A good tonic is just the tonic for your NB Gin

Gin and tonic

When it comes to finding the perfect partner for your gin, a really good tonic is, well, just the tonic.

The Gin and Tonic is a match made in a juniper heaven, even the most inexperienced gin lover knows that but there’s plenty to think about when choosing the right tonic.

It’s a basic error that many people make. They spend a lot of time researching the best gins and finally make a decision (the really clever people choose NB Gin, obviously).

But when it comes to the tonic they pop into the supermarket and grab the first brightly-coloured bottle they see. No, no, no!

For NB Gin there is one golden rule that shall never be broken. Absolutely no sugar! Choose only sugar-free tonics. Why? Well, sugar is bossy and obtrusive when it comes to gin. It bullies the subtle flavours of our drink and you end up with a lesser G&T and we don’t want that!

A quality gin demands a quality tonic. It’s that simple. So here are NB Gin’s favourites:

Fever Tree Tonic Water

Fever Tree

These guys are probably our favourite of favourite tonic producers. They have an impressive range of different tonic waters to choose from but for us simple is always best. It’s important to let the gin do the talking and let the tonic do the complimenting.

For that reason, we would always plump for their Naturally Light tonic water. It’s crisp and clean and has natural quinine.

Fever Tree is widely available so there’s really no excuse for not giving it a try with your next NB Gin adventure. The shops will still be open now. Off you dash!

Q Tonic

Q Tonic

The tagline for this fabulous tonic is ‘the world’s best spirits deserve a superior tonic water’. Now, we’re not sure if we mentioned it but NB Gin is now officially the world’s best London Dry Gin, as judged by the World Drinks Awards.

That means this gin could have been made specifically for us. Of course it wasn’t but you get the idea.

It boasts hand-picked quinine from the Andes (yes, honestly) and organic agave from Mexico. Quite special, you’ll agree.

You might struggle to find this particular tonic in UK stores but it is available online so there really is no excuse. You found us because you demand quality, so you should sniff this tonic out too.

thomas-henry-tonic-water

Thomas Henry Tonic Water

This lovely tonic is German – even if it doesn’t sound it – and is quite delicious. Like all of our favourite tonics, it contains no sweetener.

It boasts a very lively yet delicate character and we think it goes fabulously well with NB Gin.

It’s not available to buy in the UK yet, but it will be shortly. As with Q, it is also available online.

So there we have it, three perfect partners for your NB Gin and Tonic. We know how much you love to share your NB Gin photos on our Facebook and Twitter so please, please don’t upset our master distiller by showing his pride and joy next to a sub-standard tonic.

Have a wonderful weekend you beautiful people. Chin chin!

Why people are choosing artisan gin over big brands

NB Gin distillery Steve Muir

There’s a curious thing happening with the spirits and beer industry at the moment, and it’s been going on for quite a while now.

You probably already know what we’re talking about if you’re a regular to our NBlog. But for those who are uninitiated NB fans, we’ll tell you.

People are leaving the well-known, mass-produced big name brands to sniff out something a bit different; something like NB Gin.

Over the last few years there has been a strong shift towards anything that falls into the category of “craft”, “artisan” or even just “real”.

Those little words are the signposts for canny buyers these days and they’re becoming even more important with every passing month.

It probably really got going in the UK about five or six years ago and it was partly thanks to producers of craft beer and real ale (although those who know their crafties and ales will also know the pains producers go to to highlight they’re not the same).

There were always small pockets of fans of craft beer and quality ales and there were a few good breweries around to quench their thirst.

But, thanks to a few brave brewers who decided to put their money where their mouths were, the industry grew arms and legs and staggered into the mainstream with a burp and a giggle.

The craft beer industry is a rock ‘n roll show now and it seems like every second 30-something bloke you meet has a hankering to launch his own craft brewery.

Perhaps buoyed by the massive success of smaller, quality brewers, there were plenty foolhardy ladies and gents who wanted to try the same in the spirits world and it worked, big time.

Just look where we are today. Obviously, there’s NB Gin, but we are just one of hundreds of artisan distillers in the UK.

It should be a byword for “quality” but it isn’t always the case. You have to be careful that the word “artisan” isn’t used by producers who simply are not. We at NB Gin have another tag we can use now too: World-class. That’s not us saying that, it’s the World Drinks Awards!

Artisan, craft, real. They’re more than just words to us at NB Gin. They’re part of the manual that we use to create a drink that boasts a quality that’s hard to find anywhere else in the world.

The fantastic news for producers like NB Gin is that many, many consumers have simply had enough of drinking Spirit A or Beer B just because the massive corporation that makes it can afford the best marketing.

Not that long ago, it was only the enthusiastic foodies who might be tempted to seek out a real quality artisan gin or craft beer, but that tide has turned and it’s far more mainstream to want something of a higher quality.

Perhaps the best example of that is how supermarkets have had to completely overhaul their spirits and beer ranges. When the buying public speak, they have to listen and a walk down the aisles will show you just how far we’ve come in the quest for quality.

As for NB Gin, we’re not supermarket-mainstream and we like it that way, and that will never change so keep finding us where you do and keep enjoying us.

Bugger it, we’ll have a G&T right now. Care to join us? Chin chin!

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter here and like us on Facebook here for more news, competitions and gin-fuelled fun!

We are officially the world’s best London Dry Gin!

NB Gin moody

We are incredibly proud to announce that NB Gin has been named as the world’s best London Dry Gin at The World Drinks Awards!

NB Gin was selected by an international panel of experts over three rounds of judging.

Chair and Editor of TheDrinksReport.com, Felicity Murray said: “The judges of both the Taste and Design categories were extremely discerning ­- all those who have won an award can be justifiably proud.”

Our CEO Vivienne Muir said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have won this prestigious award. From the very beginning, our focus has been on quality and we’re thrilled that this has been recognised at The World Drinks Awards.

“To now be categorised as the world’s best London Dry Gin is overwhelming and emotional!”

The award is another huge milestone for NB Gin, in what has already been a memorable 2015. Only last month NB Gin was being served to the stars at the Brit Awards After Party in London.

NB Gin is produced in a custom-made copper still at our micro-distillery in North Berwick, East Lothian. It’s made from pure British grain spirit and a blend of eight botanicals, all of which have been meticulously selected to produce a smooth and balanced flavour.

This latest gong isn’t the first award for NB Gin though.  The distiller bagged a silver medal in the Micro Distillery category at The Gin Masters 2014, just nine months after launch.

In November 2014, NB Gin scooped the award for “Most innovative new product” at the ninth annual East Lothian Food & Drink Awards.

NB Gin was also the ”clear winner” and “really stole the show” in a November 2014 gin taste test of 11 different brands conducted by The Scotsman newspaper.

How will the NB Gin team be celebrating tonight? Take a wild guess. Chin chin!

To learn more about our multi award-winning gin, like us on Facebook here and follow us on Twitter here!

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. 

How to make a Ramos Gin Fizz that will blow your mind!

Ramos Gin Fizz

Legend has it that after barman Henry Ramos invented this firecracker cocktail back in 1888, he employed a group of “shaker boys” who would shake the ingredients vigorously for five minutes, to keep up with the demand.

Thankfully, we at NB Gin don’t need to talk anyone into shaking our Ramos Gin Fizz for us today as we only make our cocktails for ourselves and, let’s be honest, a good cocktail shake can be passed off as a workout, can’t it?

We’ll say this quietly… but you could also use a blender if you’d prefer a less active method of making your Gin Fizz. Of course, Mr Ramos would be absolutely disgusted at that notion if he were around today.

The Ramos Gin Fizz, with just the right amount of NB Gin, is one of those cocktails that makes you ask yourself why you don’t make cocktails more often.

Get the ingredients right and it will blow your mind, trust us!

As with all cocktails, there are a few variations, and we’d encourage you to experiment a little.

The other thing to bear in mind with the original Ramos Gin Fizz recipe is that it includes raw egg white. There are obvious risks in this so it’s really up to you if you want to include this. Powdered egg white is a good alternative for those who have concerns.

Think about whether you want to use lemon or lime juice in your Gin Fizz. Dryer gins tend to work better with lime, which is what we would go for, but it’s entirely down to your preference.

Ingredients

  • 2oz NB Gin
  • 1oz lime juice
  • 1oz cream
  • 1oz simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water)
  • Few drops of orange flower water
  • Drop of vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white (or powder)
  • Soda water to top off
  • Ice

This stunning drink really couldn’t be simpler to enjoy. Add all the ingredients to a shaker (or your blender if you’re being lazy) but don’t add the soda at this stage.

The longer you can shake the ingredients, the better the result. Let’s say two minutes for this part. Next, add the ice and get ready to shake like it is the last cocktail you will ever make… although we truly hope it won’t be.

When you have a cold, frothy, inviting mixture then it’s time to enjoy it. Strain it into a glass, top it off with a little soda water and then – this is the best bit – drink it!

What’s your favourite NB Gin cocktail? Have you invented your own? We’d love to hear from you. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook here for more news and prizes.

Chin chin!

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!

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 09.15.13

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.

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 09.17.10

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.

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 09.35.52

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.

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 09.35.33

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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