|Photo courtesy of Salcombe Distilling Co.|
Last Christmas a friend with a long and distinguished history of giving me unusual gins performed a sideways gifting* manoeuvre into gin 'additives', if I could loosely term them as that. You know, things like angostura bitters which go to make classic pink gin, though it wasn't those. And which until I looked them up just now I mistakenly thought contained anchovy. No, what she gave me was a 'liquid garnish' with the dreamily evocative name of Seamist. The idea is that you add it to one of several Salcombe Gins - or in my case whatever 'plain' brand I happen to have in the cupboard, more like. It is the mode of dosing that is the fun part though, for the bottle of Seamist looks exactly like a perfume atomiser of the old 'sit on the dressing table of a Hollywood starlet' variety.
Moreover, the list of ingredients (though the precise nature of the botanicals isn't specified) reads for all the world like a fragrance formula - orris root I am looking at you!:
"Distilled and crafted using the finest fresh red grapefruit peels, which are hand peeled each day prior to distillation and combined with coastal botanicals, a hint of Macedonian juniper berries, lime, coconut, orris root and bay leaf, before adding Cornish sea salt, which is first dissolved in pure, naturally soft Dartmoor water before being blended with the distillate that has been created. The salt concentration is roughly twice that of sea water."
A gin garnish in a perfume bottle: what a splendid confluence of my special interests...;)
The ABV is a whopping 60%, I should mention, which is 50% more than my usual tipple of gin at around 40%. Good job it is only finely sprayed over the finished drink...!
Now despite my alleged gin and perfume credentials, I have yet to spray the Seamist into my gin. So far I have only tipped a bit out of the neck into my glass, which wasn't very successful, as a fair bit spilled onto the worktop, necessitating my 'doing a Truffle' and licking it off. What do you mean, you don't do that too?? Having since taken a better look at the company's website, I shall be spritzing from now on. I have no idea why I even hesitated. There is lots of information on the website by the way, from cocktail recipes** to try at home, to tasting sessions on the premises - you can even go along and learn how to make your own personalised bottle of gin. Of interest too is the timeline of Salcombe's maritime past and how the distillery was set up by two sailing instructors called Angus and Howard.
The inspiration behind Seamist is also revealed:
"Seamist’ has been inspired by, and is created to, replicate the aromas and sensation of a morning walk along the shore, with your senses being filled fresh sea air and a subtle saltiness from the spray of waves as the early morning sun turns it into sea mist."
This is obviously not the sort of morning walk experience that can be readily conjured up in landlocked Staffordshire. Mind you, Stafford was built on top of salt mines at least(!), though the practice of brine pumping was banned in 1970 following some bad cases of subsidence in the north of the town. As for how Seamist tastes to me, it is not as grapefruity as I thought it would be, nor as salty, but adds a boozy citrus twist to an already boozy drink - in a good way. Which doesn't really tell you very much, I know. To be fair, I should have written this post after I had managed to get more of the garnish into my actual glass... ;).
|Source: Stiller Beobachter via Wikimedia Commons|
Now as any fellow sufferers of reflux / GERD will know, fizzy beverages (tonic water!), alcohol (gin!, Seamist!) and citrus fruit (grapefruit!) are the Unholy Trinity of acid-producing drink- and foodstuffs. So a gin and tonic with a slice of lemon or lime in it is already a supposed no-no, even without the addition of extra citrus and extra alcohol. But my drinking overall has fallen by about 85% (though it may creep up again presently, I sense), and sometimes you simply have to live a little (or go mad)...;)
*I swear I would not normally say "gifting", but "presenting" isn't a word.
**As well as just adding Seamist to gin, there is also a recipe for a Martini cocktail called a Mistini, which is another great name.