Let’s first set the scene for where the No. 8 Botanical gin fits in the Ambleside range.
In similar scenes to many craft gin projects the people involved had their own tastes and ideas of their ‘ideal’ gin. Fortunately for the rest of us, they were in a position to produce each of their own gins and we’re offered a great range of very tasty gins.
First comes the No. 8 Botanical and this is mum Trudy’s baby. We’ll come back to this in a minute. Next comes dad Steve’s Small Acre gin.
Small Acre features 12 botanicals, some of which are grown in their very own botanical garden. It’s these locally grown botanicals that give this gin its name. Small Acre includes herbaceous botanicals such as thyme, rosemary and bay leaf finished with rhubarb, apples and cloves.
Son Matt’s creation is the spicy, jalapeno infused creation Big Dry gin. We loved that warm, punchy spice from the jalapeno. It’s another unusual botanical, but one that works so well in this gin. If you’re looking for a gin that will complement a red snapper, a robust martini, or a savoury g&t, the Big Dry is well worth exploring.
Which brings us back to the No. 8 Botanical gin and in our opinion one of the prettiest bottles on the market. It’s the detail that can be found on closer inspection of the bottle that gives the gin its name. You’ll notice the beautifully designed and numbered botanicals and a little more hunting will reveal that orange is given the number 8.
It’s these superb Riverland oranges that are the standout feature of this citrus forward gin. You’ll find this citrus on the nose as well as the palate, it’s not overpowering and is well balanced with classic botanicals star anise, cassia and coriander seed.
The mouthfeel from the grape based spirit is smooth and silky and so easy to enjoy neat. While the Big Dry rightly owns its place as the ‘spicy’ gin in the range. We find the No. 8 has its own spice kick beginning on the tip of the tongue and lingering into a really long warm finish.
On Ambleside’s recommendation, we enjoyed the No. 8 with Fever Tree’s Mediterranean tonic and a dehydrated orange slice. You can’t go past this wonderful combination, it works too well.
If you’re ready to experiment a little more in the cocktail space, then we suggest picking up this take on a Winchester Cocktail.
No. 8 Botanical Winchester
20ml of fresh lime juice
5ml Ginger Syrup (sugar syrup with freshly peeled and grated Ginger)
10 ml Elderflower Liqueur (our preferred is St Germain)
2 dashes of bitters
Shake over ice and strain into a tall glass. Top up with Sanpellegrino Limonata (around 45 mls or to taste)