NB Gin’s gin calendar

Gin calendar

New year, same gin. We would not have it any other way.

We’ve mapped out your entire year in gin (yes, seriously). We’re good like that, you see.

Get your pens out and mark those diaries; these are the key dates of the year to be drinking gin (as well as all the other times of course) accompanied with the perfect serving suggestion.

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REVEALED: London’s best gin bars

Whistling Shop

Trying to pick London’s best gin bars is a bit like trying to pick your favourite child (okay maybe that’s a little OTT) but there are so many to choose from that it’s a tough task.

Gin and London go w-a-a-a-y back, as you probably know but, as unthinkable as it seems now, the British capital did sort-of fall out of love with gin for a long time.

Luckily, London’s love affair with gin is back and it’s stronger than it’s ever been. London now boasts some of the world’s finest gin bars.

So, in keeping with our series of gin bars in the world’s best cities, we thought we’d highlight five of the best in London.

Who made the top five? Read on and find out!

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The perfect summer serves for your gin

NB summer serves

We know and you know that gin is perfect all year round but now that it’s summer (apparently) it’s an ideal time to spice up your serves.

NB Gin – whether it’s Navy Strength or original – is rather spectacular enjoyed neat, in a classic or a cocktail so here are a few ideas to make your summer serves really sparkle.

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Why gin is everybody’s drink

Ernest Hemingway gin

Did you think gin is a drink only to be mixed with tonic? Wrong! Gin is such a versatile spirit it can be enjoyed in so many ways. The really good gins are even smooth enough to be enjoyed neat.

Here’s a whole bunch of reasons why gin is everyone’s drink… even if you don’t like G&Ts.

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How to enjoy your gin like the Queen

NB GIN Queen 1

Queen Elizabeth II is now 90 (yes, that incredible lady is now a nonagenarian) and NB Gin is incredibly proud to have a small part to play in the celebrations.

Her Royal Highness will celebrate her birthday in style (obvs) from this Thursday – Sunday with a huge party at Windsor Castle… and we mean HUGE.

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Our hard-working Queen: A day in the life

NB GIN Queen 6

Our Queen, she’s a real worker and we can all agree on that. She probably attends more engagements in a year that what most of us do in a lifetime. She’s just turned 90 but that hasn’t slowed her down. In fact, her last few years as head of state have been as busy as ever.

This is what an average day looks like for the Queen.

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20 things you probably didn’t know about The Queen

Queen NB Gin

There have been 12 U.S. Presidents during her reign including Dwight D. Eisenhower, Barrack Obama, John Kennedy and Richard Nixon.

Elizabeth is patron of more than 600 charities and organisations such as Action for Children, Cancer Research UK and Dogs Trust.

The Queen is the only person in Britain who can drive without a license or number plate on her state car.

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NB invests in emergency deliver vehicle (this was an April Fool’s)

Ginbusters

NB Gin – voted the world’s best London dry in 2015 – has taken the extraordinary step of buying an emergency delivery vehicle to speed up deliveries to retailers.

The new vehicle, affectionately dubbed ‘The Ginbusters van’, will be used to deliver bottles of NB Gin, Navy Strength and Citrus Dry Vodka to stockists who re-order at short notice.

As well as its brightly coloured livery the van also features the siren from the hit US movie franchise Ghostbusters which will alert other drivers to give way.

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Five things that happened at the Sony BRITs After Party

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NB Gin was served to the stars for the second year in a row at the BRITs Sony After Party in London last week.

NB was the ONLY gin on offer at the event and A-list celebs and music moguls enjoyed it very much… in fact, they enjoyed it so much that they drank every bottle.

We had a blast at the event. Here are five things that happened…

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Valentine’s Day: Whether single or in love, you can make it perfect

NB Gin Valentines

February the 14th is fast approaching, to some of you this is just another day, for others it’s a chance to show someone you care.

But why should couples have all the fun? At NB, we think Valentine’s Day should be everybody’s perfect day.

You’re single and loving it!

Although it would be easy to just grab a spoon and curl up with your two favourite fellas, Ben and Jerry and a cheeky gin, you’re not going to!

So what if you’re single? This is the perfect opportunity to dedicate another day to you! Let’s be honest, there aren’t enough days in the week to dedicate to Yours Truly!

Be your own Valentine. Start the day with your favourite brekkie, even if it’s a bit naughty. The diet can go on hold for a day.

Chocolate spread on toast or Eggs Benedict? Do it!

Start the day the way you mean to go on. Do the things that make YOU happy, whether that’s a long bike ride or some retail therapy, enjoy some time to yourself!

You AND your friends are single! Perfect!

What could be better? Mate dates are so much more fun than real dates anyway! None of that awkward chatter as you get to know each other, and you’re way past the stage where you question whether pinching one of their chips is acceptable or not.

So you’re a couple…

For you couples that aren’t into all the romance, don’t feel forced into a stereotypical candlelit dinner.

You love each other so have YOUR perfect day, just the way YOU want it. Celebrate with your other half in your own little way. Whether that’s skydiving or playing chess with each other, whatever you both enjoy – go do it!

Maybe you love the traditional, romantic Valentine’s Day with roses and chocolates, then great. There’s nothing wrong with some good old fashioned romance, especially on February 14th.

Whether you’re single, attached, or even if your Facebook status is ‘it’s complicated’ you can make Valentine’s Day 2016 the best one ever.

In its essence, Valentine’s Day is about caring for each other and at NB, we think that’s perfect, no matter how you do it.

NB is driven by one thing: Perfection. We create world-class London Dry gin and London Dry citrus vodka. Perfection cannot (and should not) be rushed. Ever.

That’s why our perfect spirits should be enjoyed slowly. Our gins, both Navy Strength and standard, are so pure and refined that they can be enjoyed neat. A perfect pleasure as a sipping drink, or in a classic G&T with Fever Tree tonic.

For the perfect experience, enjoy NB slowly and responsibly.

Where to have the world’s best New Year’s party!

Edinburgh Hogmanay

It’s getting to the end of a long, hard year and what better way to say goodbye to 2015 than with a big bang? Behave, we mean fireworks.

Around the world, celebrations are carried out in many unique and entertaining ways and what better way to get into the celebratory mood than to know more about them?

Starting off close to home…

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay – #EdHogmanay

We all know that the Scottish like to celebrate New Year in the biggest way possible. Not just with one event either.

Throughout the holiday season the Scots have put in place several amazing events leading up to the big day.

Some of these events include a classic ceilidh in Edinburgh, which this year is attempting to the set the world record for the world’s largest Scottish country dance.

A beautiful Torchlight Procession opening the Hogmanay events, the crazy Stoats Loony Dook, the adventurous Scot:Lands and the perfect Street Party will all be awesome events.

The highlight of the three-day festival might just be the Concert in the Gardens, which year after year showcases some amazing talent from all over the world. This year Scottish sensations Biffy Clyro will be headlining.

Sydney New Year

Sydney’s New Year’s Eve – #SydNYE

Our Australian friend will be setting the sky alight with colourful fireworks for their celebrations.

The iconic Sydney Harbour event will kick off with a stunning water display before the Harbour Bridge transforms into a canvas for a spectacular display.

As the night goes on spectators will witness a cultural ceremony celebrating Australian heritage followed by a family fireworks display then the famous Harbour of Light Parade will take place.

To finish the night off, a spectacular 12-minute firework and pyrotechnic display will lead you into the New Year.

New York New Year

New York City’s Time Square ball drop

Possibly one of the world’s most watched events is the NYC ball drop where Times Square is transformed into a magical hub of musical performances, balloons, confetti and of course a massive pyrotechnic display.

Taylor Swift was one of the big names to perform last year and is back again for the 2015 Farewell Show.

The live events start at three in the afternoon taking you all the way through to midnight.

Streets are closed as a mass of people take over the city streets to experience this magical event.

Rio New Year

Rio’s New Year’s Eve beach party

New Year’s Eve in Rio is the country’s second biggest party of the year, coming close to their infamous Carnival.

During the day people gather on Copacabana beach to lay flowers as offerings to their Sea Goddess ‘Lemanja’ and as darkness creeps closer the party begins!

Stages are spread along the 4km Copacabana Beach entertaining the crowds of people with all different styles of music.

For those who want to waltz the night away in a more traditional way their Copacabana Palace hosts a stunning masquerade ball. Guests must dress in white with the added accessories in red for good luck and romance!

Roaring fire

If you aren’t all about crazy parties in the world’s capitals, staying at home can be just as memorable.

Picture this: Surrounded by friends and family in your own little world next to the roaring fire with a G&T in hand – what could be better?

Get your NB gift pack from Lockett Bros in North Berwick here. Be quick!

Chin chin!

25 times when only a gin and tonic will do

Stressed mum

Gin lovers out there will understand that under certain circumstances the only solution is to pour yourself a well-deserved Gin and Tonic, with the world’s best gin!

This could possibly turn into a tick list for some of you out there!

Parenting

The little bundles of joy that grow through the terrible twos into the more terrible teens but you couldn’t love them any less, however there are a few occasions where you find yourself reaching for the bottle…

When your three-year-old tells you he’s polished the new car… with a stone.

When your teenage daughter bursts through the door, tears streaming down her face to tell you that Zayn has left One Direction…

When your teenage daughter bursts through the door the next day to find out that One Direction are taking a break…

When the babysitter cancels…

When you’ve booked a family holiday but your teenager refuses to go because there is no Wi-Fi…

When your six-year-old accidently overhears you speaking about putting the presents under the Christmas tree…

When finally the house has gone quiet but you can’t relax as that means the children are up to mischief…

When your 10-year-old daughter insists on joining Facebook because ‘all her friends have it’…

When you hide from your toddler in the bathroom to get two minutes’ peace…

Students

Perhaps surprisingly, many students are fans of artisan gin like NB Gin (wasn’t it cheap cider and boxes of wine when we were students?).

You’re the type of student who has a limit of £5 on food shopping for the week because the rest of it has gone towards buying quality gin!

When you get in from a lecture, aiming to get ready for a big night out to find your electricity bill needs topping up, hello frizz ball…

When you’re singing your heart out in the shower, just about to rinse off the conditioner when the water goes from steamy hot to freezing cold…

When your embarrassing parents turn up at your front door, out of the blue and try making friends with your flatmates thinking they’re ‘down with the kids’

When someone steals your milk…

At work

Whether you work in an office, deal with customers or even run your own business, there is sometimes something that makes you wish you had a large G&T at the ready.

When you have that sigh of relief because you think it’s Friday, only to be shocked to find it’s actually only Tuesday…

When it’s 4:58pm and you are just about to pack everything away and the phone rings…

When it’s Monday morning (or is that just us?)…

When the coffee machine breaks and the only other alternative is decaf…

When the opening hours extend in the run up to Christmas…

When you work in retail and the Christmas music has already started playing in October…

When your boss signs you up for compulsory team building exercises…

When the customer is definitely not always right…

Being an adult (it’s rubbish sometimes)

When you wake up late and you rush to the car to find that it’s completely iced over and you have 15 mins to get to work…

When you remember being an adult means you have responsibilities… and a mortgage…

When you order a pizza and say ‘love you, bye’ by accident…

When you book a romantic getaway to be told that the rooms were mixed up and you have bunk beds…

For more NB Gin news, competitions and updates, follow our Facebook and Twitter!

VIDEO: How to make a classic NB Gin & Tonic

The Gin & Tonic. It’s a classic. Gin and tonic goes together like… well, like gin and tonic.

It’s the ultimate tipple after a long day in the office, or perhaps even a day of parenting duties!

The beauty is in its simplicity. For our NB G&T, we like to garnish with a wedge of orange but you can experiment with all sorts of different options if you’re feeling adventurous!

Does it get any easier than Fever Tree Tonic (we like the Naturally Light option), NB Gin, lots of ice and a wedge of orange? No. It doesn’t. So what are you waiting for?!

Want more NB videos, news and competitions? Follow us on Twitter here and like us on Facebook here. Chin chin! 

New York’s favourite cocktails with the world’s best gin

NB_NYC_GHOST

NB Gin has gone international and it’s hitting NYC! So we thought it was time to look at which gin cocktails are loved by our American cousins!

Gin martini

The Classic Martini

The one, the only, the classic! All around the bright city of New York, in bars and restaurants, the Classic Martini will always been on the menu, even the lunch one!

So why not bring the Big Apple back into your home? Quick, easy, simple and refreshing this cocktail is an easy evening treat!

Ingredients: 60ml NB Gin / 20ml Dry Vermouth / lemon peel / lots of ice

Pour some Dry Vermouth in a Martini glass, swirl around and dispose of the excess. In a shaker full of ice, add the gin and gently stir before pouring. Add lemon peel garnish.

Dirty Martini Olives 7 Ways

The Dirty Martini /Olives 7 ways

For some of you the thought of olive brine in a cocktail is not an appealing one. It turns out some Americans thought that too, so much so that a certain New York bartender, Naren Young, decided to do something about it.

He created the Olives 7 ways cocktails, replacing the yucky olive brine with olive varietals.

Still for the acquired palette but the Dirty Martini is a botanical goddess! The olives bring out the tones in the gin and give the Martini an extra kick of flavour!

Ingredients: 45ml NB Gin / 45ml Dry Vermouth / Small handful of chopped olives / drops of extra virgin olive oil.

Stir ingredients with ice in a shaker. Pour into a frozen glass. Serve the remainder in a carafe sitting in crushed ice if you want to get really fancy!

Garnish with olive oil drops.

The Journalist

The Journalist

Dating back to the 1930s, this classic is sure to refresh your palette with a zesty tang from the lemon juice and equal amounts of both dry and sweet Vermouth.

It’s quick and easy but it really packs a punch. We love this one!

Ingredients: 60ml NB Gin / 20ml Dry Vermouth / 20ml Sweet Vermouth / Dash of lemon juice

Add ingredients together and pour into a Martini glass. Easy!

Fountain of Youth

Fountain of Youth

Keep yourself young with this gin incarnation of the more traditional vodka-based Fountain of Youth.

The refreshing, fruity taste of this colourful cocktail will give you a head start for a night in the big city!

Adding fresh lime juice will make this berry sensation into a zesty concoction no one can resist!

Ingredients: 60ml NB Gin / 20ml cranberry juice / 20ml Pimms No1 / dash of lime juice / mint to garnish

Shake the ingredients with ice, strain and pour! Garnish with cucumber or mint if you’d prefer.

Gin Sling

Gin Sling

We all know it. We all love it. The Gin Sling is like an old friend. ‘Sling’ is actually derived from the German word to gulp “Schlingen” … although we’re not suggesting you have to do it!

The recipe for an original Gin Sling – popular with Americans for nearly 100 years – is as follows: 40ml NB Gin / 20ml of simple syrup / Lemon juice / Dash soda water / ice / grated nutmeg

Add the ingredients, minus the soda water, to a shaker, shake, strain into a tall glass, top with soda and add a touch of nutmeg.

You may find this to be quite different from what you would normally associate with a Gin Sling but this is the original, and quite possibly the best, way to make it.

Give it a go as in post-revolutionary America the Gin Sling was the stereotypical American drink!

This is a very exciting time for us here at NB Gin so keep up to date with us on this blog. For more news, competitions and updates, follow our Facebook and Twitter!

Chin Chin!

NB Gin goes back to the 70s… Come join us!

1970s Mad Men

Grab your platforms, we’re taking you back in time to the groovy ‘70s!

Yes, the disco balls are being revived in this special 1970s-inspired blog.

So let’s get started!

Flares

What to wear

Calling all fashionistas out there! Look out your flared polyester disco jumpsuits…you know exactly what we mean! We all had (and guiltily loved) these skin-tight, flared-bottom jumpsuits, which we, of course, rocked on a night out to the disco, dancing to a bit of ABBA or rocking out to the one and only Led Zeppelin.

For all other occasions, this was definitely the decade of the skirt. Empire waist midi skirts with asymmetrical flares were most popular, accompanied by a floral shirt and your favourite knee-high platforms!

cheese-and-pineapple

What to eat

The 70s saw a huge rise in the popularity of dinner parties and it was all about the colours!

The classic cheese and pickles hedgehog was a must-have (could you handle the shame of forgetting this?) alongside devilled eggs, prawn cocktails, square sandwiches (with the crusts cut off…obviously!) and quiche!

For dessert, the classic pineapple upside down cake was the centre of attention! But other classics such as the indulgent chocolate roulade, banana splits, soufflé and baked Alaska were also on the table.

1970s cocktails

What to drink (obvs)

The Pink Lady – gin, applejack, lemon juice, grenadine and an egg white! Oh yes, this uber-popular cocktail actually became one of the first “girly drinks”. You’d sip it from an avocado green glass whilst catching up on some well-needed girl chatter!

Singapore Sling – gin, cherry brandy, soda, grenadine and sweet & sour mix. The Singapore Sling in your favourite hurricane glass, perhaps before a wild night of dancing on tables to a bit of T Rex or Rod Stewart!

Grasshopper – Green crème de menthe, white crème de cacao and cream. Although it didn’t normally have gin in it, it was very much 1970s!

Served straight up without ice, this green concoction may have made you feel green the morning after!

Harvey Wallbanger – Vodka, Galliano and fresh orange juice. This refreshing zesty drink served on the rocks in a highball glass will kick things off at any classic 70s party! Go wild and try it with NB London Dry Citrus Vodka!

M*A*S*H

 70s trivia for your 70s party chat

Slang of the 70’s – ‘Psyche’, ‘in your face’, ‘phony’, ‘4-shaw’, ‘dig it’, ‘get down’ and ‘that’s sick’.

Events – Elvis Presley found dead, Margret Thatcher becomes the first woman Prime Minister, the Beatles break up, the US pulls out of Vietnam, Microsoft is founded, the first test tube baby born, Sony introduces the Walkman and the decimalised currency is introduced.

Cost of Living – Loaf of bread 9p, two cinema tickets 90p, bottle of whisky £3, pint of beer 20p, Range Rover £1,998.

Film & TV – M*A*S*H, Jaws, The Godfather, Star Wars, The Exorcist, Alien, Happy Days, Charlie’s Angels.

Oh, we want to go back to the 70s. For real. Now. Although there would be no NB Gin or NB Vodka so perhaps not.

Chin chin!

NB Gin is an artisan gin distilled in North Berwick, Scotland. It was recently voted the world’s best London Dry Gin. NB also produces the world’s only London Dry citrus vodka.

 

Gin & Tonic: A brief history

Gin and tonic summer

When you settle in the evening and take that first lingering sip of your Gin & Tonic, do you ever wonder how and why?

Probably not… in fact, you probably don’t even care but we do so we’re going to tell you.

We haven’t lost the plot. We’re talking about the origins of the G&T, of course!

It’s quite a fascinating story and there were plenty of twists (we make no apology for that pun) and turns in the life of the Gin & Tonic.

It’s had an eventful past, from being used as a cure for malaria and scurvy to becoming the ultimate gentleman’s drink in the mid-19th Century.

We won’t go too far back, we’ve already talked about the history of gin in an earlier blog, which you can find here.

This time we’re focusing more on what makes Gin and Tonic the drink we all know and love today.

A malaria cure you say?

Yip, malaria and scurvy were big problems in India and other tropical regions where the famous East India Company plied much of their trade. It was discovered that quinine could be used to prevent and treat the disease. Of course its bitter taste wasn’t great. Enter gin!

British officers in India in the 1800s began to add sugar, water, lime and gin to the quinine tonic and, boom!

They created the greatest thing ever created by man, in our opinion. If it were not for those chaps trying to sweeten their quinine, you would have no NB Gin today! It’s an awful thought, isn’t it?

Gin? Who drinks gin?

The Gin & Tonic never really went away. It was hugely popular through pretty much every decade of the 20th Century but it did have the occasional dip and blip.

Perhaps 20 or so years ago vodka – with the help of some heavy-hitting marketing – began to rule all. Vodka bars were in. Gin, and the Gin & Tonic, were shunted to the back of the bar.

There were still plenty fans of the cocktail – including we at NB Gin – but it just wasn’t trendy. Asking for a Gin & Tonic in a stylish bar wasn’t the thing to do. Many gin lovers kept their gin love as a dirty little secret for the house! But then something changed.

The gin revolution

Over the last 10 years, but especially the last five, the whole world has gone crazy for craft and artisan gin and the Gin & Tonic is once again the drink to enjoy, whether at home or in a bar.

The gin revolution shows no signs of slowing and we’re incredibly proud to be part of it at NB Gin!

It has had its ups and downs over the centuries but the Gin & Tonic has proved that classics never die. Now, we’re off to open the NB Gin and a bottle of Fever Tree Tonic. You should too… don’t forget the ice and garnish!

Chin chin!

You can buy your NB Gin and NB London Dry Citrus Vodka from our friends at Lockett Bros here.

NB Gin’s soundtrack to the summer on Spotify

Spotify_NewLogo

A refreshing summer drink and music go together like, well, like an NB Gin and Tonic so we thought it was time to put together the NB soundtrack to the summer on Spotify.

Yes, but what does NB Gin or NB London Dry Citrus Vodka sound like in music terms? Well, wonder no more. You could say our soundtrack is uplifting, thoughtful, even epic at times. It was put together to be enjoyed on a warm summer’s day with a Gin and Tonic or perhaps Citrus Vodka and Lemonade. Oh yes!

We even asked you, our favourite fans in the world, to give us your song suggestions on Facebook and Twitter and you didn’t disappoint! You all have impeccable taste… that’s probably why you love our gin and vodka so much!

So, here it is. The NB Gin and NB London Dry Citrus Vodka Spotify Playlist (we really should come up with a snappier title):

tina-turner-simply-the-best

Simply The Best, Tina Turner (suggested by Iram Amjad)

Mesmerizing, explosive and incredible; we love Tina and so does Iram who suggested this sing-along classic. What a way to get the party started!

The Beatles

Here Comes The Sun, The Beatles

We’re pretty sure there’s a law that says every soundtrack produced must feature a Beatles song. Where would music be without them? This little gem is less than two minutes long. It’s small but perfectly formed. A bit like an NB Gin and Tonic.

Stone Roses

She Bangs The Drums, Stone Roses

A controversial inclusion given the company it’s in but one we stand by. The Stones Roses spoke for a whole generation and were innovators of their time. Is there a catchier bass intro to a song? We think not.

KennyLooginsFootlooseSingle

Footloose, Kenny Loggins (suggested by Jason Logan)

This one will divide listeners. Cheesy? Of course it is! Ridiculously catchy? Absolutely! Does it deserve to be on our playlist? Well, Jason certainly thinks so and that’s good enough for us.

The Waterboys

Whole Of The Moon, The Waterboys

Ah now imagine pumping this classic out on a hot sunny day in the garden with a gin or vodka. Imagine no more. Just go and do it. You won’t regret it. In fact, put it on again!

jason-derulo-want-to-want-me-cover

Want To Want Me, Jason Derulo (suggested by Paul Millar)

One of the few current hits on our playlist (does that say something about our fans’ demographics?) but it’s a floor filler… or garden filler if it’s an outdoor party. A great suggestion from Paul.

RESPECT

RESPECT, Aretha Franklin (suggested by Sam Lockhart)

Ah Aretha, you really are a legend and we love you. Do you know anyone who doesn’t like this song? Of course you don’t… and if you do, disown them.

Dean Martin

That’s Amore, Dean Martin

We all know what it’s like when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, don’t we? Okay, perhaps not but what a song from Deano.

Beach Boys

I Get Around, The Beach Boys

A summer soundtrack without The Beach Boys just wouldn’t do so we had to include at least one of their hits. Try playing this without singing along. Go on, try it. It’s impossible.

sex-on-fire-1000

Sex On Fire, King Of Leon (suggested by Greame Martin)

A track so full on and ballsy it’s hard not to get carried away listening to it. Turn it up and belt it out… just don’t spill your drink. Thanks Graeme!

Listen to the NB soundtrack to the summer on Spotify hereYou can buy your NB Gin and NB London Dry Citrus Vodka here.

Chin chin!

Which gin cocktail do the party leaders deserve?

david-cameron

So after an election campaign that lasted for 16 years (or at least it felt like that), the results are in and we have a winner.

Now, far be it from us to wade into political debate, so we won’t. But we did think, if we had to make a gin cocktail for each of the party leaders, what would it be?

So, in no particular order, here’s the cocktails that each of the leaders would get from NB Gin and why.

David Cameron – The NB Fizz

Mr Cameron has swept back into power, surprising many, so he’ll be rightly very happy with himself. On such a momentous day for the Prime Minister there could be only one gin cocktail for him to enjoy.

NB Gin would serve Mr Cameron a classic NB Gin Fizz. No other cocktail says, “I’m celebrating” better than this delicious classic.

Here’s how we like to do it:

NB Fizz

  • 2 shots of NB Gin
  • 1 shot of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 shot of sugar syrup
  • Soda

Shake the first three ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled glass. Then top up with soda. Easy!

Britain's opposition Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband speaks at the London Business School in London

Ed Miliband

We’re not entirely sure if Ed would be in the mood for gin cocktails today. Let’s face it, he’s had better days. But sometimes, a well-made gin, with the right garnish, and lots of ice can make the world feel like a better place.

We certainly wouldn’t want to serve Mr Miliband anything too fabulous; it’s simply not his style. So, it would have to be a straightforward but stunning classic NB G&T.

Here’s how we like to do it:

Classic NBG&T

  • Fill a highball glass with ice cubes
  • Pour a shot or two of NB Gin over the ice and top up with tonic
  • Drop in a wedge of orange

Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon

To say that Nicola Sturgeon had a fabulous night last night would be something of an understatement. She’s riding high and might well be feeling untouchable right now.

But what to serve a lady in party mood? That’s an easy one! It has to be an NB Gin French 39. This is a modern Scottish twist on a French classic, which was said to be so strong it was like being shot by a 75mm machine gun during WWII!

We reckon Nicola could handle it though, given she has dealt with everything thrown at her in the election campaign!

Here’s how we like to do it:

French 39

  • 1 white sugar cube
  • 2 dashes of home-made lavender bitters
  • 25ml of NB Gin
  • Top with Champagne
  • Garnish with a pear slice
  • Build in order of recipe in chilled champagne flute

Nick-Clegg

Nick Clegg

The former deputy prime minister is out of a job and in truth he looked a little like a man who knew his fate even before the polls closed. Quite simply, he needs a pick-me-up.

For that reason, we’d have to serve Mr Clegg a refreshing and reviving NB Gin Martini. Within minutes we’re sure he’d be looking on the bright side and thinking ahead to new challenges.

Here’s how we like to do it:

NB Martini

  • 50ml of NB Gin
  • 10ml of Noily Pratt/Dry Vermouth
  • 10ml of Cointreau
  • Garnish with an orange twist
  • Stir down and serve in a chilled cocktail glass

Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage

So the polls didn’t return the big numbers of controversial UKIP MPs like he hoped for and he failed to win his seat. We all know how much Nigel loves a pint so we’re not even going to try to sway him with our gin.

It’s our round Nigel. What you having?

Pint of ale and a fag

Here’s how Nigel would do it

  • Buy a pint
  • Buy cigarettes
  • Drink pint, smoke cigarette
  • Repeat

#GE2015

REVEALED: Scotland’s best gin bars

56 North

You know that NB Gin is all about good taste and being unique in our own perfection so we thought it was time we compiled a list of the best gin bars in Scotland.

Well, here they are. Every one of them is unique in its own perfection and every one of them puts a strong emphasis on quality, artisan gin. Yum!

The next time you’re heading out for a great Gin and Tonic or a killer cocktail, check out one of these fabulous venues!

56 North, Edinburgh

We love this comfortable and chic gin bar in the Old Town of Edinburgh and it’s not just us; it’s won a raft of awards thanks to its great food, great atmosphere and – as you would expect – its great gin!

It’s an engaging café-style location for families during the day and a fabulous place to unwind and socialise in the evening with a good gin in one of the cosy booths.

You can sample some of the 200 gins on offer at 56 North and for even more gin delights, you could even book one of their regular Gin Masterclass events. What more could you want?

Gin71

Gin71, Glasgow

Gin71 boasts Glasgow’s largest selection of gin that runs into the thousands of varieties! How could you not get excited about that?

The bar is just about to re-open after some sprucing up and we’re sure it will be tasteful and fabulous!

Perhaps the best thing about Gin71 is the staff and how much love and care they put into their job. They’re so into gin that they will “build your drink” with the absolute best garnishes based on your selection. Bliss!

The Finnieston

The Finnieston, Glasgow

This delightful spot calls itself a seafood restaurant and gin cocktail bar. Seafood and gin cocktails?! We are there!

Many describe it as a hidden gem and that would be fair to say a while ago but not so much now. That’s because it’s bloody brilliant!

What we especially like about this place is how often they change up the cocktail menu. They also have a canny knack of sourcing some unbelievably good gins from around the world.

Orchid Aberdeen

Orchid, Aberdeen

Lively atmosphere, fun staff, cracking cocktails and regular mixology classes – sound right up your street? It should be! Aberdeen’s pretty young things love this place and so do we (can we say we’re pretty and young?).

We haven’t personally taken part in one of the mixology classes but we have it on good authority that it’s absolutely fabulous.

Bramble Bar

Bramble Bar, Edinburgh

These wonderful people have this to say: “A cocktail should stimulate the mind as well as the appetite. The well-made cocktail is one of the most gracious drinks.” Actually, they borrowed those words from David A. Embury but, my, are they appropriate!

The best cocktails in Edinburgh? They’re certainly up there with the best and they really know their gins, which pleases us no end. They offer a heady mix of forgotten classics and original creations and they are all delicious.

Have we missed your favourite gin bar in Scotland? Tell us about it on Facebook here or Twitter here. Chin chin!

NB Gin to develop new fuel for NASA

NB Gin shuttle

North Berwick artisan gin producer NB Gin has been selected by NASA to develop a new juniper-infused rocket fuel.

The deal, which will see NB Gin open a new distillery at the Kennedy Space Center in Fort Lauderdale, is the culmination of months of secret talks between the two parties.

NB Gin, which was recently voted the world’s best London Dry Gin by the World Drinks Awards, already has a strong following in the US and this latest deal is expected to build on that.

NASA has been working on a number of greener alternatives to conventional rocket fuel and said that juniper-powered space shuttles were the obvious choice.

April Lofos – the renowned Greek aerospace engineer and NASA’s lead engineer on this project – said: “Greener fuel is a priority for NASA and we’ve been experimenting with a number of alternatives. Many people have said that NB Gin is out of this world so we thought, why don’t we look at how these guys can power our rockets.”

As part of the five-year research and development project NB Gin will supply NASA with 10,000 bottles of their artisan gin. A NASA spokesman would not be drawn on rumours that the organisation is close to signing another deal with a well-known tonic water producer.

Which celebrities love gin? Find out here!

Celebrity who gin

Okay, so we all know that gin is incredibly chic and cool and on trend once again (and about bloody time too!) but just to further highlight that point we at NB Gin thought we’d talk about celebs who love gin.

Perhaps our experience at the Brit Awards recently has gone to our heads a little and we’re now celebrity spotters. No, no, no. It’s not that. We love gin and we are suckers for celebrity news and gossip. That’s all.

Put those two together and the result is this blog. Taa-dah! Now, before we proceed with our three favourite gin celebrities, let’s clear something up. We haven’t included the ultimate spirit-drinking international man of mystery in this list and it pains us.

But the truth is that James Bond’s “shaken, not stirred” Martinis were Vodka Martinis. We’re taking this seriously so Bond, James Bond didn’t make the cut. Should we get out more? Perhaps. But let’s get going.

Madonna

Madonna

For all her controversial health kicks and bizarre workout regimes over the years, the Queen of Pop has always been quite open about her love of a drink from time to time.

And gin is her favourite tipple! Has she tried NB Gin? Well, we can’t say for sure but after her failed attempt at opening a cape whilst negotiating stairs at the Brits recently, she would have needed a stiff drink.

Of course, we were there keeping the NB Gin flowing at the Sony After Party but, alas, she did not make an appearance. Madge, if you missed out on an NB Gin and you’re reading this (highly unlikely), please get in touch and we’ll gladly oblige.

John Travolta

"Hairspray" ShoWest Photocall

He’s Hollywood royalty, he’s a commercial airline pilot, he threw shapes that had women swooning all over the world and… he loves gin.

Okay, so Mr T has piled on a few pounds over the years, but haven’t we all? He comes out with some weird stuff from time, so? And he’s allegedly quite fond of the cosmetic surgeon’s scalpel, but who cares?

We love that John loves a gin, in particular, a Martini. But we can’t say we’re particularly enamoured about the brand he chooses to drink… ahem.

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth 2

Can we call Her Majesty a celebrity? We’re a little bit concerned that we’ll get into trouble for even suggesting Ma’am should be on this list!

We can’t imagine that she would ever have one too many but it’s a well-known fact that the Queen does enjoy a gin.

We also have it on good authority that NB Gin has been enjoyed at Buckingham Palace although we don’t know if Her Royal Highness has tippled our produce herself.

As you would expect, the Queen won’t drink just any old gin. She enjoys a Gin and Dubonnet – a French fortified wine aperitif – with a slice of lemon under an ice cube.

She is reportedly very particular about that. She is said to enjoy one of these fine drinks every afternoon with her lunch. How decidedly classy, naturally.

Chin chin!

Five reasons our mums are just the best

Mothers Day

With Mother’s Day this Sunday we at NB Gin thought it was the perfect time to talk about our mums and what makes them so fabulous. They really are the best, aren’t they?

They do so much for us and they’re always there. In fact, this blog could easily be ‘500 reasons why our mums are just the best’ but we picked out five of our favourites.

Remember, it’s Mother’s Day THIS SUNDAY. Still stuck for something wonderful to get her? A bottle of NB Gin would make a great gift… we’ve heard it’s rather good. For stockists, check out our webpage here.

Mum’s hands always make us feel better

We’re not entirely sure why, but mum’s hands always make us feel better. Whether it’s a gentle stroke of our hair or a comforting cuddle, they just seem to make everything feel better. Aw, we want a cuddle from mum now!

Mum always makes us laugh

This one is two-fold. Firstly, mum has a great sense of humour. She has a way of making silly little jokes funny, even if they are completely rubbish. Maybe it’s the way she tells them.

The other way that mum always makes us laugh is when she makes a little bit of a fool of herself. Mum is prone to getting mixed up from time to time.

She makes her own names up for things and tends to give movies and music new – and far more entertaining – titles. Do we take the mickey out of mum? A little bit, but because she’s mum, she takes it very well.

Mum makes us feel loved

Okay, so this one is a little unoriginal but it’s so true that it can’t be ignored. Just being in mum’s presence makes us feel loved. Going to mum’s house can cheer us up.

She doesn’t even need to say anything. Just wiling away an afternoon at mum’s with a cuppa and a movie is a lovely way to spend time with her. She doesn’t even need to say anything. Who else has the ability to do that?

When mum does the laundry

At the risk of sounding like we subscribe to the idea that mum is there for domestic chores, we’d like to add this one with a disclaimer; Mum is NOT there to cook and clean for you!

But, it has to be said, that when mum does our laundry, she does something to it that we could never achieve and we have no idea how she does it.

Mum gets the laundry so soft and smelling so incredible that you think there must be something that we’re not doing. But when asked how she does it, she never mentions any special trick. How does she do it? We don’t know.

Mum always know best… even when she doesn’t

Mum has a knack of giving the best advice, even when, perhaps at the time, you don’t agree with it.

Think back to some of the things she told you when you were growing up. At the time you probably didn’t agree with her. Now, it’s likely you’ll find yourself giving similar advice to your children.

When mum speaks, it’s wise you listen. She knows what she’s talking about!

Chin chin!

WIN A BOTTLE OF NB GIN FOR MUM! 

What makes your mum so wonderful? Tell us on Facebook here or on Twitter here and you could win a bottle of NB Gin for mum!

Gin: From Mother’s Ruin to a Mother’s Day gift

Mother's Ruin

As Mother’s Day approaches, there’s a good chance you’ll be thinking of spoiling your fantastic mum with a bottle of gin, perhaps even a bottle of NB Gin.

But in days gone by, gin wouldn’t have been considered a gift for mummy; it was a drink that she might have sold you to pay for!

Before we alarm you anymore, we’re talking specifically about the London gin problem of the 1700s and 1800s.

The drink that we all know and love today wasn’t always quite as refined as it is now. In fact, it was once seen as a blight on the working classes that had the British Government terrified about its influence.

Perhaps you’ll be settling down this evening or at the weekend to a well-deserved gin and tonic, an event that you give due ceremony to. You probably feel rather civilised as you savour it. And so you should. If ever there were a drink to be relished then it is artisan gin.

Things were slightly different in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries though. Gin wasn’t sold in pretty bottles from a well-informed spirits store. It definitely wasn’t enjoyed in cocktails in fine bars. Nope. Gin was sold by the gallon in those days, and bought by a whole army of people who were far more interested in its alcohol content than its botanicals.

Gin was cheap and far more accessible to the working classes than wine or other spirits. It was even cheaper than beer so you can understand its appeal when you were drinking for effect and not for taste.

It was a scourge in London. The very idea that such a fashionable drink today could have been such a problem is quite hard to comprehend but it was a massive problem back then.

In the 1730s it was found that the average Londoner drank 14 gallons of gin every year. That’s more than 63 litres. Ouch.

The stories from “the gin problem” in those days make for grim reading. Parents neglected their children and women in particular were seen as particularly “susceptible to the problem” which lead to the term ‘Mother’s Ruin’ being coined.

There’s plenty evidence of workers being paid partly, and even fully, in gin and one particularly awful story tells of a drover who sold his 11-year-old daughter to a trader for a gallon of the stuff.

Something had to be done but the Government of the time was terrified of the ramifications, such was gin’s grip on society. Tighter legislation and bigger taxes didn’t have the desired effect – it simply drove the distillers underground and sparked a raging black market.

In 1830 the Duke of Wellington did something that would finally bring an end to the problem and, in turn, made beer an infinitely more popular drink. He passed the Sale of Beer Act, which removed the tax on beer and allowed anyone to open a beer shop after paying a small fee.

So, as you give your gift of gin this Mother’s Day, you can dazzle her with some trivia from a time that was far less civilised than now.

Chin chin!

For more on NB Gin, like us on Facebook here and follow us on Twitter here. 

Brit Awards Sony After Party was one hell of a bash!

Brit Awards NB Gin

Our trip to London to serve NB Gin to the stars at the Brit Awards Sony After Party was, simply, an incredible experience!

We’re now back on the much quieter shores of North Berwick and back to normality after the craziness of last week. What a fantastic few days it was, and another exciting chapter in the NB Gin story.

So how did the party go down, we hear you ask! For NB Gin, it could not have gone any better. Around 150 bottles of our artisan gin was enjoyed by the music VIPs and we ourselves even found the time to let our hair down with the celebs!

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The Sony After Party was held at the famous SushiSamba in Heron Tower, London. Not long after the Brit Awards had finished at the O2 Arena, the stars started to arrive for the after show bash.

Rita Ora, Mark Ronson, Paloma Faith, Little Mix and Lisa Snowdon were just some of the big names who made their way to Herron Tower to relax… and enjoy an NB Gin or two, obviously.

We were struck by just how relaxed and informal the evening was. It had a very chilled out vibe with several bars dotted around the venue. Many of the VIPs were happy just hanging out and chatting after the high-octane performances of the show itself.

Of course, much of the chat was about Madonna’s mishap as she fell off the stage during her closing performance.

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The atmosphere was pegged up more than a few notches a couple of hours in however when Mark Ronson took to the decks for a surprise guest DJ slot, a move that had the 600-or so guests up on their feet and partying to some of his biggest hits.

For NB Gin, the sight of lots of happy people – many of whom were music royalty – enjoying our drink was a real honour. As producers, we don’t often get to see the reactions to our gin.

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We’re normally tucked away at our little distillery perfecting the next batch so it gave us a great sense of pride to see it take centre stage at a truly global event.

We’re told the event rolled on until after 6am but we were not quite that rock ‘n’ roll.

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Would we do it all again? Absolutely! What’s next for NB Gin? Well, there are one or two really big things happening for us over the next few months.

Make sure you like us on Facebook here, follow us on Twitter here and follow our NB Gin Blog for all the latest news and the occasional prize!

We’d also like to say a huge thank you to all of you for supporting us over the last few years. Your kind and encouraging words in the run to the Brit Awards made us feel on top of the world!

Chin chin!

#BRITs2015

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Try the NB Gin cocktails that we’ll be serving to the stars!

Singapore-Sling

We could have served our artisan NB Gin to the stars at the BRIT Awards After Party just as it is – neat, perhaps with a little ice – and we’re pretty sure it would have gone down a storm.

But then we thought, wouldn’t it be good to give the music royalty guests some brand new cocktails to enjoy our gin in?

Our super-talented mixologist and brand ambassador TJ Littlejohn from Bar In A Box was more than happy to oblige and you lucky, lucky people can try them before Madonna, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran et al get to!

Here are the wonderful creations that TJ crafted:

B’s Knees

50ml NB Gin, 25ml Lemon, 25ml B’s Syrup

Shake all ingredients and double strain to coupe, no garnish.

B’s Syrup:

250ml Bees Honey, 125ml Hot Water, 2 Rosemary Sprigs, 5g Crushed Black Peppercorns

These ratios can be multiplied to make larger batches.

Strawberry Kiss

25ml NB Gin, 12.5ml Triple Sec, 12.5ml Strawberry Liqueur, 25ml Lemon Juice, 12.5ml Simple Syrup

Shake ingredients, fine strain to champagne flute, top with Prosecco. Half strawberry on the rim of the glass to garnish.

And now for the classics… Five vintage favourites to enjoy

Is there anything more refreshing and enjoyable than a gin at the end of a long, hard week? Of course there’s not!

At NB Gin, we think that one of the best ways to enjoy our drink is neat, perhaps with a little ice or in a mighty gin and tonic, but what about a gin cocktail?

Gin is at the epicentre of a spirits revolution in the UK and gin cocktails are once again firmly in the minds of our country’s great mixologists.

Sometimes, there’s no substitute for a classic, so the next time you’re planning on enjoying NB’s artisan London Dry Gin, why not whip up one of these classic gin cocktails?

Gin Fizz

The Gin Fizz has seen something of a revival and why not, it’s simply stunning and can be enjoyed all year round.

Try it with 2oz of NB Gin in a shaker with a good dash of fresh lemon juice, say 1oz. Add around .75oz of simple syrup (one part sugar to one part water) and shake it well for 10 seconds. Add some ice cubes and shake like your life depends on it. Add the club soda to a glass and strain the remaining ingredients in. Yum!

Martini

Perhaps the G&T would be even more iconic than this one, but even that cannot boast Mr James Bond as a fan.

A well-made Martini is something sent right from heaven and it couldn’t be simpler. Gin and Vermouth and that’s it. The only topic for dispute on this one is the ratios but really, it should be down to personal preference.

Mix 2 ½ oz of NB Gin with about half that amount of Vermouth with plenty of ice and stir (if you are 007 you’ll want to shake of course). To garnish, go with a twist of lemon peel.

Singapore Sling

Most cocktail aficionados are well versed in the story of the Singapore Sling coming to being at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore in the 1900s. We love it!

Pour 1 ½ oz of gin, 1oz of lime juice and ¼ oz of simple syrup into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes and give it a damn good shake. Strain the inviting mix into a highball glass with ice cubes and then lovingly add 2oz of club soda.

Float ½ oz of cherry brandy on top by pouring it over the back of a spoon.

If you want to get really fancy, garnish with a lemon slice and cherry.

Negroni

Who would have thought that the vintage Negroni would be popular once again? It’s a good thing though, because it’s a delicious cocktail! Our London Dry Gin is just perfect for this one too.

The key to a good Negroni is to use the ingredients in equal measures.

To try for the first time, try 1oz of each. Add some ice to a short glass, add 1oz of NB Gin, 1oz of Campari and 1oz of Vermouth, give it a quick spin with a spoon, add a slice of orange and serve to a no-doubt very appreciate friend… remember to make yourself one too though.

Tom Collins

Okay, so it’s still bitterly cold out there and you’d probably enjoy this old favourite in the summer but, go on, be a bit cheeky and enjoy it now anyway.

It’s easy peasy. Pour 1 ½ oz of NB Gin, 1oz of lemon juice and a simple syrup into a Collins glass, if you have one, which you’ve already added ice to. Give it a whirl with a spoon or a straw and top it off with club soda. For the garnish, add an extra splash of colour with a cherry and a slice of orange.

What’s your favourite NB Gin cocktail? We’d love to hear from you! Have you made your very own NB Gin cocktail? We’d love to see it!

Gin and tonic: From Holland to India and all the way to London

NB Gin

If you’re anything like us, you’ll probably be sitting down at the end of a long week to a well-deserved gin and tonic right about now but have you ever thought about where it originated?

Okay, your thoughts might not be as consumed with gin as ours are, but it does have a fascinating story since it was first produced in the 1600s.

A chap named Sylvius de Bouve is credited with the development of what we know as gin today in the 16th Century, although it was probably rather less refined than the spirits we enjoy now.

Mr de Bouve – a Dutch physician – wanted to create a spirit with strong medicinal qualities and it’s well documented that it was believed to help circulation and other ailments. The juniper berry had been used as a medicine for centuries before Mr de Bouve got his hands on it and records also show it was even used in the fight against the plague!

There’s some debate about just how gin became such a massive hit in London and subsequently throughout the UK but many gin experts believe that it was brought back by English soldiers fighting in the Dutch War of Independence in the 1580s.

By the early 18th Century, gin was at the centre of a spirits revolution in London and its popularity explosion had politicians worried. Public drunkenness, illegal distilling and general unruly behaviour lead Parliament to slap the drink with huge taxes.

But what about the tonic, we hear you say. You can’t enjoy a refreshing G&T without the tonic! Okay, okay. We’re just getting to that bit.

Ah yes, the ‘T’ in G&T has an equally fascinating story and it centres around quinine from the bark of the cinchona tree. Europeans discovered the value of the plant in fighting malaria during the 17th Century, after the Spanish had conquered parts of South America.

But how did these two drinks marry into the delicious couple we all enjoy today? Well, we have India to thank for that, or British soldiers stationed in India to be precise.

Around the 1820s the soldiers began to add gin to their tonic ration, why not, and as time moved on this became pretty much THE only way to enjoy your tonic. The G&T was born.

It should also be mentioned that there were health reasons behind the ration of tonic. It was seen as a vital tool in the fight against malaria in the colony and gin was added to cut through the bitterness. Sounds like as good an excuse as any…

From fighting the plague and malaria, inebriating war-ravaged soldiers and worrying Parliament to once again being the drink at the centre of a London spirits revolution, our old friend gin has had quite a history.

And you thought it was just a pleasant drink to enjoy at the end of a long week. Have a wonderful weekend! Chin chin!