From world’s best London Dry gin to world’s first London Dry citrus vodka

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Steve and Vivienne Muir, the husband-and-wife team behind the award-winning NB Gin, are now bringing their very own brand of premium vodka to the market. But this isn’t just any vodka. NB Distillery has broken new ground by producing the world’s first London Dry citrus vodka.

NB London Dry Citrus Vodka is certainly no ‘flavoured’ vodka. All the taste comes purely from the botanicals used in the distillation method and absolutely nothing is added after this. It is simply blended down to bottling condition at 40 per cent alcohol.

Like many great things, this game-changing spirit came into existence with an element of chance. When creating NB Gin, which is also produced using the London Dry process, the master distiller ran some micro test batches using only a very small number of botanicals to explore the different flavour groupings this process could create. One of these was a citrus run and the Muirs were hugely impressed with the smooth, subtle and long citrus flavour which was created.

It took another 18 months, hundreds of samples and countless tasting committee sessions to come up with the final version of the new London Dry drink. Vivienne Muir says: “Like our gin, we’ve not compromised on quality, using only British pure grain spirit and the best botanicals we can find. What we’ve produced is totally new and we think that it will throw a curveball into the vodka market in terms of its uniqueness.

“There are no gimmicks or strange quirks involved. The innovation lies within its extremely stringent production method, which has allowed us to create something very classic, very natural, and of the highest possible quality, following the London dry process to the letter. There are no additives or sweeteners in our London Dry vodka. And it’s very versatile, so it’s delicious on its own but is also an excellent base for cocktails.”

As part of their final tasting committee, Steve and Vivienne once again engaged the expert services of Charles Maxwell at Thames Distillers in London, who concluded: “This is an exceptionally well-balanced vodka with lovely subtle citrus notes. I’m not aware of anyone else producing citrus vodka though the London Dry process. Quite an achievement.” An excellent endorsement from such a leading industry expert.

Those who are familiar with NB Gin, which was recently judged as the world’s best London Dry gin*, will know just how firmly NB Distillery is wedded to the London Dry process. ““It’s immensely difficult to control with a vast number of variables, including temperature and run time, which can change the outcome,” explains Steve Muir.

“It is only this method which allows us to create the most subtle of variations to flavour and our smooth and distinctive long taste.”

The inaugural batch of 300 bottles of the new London Dry Citrus Vodka has already been snapped up by Lockett Brothers in the spirit’s home town of North Berwick, and will go on sale from Thursday 28th May. It follows in the footsteps of NB Gin, which was launched at the same location in October 2013.

NB Vodka is only available at Lockett Bros. Buy it from the online store here or visit the shop at 133 High Street, North Berwick.

What to eat with your Gin and Tonic

Gin & Tonic food pairing

When we think about our beloved Gin and Tonic, we are sometimes a little bit guilty of seeing it as a standalone offering but how wrong that is!

There’s a whole world of delicious foods that are just perfect to enjoy with your well-deserved G&T.

We’re going to go on the assumption that you like to enjoy a Gin and Tonic or two at the end of a long, hard week so for that reason, our suggestions are quick and simple. That means there are no excuses!

Let’s face it, your NB Gin is always going to be the star of the show, but there’s no reason why the food cannot play a winning supporting role.

So here are a few foods that are just fabulous when paired with your Gin and Tonic.

Smoked salmon

It’s a classic and one that needs very little done to it to be enjoyed, much like NB Gin!

Cold cured smoked salmon, perhaps with a little spicy kick, is a stunning combination with your Gin & Tonic. For that little bit of sharpness, use a smidgen of lemon juice on the fish. There are few better foods to pair with gin.

Strong cheese

It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, we know, but a well-matured strong cheese with the humble cracker is an under-rated partner for gin.

We’re thinking of something like Stilton. The strong kick from this works wonders with the subtle tones of a good London Dry Gin, such as NB Gin.

If you want to try something else, a quality goat’s cheese or a smoked cheese balances really well with gin.

Cured meats

A selection of cured meats – we’re thinking a tapas offering of chorizo, salami and morcilla (a bit like a Spanish version of black pudding) – served on a platter with good quality olives and crusty bread is an absolute winner for a Friday night gin.

The best part is you can put it all together in less than 15 minutes, giving you more time to enjoy your G&T (you’ve worked hard all week and you deserve it).

Lamb skewers

Okay, so you have to turn the cooker on for this one but it’s so quick and easy that you really don’t have an excuse, even if it is Friday night.

Cube the lamb and soak in a marinade of yoghurt, mint, a little garlic and a squish of lemon juice. To save time on Friday night, do this part in the morning before work and leave in the fridge.

Skewer the yummy meat and grill until ready. If the sun’s out, fire up the barbecue and eat al fresco!

For the sweet tooth…

A light fruit medley of blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and a few cranberries for good measure are a real hit with your Gin & Tonic.

We’re not going to talk you into making ice cream (it’s Friday) so buy a really good quality ice cream, or better still, a stunningly sharp sorbet to get the party started.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter here and like us on Facebook here for more gin-inspired fun and prizes! 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