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.
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!
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.
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.
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.