So, continuing my quest for the best of local gins, I found one today that I hadn’t seen before. This one is the true-blue Aotearoa gin; it even has local ‘erbs in it.
Christie’s Crisp New Zealand gin claims to have Horopito and Kawakawa added to the botanicals that give it “flavour”. It also claims to be “quadruple distilled”. Yeah, OK, I’ll buy that.
And I did, at $44.99, but the RRP online is $41.99 at PriceMe, though they’re charging a $5 delivery slug too.
[Bugger it's warm in Auckland...I'm writing this as I sip my Dirty Gibson (olives and onions) and slowly savour a six-pack of Clevedon oysters]
Of course, this Martini is purely medicinal. I’ve been recovering from a nasty cold/flu bug this week and the humidity isn’t helping.
Hang on, I need a refill.
Ah, that’s better. So the gin.
The additional botanicals give it a nice edge. Straight from the bottle (not recommended) it’s a bit fiery, but the guys in the bottle shop assured me it matches up to Tanqueray and Bombay Sapphire.
Verdict? Well, OK, at a pinch. Moac is not overly impressed. Her comment (after 1.5 standard Gibsons) “I don’t think it’s very good.” [Proofreader's edit: " I know the difference between good gin and rocket fuel... No seriously... Christie's is a good local version of a botanical gin."]
Can’t argue with that; least don’t.
The Horopito gives it a slight peppery finish and underlines my medicinal use of the Martini!
Horopito, New Zealand Peppertree, Winter’s bark, Red Horopito
Leaves of the Horopito tree were traditionally used by the Maori people of New Zealand to treat stomach pain and diarrhoea, this is probably due to its astringent (tissue tightening) and antiseptic properties. Skin complaints were treated using bruised leaves that had been steeped in water or chewed before application. The peppery constituents of Horopito stimulate the circulation when it is applied topically, and also taken internally. [Kiwiherb]
So I can drink this local gin knowing it’s doing me good. [The oysters were delicious, btw].
But, back to this mysterious gin. It doesn’t have much of a web presence, though I found this curiousity and one of my former students at NZGirl. Nothing wrong here, except, using this style of gin in crazy drinks is a serious challenge to authenticity and political correctness. I am reminded, at this point, that a visit to Deschler’s bar in High street is long overdue.
I have, after carefully reading the label, discovered that Christie’s is made by Lion Nathan. And, to be honest, I feel a bit dirty and a little cheated.
If you actually check out what L/N does, it’s pretty much THE drinks business in New Zealand.
Manufacturer, added value converter and importer and distributor of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
“added value converter”, WTF! Globalisation, what a bastard.
So Christie’s is just one brand in thousands, my suspicion is – unless someone can prove otherwise – that this brand is just marketing hype. The gin is probably not as good as Bombay, and certainly it is probably (according to local whispers) not a patch on the elusive Tanqueray 10 (which retails for a cool $100).
There’s more digging to be done. The bottom (0f the bottle) is a good 650ml away.