It's a small gin world

Published July 30, 2022

Looking down on a green gin bottle of The River Test gin sitting upon a brown picnic table

Not long ago, I wrote of a new fondness for gin, particularly as June celebrated World Gin Day. Since then, I’ve learnt even more about the tipple and even managed to find a whole gin universe to be unravelled. Bear with me on this.

I talked of James May’s gin, the cleverly titled James Gin, which has the broadcaster’s traditional understated marketing and labelling but is packed full of taste. Recent efforts to sell the gin have seen James May recruiting fellow Grand Tour star Richard Hammond, a noted gin-fan, for various things, such as talking about gin, or playing chess whilst under the influence of gin. All fun and games.

However, then, we found ourselves watching Richard Hammond’s programme on Channel 4 where he visited the UK’s most distinctive rivers, one of which was the River Test in Hampsire. It’s notable for being a chalk stream, pure of water and heart, and somewhere along the route is the River Test Distillery, churning out award-winning gin.

Hammond tried some in the show and it seemed only right for me to snap some up and do a taste test of my own. It turns out I’m not really very good at taste-testing gin, although I can say James Gin has a more standalone flavour but the River Test gin created one of the best G&Ts I’ve had to date. That’s as good as I’ve got.

The best bit of this whole journey was watching Hammond take on knowledge from the wise River Test distillers about how gin was made and realising when he was giving the same spiel to James in a marketing video we’d watched earlier… this is where he got the information!

All we’re missing is Jeremy Clarkson growing some botanicals on his farm and it really will be a Gin Cinematic Universe.

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