I was invited down to experience the Dead Canary’s Gin dinner and felt like I was transported back in time, to the opulent 1920s. The evening was hosted by one of the representatives from Fields, Morris & Verdin named ‘Ruairidh Muir”, who has a superb knowledge of the Gins on offer and made the guests (including myself), feel extremely comfortable and relaxed. We were first presented with their ‘No.3’ Gin which is the creation of the critically acclaimed, wine and spirit merchants ‘Berry Bros. & Rudd. The ‘No.3’ Gin refers to the building number located on the iconic ‘St James’ Street, which is the fundamental artery of the ‘West End’ neighbourhood and has the opulent ‘Ritz’ hotel on its doorstep along with the sensational St James’ palace at Pall Mall. I found this gin to be juniper-heavy backed with subtle spices and citrus. I personally think it is perfect for ‘Martinis’ and the original ‘G&T’.
They used ‘No.3’ gin in their first cocktail they presented me with, which was a ‘Negroni’. I must admit I’m not a fan of this cocktail as I don’t like ‘Campari’. What I will say is that another guest who attended, whom is an expert in cocktail making, stated it was superb and said it had the correct combination of being bitter, sweet, dry and ultimately refreshing. To accompany this cocktail, we were presented with a ‘Salmon ceviche’ dish, which was accompanied with vanilla, pink peppercorns and dill crème fraîche. I love these types of dishes that are made with fresh, flavourful, and crisp flavours, as they make me think of being outdoors in the natural environment, as its such a light and invigorating dish.
We were then served with the second gin which was ‘Junipero Gin’ which was made by Anchor Distilling (now known as Hotalin & Co). This Gin was launched in the late 90s and was one of the first craft gins to be launched. It has decisive notes of Juniper and Citrus along with a clean, crisp and peppery finish. It certainly gave my mouth a firm handshake!
They incorporated this Gin in their ‘Kajuma’ cocktail offering, which combined the ‘Junipero’ Gin, along with a touch of ‘Shiraz’, which was a superb choice to accompany the dish, in my opinion.
We were then served our main course, which was ‘Beef with Juniper berries and wild mushrooms’. The beef was tender, the mash extremely fluffy and the Juniper berries really paired excellently with the dish.
Then for desert, we were presented with this sensationally sweet finish, which combined fresh strawberries, vanilla ice cream, strawberry ‘Coulis’ and violet jellies. It was an explosion of all things heavenly for me and the accompanying ‘Violet Jellies’ really paired well, with the sweet intensity of the desert. The paired cocktail with the desert was called ‘Aviation’, which was a favourite of mine. This particular cocktail combined the ‘Berry Bros. & Rudd’ london dry Gin, along with ‘Crème De Violette’ liqueur, maraschino cherry liqueur and a bit of lemon juice for a perfectly sweet and tart cocktail that’s as handsome as it is delicious. It again paired perfectly with the desert, especially with the ‘Violet Jellies’ due to its citrusy notes. The ‘Berrys’ Gin is a particularly special Gin, as it is produced using liquid from the merchant’s oldest remaining bottle from the 1950’s. It combines 4 classic botanicals, which are juniper, winter savoury, angelica root and coriander. It has a soft, floral palate and a hint of violet, so I could see the logic in pairing this exquisite Gin, with this splendid desert offering. ‘Berry’ Gin has been brought back to life, by taking a sample from a original 1950’s bottle and carefully incorporating the sample into its distilling process, such astonishing work! The Gin is distilled and bottled at the historic, London-based ‘Thames Distillers’. The ‘Dead Canary’ hosts their elegant Gin dinners every month, so join them on a sensational discovery of Gin history, admirable Gins and Fine food! Check out the links to their Facebook and Twitter pages below, to stay up-to-date with their events. I can’t wait to attend again!
Book on to the next one! Which is the 15th of May! With Cask Gins- Gin Mare, Colonel Fox, Ki ni no bi Gin and Silent Pool gin.