A couple of weeks ago I was chatting to a friend of mine, he happens to be a bar manager and knows his stuff. The conversation turned to Gin, as it does, and his first question is this “have you tried Manchester Gin?”
Fast forward to present day and my answer now is yes, yes I have. For a guy who’s bar serves only the best it’s high praise indeed that such a relative “underdog” could be, in his own words, the stand out spirit on his shelves, however 2 or 3 sips in and it all makes sense. Manchester Gin is no underdog.
Small batch artisan brewing has erupted over the last few years, you’d be hard pressed to find a bar without a selection of IPA, Sour Ales or Chocolate Stouts and it’s the same story with coffee, just try getting an Italian coffee in the NQ. I’m conscious that all sounds a bit negative so I’ll bring it back round – I love all of the above, that’s why it’s ok to mock it.
Small batch artisan Gin does seem however to be next level, a niche upon niche and this tends to lead only to people truly passionate about making something the best it can be. To my mind and that of my infinitely more qualified friend above is why Manchester Gin is so good. There are some big players out there in the spirit world (alcohol not the after life) and some truly great drinks, so it’s worth noting that large scale is no more a measure of poor quality than small batch is of good. However on this occasion small batch really is as good as you’d hope.
I learnt the value of a good tonic whilst tasting various Gins at a specialist restaurant in Spain. The exact reasoning and outcome is for more sophisticated palettes than mine to explain but the general upshot is “good tonic = a better release of flavour”. For Manchester Gin I went with Fever Tree, a few large pieces of ice and a slice of lime. The outcome was as I’d hoped, great flavour coming through and that all too familiar and pleasing citrusy dry settling (best way I can describe it) and the hit of unique botanicals that leaves you wanting to keep sipping.
Manchester Gin is of course a traditionally distilled spirit and boasts no less than 12 botanicals but it’s the use of 2 in-particular that gives this Gin that hit of unique flavouring: Dandelion and Burdock Root. Described most aptly as you’d expect by Manchester Gin them selves as a “Beautiful yet versatile version of a London Dry Gin with a link to a Northern upbringing” the conclusion is hopefully simple to arrive at without this synopsis but for clarity I’ll make it short:
Manchester Gin is a must have for any Gin drinker, bar owner or dinner host.
Visit: manchestergin.co.uk for more info