It seems that just about everybody is in love with gin these days and that makes us very happy, so here are 10 signs that you’re a gin connoisseur.
We’re rather proud to be able to say that NB is the world’s best gin but what actually makes NB Gin the world’s best gin?
NB Gin is to celebrate its association with the BRIT Awards by serving music’s biggest stars from hand-etched BRIT-inspired bottles created by a designer from her home studio in a Scottish village.
NB Gin will be a drinks sponsor at the official Sony BRIT Awards after-party in London for the third year in a row. Stars at the glittering bash will enjoy five-star treatment at a secret upmarket venue and NB Gin’s hand-etched bottles will be served to the celebrity A-listers.
Valentine’s Day is one of our favourite days of the year here at NB Gin. And what better way to celebrate it, than with one of our very own themed Valentine’s Day gin cocktails?
Chocolates and flowers are good but aren’t they just a little clichéd these days? Let’s put them to one side for the moment and let’s get the gin out!
Christmas may be over and the march through 2017 is well and truly underway but the weather is still bitter outside so here are some winter gin and food pairings to warm your cockles.
Whether you are after a winter gin cocktail or a simple G&T we have the winter food and gin pairing to help you get the most out of your occasion.
These are our top suggestions for what gin creation goes well with your winter food.
NB Gin recently launched in Canada so we thought it was time to review its establishment’s and give you this list of Canada’s best gin bars… So here we go!
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.
It occurred to us recently that we spend so much time talking gin that we perhaps don’t talk much about ourselves so, in the first of a series, here’s a little bit more about Viv Muir, the co-founder of NB Gin.
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?
Now, before anyone starts getting outraged by the headline about drinking gin without tonic, let’s clear a few things up.
Firstly, we LOVE a good gin and tonic. We believe that the G&T is probably one of man’s greatest triumphs.
Secondly, this is subjective. If the thought of drinking a spirit without a tonic or some kind of mixer appals you, then that’s okay. But you’re missing out…
NB Gin and Johnny Roxburgh have created a brand new gin, to be launched in the UK in 2017.
The collaboration between NB – voted the world’s best London Dry gin in 2015 – and Johnny – world renowned party architect to the stars – will see the new gin launched in April 2017.
Johnny Roxburgh Number 67 London Dry gin is a premium London Dry with Norfolk samphire as one of the prime botanicals.
NB Gin is collaborating with Johnny Roxburgh – party architect to the stars and NB ambassador – to produce a brand-new gin that’s rather special.
There will be more about this exciting new gin in the coming weeks, but before then we thought you’d want to learn more about Johnny Roxburgh. Does he have the greatest job on the planet? Probably. Is he fabulously talented? Absolutely. Is he one of the world’s best gin connoisseurs? There’s no doubt!
If you were to ask anyone to make a quick drink using gin, the vast majority would make a G&T. Not only because of its simplicity, but also it’s great taste. The G&T has become the staple drink of the gin market.
So, why do we love a good gin and tonic?
We all love craft gin, right? We all love to talk about quality gin don’t we? Did you know, NB Gin was voted the world’s best London Dry gin in 2015? There’s a little piece of gin trivia to impress your friends with, and below, 12 gin quotes to impress your friends with at your next get-together.
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.
Gin is more popular now than it has been for more than a century, but to us at NB Gin – the world’s best London Dry gin – that’s really no surprise.
Here are five reasons why gin is popular again.
Trying to pick London’s best gin bars is a bit like trying to pick your favourite child (okay maybe that’s a little OTT) but there are so many to choose from that it’s a tough task.
Gin and London go w-a-a-a-y back, as you probably know but, as unthinkable as it seems now, the British capital did sort-of fall out of love with gin for a long time.
Luckily, London’s love affair with gin is back and it’s stronger than it’s ever been. London now boasts some of the world’s finest gin bars.
So, in keeping with our series of gin bars in the world’s best cities, we thought we’d highlight five of the best in London.
Who made the top five? Read on and find out!
Our series on the best gin bars in the greatest cities of the world has gone down like a good G&T so we thought it was time to tell you about the best gin bars in Melbourne.
In no particular order, here are four of our favourite gin bars in Australia’s capital of Victoria, Melbourne.
We know and you know that gin is perfect all year round but now that it’s summer (apparently) it’s an ideal time to spice up your serves.
NB Gin – whether it’s Navy Strength or original – is rather spectacular enjoyed neat, in a classic or a cocktail so here are a few ideas to make your summer serves really sparkle.
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.
Did you think gin is a drink only to be mixed with tonic? Wrong! Gin is such a versatile spirit it can be enjoyed in so many ways. The really good gins are even smooth enough to be enjoyed neat.
Here’s a whole bunch of reasons why gin is everyone’s drink… even if you don’t like G&Ts.
NB Gin – the North Berwick-based London Dry which was voted the world’s best in 2015 – and NB Vodka – the world’s first London Dry Citrus Vodka – was served to high society at the lavish Houghton Hall last night (June 22nd).
The £10,000-a-head invitation-only bash saw 80 VIPs descend on the stately home of the Marquess and Marchioness of Cholmondeley and was in aid of the East Anglia Children’s Hospice, a charity which the Duchess of Cambridge became a patrol of in 2012.
It’s June, which means it’s allegedly summer in the UK, so it’s time to start thinking about your gin and vodka cocktails.
To help you get into the spirit (sorry) we’ve selected 10 vodka and gin cocktails for you to enjoy.
As suggested in the name, Navy Strength gin is much stronger. But why?
We’re going to take you back in time to the 18th Century when legislation was passed that meant every Royal Navy vessel had to take on board a certain quantity of gin.
The Navy believed that the drink could help to keep sailors healthy and was able to fight off diseases like malaria and scurvy.
Often gin was stored below deck amongst many items including the essential gun powder.
At NB we like to think there are three distinct types of drinkers who enjoy our gin; the sipper, the classic lover and the cocktail lover. Read our guide and discover which you are.
Our Queen is now 90 we decided to take a look at some of her clothing choices from the past nine decades.
Her Majesty always looks immaculate so it was difficult to narrow it down to just 10 looks but here are our favourites.
Queen Elizabeth II is now 90 (yes, that incredible lady is now a nonagenarian) and NB Gin is incredibly proud to have a small part to play in the celebrations.
Her Royal Highness will celebrate her birthday in style (obvs) from this Thursday – Sunday with a huge party at Windsor Castle… and we mean HUGE.
Our Queen, she’s a real worker and we can all agree on that. She probably attends more engagements in a year that what most of us do in a lifetime. She’s just turned 90 but that hasn’t slowed her down. In fact, her last few years as head of state have been as busy as ever.
This is what an average day looks like for the Queen.
There have been 12 U.S. Presidents during her reign including Dwight D. Eisenhower, Barrack Obama, John Kennedy and Richard Nixon.
Elizabeth is patron of more than 600 charities and organisations such as Action for Children, Cancer Research UK and Dogs Trust.
The Queen is the only person in Britain who can drive without a license or number plate on her state car.
NB Gin, the multi-award-winning premium spirit produced in Scotland, will appear in the official commemorative publication for The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration to take place at Windsor Castle this year.
While The Queen’s actual birthday is on 21 April and her official birthday is on a Saturday in June, The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration will take place from 12 to 15 May 2016 in Home Park, Windsor Castle, and will celebrate The Queen’s life, her dedication to the Commonwealth and international affairs, her involvement with the armed forces and her love of horses.
NB Gin – voted the world’s best London dry in 2015 – has taken the extraordinary step of buying an emergency delivery vehicle to speed up deliveries to retailers.
The new vehicle, affectionately dubbed ‘The Ginbusters van’, will be used to deliver bottles of NB Gin, Navy Strength and Citrus Dry Vodka to stockists who re-order at short notice.
As well as its brightly coloured livery the van also features the siren from the hit US movie franchise Ghostbusters which will alert other drivers to give way.
NB Gin was served to the stars for the second year in a row at the BRITs Sony After Party in London last week.
NB was the ONLY gin on offer at the event and A-list celebs and music moguls enjoyed it very much… in fact, they enjoyed it so much that they drank every bottle.
We had a blast at the event. Here are five things that happened…
NB Gin, the multi-award-winning premium spirit produced in North Berwick, has received an exclusive return invitation to the Sony Music BRIT Awards After Party in London on 24th February, where it will be served to the cream of world pop for the second year running.
The BRIT Awards is the British music industry’s biggest and glitziest night of the year, and with stars such as Adele, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber and Coldplay on this year’s nominee list, it should be one of the most hotly-contested nights in the event’s history.
NB Gin, the multi-award-winning craft gin produced in North Berwick, has secured a deal with Instil Drinks Company, which specialises in the distribution and brand development of a hand-picked selection of artisan and authentic spirits, beers, ciders and liqueurs.
The Instil Drinks Company is a trading arm of Bibendum PLB Group, one of the UK’s most powerful independent drinks companies.
The company is taking on NB Gin, NB Gin Navy Strength and NB London Dry Citrus Vodka and will act as exclusive distribution agent for all three, focusing on England and Wales.
February the 14th is fast approaching, to some of you this is just another day, for others it’s a chance to show someone you care.
But why should couples have all the fun? At NB, we think Valentine’s Day should be everybody’s perfect day.
You’re single and loving it!
Although it would be easy to just grab a spoon and curl up with your two favourite fellas, Ben and Jerry and a cheeky gin, you’re not going to!
So what if you’re single? This is the perfect opportunity to dedicate another day to you! Let’s be honest, there aren’t enough days in the week to dedicate to Yours Truly!
Be your own Valentine. Start the day with your favourite brekkie, even if it’s a bit naughty. The diet can go on hold for a day.
Chocolate spread on toast or Eggs Benedict? Do it!
Start the day the way you mean to go on. Do the things that make YOU happy, whether that’s a long bike ride or some retail therapy, enjoy some time to yourself!
You AND your friends are single! Perfect!
What could be better? Mate dates are so much more fun than real dates anyway! None of that awkward chatter as you get to know each other, and you’re way past the stage where you question whether pinching one of their chips is acceptable or not.
So you’re a couple…
For you couples that aren’t into all the romance, don’t feel forced into a stereotypical candlelit dinner.
You love each other so have YOUR perfect day, just the way YOU want it. Celebrate with your other half in your own little way. Whether that’s skydiving or playing chess with each other, whatever you both enjoy – go do it!
Maybe you love the traditional, romantic Valentine’s Day with roses and chocolates, then great. There’s nothing wrong with some good old fashioned romance, especially on February 14th.
Whether you’re single, attached, or even if your Facebook status is ‘it’s complicated’ you can make Valentine’s Day 2016 the best one ever.
In its essence, Valentine’s Day is about caring for each other and at NB, we think that’s perfect, no matter how you do it.
NB is driven by one thing: Perfection. We create world-class London Dry gin and London Dry citrus vodka. Perfection cannot (and should not) be rushed. Ever.
That’s why our perfect spirits should be enjoyed slowly. Our gins, both Navy Strength and standard, are so pure and refined that they can be enjoyed neat. A perfect pleasure as a sipping drink, or in a classic G&T with Fever Tree tonic.
For the perfect experience, enjoy NB slowly and responsibly.
It wasn’t so long ago that the idea of ordering a gin in a bar was something you probably wouldn’t do but a few years ago something happened. There was a shift. A big one.
Now, gin is in and it seems everyone is on to it.
Gin is now seen as the most important drink by many of the world’s leading bars, and that’s something that would have been unthinkable even five years ago.
So gin is here… and here to stay. It’s the drink that everyone wants in bars all over the world. That revolution is happening right now.
But, perhaps quietly in the background, another revolution is happening.
Gin might just be the new single malt whisky. It’s a bold statement but when you look at the background you realise it might not just be so ridiculous.
Let’s look back first. Before the explosion of independent UK gin distillers a few years ago, there was really only the big guns producing gin, save for a few brave distilleries that were fighting the good fight with exceptional produce.
But now, it’s different.
Thanks to the incredible growth of fabulously good gin from independent distilleries, it’s very easy to get your hands on really good gin. It’s suddenly very accessible and that has led many discerning drinkers to enjoy it at home.
Gin is no longer a drink that is hastily poured into tonic and ice in a busy bar on a Friday night. The wealth of quality gin on the market has changed the way we enjoy it and, in a way, slowed things way down.
Let’s think about a really good single malt whisky and the way we enjoy it. Your favourite nip probably holds a sort of pride of place in the drinks cabinet. There’s a definite sense of ceremony to the way you prepare and enjoy your favourite single malt. It’s a treat, you’re enjoying something of rare quality and it deserves due attention and care.
The attention that you give to your single malt whisky is part of the romance of the drink. The wonderful second revolution that we mentioned earlier is that gin is very often the drink that people are choosing to give this due care to.
A really good London Dry gin, lovingly prepared with a more-than generous helping of ice, is nothing short of a triumph. In the tradition of enjoying a fine single malt whisky, savouring a beautifully produced London Dry gin, perhaps like NB Gin, is one of life’s pleasures. You’ve heard of sipping whisky, yes?
Now try sipping gin… with lots of ice, mind. In the winter, in front of the fire with some good cheese and biscuits, or in summer with a giddy mishmash of fruits and cured meats, gin is a wonderful thing to be enjoyed.
NB Gin is proudly produced in North Berwick, Scotland, and there are many people asking this question seriously, could gin overtake whisky as Scotland’s national drink? A question that would have seemed preposterous just a few years ago.
The UK Government recently predicted that gin exports would eventually overtake whisky sales. UK gin has the whole world talking and more than 70 per cent of UK gin is now produced in Scotland. You could say that Scotland is at the epicentre of the gin revolution.
The next time you reach for your favourite single malt whisky, consider trying a world-class London Dry gin, perhaps NB Gin, which was voted the world’s best in 2015.
Not to blow our own trumpet or anything but Scottish gin is bloody wonderful, and arguably the best in the world.
A massive 70 per cent of all UK gin is produced in Scotland across many craft and artisan distilleries so there must be a reason for all the fuss…
Style is everything
Scottish gin distillers don’t all use the same style; we like to mix it up! Scotland has such a diverse approach when it comes to producing gin. Our distillers tend to experiment which makes the end result even more exciting. This experimentation and creative verve brings a whole new edge to the industry.
A little bit of history
Although Scotland may be better known for its tremendous whisky, its gin distillers have used this immense experience to become master gin distillers.
Of course, Scottish gin is not new, as much as it is a very popular drink with the younger generation. There are Scottish gin recipes dating back some 250 years.
Many Scottish distillers take advantage of the environment, using it in their gin to produce a unique twist. From Scottish junipers to vibrant heather, Scottish distillers have experimented around with their own landscape to produce the most tantalising and creative batches of gin.
The best bar none
The gin is well and truly in again. Mother’s Ruin? That’s so last century! The pretty young things have collectively seized the opportunity to take it on board and in turn so has Scotland.
With such a huge selection of fabulous gin bars in Scotland, the gin lover (that’s you, by the way) is really spoilt for choice.
From the capital of Edinburgh to the Highlands, there’s an embarrassment of riches when it comes to bars that know the importance of serving good gin.
Scotland is also home to a bar – Fifty Six North – with one of the biggest collections of gin in the country! But we don’t suggest you try all 200 varieties of gin in one night…
Competition makes improvement
Competition could be the best thing for Scottish gin, given its success.
As there is such a massive array of gin distillers in Scotland this obviously leads to competition.
But for customers this is fantastic and the reasoning why is simple – distillers will work even harder to try and grasp your attention against their competitors, resulting in a bigger diversity of gins.
More flavours, better quality, more styles, more garnishes, new cocktails – the works!
Passion at the heart
There is a reason why the Scottish gin industry has boomed in the past decade and one of the major reasons is the passion that goes into distilling gin.
Distilling world-class craft and artisan gin is an art. We use our own two hands and high-quality ingredients to create our award-winning London Dry gin… with a little help from our kinky still.
NB Gin is an artisan London Dry gin – recently voted the world’s best – and is distilled in North Berwick, Scotland. To learn about stocking NB Gin, contact us here.
It’s getting to the end of a long, hard year and what better way to say goodbye to 2015 than with a big bang? Behave, we mean fireworks.
Around the world, celebrations are carried out in many unique and entertaining ways and what better way to get into the celebratory mood than to know more about them?
Starting off close to home…
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay – #EdHogmanay
We all know that the Scottish like to celebrate New Year in the biggest way possible. Not just with one event either.
Throughout the holiday season the Scots have put in place several amazing events leading up to the big day.
Some of these events include a classic ceilidh in Edinburgh, which this year is attempting to the set the world record for the world’s largest Scottish country dance.
The highlight of the three-day festival might just be the Concert in the Gardens, which year after year showcases some amazing talent from all over the world. This year Scottish sensations Biffy Clyro will be headlining.
Sydney’s New Year’s Eve – #SydNYE
Our Australian friend will be setting the sky alight with colourful fireworks for their celebrations.
The iconic Sydney Harbour event will kick off with a stunning water display before the Harbour Bridge transforms into a canvas for a spectacular display.
As the night goes on spectators will witness a cultural ceremony celebrating Australian heritage followed by a family fireworks display then the famous Harbour of Light Parade will take place.
To finish the night off, a spectacular 12-minute firework and pyrotechnic display will lead you into the New Year.
New York City’s Time Square ball drop
Possibly one of the world’s most watched events is the NYC ball drop where Times Square is transformed into a magical hub of musical performances, balloons, confetti and of course a massive pyrotechnic display.
Taylor Swift was one of the big names to perform last year and is back again for the 2015 Farewell Show.
The live events start at three in the afternoon taking you all the way through to midnight.
Streets are closed as a mass of people take over the city streets to experience this magical event.
Rio’s New Year’s Eve beach party
New Year’s Eve in Rio is the country’s second biggest party of the year, coming close to their infamous Carnival.
During the day people gather on Copacabana beach to lay flowers as offerings to their Sea Goddess ‘Lemanja’ and as darkness creeps closer the party begins!
Stages are spread along the 4km Copacabana Beach entertaining the crowds of people with all different styles of music.
For those who want to waltz the night away in a more traditional way their Copacabana Palace hosts a stunning masquerade ball. Guests must dress in white with the added accessories in red for good luck and romance!
If you aren’t all about crazy parties in the world’s capitals, staying at home can be just as memorable.
Picture this: Surrounded by friends and family in your own little world next to the roaring fire with a G&T in hand – what could be better?
Get your NB gift pack from Lockett Bros in North Berwick here. Be quick!
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?!
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.
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 is one of the companies featured in the new Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club (RREC) publication Strive for Perfection – A Celebration of Design & Luxury. And a bottle of the Scottish craft spirit will become a formal exhibit at the publication’s official launch in London.
As one of the most prestigious car clubs in history, the RREC has legions of devoted members around the globe. In recognition of this enduring appeal, it will be hosting a luxury showcase at London’s famous Saatchi Gallery to launch its new book. It’s here that a bottle of NB Gin will appear in a lit-up glass case and be placed on its own individual plinth.
Rolls-Royce and Bentley motor car enthusiasts, owners and collectors, along with celebrity VIPs, will be hosted by motoring journalist and TV presenter Quentin Willson, racing driver and TV presenter Vicki Butler-Henderson, and the famous wine critic Jilly Goolden when the gallery opens its doors for this special book launch and exhibition on 4th December.
A showcase of Rolls-Royce and Bentley exhibits will be on display throughout the event to celebrate the illustrious history of the luxury motor car manufacturer. Curated to resonate with the book’s theme of high-end luxury and design, more than 100 of the most revered brands in the world – including NB Gin – will also be exhibiting at the launch. In addition, guests will be taken on a culinary journey of specially selected food and wines as they explore the gallery.
Vivienne Muir, CEO of NB Distillery, where NB Gin is produced, commented: “We couldn’t be more delighted that the RREC has selected NB Gin to be part of its 2016 publication. From the very start, our focus has been on quality and we’re thrilled that it’s the quality of NB Gin which is driving its success. The fact that it’s being actively sought out by other luxury names means that the time and effort we put into getting our original recipe absolutely perfect was worth every minute.”
Discussing the content of the new book, Jaclyn Smith, Business Manager at the RREC commented: “Our publishing partner, St James’s House, enlisted the help of a number of leading experts and motoring journalists, who share our love of Rolls-Royce, to produce a fitting homage to what is one of the world’s most prestigious names in luxury motoring. Exploring the origins and heritage of Rolls-Royce and Bentley, the beautifully designed 444 pages of Strive for Perfection – A Celebration of Design & Luxury perfectly capture the glamour and prowess of this motoring icon.”
Richard Freed, Director of publisher St James’s House, said: “What better way to launch this wonderful book than with a celebration of the finer things in life? We are all very excited about what promises to be an event to remember.”
The launch event will take place on 4 December between 4.30pm and 7.30pm at the Saatchi Gallery in London.
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!
Gin lovers out there will understand that under certain circumstances the only solution is to pour yourself a well-deserved Gin and Tonic, with the world’s best gin!
This could possibly turn into a tick list for some of you out there!
The little bundles of joy that grow through the terrible twos into the more terrible teens but you couldn’t love them any less, however there are a few occasions where you find yourself reaching for the bottle…
When your three-year-old tells you he’s polished the new car… with a stone.
When your teenage daughter bursts through the door, tears streaming down her face to tell you that Zayn has left One Direction…
When your teenage daughter bursts through the door the next day to find out that One Direction are taking a break…
When the babysitter cancels…
When you’ve booked a family holiday but your teenager refuses to go because there is no Wi-Fi…
When your six-year-old accidently overhears you speaking about putting the presents under the Christmas tree…
When finally the house has gone quiet but you can’t relax as that means the children are up to mischief…
When your 10-year-old daughter insists on joining Facebook because ‘all her friends have it’…
When you hide from your toddler in the bathroom to get two minutes’ peace…
Perhaps surprisingly, many students are fans of artisan gin like NB Gin (wasn’t it cheap cider and boxes of wine when we were students?).
You’re the type of student who has a limit of £5 on food shopping for the week because the rest of it has gone towards buying quality gin!
When you get in from a lecture, aiming to get ready for a big night out to find your electricity bill needs topping up, hello frizz ball…
When you’re singing your heart out in the shower, just about to rinse off the conditioner when the water goes from steamy hot to freezing cold…
When your embarrassing parents turn up at your front door, out of the blue and try making friends with your flatmates thinking they’re ‘down with the kids’
When someone steals your milk…
Whether you work in an office, deal with customers or even run your own business, there is sometimes something that makes you wish you had a large G&T at the ready.
When you have that sigh of relief because you think it’s Friday, only to be shocked to find it’s actually only Tuesday…
When it’s 4:58pm and you are just about to pack everything away and the phone rings…
When it’s Monday morning (or is that just us?)…
When the coffee machine breaks and the only other alternative is decaf…
When the opening hours extend in the run up to Christmas…
When you work in retail and the Christmas music has already started playing in October…
When your boss signs you up for compulsory team building exercises…
When the customer is definitely not always right…
Being an adult (it’s rubbish sometimes)
When you wake up late and you rush to the car to find that it’s completely iced over and you have 15 mins to get to work…
When you remember being an adult means you have responsibilities… and a mortgage…
When you order a pizza and say ‘love you, bye’ by accident…
When you book a romantic getaway to be told that the rooms were mixed up and you have bunk beds…
The Gin & Tonic. It’s a classic. Gin and tonic goes together like… well, like gin and tonic.
It’s the ultimate tipple after a long day in the office, or perhaps even a day of parenting duties!
The beauty is in its simplicity. For our NB G&T, we like to garnish with a wedge of orange but you can experiment with all sorts of different options if you’re feeling adventurous!
Does it get any easier than Fever Tree Tonic (we like the Naturally Light option), NB Gin, lots of ice and a wedge of orange? No. It doesn’t. So what are you waiting for?!
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
It might now be gracing the bars of the Big Apple, but there’s plenty going on for NB Gin back home too.
On Sunday, it will, in fact, be the gin of choice at a prestigious arts event taking place at Blenheim Palace, principal residence of the Dukes of Marlborough and the birth place of Winston Churchill in 1874.
The Blenheim Art Foundation will be hosting a new exhibition by American artist and founding figure of Conceptual Art, Lawrence Weiner, who is regarded as one of the most influential artists working today with a career spanning more than fifty years.
The launch party takes place this Sunday (October 11) and it is here that NB Gin, along with its kindred spirit NB London Dry Citrus Vodka, will be served to around 500 high-profile guests. Both spirits will also be served again later that day at an intimate reception for 200 guests before dinner.
It is classic serves of gin and tonic, and vodka and tonic that will be on offer to the elite guest list, which will include a mix of influencers, art critics, opinion formers and industry leaders. The Art Foundation was launched at the Palace last year and was one of the most widely covered arts events in the media.
Vivienne Muir, CEO of NB Distillery, says: “We are really honoured to have had NB Gin and NB Vodka selected as the spirits of choice for this amazing event. Our focus for both drinks has always been on quality, and we are delighted that they are now being actively sought out by major events companies and other luxury brands, and that more and more people are being given the opportunity to enjoy them.”
Morten Jensen, partner at Billetto UK Ltd, who is organising the event, says, “NB Distillery’s spirits are synonymous with quality and were the obvious choice for this high-status event.
“They are meticulously blended to create the perfect balance of flavours, which makes them perfect for classic serves and cocktails, but they’re also delicious served neat. And not many brands can achieve that perfection.”
NB Gin and NB Vodka are produced at NB Distillery in North Berwick, East Lothian. Already a fixture in high-end bars, restaurants and department stores around Europe, the multi-award-winning NB Gin is becoming increasingly sought after both in the UK and overseas.
Most recently, it has partnered exclusively with Duggan’s Distillers to import the multi-award-winning spirit into the United States.
NB Vodka is enjoying its own success, having been served earlier this year to the tennis in-crowd at the 2015 Wimbledon Live event, and building its own reputation for quality in the drinks industry.
The weather is cooling, leaves are falling and the thermostat is slowly making its way up… hello again autumn!
Autumn means woolly knitwear, hot drinks and crisp mornings. But what about the gin, we hear you say.
Well, there’s really no need to panic because no cold weather will hinder your opportunity to enjoy a refreshing gin!
To adjust your preferences whilst keeping gin in mind, we came up with a few foody ideas to get you into the autumnal mood.
We’re all about making food simple and delicious and at this time of year you can’t go past spaghetti squash.
It’s the perfect autumnal dinner and it’ll tickle your taste buds, warm you up and is a perfect match for a cheeky NB Gin & Tonic.
To make your super healthy squash just that little bit naughty, add a pinch of salt and pepper, a dash of pumpkin puree and a tad of butter.
A savoury sensation
Looking for more of a nibble than a full dish? Well look no further than the crisp botanical taste of our gin with three mini bites.
First is a delicious mini parcel of soft cheese, rocket and pesto wrapped in Parma ham. Quick and simple, it’s one of those treats that tastes like it took ages to make.
To accompany this tantalising parcel, try a mini game pie filled with cubes of tender venison in a rich gravy with golden pastry. Got your taste buds going yet?
The third mini bite is a roasted acorn squash and garlic mash! Acorns and squash scream autumn, which makes this little delight perfect right now.
Gin goes surprisingly well with sweet treats and this fruity delight will make a fabulous autumn pairing.
Cinnamon poached pears are juicy and succulent and the sweetness of the cinnamon complements the understated tones of our gin.
Autumn garnishes to top off your gin
This versatile herb is just perfect for adding to your gin & tonic. The heady aroma enhances your favourite drink just that little bit more and prepares your taste buds before you even taste the gin itself! It also adds a powerful taste of a fragrant botanical tone.
Cinnamon will make many appearances during the autumn thanks to its traditional association with this time of year, so why not add it to your gin? The sweet flavours of cinnamon exploring the sharper tones of the gin will create a sensation in your mouth.
Another classic autumnal treat which will make a perfect garnish for your gin is spiced apple.
We know cinnamon works well with gin but cinnamon on apple in gin, well it’s just bloody perfect!
The cinnamon again adds the initial spicy tone, contrasted with the sweet crisp apple. Bring your refreshing NB Gin to this autumn party and you’ve created something truly spectacular!
NB Gin, the multi-award winning craft gin produced in Scotland, has partnered exclusively with Duggan’s Distillers to import the spirit into the U.S. It will initially be distributed to a number of high-end restaurants and cocktail bars in New York, before being rolled out to other selected states.
NB Distillery, where NB Gin is produced, is located in North Berwick on the east coast of Scotland. Purely by chance, it was there that a senior Duggan’s colleague, while on holiday, happened to taste the gin and was so impressed by its quality and taste that he personally recommended that it was imported to the U.S.
Following the extremely stringent London Dry distillation process to the letter, NB Distillery has created a spirit which is very classic, very pure, and of the highest possible quality.
And it’s the quality of NB Gin which is driving 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.
It will also feature in the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club 2016 Yearbook, which celebrates the best in design and luxury living, the launch of which will take place later this year at the Saatchi Gallery in London. And it’s here that 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 makers in the world.
Vivienne Muir, CEO of NB Gin, says: “The gin market is becoming more and more focused on small batch artisan brands and no more so than in the U.S. Stockists are seeking out interesting hand-crafted gins because their customers are seeking variety, quality, authenticity and something which has a different ‘story’ to the mainstream brands.
“We’re thrilled that NB Gin can provide this, and are absolutely delighted that such a reputable and experienced importer as Duggan’s Distillers, which represents the world’s finest producers, has proactively selected our spirit as the first gin to be added to their portfolio.”
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 France, Spain, Germany, Denmark and Belgium, with strong interest also coming from Hong Kong, China, Australia and Canada.
Reassuringly classic but contemporary in character, NB Gin is bright and fresh with subtle notes of citrus and a solid hit 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.
NB Gin’s arrival in the U.S will be further supported by a trade development visit to promote British gin across the pond. UK Trade & Investment, which works with UK-based businesses to ensure their success in international markets through exports, has selected NB Gin as one of only ten brands taking part in this “gin mission” which will involve various events and tasting sessions in New York and Los Angeles at the end of October.
You can buy your NB Gin and NB London Dry Citrus Vodka from our friends at Lockett Bros here.
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!
You can buy your NB Gin and NB London Dry Citrus Vodka from our friends at Lockett Bros here.
A refreshing summer drink and music go together like, well, like an NB Gin and Tonic so we thought it was time to put together the NB soundtrack to the summer on Spotify.
Yes, but what does NB Gin or NB London Dry Citrus Vodka sound like in music terms? Well, wonder no more. You could say our soundtrack is uplifting, thoughtful, even epic at times. It was put together to be enjoyed on a warm summer’s day with a Gin and Tonic or perhaps Citrus Vodka and Lemonade. Oh yes!
We even asked you, our favourite fans in the world, to give us your song suggestions on Facebook and Twitter and you didn’t disappoint! You all have impeccable taste… that’s probably why you love our gin and vodka so much!
So, here it is. The NB Gin and NB London Dry Citrus Vodka Spotify Playlist (we really should come up with a snappier title):
Simply The Best, Tina Turner (suggested by Iram Amjad)
Mesmerizing, explosive and incredible; we love Tina and so does Iram who suggested this sing-along classic. What a way to get the party started!
Here Comes The Sun, The Beatles
We’re pretty sure there’s a law that says every soundtrack produced must feature a Beatles song. Where would music be without them? This little gem is less than two minutes long. It’s small but perfectly formed. A bit like an NB Gin and Tonic.
She Bangs The Drums, Stone Roses
A controversial inclusion given the company it’s in but one we stand by. The Stones Roses spoke for a whole generation and were innovators of their time. Is there a catchier bass intro to a song? We think not.
Footloose, Kenny Loggins (suggested by Jason Logan)
This one will divide listeners. Cheesy? Of course it is! Ridiculously catchy? Absolutely! Does it deserve to be on our playlist? Well, Jason certainly thinks so and that’s good enough for us.
Whole Of The Moon, The Waterboys
Ah now imagine pumping this classic out on a hot sunny day in the garden with a gin or vodka. Imagine no more. Just go and do it. You won’t regret it. In fact, put it on again!
Want To Want Me, Jason Derulo (suggested by Paul Millar)
One of the few current hits on our playlist (does that say something about our fans’ demographics?) but it’s a floor filler… or garden filler if it’s an outdoor party. A great suggestion from Paul.
RESPECT, Aretha Franklin (suggested by Sam Lockhart)
Ah Aretha, you really are a legend and we love you. Do you know anyone who doesn’t like this song? Of course you don’t… and if you do, disown them.
That’s Amore, Dean Martin
We all know what it’s like when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, don’t we? Okay, perhaps not but what a song from Deano.
I Get Around, The Beach Boys
A summer soundtrack without The Beach Boys just wouldn’t do so we had to include at least one of their hits. Try playing this without singing along. Go on, try it. It’s impossible.
Sex On Fire, King Of Leon (suggested by Greame Martin)
A track so full on and ballsy it’s hard not to get carried away listening to it. Turn it up and belt it out… just don’t spill your drink. Thanks Graeme!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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:
- 2 shots of NB Gin
- 1 shot of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 shot of sugar syrup
Shake the first three ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled glass. Then top up with soda. Easy!
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:
- 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
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:
- 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
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:
- 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
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
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.
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!
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 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!
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.
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.
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.
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
We would love to hear how you like to taste and enjoy your gin. Chin chin!
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.
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.
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:
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
WIN A BOTTLE OF NB GIN FOR MUM!
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.
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.
- 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
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
It’s less than 24 hours until we head for London to showcase NB Gin at the Sony Brits After Party!
The event is regarded as the only party to be seen at after the glittering awards ceremony and 150 bottles of our finest NB Gin was whisked off to Heron Tower earlier this week in preparation for the bash.
NB Gin will be the only gin to be served at the party and we’re incredibly proud to have been selected.
The Sony Party – this year hosted at Sushi Samba – will be as A-list as it gets with more than 600 showbiz guests partying long into the night after the awards bash.
So who’ll be there? Ah, well that is the million-dollar question but you can absolutely guarantee that the planet’s most famous faces will be there to party… and drink lots of NB Gin, obviously.
If last year’s Sony After Party is anything to go by, it’ll be the party of the year. In 2014 Pharrell Williams, Nicole Scherzinger, One Direction and Rita Ora were just some of the celebs who attended the bash.
We’re all ready to go. We’ve even got our glad-rags (including one kilt) packed for the bash. We wish you could all be there too but, alas, you can’t.
So we’ve got the next best thing – we’ll be live tweeting from the party! Follow us on Twitter here to get all the news, gossip, pics and more from the event!
Now, now before you all get too excited and start thinking you’ll be making your own NB Gin tribute after reading this, there’s something we must tell you. We won’t be giving away any NB Gin secrets. Sorry!
Come on, did you honestly think we’d tell the world how we make our artisan gin? That’s a guarded secret, up there with the secret of who the subject of the Carly Simons’ hit You’re So Vain is. Right, that’s that cleared up, so on to the process.
NB Gin is a London Dry Gin. This is a very particular way of producing gin. There are other ways and processes but the London Dry Gin process is regarded as the best way to make a higher quality drink, and so that’s why we use it.
We didn’t want NB Gin to be anything other than the absolute best quality so we were never going to use any other process.
London Dry Gin is made in a traditional still – ours is one-of-a-kind with a little kink that makes it unique – and the process sees the re-distilling of ethyl-alcohol with the botanicals, which are the natural flavourings for the drink. We only ever use our eight botanicals to make NB Gin.
This bit is very important – all the botanicals must be approved natural flavourings and these must come forward during the distillation process. Any other way and the result would not be London Dry and our master distiller would be a very angry chappy (you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry).
The use of artificial flavourings is strictly forbidden and the mere mention of the word “artificial” is enough to make the NB Gin distiller refuse to ever speak to you again.
After this carefully managed distillation process, the resultant distillate is the base for what eventually becomes a London Dry Gin of the absolute best quality.
Other processes would see sugars added at this stage but, of course, the clue to London Dry is in the name and there are no added sugars to what we produce.
The distillate goes through a very exact and time-consuming blending process that, eventually, leaves the produce we know as NB Gin – a stunning London Dry Gin that is enjoyed all over the world.
Producing something of such quality takes patience, an eye for detail and, perhaps most importantly, an unswerving desire for perfection.
Gin, and London Dry Gin in particular, is one of the purest spirits you can enjoy, so the process must be pure in every sense in order that nothing other than the best is produced.
To that end, NB Gin is a small-batch gin. We never produce more than 100 litres at a time from our little distillery in North Berwick, Scotland. That way we can be 100 per cent sure that our gin is 100 per cent perfect. Yes, we like to be 100 per cent with just about everything we do.
That way, you get to enjoy our drink 100 per cent of the time!
They say home is where the heart is and any company that is born out of a labour of love should also have a heart and a place to call home. For NB Gin, it’s the beautiful town of North Berwick in East Lothian, Scotland.
This is the place that NB Gin is produced, or you could say crafted, before it makes its way all over the world to be enjoyed and savoured by a rapidly expanding fan base.
For us, there could be no better place to produce our artisan gin. North Berwick is woven into the tapestry of our company, even if we haven’t been around for all that long.
We like to think there’s a little bit of North Berwick in every gin and tonic or NB Gin Martini that you enjoy; it’s part of who and what we are and we’re very proud of it. If you listen carefully, you can just about hear the waves lapping on the shores of our seaside town as you pour yourself an NB Gin.
Okay, so perhaps that’s a lyrical stretch too far for some but North Berwick got into our soul; under our skin, and we’d urge our fans to visit the town and take it all in for themselves. You might love it so much you’ll stay and build a distillery!
It really doesn’t get more picturesque than North Berwick. If you spent your childhood holidays at the seaside then you’ll probably already have an appreciation for it but there are now whole generations who didn’t get that, due mainly to the rise of package holidays to the Med.
North Berwick most certainly retains that old seaside town charm of those days gone by but it has something else too.
Where, sadly, many traditional seaside towns were as good as killed off as tastes in holidays changed, North Berwick has been an omnipresent fixture for those wanting to get away from it all.
There’s a heady mix of culture, creativity and good old-fashioned charm here. It has a spirit; a feeling of bohemian freedom on every street. You only have to look at the array of craft producers, artists and artisan stores that are dotted around the town to realise that North Berwick is a little town that positively buzzes with things to see and do.
It’s that spirit, and perhaps the obvious can-do attitude of those who call North Berwick home, that rubbed off on us and compelled us to launch NB Gin in this beautiful little corner of the world.
So you might think that we’re going a bit over the top about how much of an influence North Berwick has had on our artisan gin, that’s okay, we might have been of the same opinion before NB Gin was born.
But we’d urge you to come for a visit and see for yourselves. Have a wander around the beautiful stores and galleries, talk to the friendly shopkeepers, grab a coffee from one of the exceptional cafes and enjoy the sea air as the Firth of Forth entices you on to the seafront. Do that and then you’ll understand why we get so misty-eyed about our little town and why NB Gin calls North Berwick home.
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!
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:
50ml NB Gin, 25ml Lemon, 25ml B’s Syrup
Shake all ingredients and double strain to coupe, no garnish.
250ml Bees Honey, 125ml Hot Water, 2 Rosemary Sprigs, 5g Crushed Black Peppercorns
These ratios can be multiplied to make larger batches.
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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
If you’re anything like us, you’ll probably be sitting down at the end of a long week to a well-deserved gin and tonic right about now but have you ever thought about where it originated?
Okay, your thoughts might not be as consumed with gin as ours are, but it does have a fascinating story since it was first produced in the 1600s.
A chap named Sylvius de Bouve is credited with the development of what we know as gin today in the 16th Century, although it was probably rather less refined than the spirits we enjoy now.
Mr de Bouve – a Dutch physician – wanted to create a spirit with strong medicinal qualities and it’s well documented that it was believed to help circulation and other ailments. The juniper berry had been used as a medicine for centuries before Mr de Bouve got his hands on it and records also show it was even used in the fight against the plague!
There’s some debate about just how gin became such a massive hit in London and subsequently throughout the UK but many gin experts believe that it was brought back by English soldiers fighting in the Dutch War of Independence in the 1580s.
By the early 18th Century, gin was at the centre of a spirits revolution in London and its popularity explosion had politicians worried. Public drunkenness, illegal distilling and general unruly behaviour lead Parliament to slap the drink with huge taxes.
But what about the tonic, we hear you say. You can’t enjoy a refreshing G&T without the tonic! Okay, okay. We’re just getting to that bit.
Ah yes, the ‘T’ in G&T has an equally fascinating story and it centres around quinine from the bark of the cinchona tree. Europeans discovered the value of the plant in fighting malaria during the 17th Century, after the Spanish had conquered parts of South America.
But how did these two drinks marry into the delicious couple we all enjoy today? Well, we have India to thank for that, or British soldiers stationed in India to be precise.
Around the 1820s the soldiers began to add gin to their tonic ration, why not, and as time moved on this became pretty much THE only way to enjoy your tonic. The G&T was born.
It should also be mentioned that there were health reasons behind the ration of tonic. It was seen as a vital tool in the fight against malaria in the colony and gin was added to cut through the bitterness. Sounds like as good an excuse as any…
From fighting the plague and malaria, inebriating war-ravaged soldiers and worrying Parliament to once again being the drink at the centre of a London spirits revolution, our old friend gin has had quite a history.
And you thought it was just a pleasant drink to enjoy at the end of a long week. Have a wonderful weekend! Chin chin!
Would you rather be perfect or unique? For NB Gin, those two are not necessarily mutually exclusive. In fact, we like to say that we are unique in our own perfection.
Not many would consider a kink to be perfect. It’s usually the result of a mistake; of a heavy hand or an unfortunate collision but the kink that we are talking about is now integral to the gin we produce. You could say it’s engrained in what we do.
When the copperhead still was being lovingly put together, we ended up with a kink in one of the pipes. Others would fix that sort of thing right away but when NB Gin was first crafted in that still, the result far exceeded what even our high expectations were. Why would we want to change that?
You see, fads come and go in a flash, especially when it comes to drinks, but quality will always endure.
We’re most definitely at the centre of a gin revolution, as many of our fans will tell you, and we’re definitely not stuck in our ways but there are some things you simply don’t change. That kink would probably drive neat freaks to distraction but to us – in a weird kind of way – it’s as an integral to our artisan gin as the eight botanicals that go into NB.
All this talk about kinks and imperfections might make you think that we are nonchalant about how we produce our gin but that could not be further from the truth. We spent countless hours in the early days making sure absolutely everything that went into NB Gin was as perfect as it could be and, believe us, that commitment has not changed since those formative distilling days.
Our master distiller would never compromise on anything. You could call him a hard task master distiller… but we would never say that.
It goes back to that word, perfection, again. For him anything less than perfect just will not do. It’s that simple.
Okay, so practically every fine drinks producer might wax lyrical about quality and perfection but to many of them, they’re just words. They’re part of a marketing operation to sell more units. Talk to our master distiller about marketing and watch his reaction. He doesn’t have time for that – there’s another batch of NB Gin reaching a crucial stage in the distilling process!
Long before we thought of telling the world about our drink, we tested, we trialled, we plagued friends to sample our product. Only once we were absolutely sure that the artisan gin we had produced was of a quality that could rival the best gins in the world, then we cast a fleeting glance at the market. Not the distiller though, his focus is only ever on that still, with its little kink.
All this talk of kinked pipes might lead you to think we’ve spent too long tucked away in the distillery. Maybe we have, but give NB Gin a try and you’ll probably understand why we’re so keen to keep our process consistent. Like we said, we’re unique in our own perfection… or imperfection.
Visit our website for more information or to contact us. Chin chin!
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.
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!