I’ve been sampling some local (Aotearoa) gins recently. To my surprise I wasn’t all that impressed by South, though it comes in a really nice bottle. Luckily my sample was courtesy of a little corporate gladhanding, so I didn’t have to pay for my disappointment.
However, last night I enjoyed a 100ml sampler bottle (paid for) of Blenheim Bay, which is made by a company called Prenzel. I’m not sure what it means, but this gin won some awards at a drinks festival/competition in Belgium. Perhaps the judges had been sampling some local brew before hand.
The BB has eleven botanicals, which compares well to my other favourite Bombay Sapphire, and a hint of citrus which is very refreshing and manages to stand up to the infusion of vermouth.
Anyway, it makes up a good Martini, or if you prefer a Gibson.
I’ve been trying the Gibson variation recently, which is using small Italian pickled onions rather than olives. For the adventurous I would recommend one stick of olives and one of onions. It’s become my new evening cocktail of choice.
The developers have actually done a nice job of updating this little bit of Auckland history. It actually was a stables and now it’s a gourmet’s delight. There are several good little restaurants that serve cheap and cheerful lunches; a whisky shop, which I’m yet to venture into; an artisan wine shop with reasonable prices; a Kapiti fromagerie and an organic deli that has a good range of reasonably priced meats as well as the usual drygoods.
And while I’m talking gin, a word of advice: don’t use sloe gin in a Martini. I made this mistake in London, it’s an abomination worthy of being known as a Volz crazy drink. Whatever it is, sloe gin is not gin. Sloe berries are from the blackthorn bush and while the concoction is tasty, if a little sweet, it is surely not meant to go in a Martini.