London Dry gin versus other gins

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NB Gin is created and crafted in a way that makes it rather special – it’s made using the precise and time-honoured London Dry process in small batches.

That will never change because it’s incredibly important to us that the quality of our artisan gin never waivers or dips; that it always remains the best artisan London Dry Gin in the world.

That tagline – London Dry Gin – isn’t just a term that we lazily added to our drink. Far from it. In fact, there are strict legal restrictions around the usage of the term.

London Dry Gin’s flavour must be introduced through re-distillation in a traditional still with the use of your chosen botanicals.

In our case, we only ever use eight botanicals that give NB Gin that distinctive, world-class taste.

Perhaps the key point to the London Dry Gin process is that it must not contain added sweeteners or colouring. The only permitted “additive” is water.

A true London Dry Gin must satisfy all of these points before it can be classed as such. Do you see why we get quite passionate about NB Gin?

There’s so much work goes into creating our artisan gin that it’s difficult not to get completely and utterly consumed by it.

You could say we love gin and you could also say we live gin.

So, isn’t this how pretty much all gins are made? No, no, no! Absolutely not! Not all gins are created equal and there are many variations and different processes.

The beauty of London Dry Gin and one of the things that makes it such a joyous drink is the fact that all that taste comes almost completely from the botanicals that are used in the London Dry process.

The very idea of adulterating quality produce with syrupy sweeteners or additives is something that London Dry distillers – like NB Gin – would never, ever do.

London Dry gins are so fabulously enjoyable because of their sublime subtleties and understated complexities.

You could argue that we’d be biased given that we only ever use the London Dry process and that’s fine but we would suggest you try a gin that has been created in this way – we’d even be so bold as to encourage you to try NB Gin and compare the taste to that of a gin that has not been produced using the London Dry process.

Got something to tell us? Would you like more information on NB Gin and the chance to win a bottle or two of our fabulous produce? Great! Simply like us on Facebook here, follow us Twitter here and follow us on Instagram here.

Chin chin!

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!

How to taste gin (you don’t have to spit it out)

How to taste gin

So you’ve finally realised that gin is quite simply the only drink that you’ll ever want to enjoy ever again but how best to do it?

For those smarty pants who are thinking to themselves, ‘open the bottle and pour into a glass’, get to the back of the class and put on that dunce hat (it’s 1940 for the benefit of that sentence).

There’s a lot more to drinking and enjoying an artisan gin than just sploshing it into a glass and glugging it back. There has to be due ceremony and a bit of love added to the process.

But here’s the best bit – you most definitely do not need to spit the gin out! We at NB Gin make our artisan gin to be savoured and we’d be more than a little bit miffed if you decided to discard it!

So, here are our top tips for tasting and enjoying your artisan gin.

Class in a glass

Before you even get your hands on that beautiful gin, you have to choose your gin glass and choose it wisely. What’s the best gin glass? Well, that’s a big debate of its own but we’d suggest something like a rocks glass that can handle all that ice and, in the case of a Gin and Tonic, a good tall glass is wise.

Many mixologists will choose a tall, wide glass to let plenty of air circulate in the drink.

Win by a nose

One of the true joys of a quality gin is the subtle aromas that it treats your nose to. Once you’ve poured your gin, gently swirl the glass around for a few seconds and take a small sniff of the drink. The botanicals can work their magic at this stage.

You might get floral notes, perhaps even herbs and, of course, juniper.

Be careful not to take a huge sniff of your gin. You don’t want to be overpowered before you even get to taste it!

Time to taste… and no spitting!

The groundwork you laid by smell a moment ago will stand you in good stead for the bliss that artisan gin will provide to your taste buds.

Those subtle aromas that you enjoyed by smell will be there in taste but you’ll more than likely get some other characteristics coming through too. Swirl the gin around your mouth and gently breathe in as you savour the flavour. Yum!

Experiment and repeat

So you’ve tried your artisan gin neat, why not try a Gin and Tonic now or go even further and make a cocktail, like one of the stunning creations from our mixologist TJ Littlejohn here.

We would love to hear how you like to taste and enjoy your gin. Chin chin!

Don’t be scared and have fun, says NB Gin’s cocktail expert

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Unique, stylish and in demand, that’s what we like to think NB Gin is and that just so happens to sum up our cocktail expert TJ Littlejohn from Bar In A Box.

TJ turned his gap year job into a passion… and then a successful events business and, when he’s not creating some of the world’s most innovative cocktails, he’s spreading the NB Gin word far and wide as the company’s brand ambassador.

We caught up with TJ this week, as he took a well-earned break from training up and coming bartenders all over the UK to get his insights into gin and cocktails.

TJ’s services are in high demand but how did it all start for him?

“I started off as a waiter when I was 15, and when I turned 18 I became a bartender and was working part time in a pub when I was at uni.

“I was supposed to be a marine biologist. I wasn’t enjoying uni, and had a year out. There are two types of people who work in bars – people who do it for a job and those who do it for the lifestyle. For me, it wasn’t supposed to be a career but I really enjoyed it and that was it from there.

“Cocktails and liqueur just grabbed me and it turned into a real passion. It became a lifestyle for me very quickly.”

Long, unsociable hours didn’t seem to put TJ off and as he improved his knowledge and abilities as a cocktail bartender, he started to find there was real demand for his talents.

“I started doing events, for people having birthday parties in the beginning, and people just started asking me to do bigger and better events.

“That’s how Bar In A Box started. It grew from initially just doing things for friends and it became a lifestyle. Suddenly I had a client list and we got popular quite quickly.”

Now, TJ and Bar In A Box – much like NB Gin – are winning plaudits far and wide. TJ’s company has branched out into festivals and other large events and was even hired for the VIP area at Party In The Palace.

The relationship that TJ has with NB Gin is one that he is proud of and it all started with a few new cocktails that he created for us. Since then, NB Gin and TJ Littlejohn have gone together like a Gin & Tonic.

“NB Gin took me to Madrid for three days for the Gin Show last year, which was fantastic and an amazing experience.

“As soon as I tasted what NB Gin produce, I really loved it. It’s something I always really enjoy.

“I think there’s a number of aspects to NB Gin’s success; partly, right place, right time; Viv [Muir, NB Gin CEO] is incredibly good at what she does and thirdly Steve [Muir, NB Gin master distiller] makes a fantastic gin and knows so much about gin.

“I love speaking to Steve as I always seem to learn so much from him.

“From the bottle, the design, the gin itself, NB Gin is run by the right people who have more than just passion for it, there’s love and insight to it and that’s something people can buy into and relate to very easily. People love that.”

We could not possibly interview a cocktail expert like TJ without getting some advice. For TJ, it’s quite straightforward. There are golden rules to making a good cocktail that must be adhered to. So what are they TJ?

“First of all, loads of ice. It doesn’t really matter what the cocktail is, but plenty ice is always going to give it a lift.

“Secondly, don’t be scared. Some people get intimidated by cocktails but there’s no need. Be bold and creative and think outside the box. That’s when I became a much better barman; when I learned to experiment.

“The last thing is, enjoy it. Cocktails are to be enjoyed and making them should be fun. Don’t try too hard and appreciate the ingredients that you’re working with. Remember that, but seriously, the ice is really important.”

Visit the Bar In A Box website here to learn more about TJ.

NB Gin to develop new fuel for NASA

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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.