Disclaimer: This is not a paid review, but I did receive a free sample.
So back in January, the lovely people behind Ginfuse Botanicals sent me a sample of their Citrus One. Ginfuse Botanicals specialise in little packets of carefully composed herbs, fruits and botanicals to be added to classic gin and tonics to spruce them up a notch.
Now, I have a little confession to make: I’m not a huge gin and tonic drinker. In fact, I find tonic too overpowering and gin far too… well… botanical-y! Honestly its a wonder I can show my face in town. Tsk, call myself a good Londoner! That said, I really wanted to give Ginfuse Botanicals a go. Partially because I wanted to be proven wrong, partially because the dried fruits were so cute in their little plastic wrap and I knew this was going to be fun!
For this G&T, I used whats called a ‘New Wave‘ gin. The difference between this and other gins is that unlike London Dry, or Plymouth there is less emphasis on the botanical, and more on the herbal. Hendricks is a popular example of these, where the dominant flavour profile is cucumber!
The gin I picked out in the end is Warner Edwards Dry Gin. Warner Edwards is a small craft brewery in the North of England, and their gin is notable for being very soft on the nose with palatable citrus undertones. Its without a doubt one of my favourite gins, and has this long lasting aftertaste that seems to mix with the very air you breathe to make you want more. In short, delicious!
Picking a gin like that compliments Ginfuse Botanicals very well, as for a sachet which serves one glass (top tip though, you could easily do two or maybe three glasses with one sachet), its packed with fruits and berries that will start flavouring your drink from the moment you pour tonic over it. As such, I didn’t want something with already bursting with strong flavours to overwhelm. I want to give this an honest review after all!
The tonic I used was Fever Tree, because its consistent, solid, and unsurprising.
- 1 slice of dried orange
- 1 slice of dried lemon
- 1 slice of dried grapefruit
- 1 star anise
- approx. 25 juniper berries
Ginfuse Botanicals states their products last up to 6 months. I wouldn’t leave them that long myself, as the packaging is not air-tight and will eventually, slowly re-hydrate. But after the 20-30 days I kept it in my cupboard before using, no flavours had been lost, and it still looked great.
This is what makes me LOVE Ginfuse Botanicals. I am sold on how fantastic this looks in your glass. I have a very small kitchen. I don’t own an oven. No room for a dehydrator. Actually, whilst we’re on the topic, no room even for me to buy any fancy juniper berries, or star anise as I just don’t have the shelf space! For someone like me, Ginfuse Botanicals is perfect, because for an inexpensive price it all comes ready to go with no-fuss. Friends coming round on the weekend? Not a problem – I’d buy one packet per two people, and instantly I look like the classy, well stocked twenty something year old that I’m not. So as an aesthetically pleasing time saver, this drink gets a triple thumbs up.
The taste was … Good! Again, perhaps I’m biased. No gin and tonic is going to sweep me off my feet, but as the old G&Ts go, this one was really decent. After pouring the drink (and taking photographs), I let it sit a little while, stirring gently before drinking. The flavours that hit me strongest were the citrus, and adding Ginfuse Botanical products definitely did make a difference to the taste of the drink as well as giving the whole thing a nice bouquet too. There was a definite subtle pine-y flavour from the juniper berries (and there were a lot!), but I got more flavour coming through from the star anise. Another tip- if you’re keen on the juniper flavour, crush a couple of the berries first before adding them to your glass to get more flavour.
I still won’t be ordering gin and tonics at a bar any time soon, but for a make-at-home version, this one was absolutely lovely and I will be purchasing this again. Perfect for people unable to dry their own fruits, and a definite crowd please for guests. Reinforces a certain sense of “I have my life together enough not to drink gin straight out the bottle and actually make a gorgeous glass with garnish“.