Finally we feature our last fabulous local supplier attending the CSPA's Artisan Tasting Evening tomorrow, Birch Gin www.birchgin.com
"I'm Justin Birch of Wadhurst, East Sussex and I've spent a highly enjoyable decade obsessively trying to create the perfect gin. It was worth the wait.
Birch Gin is made using my recipe. This contemporary, forward looking gin with bold flavours, superb mouthfeel and a delicious aftertaste is designed to be drunk neat, on ice, with water, with tonic, simply anyway you like it! It's a gin without borders or rules. All the rules, time and effort went into the making of the gin, so the drinking should be hassle free.
In 2010 I travelled from my then home in Singapore where my choice of Gin was two mass manufactured gins and landed straight into the UK craft gin explosion. To say this was inspiration, is an understatement…
Over the next ten years I did a lot of research, read a lot of recipes (starting from 1495), and began making my own gin. I bored my wife Dawn by trying almost every botanical and herb, looking for that perfect blend. A big fan of fusion cooking, I wanted a refreshing journey through British herbs, Mediterranean citrus and spice from the Far East. My goal was to make a gin that appealed to me, but also to Dawn, who didn’t like the bitterness of London Dry gins.
Never one to cut corners, I tried every gin-making method before settling firmly on the one-shot method, distilling the exact number of botanicals in one go and never adding concentrate or compounding afterwards. Only 2-3% of the world’s gin is made using this truly special method. Uniquely, one of the ingredients in Birch Gin is birch syrup, rare and expensive with a dark, caramel yet spicy flavour. Sap is tapped from Birch trees in March and is prized for its health benefits. 100 litres of evaporated sap creates 1 litre of birch syrup.
We moved back to the UK in 2014 and by 2020, some ten years after starting, I finally achieved both the flavours and taste journey I was seeking. Soon all of our friends were asking for a bottle or two, or more... This huge demand was difficult to keep up with. Sourcing a suitable still led to some fascinating conversations with micro distillers. One of those conversations was with Andrew Parsons, winner of The World’s Best Contemporary Gin at the World Gin Awards. A bond was formed and some outstanding gin was made in a traditional alembic copper still. Dawn was also rather pleased as it meant I wouldn’t be blowing our house up.
Thanks for reading this, I welcome you to take a refreshing stroll through the citrus groves of Soller, Mallorca followed by meandering through a British herb garden, rounded off with delicate, lingering Asian spices.
Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think."