Gin fans and hipsters have had a lot to get excited about lately. There’s been a resurgence of the Gin & Tonic and a renewed interest in classic cocktail recipes. Gin has been re-established as the discerning drinker’s clear spirit of choice.
And there’s nothing like demand to spur creativity.
New gin brands and distilleries are popping up all over the world. The newcomers range from Sipsmith, the first copper-pot gin distillery inside London in the last 180 years, to Gin Mare, a savoury gin being made on the Spanish coast.
Australian distillers have been getting in on the act, too. The Melbourne Gin Company, Kangaroo Island Spirits, The West Winds, and Four Pillars are some local notable names drawing attention worldwide. The West Winds and Four Pillars have each taken home double gold medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in the last two years.
Rather unpatriotically, the gin that has me salivating lately is from New Zealand. Like any top shelf spirit, Broken Heart Gin has a good story behind it.
The story begins with Bernd and Joerg, two German friends living in New Zealand who loved to distil their own gin. When Bernd died of cancer in 2013 his partner, Annie, and Joerg were heartbroken. They decided to produce the gin commercially and name it in his honour.
Before taking your first sip, have a look at the bottle – it illustrates Broken Heart’s origin story. The immediate flavour of juniper gives way to a pleasantly citrus note. It goes well with lemon, though Broken Heart recommends orange. It’s a clean, balanced gin, very easy to drink and quite versatile for cocktails.
It certainly makes for a heavenly martini.
Broken Heart can be hard to find in bars and bottle shops around town. I’ve seen it regularly at BOSC at West End and occasionally at Brooklyn Standard in the city. If you don’t like hunting through bars, your best bet is to buy a bottle online.