Gin Tasting with Maggies, Oldham
Maggies Gin Tasting @ Fika, March 15, 2020
On Sunday March 15th, we were delighted to host a fabulous gin tasting fund raiser event for Maggies of Oldham, in the lovely surroundings of Fika. The event involved the creation of 5 bespoke gins on behalf of Maggies.
We started the process of designing Maggies gins by taking a look at their website, social media and incorporating some feedback into the final gin line up. From our this we captured the main words used to Maggies as follows:
We then grouped a number of these words into the following themes:
- Garden & Nature
- Support & partnership
- Sweetness and calm
- Bright and Orange
The Line up
Garden & Nature
Using these themes as our backdrop for the development of Maggies gins, we start with the location, the garden and Maggies lovely wooden building. Like all gins we start with a juniper and bring the woody/earthy notes of the juniper out with the use of angelica root and orris root. These ingredients are of the garden and provide firm foundations for all of the gins we go on to create.
Support & Partnership
Maggies offer amazing support to those suffering with cancer and also to their families. We encapsulate this support with a range of the supporting cast of botanicals which help to make all of the gins smooth. The humble oat has a sweet edge when distilled and this helps to support the classic base of juniper berries, angelica and orris root. It’s further supported by the introduction of basil and tarragon. These botanicals work in partnership to smoothen the edge of the gin.
From this base and support line up we now begin to develop Maggies range of gins.
We start with a Classic London Dry Gin and bring out the woody theme into this classic with the addition Cassia bark which has a cinnamon like taste, though sweeter and liquorice root. We then emphasise the sweetness theme which comes through loud and clear from your social media feedback with a touch of ground Stevia.
Served with a simple tonic and garnish of juniper berries. – 3 Parts tonic to 1 part gin
Next we embellish the classic London dry gin with notes of pineapple. There are no added sweetners and flavours in this gin and so it leads as a juniper based London dry gin with the scent of pineapples and a subtle aftertaste of pineapple.
We add a bit of fun and flavour by presenting this gin as a pornstar martini, mixing with pineapple juice and passion fruit. This really brings our the pineapple scents into a lovely sweetness to emphasise the friendliness and compassion shown by Maggies.
Cocktail Recipe: 1 Part Gin; 1 part pineapple syrup (recipe @ the end); 3 parts pineapple juice; half the inside of a passion fruit. Add all of this to a shaker with 3 ice cubes. Shake vigorously x12 times and pour. Garnish with the other half of the passion fruit.
Next we create a London dry gin with a citrus twist. Here we use bitter orange instead of the traditional lemon flavour. It’s a nod to the corporate colours and the edge of the bitter orange is dulled with a touch of sweetness from the Lucuma fruit. This combination of orange, bitter, sweet reflects some of the words and feelings captured in our word cloud. The Lucuma fruit is symbolic in that, in its homeland of Peru, the tree is known as the Tree of Life. The Lucuma is a hardy fruit, surviving and growing in harsh conditions and it’s nutrients combined with energy giving properties have sustained populations over the years.
Served with a simple tonic and slice of orange. – 3 parts tonic to 1 part gin
The role of a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate in presenting a calm atmosphere is central to Maggies and so here we create a Mocca based gin – scents of cacao nibs and coffee beans present themselves in this gin. We present this one as a Mocca martini – think espresso martini with a hint of cacao. It adds a different dimensions to a chat over a cuppa.
Cocktail Recipe: 1 Part gin; 1 part simple syrup; 1 espresso shot (a quality instant e.g. Nescafe Azero). Add to a shaker with 3 ice cubes. Shake vigorously and pour. Garnish with 3 coffee beans.
Finally we round things off with a sweet flavoured gin – it’s sweetened with entirely natural ingredients using one of our handmade syrups – in this case an orange & mango syrup. We keep it full strength at 43% and it’s great to sip slowly as a liqueur or dare I say it with a Lemonade – 1 part gin to 3 parts lemonade!
One of the easiest things to make.
For a simple syrup take 1 part water and match it with 1 part granulated sugar. Bring it to the boil over a hob and gently simmer for 10 minutes. If you want to make the syrup thicker then simply simmer it for longer – but for drinks 10 minutes is just about right.
If you want to create a flavoured syrup, replace the water with a fruit juice or squeezed juice and follow the same measures and process as above.