ARTICLE: Fruit Infused Gin

If you watched Sunday Brunch on Channel 4 this past weekend, you will have seen Olivier Ward from Gin Foundry showcasing a selection of fruit infused gins.

There's been a big rise in the number of fruit infused gins on the market in recent times, and it shows no signs of stopping. These gins are infused after distillation, hence the reason they are coloured - and should not be confused with citrus based but non-infused gins such as Brockmans.

The first gin featured was Williams Chase Pink Grapefruit gin

We discovered from Olivier that Chase haven't just infused one of their (multi award winning) gins with pink grapefruit to create this new variety, but instead they created a new one specifically. The custom “base” gin features juniper, coriander seed and lime peel amongst its other botanicals, including, as you might hope for, pink grapefruit. This results in a fresh citrus gin in which the grapefruit stands out - but wait, there's more ...

Once the initial distillation process is complete, the gin undergoes a rapid maceration where it is infused with yet more fresh pink grapefruit. The dual use of grapefruit (both during and after distillation), results in a less distinct colour than the other gins featured (below) but a vibrant grapefruit presence.

The drink served was a Grapefruit and Cucumber Bliss, consisting of the following:
  • 50ml Williams Pink Grapefruit Gin
  • 20ml fresh pink grapefruit juice
  • 15ml HOH Cucumber syrup
  • 12.5ml fresh lemon juice
  • Pink Grapefruit Tonic Water
Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker together with ice cubes, and shake. Strain into a highball glass over crushed ice. Garnish with fresh cucumber and a slice of pink grapefruit

The second gin featured was Warner Edwards Rhubarb gin. Olivier told us that this one of the best selling gins of 2017 and so it proved, as most online stockists were showing as "sold out" by mid-afternoon on Sunday.

I am more familiar with Edinburgh Gin's Rhubarb & Ginger Liqueur, so this is one that I shall be looking out for on my Gin Journey.

The rhubarb is from a crop originally grown in the kitchen garden of Buckingham Palace during the reign of Queen Victoria, and the juice is extracted using traditional presses before being blended with their Harrington Dry Gin to produce this gin at 40% ABV (compared to 20% for Edinburgh Gin's liquer).

The suggested drink was a Rhubarb Sour consisting of:
  • 50ml Warner Edwards Victoria’s Rhubarb Gin
  • 20ml lemon juice
  • 20ml sugar syrup
  • Dash of Angostura Bitters
  • 1 egg white (optional)
  • Blackberries and lime wedge for garnish
Dry shake (without ice) then all ingredients together, then shake again with ice and pour into a rocks glass filled with ice.

Alternatively, I would suggest trying with either Fever Tree ginger ale or Fentimans ginger beer.

The third and final gin featured on the show was Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz.

This gin has intrigued me since I first came across it, because of the production process - unfortunately it's still on my To Try list but fingers crossed I can score it off soon!

Four Pillars is an Australian brand which is starting to become more recognised here in the UK. The first Bloody Shiraz bottles were produced in 2015, when Shiraz grapes from the Yarra Valley were steeped in high proof Rare Dry Gin for eight weeks.

The fruit was de-stemmed but kept mainly as whole berries, and the tanks were kept cold and stirred daily. After eight weeks the fruit was pressed before being blended with yet more Rare Dry Gin.

The resulting gin was a a success, so 2017 seen the third (and largest) vintage release.

The beauty of Bloody Shiraz Gin being a product of vintage means that it will never be the same. This year's release has a more vibrant ruby colour than the earlier releases, with still with true Yarra Valley shiraz characters - earthiness, complexity and subtle white pepper spice. However the balanced sweetness of the previous releases remains.

Unlike Sloe Gin (which is less than 30% ABV), the alcohol is 37.8%.

Our Bloody Shiraz Gin is best consumed within two years of vintage. The gin is unfiltered and may start to develop dried fruit characters beyond two years.

The recommended drink was a Bloody Jasmine consisting of:

  • 25ml Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin
  • 20ml Campari
  • 20ml Dry Curacao (or any other orange liqueur, such as Cointreau)
  • 10ml fresh lemon juice
  • 1 dash of Orange Bitters
  • Lemon twist for garnish

Add ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled coupette glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

If you would like to buy any of these gins then they are available as follows:

Grapefruit: Direct, Amazon, Master Of Malt

Rhubarb: 31Dover, Amazon, Marks and Spencer

Four Pillars: Amazon, Master Of Malt, Gin Kiosk