Gin is the tonic

Illuminations in gin from Tarquin's

By: Phyllida Bluemel,   1 minute

Killigrew Street became Gin Lane last week as we sprung a surprise gin masterclass and gin pong tournament on Stranger Collective’s co-founder Helen, rallying The League for some gin-infused birthday celebrations.

As we were shutting down laptops and signing off emails; the lovely and infinitely knowledgeable Rory from Tarquin’s Gin promptly arrived, a bottle in each hand, to kick off proceedings.

He led us through the history of gin; from its Dutch origins, via ‘mother’s ruin’, all the way to tomorrow’s hangover. Gigantic glasses of G&T (glassware specifically designed so that each sip saturates the senses – I was taking notes…) made for effective teaching aids. As we reached the end of the masterclass and the bottom of our glasses, we all felt ourselves to be true experts on Stranger’s favourite spirit. The perfect Tarquin’s G&T? Strong and served with a slice of grapefruit and a sprig of thyme.

We learned that the true gin enthusiast, of course, skips the tonic and reaches for the vermouth. We were among a privileged few to sample the first wholly Cornish martini; made with Tarquin’s gin and Knightor vermouth, currently in development and poured from an unlabelled bottle, assisting all our glamorous speakeasy fantasies. Be reassured that Cornwall can clink martini glasses with the best of them.

More martini musings we’ll be whipping out at cocktail parties include; how James Bond needs some serious gin schooling, because a true martini should always be stirred and never shaken. And how the martini master knows the perfect ratio of gin, to vermouth, to water (no shame in getting out the scales); never recycles her ice; but knows that at the end of the day – it’s all about how you like it. Time to get some practice in!

Thank you so much to Rory and Tarquin’s for showing us what true gin-thusiasm looks (and tastes) like.


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