Updated: Apr 27, 2020
At The Drunken Jockeys, we love exploring our own backyard for local distilleries and breweries that are creating amazing spirits and beers.
I (Big Will) grew up in Kingston-Upon-Thames, so when I heard that there was a Kingston distillery producing small batch gin I was over the moon and so excited to try it! Ladies and gentlemen, I present Becketts Gin - more specifically their Type 1097 bottling. Here's a review and a cocktail we've refined as the perfect accompaniment.
Before we get started on the gin itself, I have to say that the bottle is stunning. It feels like you're holding a smooth glass brick strong enough to build a house. I love the feel of a weighty bottle in my hand but that's not to say it isn't elegant. The beautifully illustrated labels soften the rigid contours of the bottle and in my opinion give it the best of both worlds. Particularly I love that they've left two sides clear, and the small batch label sticker is a nice touch.
When I first tried this gin I was immediately impressed by its smoothness and light refreshing notes. This creates the perfect canvas for the signature flavour of mint to really take the centre stage, which remains a subtle aftertaste and is well balanced alongside sweet citrus, local juniper and aromatic coriander.
This is certainly a very smooth and sophisticated spirit that doesn't blow your head off with botanicals. I really like this as I haven't tried another gin with the same minty profile. It's refreshing and you'd easily put a few away sitting with friends in the sunshine. It goes perfectly with any premium tonic - we think it's particularly suited to Fevertree Mediterranean or their classic Indian tonics.
If you fancy yourself a bottle head over to their online shop and order one in. Plus you can have a go making the cocktail below. It's a little complex but it's absolutely worth it!
This gin got me really excited for the cocktail pairing as there are so many flavours that pair amazingly with mint. After trying one, two or maybe three different variations I settled on combining the flavours of a mojito and a Moscow mule using this gin as the delicious glue that binds it all together.
As this gin is from Kingston, I wanted that to be reflected in the name somehow. Interestingly enough Kington is home to one of the oldest bridges in the country, the Clattern bridge. The bridge you see today was built around 1175 (850 years old!) but it replaced a much older Saxon bridge called Clatrung. Legend says the name comes from the sound of horses hooves as they came clattering over the bridge.
Combine this local history with some core flavours of a Moscow Mule and we've got a Clattern Mule!
It's a light and refreshing drink, as the ginger beer and homemade ginger syrup add warmth without completely stealing the show. Extra mint leaves enhance the characteristic notes already in the gin.
- 50ml Becketts Type 1097
- 8-10 mint leaves. No need to tear off the leaves, you can leave the mint spring intact.
- 20ml ginger syrup** (see note for instructions)
- 25ml fresh lime juice
- 30ml Homemade ginger beer** (see note for instructions)
1) Add the mint sprig, sugar syrup and lime juice to a mixing glass and softly muddle (you want to press the mint instead of pulverising it!)
2) Add Becketts gin and the homemade ginger beer.
3) Add hard ice and soft shake (not too hard!)
4) Double strain into a glass filled with crushed ice.
5) Garnish with ginger slice and fresh sprig of mint.
** Homemade Ginger Beer (1 litre)
Grate 140g of fresh ginger and add to bowl with 4 tablespoons of muscovado sugar and 2 lemon rinds (peel 2 unwaxed lemons). Quickly mash and squeeze in juice from 3 lemons and top with soda. Leave for 10 minutes and taste, add more sugar if not sweet enough and strain into a jug.
** Homemade Ginger syrup (roughly 220ml)
Add 160ml of water and 200g of granulated sugar to a pan, heat and stir regularly until the sugar dissolves. Add 50g of grated ginger and bring to light boil and leave to simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and allow to cool down. Once cool enough, strain into a sealed bottle and place in fridge.
Photo's by Will Burchill Photography