Earlier this week we were lucky enough to get hold of Alix Walker, the wonderful gin curator responsible for the brand new Thomas Dakin Gin, for a little chat about all things gin. Alix talked us through the gin itself, it’s inspiration and, of course, the perfect serve. I just couldn’t keep all the fabulous, gin history and news to myself so here’s a quick recap of what we talked about!
Thomas Dakin (the man) was an 18th century entrepreneur and the forefather of quality English gin. Based in Warrington in the North-West of England, he was far removed from the all the dangers and the filth of gin craze and wanted to create a clean, fresh gin. Taking inspiration from fashionable drinks of the time, like horseradish cordial, Dakin began producing a clean and smooth gin. Based in between Manchester and Liverpool, he was in the perfect position to send his gin nationwide and beyond; with high quality and broad availability his gin quickly become a popular drink with the family business being bought out by Greenall’s in the 19th century. This was the end of Dakin’s gin; the company was renamed by the Greenall family and Dakin’s name lived on in recipes and pieces of history, until now.
The new Thomas Dakin Gin is currently being distilled at the G & J Greenall site in Warrington (close to the original distillery) but it’s creators are looking to move to Manchester, to return Dakin to his home and produce the tribute that Dakin deserves. The history of the family and the area being very important to the distillers at Thomas Dakin, everything from the botanicals to the bottle and distillery location seeks to bring forward the provenance of the drink.
Thomas Dakin (the gin) was released at the end of July but had been hotly anticipated for some time. The guys behind the gin wanted to, and have certainly succeeded in, making a traditional, Northern gin bursting with flavour that would serve as a suitable tribute to the great man himself. Thomas Dakin is a delicious juniper forward, savoury gin with citrus and a slight pepperiness; it’s absolutely perfect with Fever Tree’s Mediterranean Tonic and a twist of orange peel, it’s not half bad in cocktails either, but we’ll get onto those later.
Dakin’s botanicals are intriguing whilst being very traditional; there are eleven in total with three of them remaining the Master Distiller’s secret: juniper, English coriander seeds, orange peel, grapefruit, cubebs, liquorice root, angelica and, rather uniquely, red cole. Making it almost more authentically British than Dakin’s original gin, the producers of Thomas Dakin have resourced English coriander and added red cole (horseradish) to the gin.
An incredibly moreish gin with a fantastic history! Thomas Dakin has got to be the next gin you buy.
Buy your Thomas Dakin here.
Why not try Thomas Dakin in a Cottonopolois!
35ml Thomas Dakin 20ml Cointreau 1 Teaspoon of Marmalade Juice of half a lime 30ml Cranberry Juice A couple of drops of Angostura Bitters
Shake together all ingredients with ice and fine strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with an orange peel twist.
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