Yes, yes, I know Portobello Road Gin has been around for a while, but as it’s new to these Aussie shores, I just had to share its delights with you.
The story behind Portobello Road gin is an interesting one, beginning with the opening of the Portobello Star in 2008 by Ged Feltham and Jake Burger. Keen to make use of the two upper floors of the venue (and after a trip to the Beefeater Distillery) Jake suggested they create a gin museum. The ‘Ginstitute’ was born. Jake and Ged have collected lots of vintage gins (and other booze) and cocktails books and decorated the room in the style of a Victorian drinking den
At this point neither partner had thought of creating their own gin, but as the plans for the Ginstitute came together Ged saw the idea of creating a space where people could create their owns gins had real appeal and they installed a 30 litre copper still called ‘Copernicus’ on the floor above the museum together with a blending room.
Playing with various botanicals and unusual ingredients Ged and Jake came up with the recipe for Portobello Road No. 171 Gin, but it wasn’t until they took the idea to master distiller Charles Maxwell (Thames Distillers) that they saw the possibility of their own gin become a reality and it launched in 2011.
Ged and Jake haven’t used any unusual botanicals in their gin (although they did mess about with plenty of crazy distillates at the beginning) and opted for the traditional set of juniper, coriander, angelica root, orris root, lemon peel, orange peel, liquorice root, cassia bark and nutmeg.
Obviously with that botanical profile one would expect a London dry style gin and I wasn’t disappointed. I noted a nice hit of juniper on the nose with some citrus but also detected a subtle floral aroma too. The flavour is clean, bright with some spicy notes that don’t burn but add warmth and length to the spirit.
It was tremendous in a G&T and a martini as one would expect, but I also loved it in this Garden Buck from Ryan Chetiyawardana’s new book (will definitely be sharing the recipe later!).
Have you tried Portobello Road? What did you think?