Is your gin craft or just crafty?

Craft or crafty

Gin is most definitely in again with the clear spirit at the centre of a revolution. It seems like everyone is after the next new fashionable craft gin but is your gin really craft or just crafty?

You see, not all craft or artisan gins are created equal. For all the wonderful, inventive and delicious craft gins in the UK today, there are gins that are quite simply nothing but young pretenders.

Continue reading

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 to be served to world’s music industry at the BRITs after party!

BRITs Beyonce

NB Gin, the award-winning premium spirit produced in North Berwick, will soon be sampled by some of the biggest names in world pop, following an exclusive invitation to grace the tables at this year’s star-studded Sony Music BRIT Awards After Party in London on February 25.

The BRIT Awards is the UK’s biggest showcase for music talent and one of the most anticipated events in the global entertainment calendar. But when the stars really start to let their hair down is afterwards, with some of music’s most famous faces painting the town red well after the gong-fest.

And the most sought-after tickets in town will be to the Sony party, where pop icons such as Pharrell Williams and the members of One Direction are due to attend.

NB Gin will be the only brand of gin being served to the 600-strong guest list and will be joined by some of the most exclusive drinks brands available, such as Belvedere vodka.

NB Gin’s expert mixologist has created two unique cocktails to be served to party guests on the night, including the Bees Knees, made with honey and rosemary. Bottles of NB Gin will also be placed on every table, with tasting glasses alongside.

Vivienne Muir, director at NB Gin, says: “We are thrilled and honoured to be serving NB Gin at the biggest night in British music. To have been chosen from such a long list of other possible brands is the icing on the cake of what has been a fantastic year for us, and we cannot wait to let the music industry elite sample our very own handcrafted spirit.“

Morten Jensen, partner at Billetto UK Ltd, which is assisting with the drinks brands for the Sony event, says, “NB Gin was a natural choice for us. Its quality is second to none, making it perfect in cocktails but also delicious served neat with ice. And the chic bottle looks great. Our guests will only be served drinks worthy of this glittering event, and we are delighted to have NB Gin on the menu.”

NB Gin is produced by Vivienne and her husband Steve in a custom-made copper still at their micro-distillery in North Berwick, East Lothian. Using the London Dry Gin distillation process, 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.

Since its launch in October 2013, there has been overwhelming demand for the new spirit. It’s now being stocked in a long list of high-end hotels, bars, shops and restaurants across the country, from Aberdeen to London. And things are going well overseas too, with sales thriving in Spain, Germany and Denmark, and an agreement nearing the final stages with a distributor in the USA.

NB Gin was honoured with a silver medal in the Micro Distillery category at The Gin Masters 2014, just nine months after launch. It was the “clear winner” and “really stole the show” in a recent gin taste test of 11 different brands conducted by The Scotsman, being praised for having “a smooth, rounded palate with a fabulous long poised finish” and described as a “proper” gin.*

And it is described as “superb” by royal party planner Johnny Roxburgh, who has more than 33 years of experience in luxury event catering and party design. He has become one of NB Gin’s biggest fans and is already serving the artisan spirit to guests at high society events across the country

To help with increasing demand, Vivienne and Steve have upgraded their equipment and expanded their premises for the second time in a year to make sure that they’re geared up for more significant production. They have also launched a new website at www.nbgin.com

Come in, sit down and make yourself comfortable! Can we get you a drink?

Viv and Steve photo

Creating something that people love is an odd thing, especially when you started out just tinkering with ideas and having fun.

NB Gin was borne out of a desire to create something that we could be proud of and that we would enjoy doing. Something that we could say, “Yip, we made that.” Nothing else.

We really had no grandiose visions of creating a brand that people would come to love. We didn’t even think about people buying the product at first.

But first thing first – you must create something that is truly the best you can make it. That was crucial at the start for us. If it’s not going to be the best you can possibly do, then what’s the point?

Perhaps experimenting with botanicals and an old bashed pressure cooker were not the most auspicious beginnings but, hey, we had to start somewhere.

We like to think that all the quirks and backstories, trials and errors, have all gone in to make NB Gin what it is today and we are routinely blown away by the feedback that we get from those who drink our produce.

The stories we could tell you… wow! There have been some really exciting days, some very tough days and some days that we’ll never forget. It has always been fun though. If it weren’t fun, then what would be the point? We aim to create something that people enjoy and that they want to talk about and share with their friends.

To that end, we thought it was about time to start talking to you in a little space we can call our own. This is for those who love gin, those who buy our gin, those who don’t and those who might just be interested in learning more about the gin revolution – welcome to the NB Gin Blog!

It’s really quite exciting to think that over the coming months and years, we get to share all the stories and news about our artisan gin in this little digital corner of the world.

The next 12 months look set to be massive for us and we’ll be telling you all about it all right here.

It’s been a real adventure from day one for NB Gin and every day seems to bring a new opportunity or challenge, which we relish.

We have a passion for what we do and we want to let you in on that. Whether you love artisan gin or not, we want to make this a welcoming and enjoyable place to come. There will be a prize or two and perhaps even some exclusives to those who follow the blog.

So, pour yourself a drink (it is Friday evening after all), settle in and enjoy our stories. We’ve got lots to tell you!

And to think it all started with an old pressure cooker.

Chin chin!

Want even more news about NB Gin? Follow us on Twitter here and like our Facebook page here. We have a competition where you can win a bottle of our gin right now (entries close on Monday, January 26th 2015) so head on over!