1.1 Choosing the perfect gin
A premium gin is the crucial first step to creating amazing cocktails
For a great gin cocktail, you first need a great gin. One that will give body and length to the drink, but also stand up to the flavours of liqueurs and juices. Ludlow Dry Gins are proper, grown-up spirits that will instantly elevate your home cocktails. There’s no glitter or tears from mystical beasts here. Instead, these gins are infused with a stunning selection of botanicals during the distillation process. Juniper, coriander, angelica root and orris (the so-called big four) feature strongly across the full range of Ludlow Dry Gins, with spices, citruses, herbs and flowers added or increased to create a family of distilled (not flavoured) gins. I have seen for myself the level of dedication and care that goes into every bottle that comes out of the distillery. And you can taste it too.
A good bartender should be able to tell you the difference between the gins on their shelves. An even better one will personally introduce you to the distiller....
Meet Shaun Ward here
LET ME WALK YOU THROUGH ALL SIX LUDLOW DRY GINS
Classic Dry Gin
Let’s start with the original: Ludlow Dry Gin No.1. This incredibly refined classic gin delivers a healthy smack of juniper, quickly followed by earthy notes of angelica root and orris with just a slight sharpness of citrus peel. It will work amazingly in nearly every gin cocktail, but enjoy it straight up with your eyes closed to smell the soft scent of the Shropshire hillsides. For true connoisseurs of classic dry gin, try Ludlow Navy Strength. This stuff launches an armada of Wardington’s core botanicals into the deepest depths of your mouth. The intensity of flavour makes it perfect for an authentic Gimlet.
Something with a Little Citrus & Floral
Shaun refers to his second gin (Triple Citrus and Pomegranate) as the ‘Wild Child’. Bursting with bright citrus notes, this refreshing gin is full of fragrant vibrancy. Pomegranate adds sweetness, giving the gin a smooth finish. Find yourself a sunny spot in the garden, and enjoy No.2 with Mediterranean tonic, lots of ice and pomegranate seeds for garnish. Or, add a splash to some sparkling wine and soda to create a gorgeous Spritz. If it’s the taste of the sun you’re after, the Limited Edition Elderflower, Chamomile and Lemon Verbena No.5 is the gin for you. This elegant and light, floral gin makes for an exceptionally delicate Blond Martini.
The acidic tartness of citrus cuts through soft floral notes beautifully in cocktails.
Pairing a citrusy gin with fresh citrus juice might be too acidic.
Equally, a floral gin mixed with floral liqueurs may be over-perfumed.
Something to bear in mind when experimenting at home.
Just a Touch of Heat
If you like it hot, and some do, then you might prefer your floral gins gently warmed by the addition of pink peppercorn. While Pink Gin is a cocktail in its own right, Hibiscus, Orange, and Pink Peppercorn No.4 is Ludlow Dry Gin’s homage to the throat-warming tipple. Use No.4 to add depth to fruity cocktails like a Pink Lady, or to seriously aromatize a Martinez. The list of aromatic botanicals that Wardington’s is prepared to pump into its gins is not limited to pink peppercorn. Spiced Gin No.3 is an awesomely aromatic (rather than spicy) gin, expressing a complex collection of exotic and oriental spices. Try in a classic Negroni or with some ginger ale and lots of ice.