You hear gin, you think traditionally British blends of berries and juniper with a wedge of lime soaking in tonic and served at quintessential picnics around the country. Bathtub gin was all the rage in Victorian London, with residents drinking obscene amounts on a daily basis. As that’s the case, London has kinda had it down when it comes to Mother’s Ruin.
But we have a secret. A big secret. One of the best we’ve tried is *gulp* French. That’s right. French gin. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t too excited about attending a night of snail cocktails and escargot appetisers. But needs must, so we hopped over to the Southbank to try it out. The things I do for you…
The event was hosted by Citadelle gin at Ropewalk to celebrate two decades since creation. And what a night. Disappearing Dining Club provided the snail snacks, and expert bartenders whipped up a selection of gin-based drinks. After exploring the gorgeously vintage surroundings and nibbling on arancini, it was time to sample the Escargot Martini. The gin is actually made by Maison Ferrand in Cognac, where, er, cognac is made. Given the strict rules of where and when cognac can actually be made, the family decided to try their hand at gin. Aged in cognac casks, it means this gin doesn’t taste as bitter as British brands or as dry as London gin. It’s a lot more floral and delicate, perfect for those who enjoy gin cocktails. Can vouch for lavender gin.
It’s deliciously floral, sweet with only slight hints of a citrus aftertaste. Perfect for cocktail lovers, such as us.
And that’s what we tried. The signature Snail Martini arrived, served with a snail shell floating on gin, and diners had the choice to make the martini dirty by pouring an olive reduction into the creation. It was delicious.
The Citadelle crew were kind enough to let us have a bottle to sample a few cocktails of our own. And you know what? We loved it so much we bought another. For those who know their gin and newbies who’ve been put of by some of the usual brands, definitely give this French award-winner a try.
Oh, and how amazing does this place look?