In the next week or so we start distilling our first product; as yet we have not come to the attention of The Skibbereen Eagle, just the Irish Independent and The Gloss Magazine – so say hello to Blackwater No. 5, which as the label says is a London Dry Gin.
It’s only six letters long, but the simple use of the word ‘London’ has reduced many of the people I meet to balls of jibbering, twitching unreasonable nationalism. It would appear that watching British TV, following British football teams and speaking the Queen’s own tongue is all perfectly reasonable, but stick the word London on a bottle of Irish gin and the world is about to end.
It’s the most popular question I get asked, right ahead of ‘where did you get that hat’ and ‘how much is that doggy in the window.’
After all isn’t Cork Dry Gin a National Institution! Yes it is. But it’s not a LDG.
A London Gin (the word ‘Dry’ can be added) is an EU classification. It’s a method of production, not a geographical reference. In a LDG all the flavour has to come from the distillation, in other words you have to use real roots, shoots, berries and flowers – they have to be distilled and the only thing you can add is water, or a drop more alcohol for dilution purposes. It’s also an international standard, understood by importers and consumers across Europe – so if you see London Gin, or London Dry Gin on a label you can be pretty confident of its quality. So that’s why the label doesn’t say ‘Waterford Dry Gin’ or ‘On the Cork-Waterford Border Dry Gin’ or ‘This is Awesome Dry Gin’ because it’s all meaningless blather.
Now distilling botanicals in batches in a copper pot still is a lot more expensive that say bottling a compounded gin, but you get what you pay for. So get over yourself, learn to love the word ‘London’ especially if it is closely followed by the word ‘Gin’ and totally if it is made by an Irish company.
p.s. The hat is Canadian and the doggy is not for sale.