pineapple – as well as pepper or ginger and lemongrass. Even apple!

It is a little shy so we went for a “strong” pour rather than mucking about – and mixed it with basic Fevertree Tonic. Good times, or ไชโย as they type in BKK.

If you find yourself in Bangkok – look up the bar!