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The Palmer family has just launched its first eponymous-brand gin, Palmers London Dry Gin, in tribute to Granny Palmer. Produced to celebrate the family's 200th year of distilling at Langley Distillery in the Midlands, Palmers London Dry Gin has been distilled using traditional methods in the family's copper pot still named Angela, built in 1903.
London Dry gins can be made anywhere, not just London! Protected by strict EU legislation, the main requirements are that all ingredients must be natural, no flavourings or colourings can be added after the distillation process except for a tiny amount of sugar and a London Dry cannot be watered down below a minimum strength of 37.5% ABV.
Based on a 300-year old secret family recipe handed down through generations and hand crafted in small batches, the botanicals (juniper, coriander, angelica, cassia, liquorice, orris and grapefruit) are steeped overnight in 100% English wheat spirit whilst being warmed, allowing them to release their essential oils. According to Rob Dorsett, Master Distiller, the resultant gin has "juniper in abundance on the nose blended with hints of coriander seed and a subtle dryness complemented by an edge of sweetness from orris. On the palate there are spice and citrus notes from the cassia bark and grapefruit, while the juniper lingers into the dryness of angelica finishing with further citrus notes. Palmers London Dry Gin is clean, fresh and lightly balanced with pleasant citrus and dry notes in the background."
Langley Distillery is home to what the family believes is the UK's oldest working copper pot gin still. The Still Room houses seven copper gin stills, which are all named after family members and significant people who have worked at the distillery. Five of these are production and the oldest, the McKay, dates back to the mid-1800s.
Adam Wallis-Palmer, the great, great grandson of the founder and Natalie Wallis, the great, great, great granddaughter
The Palmer family has been distilling spirits for six generations since the business was founded by William Henry Palmer in 1805. However, it was William's great granddaughter Angela and her husband who began the gin adventure in 1920. Since then, the company has been responsible for distilling over 300 stock gin recipes as well creating bespoke recipes for over 80% of the UK's artisanal brands of gins. Natalie Wallis, William Henry Palmer's great, great, great granddaughter says: "We wanted to produce our own gin to celebrate six generations and 200 years in the business and we are very excited to launch Palmers London Dry Gin. It has been named after my grandmother, Angela Palmer, who was a big gin lover and a real character in the family, so it has been a real honour to produce this gin in her memory."
Signature serves include Pink Gin, served with Angostura and soda, which was one of Angela Palmer's favourites; White Lady, served with Cointreau and freshly squeezed lemon juice; and, of course, a straight G 'n' T, which Palmers recommends serving with Fever Tree's aromatic tonic water, a wedge of grapefruit and plenty of ice.
A White Lady cocktail made with 35 ml Palmers London Dry Gin, 25ml Cointreau, 25ml Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice, 25ml Sugar Syrup and a twist of lemon to garnish
Nose: juniper to the fore with citrus and floral notes plus wild herbs and a hint of aniseed.
Palate: subtle notes of liquorice with an aromatic citrus character plus herbs, hints of nuts and seeds and a smooth finish.
Palmers London Dry Gin will be available to buy from Master of Malt, RRP £28.