Thursday, 9 October 2008

Beefeater 24

Finally! We've been keeping this secret for over a year. Now we are allowed to talk about it. Beefeater is coming out with a new super-premium product: Beefeater 24.

Gin made with tea? That's about as London and Dry as gin could possibly be. 

Desmond Payne, Beefeater's Master Distiller (prior to his current work, he reformulated Plymouth Gin into the product we all know and love which means he's responsible for two of the world's best gins), has created a new masterpiece. After research trips to Asia in search of the right tea, he discovered a particular sencha that balanced perfectly in distillation with juniper, angelica root, corriander, cirtus peels, licorice root, and other botanicals. 

It was our great honor to show up at the distillery occasionally as part of a tasting panel, working through a series of blind tastings, then a series of classic cocktail tastings. After that, we finally got to start experimenting with it ourselves. 

One of my personal favorites was a variation on the Negroni that went something like this:

Black Cherry Negroni
1oz Beefeater 24
1oz Carpano Antica Formula vermouth
.5oz Campari
a splash of maraschino liqueur
5 fresh black cherries, split.

Shake hard and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Funny, 24 seems to taste even better now that we're not pouring it from brown glass laboratory bottles. Perhaps it's time for a Pink Gin. A hint: we've been adding a touch of simple syrup to ours lately. 

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