As an author of booze reviews, you’re naturally striving for a certain objectivity. Although I hope that it is not necessary to point out the impossibility of achieving such a complete objectivity at this point, it still remains in view somewhere as a shining beacon of how things should ideally be. Okay, this may sound a little bit more dramatic than intended, but actually I just want to emphasize that I don’t let myself easily be blinded by outer appearances. Well, I have to admit, today it was not really easy for me! (provided test product)*
Well, the Lind & Lime Gin from the young Scottish Port of Leith Distillery in Edinburgh really does not make it easy, because the design of the bottle is really strikingly beautiful. Ok, now it’s getting pretty subjective, but hey, I’m only human. The bottle is made of aquamarine glass with a nice lengthwise cut. Its shape reminds me of French wine bottles (and personally also a bit of the – also really nice – Isle of Harris gin bottle). So, to sum it up once again: I really like the design of this juniper distillate.
However, enough with the outward appearances! Inside the bottle there is gin, London Dry Gin to be exact (the purist will take good note of this). And if you expect linden leaf or flowers among the botanicals when you hear the name of the gin, you should first of all get some short information: Lind is the name of a Scottish ship’s doctor. James Lind is a well-known son of the city of Edinburgh, to whom this bottling is in a way dedicated. But what does he have to do with Lime? Well, I suppose you still know the story of lemon juice or citrus fruits as a remedy for scurvy on board ships from your schooldays. This discovery goes back to the same James Lind! Moreover, since one of the main focuses of this gin was limes, it is called “Lind & Lime Gin”. Besides lime, the manufacturer himself names juniper (surprise!) and pink pepper as the main botanicals. However, there are seven in total and violet roots, angelica roots, liquorice and coriander seeds are also used. The gin is distilled on a 500-litre steel distillation unit and then bottled at an ABV of 44%.
So now to the inner values in detail!
Aroma: The boundaries between juniper and pink peppercorns intertwine right from the start in a very harmonious and beautiful way. The pink pepper creates an authentic image in my mind, but also fine associations of Szechuan pepper come up. Then it is the lime, which is also credible and shows notes of peel as well as the actual fruit. Spices at first appear a little timidly, but then more confidently, especially coriander seed and liquorice round off the aromatic picture. Yes, I like the Lind & Lime Gin very much on the nose.
Taste: The juniper knocks me out! Moreover, I have to ask myself if it is some kind of illusion, which is also created on the palate by the interaction with the pink peppercorns: rarely has juniper seemed to me to be so aromatic and round as here. At the very first sight of the bottle, I would never have thought that a rich London Dry was waiting for me here, whose juniper demands respect. New Western Dry? New Western Dry, my ass! Nevertheless, limes are present here, which works wonderfully. The Lind & Lime Gin is spicy, juniper-tinged with a citrus character, which I have never seen before in combination. My respect to Edinburgh!
Finish: The trinity of juniper, pink pepper and here a little bit of lime, which tends to abate, is also present in the medium to long finish, which makes you want to moisten your throat with another aromatic sip.
In fact, it was the spicy combination of pink pepper and juniper that also gave me the idea for today’s drink. I wanted to create something summery and exotic that was not too sweet and monotonous. Since I didn’t want to simply slay the lime notes in the gin with lime juice and also for reasons of visual presentation, I chose Supasawa as the acid source. A little Mondino Amaro Bavarese provides depth and fine bitter notes. Contrary to what one might expect, the drink is stirred and not shaken. By the way, I named the drink after a novel by Mario Vargas Llos: “The Way to Paradise”. Somehow the name of the novel came to my mind at the first sip – and I didn’t question it any further.
Recipe “The Way to Paradise”:
5 cl Lind & Lime Gin
1.5 cl Mondino Amaro Bavarese
3 cl Supasawa
2 cl passion fruit syrup (see below, in case of emergency a bought product will work, adjust quantity if necessary)
2 Dashes By the Dutch Ginger Bitters
Passion fruit syrup: Simply halve some passion fruits and scrape out the pulp. Heat the pulp with sugar in a weight ratio of 1:2 in a pan and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Finally pass through a fine sieve to filter out the seeds. Let the syrup cool and store in an airtight container.
Preparation: Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass until cold and pour into a glass filled with fresh ice.
Garnish: some pink pepper
Buying sources: At specialized retailers or online
*The fact that this product has been sent to me free of charge for editorial purposes does not – in any way – imply any influence on the content of this article or my rating. On the contrary, it is always an indispensable condition for me to be able to review without any external influence.