I Food Love Stories, the new online food and drink magazine celebrating local food and drink, has recently reported that the Northern Irish love affair with gin is showing no signs of slowing.
As it continues unabated, local brands are pushing the boundaries, channeling their creative muses into devising ground-breaking and novel blends.
Our hippest bars have embraced the ‘ginaissance’, creating trademark cocktail menus, infusing their recipes with gins featuring distillates of pomegranate, rose and tarragon - even macerations of iris and coconut.
The special juniper brew, first distilled in Holland – some argue Italy - in the 17th century, to treat gallstones, gin has come a long way since Scottish philosopher and satirist Thomas Carlyle branded it “liquid madness” in the early 1800s.
Specialist gin tasting nights, even clubs, have sprouted up across the country too, at places like Muriel’s in Belfast, The Salty Dog in Bangor - thought to be Northern Ireland’s only crowdsourced gin club where patrons choose which brands are served - and the Walled City Brewery in Londonderry.
Whatever gin joint you choose, the latest up-and-coming brands are driving the continuing gin revolution to discerning tipplers.
The newest kid on the block is Belfast 1912 Cask Gin (prices ranging from £35 to £40) - a boozy botanical which celebrates Northern Ireland’s rich shipbuilding heritage.
Belfast 1912 Cask Gin was created by Ian Killen who went to the stills in 1994 after discovering the recipe for it hidden behind an old mirror, secreted away with an article on the sinking of the Titanic.
“Lovely, juniper forward nose, with dry, slightly spicy black pepper and pine notes with citrus that lingers along the edges,” is how blogger, Belfast Belle describes this gin on NI Food Love Stories.
Belfast 1912 Cask Gin is the latest gin to hit the shelves following the success of other local brands such as Jawbox (£30 at Tesco) and Shortcross Gin (£39 approx).
For a delicious cocktail recipe and Belfast Belle’s full review of Belfast 1912 Cask Gin visit: tasteni.com.