Oliver Cromwell Gin

Peter Morrell tastes a well crafted London Dry from Aldi

The popularity of gin continues unabated. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) latest list for what Brits are buying in 2017 recently confirmed that sales had a hit a record breaking £1 billion last year. Gin has now overtaken alcopops meaning that the spirit will now be used to measure the cost of living.

Gin has become my spirit of choice recently and although I like some of the innovative flvaours available when I want a G&T, Negroni or a Dry Martini I will always use a London Dry as the base.

I was recently attracted to Aldi’s Oliver Cromwell Gin. It’s been a award winner after blind tastings but my only reservation was the price at just £9.97 in a market where £25+ for a bottle is not uncommon.

I decided to put it through my standard tests. My knowledge of gin was learnt at the knee of Pol the cigar chomping owner of ‘t Dreupelkot, the jenever (gin) bar in Ghent, Flanders, he always serves gin neat in a shot glass, so I do the same. The Oliver Cromwell gin showed clean, precise aromas of juniper and citrus in the bouquet and this was reinforced on the palate with crisp spicy tones and a very smooth mouthfeel.

So far, very good, now for a Gin and Tonic. Two small ice cubes, 50ml of Oliver Cromwell gin, a good quality tonic to taste and a wedge of lime. Delicious, with the juniper and citrus asserting itself over the flavour of the tonic, the ideal summer refresher.

The final tasting just had to be the most famous of all gin based cocktails, the Martini. A shaker full of ice, one part Noilly Prat, two parts Oliver Cromwell, then ‘shaken not stirred’ and poured into a chilled martini glass and garnished with an olive. This was bone dry with the citrus flavours of the gin working well with the herbs in the vermouth.

My final verdict, a top class gin both to drink neat and as a base for cocktails at a remarkably good price.

Oliver Cromwell London Dry Gin

Available in Aldi stores for £9.97

www.aldi.co.uk

Just for fun, here’s a summer cobbler cocktail recipe to get your garden parties started with style

Blackberry Smash

Delicious fresh berries and fresh lemon juice combine with the crisp taste of gin to make this cocktail the perfect weekend drink. With its uplifting citrus and berry notes, Blackberry Smash is an excellent drink to brighten up your winter.

Ingredients

  • 50 ml Oliver Cromwell London Dry Gin
  • ½ a cup of white sugar
  • ½ a cup hot water
  • 10-12 blackberries
  • 25ml fresh lemon juice
  • 6 mint leaves
  • Sparkling water to top

Method

  1. Fill a tall glass and a cocktail shaker with cubed ice
  2. To make blackberry syrup dissolve the white sugar in the hot water. Once dissolved add in 10/12 blackberries and allow to cool down to room temperature before straining and chilling in the fridge
  3. Add 25ml of blackberry syrup and all ingredients (except the sparkling water) to the cocktail shaker
  4. Shake hard for ten seconds and then strain through a tea strainer into the ice-filled tall glass
  5. Slowly top with sparkling water

Decoration / to serve
Garnish with a lemon wedge, blackberry and large mint sprig. Finely dust with castor sugar to give a frosted look.

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