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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Christmas gin ideas to make it a merry one

NB Christmas drinks

At NB Gin we love to get into the festive spirit (no pun intended… okay maybe a little bit), so we thought it was right on time to give you our favourite Christmas gin cocktails and serves.

NB Gin, in our humble opinion, is simply perfect as a G&T or neat, or perhaps with some ice. Our perfect NB Gin serve is with Fever-Tree Tonic, lots of ice and orange or grapefruit to garnish. But at Christmas time you must get a little creative, don’t you think?

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Three cocktails to make in under three minutes

3 cocktails 3 mins

Hands up who likes cocktails!

Okay, so we are all guilty of sipping on cocktails when we get the chance, aren’t we? But some of us simply don’t have the time, or ingredients, to do so.

When we think of cocktails, we think of exotic ingredients from lands afar and a bartender in a bow tie furiously shaking a Boston tumbler over his shoulder.

It doesn’t need to be this way.

Using everyday ingredients, you can make these simple gin cocktails at home in under three minutes.

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A life of luxury drinks

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After we were chosen by Rolls Royce as one of the world’s most revered brands in their enthusiasts publication, we’ve been celebrating this as Luxury Week.

We couldn’t resist tempting you into the most luxurious cocktails in the world and even included the cocktail we came up with for Rolls Royce – Spirit of Splendour.

Rolls Royce – Spirit of Splendour

This cocktail emphasises the highlights of luxury life without breaking the bank as you can make it in your own home.

To make this gorgeous cocktail, fill a shaker with ice and add a healthy measure (50ml) of NB Gin, mix in 12½ml red Vermouth, 5ml of Pedro Ximenez sherry and finally two dashes of Angostura bitters.

Give the mix a good stir and strain into a champagne balloon. Just to add that opulent touch, garnish with gold leaf.

Kentucky Derby Mint Julep

Costing a whopping £660, the Mint Julep is a signature sip at the Kentucky Derby.

The cocktail is served in a custom made Tiffany & Co cup immersed in ancient ice sourced from an Alaskan glacier more than 10,000-years-old.

The Mint Julep is made with Woodford Reserve Bourbon and turbinado sugar with a garnish of Louisville-grown mint.

Our thoughts: do you get to keep the cup?!

Ritz-Paris Sidecar

From just across the Channel comes a limited edition drink that may not be available in years to come.

Priced at £340 the Sidecar starts off as a normal, but classic mix of brandy, Cointreau and a dash of lemon juice, but added to this is the very rare 1830 Ritz Reserve.

There are a small amount of Ritz Reserve bottles left in the world due to the batch being made before the invasion of phylloxera pest, which destroyed a large amount of France’s valued grapes.

Mai Tai

You can order the Mai Tai at the Merchant Hotel in Belfast with a price tag of £936.

The price is so high due to the uniqueness of the rum, with only six bottles available worldwide, the Merchant owning one of them.

The Merchant claims to be the only bar in the world serving the exclusive cocktail.

The Diamond Is Forever Martini

On the 45th floor of the Ritz-Carlton at the top of the Tokyo Midtown Tower you will find the Lobby Lounge and Bar where this remarkable cocktail is served.

The extravagant drink is made up of cooled Grey Goose Vodka and fresh limejuice, but there is something even more luxurious about this drink…

Sparkling in the bottom of the glass is a beautiful one-carat diamond – which you get to keep. The drink does cost £9,700 though.

The flawless one-carat diamond definitely makes this drink a girl’s best friend.

Want to know how to make an NB Gin Spirit of Splendour? Check it (and the Rolls Royce) out here.

NB Gin arrives in Australia

Melbourne NB Gin

NB Gin, the multi-award-winning craft gin produced in Scotland, is now available in Australia having secured a deal with The Wigs Cellar in Melbourne. The spirit will be sold locally through the company’s city-based premium liquor boutique, as well as being supplied to major bars and restaurants across Melbourne. It will also be made available to gin lovers across the whole nation through the Wigs website.

NB Distillery, where NB Gin is produced, is located in North Berwick on the east coast of Scotland. Following the extremely stringent London Dry distillation process to the letter, the distillery has created a spirit which is very classic, pure, and of the highest possible quality. And it was this clarity of taste together with the gin’s uncompromising quality that convinced The Wigs Cellar to snap up it as quickly as possible.

The quality of NB Gin is, in fact, the key to its success. Among other accolades, it won the “World’s Best London Dry Gin” category at The World Drinks Awards 2015 following three rounds of judging by an international panel of experts. It’s described as “superb” by Johnny Roxburgh, party planner for the UK Royal Family and master entertainer to the global elite, and was served as the gin of choice to the cream of the music industry earlier this year at the star-studded Sony Music BRIT Awards After Party in London.

And most recently, Vivienne Muir, CEO of NB Distillery, scooped the gong for International Growth Business of the Year at the Business Women Scotland Awards

NB Gin will also be featured in the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club 2016 Yearbook, which celebrates the best in design and luxury living. The launch will take place this December at the Saatchi Gallery in London and it is here where a bottle of NB Gin will appear in a lit-up glass case and be placed on its own individual plinth.

NB Gin is stilled, blended, bottled and labelled by hand in very small batches, to ensure that every bottle is absolutely perfect. 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 which is not overly complicated. The still itself was custom built in London and installed in North Berwick by the oldest gin makers in the world.

Vivienne Muir, CEO of NB Gin, says: “Gin is enjoying a huge resurgence and no more so than in Australia, where it’s quickly becoming one of the most popular white spirits in the country. Thanks to the rise of the cocktail culture and a growing appetite for quality, Australian stockists are seeking out interesting hand-crafted gins because their customers are seeking variety, authenticity and something which has a different ‘story’ to the mainstream names.

“This is where NB Gin fits perfectly and we’re thrilled that The Wigs Cellar, whose name is synonymous with knowledge, experience and quality, has selected our spirit as one of the first Scottish gins to be added to its portfolio.”

Ross Smith, Director at The Wigs Cellar, said: “NB Gin’s smooth flavour makes it perfect for cocktails but it’s equally delicious on its own, so it’s highly versatile as well as being of the highest possible quality. Gin is surging in popularity across Australia with premium craft brands in particular gaining real momentum among consumers, so it’s the perfect time for us to introduce this fantastic multi-award-winning spirit to the nation.”

Since its UK launch in late 2013, there has been overwhelming demand for NB Gin and it’s stocked in a very long list of high-end hotels, bars, shops and restaurants across the country. The word is quickly spreading beyond the British Isles too and it’s now being sold in a number of overseas markets including the U.S., France, Spain, Germany, Denmark and Belgium, with strong interest also coming from Hong Kong, China and Canada.

Reassuringly classic but contemporary in character, NB Gin is bright and fresh with subtle notes of citrus and a solid hint of juniper. It’s also uncompromising on quality, with every part of this artisan spirit having an attention to detail which makes it stand out from the rest. It works either on its own with a block or two of ice, traditionally mixed with a quality tonic, or is equally at home in a classic cocktail.

Would you like to stock NB Gin? Fill in the form here and we’ll be in touch! 

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 Vodka cocktails to lift your summer spirit

Summer cocktails

NB London Dry Citrus Vodka – the first of its kind in the world – has been going down a storm since we launched it a couple of weeks ago.

We are rather proud of its subtle yet powerful character and, of course, it can be (and has been!) enjoyed in its simple glory – with Fever Tree Naturally Light tonic water, ice and a peel of orange for company. It’s an absolute winner, especially now the sun has come to play.

And speaking of sunshine, we love cocktails in the summer, so we thought it was prudent for us to suggest some ways to enjoy your NB London Dry Citrus Vodka… just in case our rather fickle summer weather decides to disappear again.

Keeping it simple… but delicious

25ml NB London Dry Citrus Vodka

Fever tree light tonic

Lots of ice

Peel of orange

 

Cloud No. 9

25ml NB London Dry Citrus Vodka

Top with Still Cloudy Lemonade

Garnish with Mint Sprig

Cubed Ice Filled highball

 

Summer Time Sally

25ml NB London Dry Citrus Vodka

Top with Cream Soda

Garnish with Cucumber Slice

Cubed Ice filled Highball

 

Rays of Raspberries

50ml NB London Dry Citrus Vodka

25ml Pink Grapefruit Juice

12.5ml Simple Syrup (cup of sugar, cup of water, bring to the boil and then cool)

3 Raspberries

Shake all ingredients, strain to cocktail glass.

Garnish with a raspberry.

Want to keep up to date with what’s happening in the worlds of NB Gin and NB Vodka AND win prizes? Follow us on Twitter here and like us on Facebook 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

barinabox

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.

Gin – The drink at the centre of a revolution

NB Gin beach

When NB Gin was born, it was around the time of a new gin revolution in the UK and what has happened over the last two years has taken even the most enthusiastic gin lover a little by surprise.

It’s no longer a UK gin revolution, it’s a worldwide gin revolution and we’d like to think that from a beautiful little corner of the country in North Berwick, we’re doing our bit to help it roar on.

It seems that gin is the spirit on everyone’s lips… we couldn’t resist that little pun.

It’s not that gin ever really fell out of fashion as such. The beautiful, refreshing spirit has always had a passionate following but vodka has reigned supreme for decades. You could say that gin perhaps got lost in the super-marketing of other big spirits, namely vodka. Not now though. Gin is back and we’re glad to say it’s here to stay.

In fact, in a recent survey of London’s top bars, the majority of mixologists named gin as the most important spirit on the shelf and the one that most customers class as the ‘drink to be seen with’.

One of the biggest factors in the gin revolution is the changing drinking habits of the public.

Perhaps as a result of the huge success of the craft beer scene, people are now far savvier about drinking quality spirits rather than the mass-produced, heavily marketed options that flood the industry.

In short, drinkers place far more weight on quality than they do on marketing tactics and that bodes well for artisan and craft producers, like NB Gin.

As we’ve said before, for us it will always be about the quality of our product. We only ever produce in small batches of no more than 100 litres at a time. That way we can be absolutely certain that our gin is perfect every time.

The gin revolution shows no sign of slowing (or should that be sloe-ing?) and we feel quite honoured that our drink is one of the names mentioned by experts when talking about world-class artisan gin.

Cocktails have helped to make gin cool again too, especially in a time when no self-respecting bar would be without a mixologist who really knows his or her stuff.

Our very own mixologist and brand ambassador TJ Littlejohn from Bar In A Box loves to mix with gin and he even created three brand new NB Gin cocktails to wow the celebrity guests when we serve them our gin at the Brit Awards.

All this talk about ‘being in’ and trendy bars might lead you to think that this revolution is about style over substance. No way, we say! In fact, we’re pretty sure that anyone who has ever enjoyed a good quality gin and tonic will know that it’s all about what’s in the glass.

The fact that gin is on trend again is a mere side point to it being one of life’s little luxuries and we’re so happy to be part of it. Chin chin!

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!