Gin seems to be a recurring theme for me in reviews, tastings & in general life. I was invited to The Spiritualist for a gin pairing meal, two of my favourite things in the world, gin & food!
I had never visited The Spiritualist before but had heard good things about their cocktails. I was greeted with their special creation for Darnley’s, ‘A View of the Port’. This tasty beverage contained Darnley’s Spiced Gin, Ruby Port, fresh lemon juice, homemade cinnamon syrup & cranberry & orange shrub relish. Hello, gin cocktails!
The tasting meal was spread over three courses with some gin to try neat then a pairing with a suitable Fever Tree accompaniment to compliment each gin.
Round one was Darnley’s original paired with cured Scottish Smoked Salmon with elderflower & lemon cream cheese roulade. The taste of elderflower came through in this dish in a really unusual yet pleasant way. This light & fragrant salmon dish complimented the gin while leaving you in anticipation for more gin!
The note of elderflower is present in the original gin as it was inspired by the wild elderflower growing around the Wemyss family estate. With a distinct taste of juniper berries, Darnley’s original is a light & refreshing gin with a subtle hint of grapefruit, perfect for a relaxing drink!
The second dish that we tasted consisted of Darnley’s spiced gin & bramble jellies with cinnamon Madeleine. The contrast of the Scottish brambles & adventurous spices from the gin & cinnamon Madeleine. The spiced gin has notes of orange & ginger which made this combination of botanicals & fruit all warm & cosy! Definitely a drink for cold nights or for a summery cocktail with ginger beer & orange zest!
The final pairing & the one I was most excited for was Spiced Gin ‘Navy Strength’ paired with pan seared saddle of highland venison with Darnley’s Navy Strength Gin & juniper sauce with a pomegranate garnish. Highland venison is always a treat for me & the succulent meat in the sharp sauce was an extra special arrangement of flavours! The Navy Strength spiced gin is the newest addition to the Darnley’s family & at 57.1% proof it is reminiscent of the old school navy rations & would certainly pass a gun powder test. The Navy Strength Spiced Gin has the same botanicals as the Spiced Gin but has a really intense juniper flavour with the same orange & cinnamon notes.
The Wemyss family that own Darnley’s gin have announced that they will be moving their distillery to Scotland this summer. This is exciting for Darnley’s, for Scotland & for me! (Because I can’t wait to visit!). The new distillery will be located beside their whisky distillery at Kingsbarns & it is being constructed in a cottage… How cute is that? I’m pleased that a gin I love is moving away from London to Scotland. I’m always slightly disappointed in myself when I prefer a London gin when Scotland is becoming more prominent in the gin distillery arena.
I’ve had beer, wine & cocktails paired with meals at events before but never have I had the pleasure of a gin pairing! Thankfully Darnley’s sent me away with some miniatures… I feel like that’s a challenge to create my own gin inspired menu! (Instead of drinking it all!)
A massive thank you to Darnley’s Gin & to The Spiritualist for a lovely evening!
Thanks for reading!