We have been doing a lot of gin-making and barrel-ageing over the last few weeks.
The rum was pretty successful and only took ten days in the barrel to give it a pleasingly smokey flavour. We are toying between an Old Fashioned and a negroni to go in next. It will definitely be a cocktail but the jury is still out as to which.
On the gin front, as summer as finally come, we have been keeping the botanical blends light and adding more coriander and citrus. In the dark days of January we favoured a more spicy and aniseed-influenced blend. Anything with rose in has been a real hit with the petals giving the gin a pleasing pink tint.
All the gins take on a yellow tint in the bottle - this colour comes from the botanicals and leaches out with the flavour. The only reason that commercially-produced gin is clear is that it is distilled again after the botanicals are added. The colour varies according to the botanicals you select and the quantities. While it looks quite fearsomely yellow in the bottle, one it is diluted by tonic the colour is much more subtle.
In each of the packs we include a tag - really useful for keeping note of the exact quantities of botanicals so you can adjust to taste for round two. (apologies if I am telling you how to suck eggs, but I am known not as the best record keeper!)