I was very, very excited to be invited to the Aberdeen launch of Jindea, a single estate tea gin (“a tea gin?!” you ask… all shall be revealed!)
The event took place at The Tippling House, a very on-trend, subterranean late night bar in Aberdeen city centre.
Being my first ‘blogger event’, I was a little nervous about what to expect, who would be there and what I would talk about (how do you introduce yourself as a gin blogger without sounding like a bit of an alcoholic? “Hi! I write about my hobby… gin.” Hmm…). But on arrival, I was immediately handed a B-E-A-UTIFUL heavy, crystal highball glass packed with ice, lime and Jindea gin with a bottle of Fever Tree tonic. There was no need to be nervous – I was right at home 😉
The bar was pretty busy already and amongst them I recognised a couple of faces so had some people to talk to. After a gin, the lovely staff came round with beautiful looking cocktails called the “West Bengal Punch”, garnished with edible flowers – very pretty and very easy drinking, like an alcoholic iced tea… #yummy
[ West Bengal Punch ]
30ML Jindea Single Estate Tea Gin
20ML Crème de Peche
30ML Cold-Brew Darjeeling Tea
15ML Lemon Juice
1 TSP Caster Sugar
Shake all ingredients with ice. In an old-fashioned tumbler fine-strain over a large block of cut ice and serve with a spring of mint and slice of fresh peach.
More cocktail recipes here.
Then we got to learn all about Jindea, the gin itself, where it comes from and who’s behind the brand. I absolutely love learning the back stories of the different gins coming on the market, so I hope you do too!
Jindea is a single estate, first flush Darjeeling tea gin. I’m quite proud that I can now tell you what that actually means (everyday is a school day, and all that!). If you read my blog post ‘what makes gin, ‘gin’?’, you’ll now know that gin is categorised by its dominant juniper flavour. Jindea is no different in that regard, but where it sets itself apart is that the second main botanical is Darjeeling tea from the Goomtee estate in India (that’s where the label ‘single estate’ comes from – all the tea is sourced and exported from that one estate).
Photo credit: Jindea
Darjeeling is often referred to as the ‘champagne of tea’ and it makes up less than 1% of India’s total tea production. It is superior in quality and is highly sought after, making it a premium contribution to the Jindea flavour. I also learned at the event that there are four ‘flushes’ which identify the season in which the tea is picked. First flush tea is the spring picking (March / April), enabling the creation of a gentle black tea – very desirable and, again, a valuable trait in the development of Jindea.
The gin also features other citrus-forward botanicals, including lemon and grapefruit, as well as coriander, ginger, fennel, cardamon, cinnamon and angelica. The spirit is produced in France in a traditional alembic copper still, which looks a little like this…
Jindea is a London dry gin – I think I’ll do a separate post on the different types of gin, but in short, a gin can only be called a London dry gin if all of the flavour is developed in the distillation process. In other words, you can’t add any essence or flavours after the distillation is complete (it actually has nothing to do with being made in London!).
So, how do you go about creating a gin like this – how on Earth do you think to source tea from India and distill it in France? And how do you know what other flavours to add? Well, Adrian Gomes (owner of The Tippling House, Rye & Soda and events company 10 Dollar Shake), told us at the launch how Jindea came about.
“Jindea is the product of collaboration between three people with significant experience in the hospitality and drinks industry.”
As well as Adrian, the other key contributors to the development of this unique gin are Matthew Dakers (a tea sommelier, one of around only 20 in the UK!) and Jack Rackham (third generation family-owned and London-based drinks importer).
Photo credit: Jindea
The trio have worked together, drawing on their own experiences, connections and knowledge, to develop a vibrant, citrus-forward gin.
Adrian explained that this was their third launch event in the U.K. They have already seen great success with the gin now being stocked in Harvey Nichols and the Savoy hotel (pretty impressive). Although the guys have clear connections to Aberdeen through their personal and professional relationships, Adrian explains that they don’t claim this to be a ‘local’ gin; they’re proud to introduce the international nature of the gin to the buoyant market in the UK, and what an impression they have made…
Jindea has just received the silver (outstanding) award at the International Wine and Spirit Competition – congratulations to the team! In celebration of this achievement (and if you’re local to Aberdeen), you can buy a bottle of Jindea at the Rye & Soda bottle shop with a 10% discount until Sunday, 30th July – get in there quick! 🙂
All in all, I had a great time at the event learning all about the gin (and tea, apparently!) and the brains behind the operation. I’ll definitely be picking up a bottle for myself from one of their retailers (full list here if you’re interested).
Have you tried it yet? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂
Thank you for reading!