Its All Just Cooking – Taplin & Mageean Craft Gin

T&M Craft Gin

We get to talk about gin a lot, every day! We get to taste quite a bit every day too as we refine our recipes and plan new launches.

It came to mind the other day as we started putting the finishing touches to a new recipe for a gin to add to our existing craft gin range that in fact we are cooks pure and simple. Yes we call ourselves distillers, and we can make the gin making process sound very complicated, but at its most basic level we are cooking. 

OK, there is some skill involved here, as there are good cooks and bad cooks, and even if using the best ingredients you can still end up with a recipe that tastes awful.

Gin making is all about the amount of each ingredient used, and the amount of time it soaks in the base alcohol. Each craft gin distillation starts the same way. Our high quality neutral grain spirit is poured into one of our alembic copper stills, and then we add botanicals. Some soak for days, some for hours, and some for minutes, as we balance flavours to produce the required end result. 

Take our Signature Edition for example, which not only came second in the World Spirit Award against 2500 other spirits, but also does something very few gins can do. Louching. We make the Signature Edition using 13 different botanicals. The juniper is introduced to the alcohol first, and soaks for 3 days. After all, gin is a juniper drink!

The other botanicals are added in precisely monitored amounts for different soaking times right up until we fire the burners, at which point we introduce the pulp of two grapefruits, which literally have no soaking time. You see, here we are interested in giving the gin a citrus edge, but nothing too dominant.

And the louching? Well, what happens is that the grapefruit citrus oils get carried through the distillation, and when you add tonic and ice, they re-emulsify, giving a crisp citrus tome, and causing the drink to become ever so slightly cloudy. 

This is a sign of a quality gin, something very few distillers can achieve, and I guess shows that while we may be cooks plain and simple, we are quite good cooks.