St Giles Gin
Lets talk about the delicious refreshing gin that is, St Giles.
St Giles all began when professional diver, Simon Melton, who is lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel and explore lots of unusual places around the world, giving him plenty of chances to taste a wide variety of gins. Whilst on his travels, he has invested years of research and visits many distilleries and decided to come home to Norwich and create his own. Using the knowledge all different botanicals used around the globe, he started experiments until his got the perfect gin. Head Distiller, Pete Margree, joined the team and St Giles went from dream to reality.
St Giles takes it's name from an area in London that was known for it's gin shops in the 18th century and it also happens to be a historic road in Norwich, where Simon and his family own an 18th century shop.
This gin is so refreshing and one I will definitely be enjoying more of, with a great balance of fruitiness and spice. It makes a great gin and tonic accompinined with a twist of orange peel. If you're a more of a cocktail person, St Giles have a few recipes you could try on their website.
ASK THE CREATOR
To find out more about St Giles Gin, I got in touch and spoke to Alison who helped answer a few questions...
While Simon was travelling, where was the most unique place he visited and what was the gin like?
Simon has literally been all over the world. I guess Tierra Del Fuego in South America is pretty unusual as he went to Ushuaia which is sometimes called the End of the World. He’s also visited the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, the Caribbean, Brazil, Panama, Singapore, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Scandinavia, to name some of the nicer places he’s been to.
He tried some gin type spirit in Tierra Del Fuego which was extremely strong and rough definitely not for the faint hearted. The best gin experience he had was in Singapore where he enjoyed a Singapore Gin Sling in Raffles Hotel and also visited the Atlas Bar which is said to have over 1,000 different gins!
Can you talk us through some of the botanicals used and why they were chosen?
Simon had heard of grains of paradise from his travels in West Africa and was quite keen to use it in our gin as he liked the peppery flavour and the lovely sounding name. We made over 100 different gin recipes and then through various taster sessions these were assessed and rejected or put forward for the next round of tastings. We selected some commonly found botanicals to make the base and then worked with a variety of other botanicals to create a unique flavour. We wanted to use botanicals from countries that Simon has visited and as he’s visited so many that gave us plenty of options. We like to keep some of our botanicals secret but I can tell you that the list includes Coriander, orris root, pink peppers, rose petals, lemongrass, grains of paradise and lemon peel.
How did Pete get into creating gin?
Pete was a teacher before he came to us but he had a background in brewing and spirit flavouring and had some distilling experience working abroad when he was younger. He’s been a great asset to the company as he is so meticulous and has a great palate identifying the nuances of different flavours.
Apart from your own, what’s your favourite gin and why?
Sipsmiths is a great standard but we like to try as many different ones as we can do it’s hard to have a particular favourite.
What’s next for St Giles?
We have two more very distinct flavours of gin that are under development at the moment so these will be ready to be launched this year. We also have a couple of very exciting projects in the pipeline which we can’t talk about at the moment and in the meantime we will be continuing to spread the word about St. Giles.
Describe your gin in 3 words…
Smooth, Light, Refreshing
I want to thank Alison at St Giles Gin for helping me out with this blog and I'm looking forward to see what new recipes you have created this year.