It is Thursday again, and the day of the week I have dedicated to cocktails. This week though I do not have a bar review, there have been enough of those for a week. Instead I thought about telling you about my favorite gin, Jensen’s.
It was a beautiful Saturday morning when we met, Jensen’s and I. We were taking a walk (M and I) through the Maltby St Market, as we did many weekend mornings while living in London. And as we were passing the railway arches occupied by familiar pastry and cheese stalls we spotted something new, a gin distillery. Curious as we are we ventured in and a nice lady invited us to have some gin-tasters, straight up 10am in the morning. Why not! Against all of my expectations, the gin tasted fresh and earthy with no bitterness whatsoever. So this is what good gin tastes like!
Jensen’s is owned by Danish Christian Jensen, who has drawn his inspiration from his collection of (900) old style vintage Gins. Through his research into the golden era of London gin-making, Christian discovered the legacy of the trade in his (our) neighborhood of Bermondsey. To celebrate this he named his first gin Bermondsey Dry. The project was never supposed to go commercial, however, once the word got out London bartenders started asking for more and more, thus Bermondsey Gin Limited was born. Christians second project, inspired by an old gin-makers handbook resulted in Old Tom’s, a naturally sweet and rooty gin that has since become a cult amongst bartenders and gin-geeks (hipsters).The ambition was simply to make a gin in the lost style, as good as can be.
That sunny Saturday morning, we were contemplating whether to buy some gin to take home. Should we buy the Bermondsey Dry, the clean and botanical gin that could just be enjoyed straight up, or Old Tom’s, the 1840s legendary recipe that is excellent for cocktails (it makes a mean GT). M’s response was ‘why choose when you can buy both’. And that my friends is how two bottles of Jensen’s gin moved in with us and has provided us with quality cocktails for several years and years to come.
Now this is not at all a blog for food/drink recipes, but I really want to share this one with you, as it is a perfect pairing with Jensen’s Gin (Old Tom’s):
For a whole canister of cocktails: 8-10 drinks:
1 whole cucumber (200g)
1.5 dl fresh lemon juice (3 x lemon)
1.5 dl fresh lime juice (3-4 x lime)
2dl fresh Mint
2dl fresh Lemon balm
1dl honey or a pinch of Stevia (or a mix of both depending on the sweetness you desire)
Gin at your discretion
Throw the cucumber, mint, lemon balm and juices into a mixer and run it full speed to make a smoothie-like mash. Mix in the honey/Stevia carefully to acquire your optimal level of sweetness (I tend to use less and less). Mix the green smoothie with water, and add some sweeteners if needed. Bottle the juice (or pour directly into glasses) through a mesh. Voila! Mix with your discretion of Jensen’s Old Tom’s gin.
Jensen’s is unfortunately not sold in the Nordic countries, but if you are visiting the UK, it is available through a few different resellers. However, if in London, I warmly recommend to take that walk along the railway arches to the distillery (start either from London Bridge or Bermondsey tube station) it is open Saturdays for tastings and long drinks. On the way you can pick up some wonderful coffee and snacks from the different vendors that have set up shop in the railway arches of Bermondsey.