April 12 is a date many people have at the forefront of their minds. All being well, it should be when pubs first re-open to serve customers outdoors.
It has been a long old slog for those who enjoy unwinding and spending time and their hard-earned cash at the local boozer.
The tantalising prospect of a nearly normal summer is at the forefront of our minds although, for now, lockdown measures remain in place.
While government restrictions have forced establishments to close their doors, it hasn’t stopped entrepreneurial spirits from deciding now is the time to launch their projects.
We’ve seen all manner of different food offers emerge during periods of lockdown – but alcohol? They’ve been few and far between.
The Green Heart Co even says on its social media channels it is ‘born out of lockdown’.
The ‘gin specialists’ only announced itself in December and among its many projects, some of which are kept on ice by the restrictions, is a gin tasting experience.
Having not touched a drop of alcohol since Christmas Day, it was time to begin my own preparations for the pubs reopening, by sampling this for myself.
Colourful and intriguing
It’s here where I’ll be honest and concede I am not a gin connoisseur. Maybe because I’ve never put any time and focus on the multitude of combinations that make it such a versatile and intriguing spirit.
My box was delivered and it’s big. Like ‘new work boots’ big (not that I need those often as a journalist), and it’s weighty. What’s inside is far more fun, colourful and intriguing.
The accompanying literature is extremely-well executed, clear and classy. A bullet-pointed list tells you how to execute the perfect pour. It’s not as simple as walloping in a load of gin and layering it with a mixer. There’s a science to it, a process, that when you follow actually adds a layer of enjoyment and appreciation for this tasting experience.
There’s five different cards for the drinks that are all named after a song; Supersonic, The Bartender and the Thief, Bittersweet Symphony, Watermelon Sugar and Jumpin’ Jack Flash. The ingredients for your drink are listed, then you just have to apply those ‘perfect pour’ tips from earlier.
As an Oasis fan, naturally, I started with Supersonic. This combines a signature Manchester gin, mixed with Indian tonic water and garnished with a slice of lemon.
It was traditional in the sense that it was uncomplicated by the balance is sophisticated and smooth. There’s no burning alcohol taste. It’s a good start.
I found myself drawn to Bittersweet Symphony next which paired a premium sharp lemon gin with a juniper kick, paired with bitter lemon. This was garnished with a slice of lemon and sugar on the rim of the glass for that bittersweet flavour.
Delicate variations of gin
This was a strong choice to follow up my first drink as it wasn’t a drastic change in terms of components, but it was still markedly different and the bittersweet element was far more appealing than I expected.
From herein, and with a couple of gins inside me, this gin-tasting experience really grew on me. I found myself enjoying the process of piecing together the drink but also sticking to those perfect pour guidelines so I could appreciate the delicate variations of gin.
While it was fun, it was also somewhat of an education for me that there’s a right and a wrong way of doing this, without it feeling stiff and unnecessary.
Everything you need is in the box, aside from the sugar and ice, even the glass and the stirrer are in here.
It’s clear an enormous amount of time, effort and energy went into the process of making this look, taste and feel appealing and indulgent.
A couple of light snacks are included too which I found myself tucking into increasingly as I moved through the drinks to reset my palette for what was ahead.
The Green Heart Co has big ambitions with its mobile gin bar which they hope to see feature at weddings, celebrations, festivals and street markets.
From the evidence of this first venture, I predict this being a roaring success and becoming a prominent feature at events when the world reawakens from the Covid-19 nightmare.
It brought intrigue and happiness into my home on a Saturday night, and whet my whistle for what other gin combinations are out there I might enjoy – and what this ‘born out of lockdown’ start-up business can go on to achieve.
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