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Pickering's Gin - Gin-tastic G&Ts
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I can’t remember the first time I tried gin. It was probably hidden in a far-too-sweet, juice-like cocktail. One that masked any actual gin, bar perhaps a marginally alcoholic aftertaste.  
That is, until gin started becoming a thing, rising to prominence around a decade ago.* (Honestly? I’m actually a closet hipster.)

Pickering’s picked up on the rising trend in 2013, opening the first Edinburgh distillery in 150 years to produce the spirit exclusively. It’s quite an interesting story: in summary, two friends (Marcus Pickering and Matt Gammell) were working at Summerhall (what was previously a vet school) when they noticed unused dog kennels just, you know, lying around. Given neither of them had any experience with gin, aside from drinking it, the logical decision was to use these 1. to build a distillery and 2. make gin. Obviously.

Part of the distillery’s success is the team’s ability to create intriguingly mixed gin and tonics, adding their own spin on the G&T concept. Take their recent masterclass at Bar 1821, the low-lit downstairs space at The Wine House 1821 on Picardy Place.

Essentially, brand star and self-proclaimed geek Paul Donegan invents his own shrubs, a sweet syrup used as a base for G&Ts or cocktails.

In their natural state, shrubs taste a tad too much like vinegar, a key ingredient, with a slightly fruity overtone (Paul’s creations were apricot, strawberry, mango and pineapple). But, mixed with Pickering’s Gin and Fever-Tree tonic, the vinegar fades away, creating a rather delicious and summery drink.

Tasting note: I particularly enjoyed the strawberry shrub mixed with the original 1947 gin. And a stand-out note: we also like the fact that the said 1947 gin is based on the original recipe, created in Bombay in, you guessed it, 1947. (We’ve repeated 1947 one too many times there.) 

* As Neal MacDonald of proof66.com told The Spirits Embassy, "On-trend? Did it ever go OFF-trend?” We tend to agree … (K Wilkins) 

Pick two (any two)
Let the evening be-gin with these upcoming Pickering’s events.

 

When 8 August
Where Bar 1821
Focus The latest trends on flavoured gin, gin liqueurs and sloe gins, plus Bar 1821’s Italian antipasti
 
When 9 to 22 September
Where Vesta Bar and Kitchen
Focus Masterclasses, Pickering’s Gin samples and promos on drinks 

 

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