My relationship with Brentingby is one that I’m extremely grateful for. I won’t rehash information and stories that I’ve already gave you… I wouldn’t want to bore you…
I give a bit of background on that in my review of Brentingby Dry Gin… Which you can read later via this link —> Brentingby London Dry Review
Theres also more background on Bruce and Brentingby in the Q&A I did with him… Funnily enough I have a link for this also —> Bruce Midgley Q&A
So, given you have access to so much detailed and, lets be honest, beautifully written background… We’ll just chat about this particular gin.
Summer Fusion – All For Love and Love for All… For those that haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Bruce you won’t necessarily be aware of his warmth, enthusiasm and genuine good soul… So, in all honesty, it didn’t surprise me that he would release something themed liked this.
For those just emerging from their caves 2020 hasn’t been a year anyone has really enjoyed. In March we were invaded by the Covid-19 and, to put it frankly, its really messed up everyone’s plans.
For me personally I’ve had to cancel my lovely holiday where we were departing to Florida on my birthday (I’m preparing for a sucky birthday as a result of thinking where I could’ve been!), we also had to cancel our trip to London to meet up with a squad down there and Junipalooza was cancelled… In the wider world the reality was equally grim… The gyms closed, people were prevented from seeing family and friends, shops, bars and restaurants closed, we had to keep 2m apart at all times and travel was no longer permitted… Amongst many other things… Suffice to say it hasn’t been ideal. 2020 will, without doubt, be remembered but perhaps not for the right reasons.
Anyway… Bruce messaged me talking about his newest gin he was in the final stages of launching and told me he wanted to fire a bottle of this mystery gin to me… I’d literally never knock Bruce back so I did, of course, jump at the chance. A few days later it turned up.
I’ll be honest and say that when I looked at the list of botanicals I was quite surprised as this really is quite left of centre for Bruce. Powerful, fruity botanicals… However there was a reason for this. Each fruit and botanical is a colour of the rainbow… The rainbow being the symbol of hope through the Covid. A representation of support shown to our frontline services.
I asked Bruce about this and what the gin meant to him… He told me;
“Designed to bring the summer of love to 2020. Bringing joy and happiness in these unprecedented times. Representing our front line teams the rainbow and love for all. Hopefully brightening up lives. Juniper very much there, sweeter than normal, pineapple and cherry to the front with various other fruits. Easy drinking and full of fruitiness”
Think that about sums it up!
- Green Apple
- Passion Fruit
ABV – 40%
Size – 70cl
RRP – £30.00
On the nose its satisfyingly punchy with juniper. I then pick up something that I feel is almost like a strawberry, vanilla type scent… Which is odd because neither of these things are in here. As I swirl it around and let it settle a little the pineapple comes up pretty heavy… But, at the same time, not overly so. Its kinda tropical but without being offensive. The fact the juniper still hangs about keeps all the sweeter botanicals at bay… They just pop their head up a little.
To taste this neat the initial hit I get is the pineapple. Its the most dominant flavour on the very first sip. As it goes down I notice a little hint of something almost peppery prickling the front of my tongue… Which I’m enjoying. There’s also a touch from the juniper but it isn’t quite as dominant as the pineapple. Going back in theres a little hint at the passionfruit and a zing that is more green apple than citrus given the slightly sweet sourness… If that makes sense.
Adding in a bit of water I find the juniper to be a little more prevalent… That pineapple is still high on the agenda but has moved aside a little to let the juniper come out. Unusually the spice is still around which is nice… The finish isn’t as long but I do find that to be the case when tasting with water.
Adding in tonic at 2:1 and the pineapple is still the heavy hitter here. It is a really fruity, tropical, refreshing drink… However, for me, this serve wouldn’t be my go-to serve as it is quite sweet. This, for me, could be a post-BBQ, in the garden drink to enjoy on a hot, sunny day… I garnished it with a cherry but that was really just an aesthetic thing!
Cards on the table mixing this with tonic wasn’t ideal for me… It was a wee bit too sweet however I actually really enjoyed it paired with a particularly savoury snack (I ate Chipotle Chicken Mini Cheddars!)… It’s about balance kids!
I decided to try it again but with a different mixer to taper the sweetness and it worked much better for me… Again it was 2:1 but this time I used Ginger Ale instead of tonic. Obviously pineapple and ginger is a thing so there was no reason for this not to work in all honesty… And, thankfully, it did. Far calmer, a lovely warmth while still being refreshing and much more balanced… Lovely.
For a cocktail I swithered between a nice, sweet, dessert-like drink or some kinda Tiki type number to go along with the sweetness the gin just has or whether to go against it and hit it with some sour…
I went sour…
60ml Brentingby Summer Fusion Gin
30ml Fresh Lemon Juice
15ml Sugar Syrup
1 Egg White
Few Dashes Angostura Bitters
Add all the ingredients (excluding Angostura) to an empty shaker
Dry shake (ie no ice)
Then fill the shaker with ice and shake again until sufficiently chilled and diluted
Double strain into your glass
Dash Angostura over the top
This is absolutely the right choice cocktail-wise for this. The pineapple works so so well with the lemon.
Tropical meringue pie
It is sour
But it’s delightfully sweet
Perfect after dinner, dessert cocktail
You could leave out the sugar syrup if you wanted to make it more of a “sour” sour…
This was amazing though
It’s a very unusual gin and not what I’d have ever ever expected from Brentingby given the fact that they tend to side more in line with tradition but, at the same time, it shows an ability to move into more “dangerous waters” with botanicals some may look at with outrage and to do it confidently and make it an enjoyable drink.
While for me, personally, I wasn’t a fan of it with tonic, I did enjoy the more balanced flavour of mixing it with ginger ale instead.
This was a huge departure and the entrance into a different market for Brentingby and, to that end, it has been successful. Is it traditional? No… But that doesn’t mean its bad… It just means it slots in differently.
Brentingby can now say they have something for everyone within their range so you really don’t have to go searching.
If you enjoy traditional stick to Bruce’s London Dry… If you fancy something a wee bitty sweeter that you could play about with for some really interesting cocktails… This will sit very happily on your shelf.
This was a really interesting gin for me to review as it is truly unlike any other one that I have wrote about. I want to thank Bruce for being generous enough to send it to me.
As always I hope you’ve enjoyed this review. Plenty more where this one came from next month… By plenty I mean a review… Let’s not go nuts here.
However if you need more than that to fulfil your gin info, photos that are getting better than they were and general banter then come on over to my social media… On top of all that we have fun videos and weekly live cocktail fun… Check out this review if you’re still unsure;
It’s certainly interesting
– Made up reviewer
See you next month