One of the lesser known cocktails from the legendary Dick Bradsell, the man who invented the Espresso Martini and the Bramble. Using our London Dry Gin, our Sloeberry & Blackcurrant, and a dash of Blackberry Liqueur, this is essentially a gin sour but with a distinct hit of fresh berry flavours added to it. A timeless recipe from one of the greats of modern bartending.
No drink in the last ten years has enjoyed such a meteoric rise as the Spritz, here we use our Sloeberry & Blackcurrant Gin to great effect, using it instead of the familiar Italian red aperitif bitters that we tend to find in the modern Spritz. The sharpness of the Sloe’s, the acidity of the Prosecco, and the sweetness of the blackcurrant and cherry that we use, make for a deliciously balance combination. The new Fever-Tree Blood Orange Soda adds a little bit of the bitterness that we like in a Spritz and of course, the bubbles. Long refreshing and delicious.
There has always been something quite aristocratic about Sloe Gin, one could imagine Princess Anne or the late Queen Mother sipping a from a flask of it whilst out on the Sandringham estate, for this drink we have created a kind of Sloeberry Negroni, using the Queen Mothers favourite Dubonnet in place of sweet vermouth and the decidedly drier Gammeldansk in place of Campari to balance the sweetness of our sloe berries.
The Gin Rickey is a very simple drink from the Golden Age of Cocktails, consisting of just gin, fresh lime juice and sparkling water, served long over ice. When made with London Dry Gin, due to the lack of any sugar, it is of course a very dry drink, often too dry for the modern palate. Using our Portobello Sloeberry & Blackcurrant gives a more balanced and shippable drink.
This Christmas, Portobello Road Gin bring you the most festive and nostalgic of treats. The sixth expression in the historically inspired range, a delightful Sloeberry & Blackcurrant gin.
Developed by Master Distiller and Co-Founder, Jake F. Burger, Portobello Road Sloeberry & Blackcurrant Gin distills a botanically intense version of our classic London Dry Gin. It is then blended with sloe berries foraged from the wilds of Burgundy, a French blackcurrant liqueur, an Italian cherry liqueur, and a little sugar. Everything is then rested in ex-whiskey barrels at our home, The Distillery, on London’s iconic Portobello Road.
Portobello Road Gin’s tagline of ‘London Spirit’ of course refers to gin but lately, we’ve all witnessed how the human spirit prevails in times of struggle and challenge. Whether that is ‘community spirit’, ‘in the spirit of giving’ or anything that brings people together during these times when we have all had to stay apart.
As the world looks ahead and holds out hope for a return to some form of normality, the role hospitality plays in communities and culturally has never been more clear or dearly missed. As one of the hardest hit industries during this time, we’ve been exploring ways to support our valued trade partners and how we can help venues look ahead to re-opening, where possible.
The road out of lockdown is far from clear but with a tentative date of 4th July, businesses are beginning to plan and get an idea for what re-opening may look like. At the beginning of the pandemic, Portobello Road Gin switched some of it’s production lines to making W.H.O. grade hand sanitizer to provide to the Metropolitan Police Force. As the ‘new normal’ continues and evolves, we are going to make a sanitiser pack available to all our stockists and partners for free (whilst stocks last.) This includes a 5 litre refill pack and personal 60ml sanitiser bottles for all the team and then we will continue to produce the refills at cost as long as we can.
This is the first of a number of different measures we are working on to help get the hospitality trade on their feet. Portobello Road Gin still being independently owned, all by bartenders originally themselves, have always focused on activities around the education and development of bartenders since launching in 2011 and are keen to continue to support where we can. With the help of our UK distributor, Mangrove, we are also looking at ways we can assist with disposable menu costs and initial reopening stock costs.
The road ahead may be long but with a little help from friends, hopefully it can be a little less bumpy
Ged, Jake, Tom & Del
As the name might suggest, this delicious cocktail was indeed created in the (early) 20th Century. The recipe was first published in 1937 in William J Tarling’s ‘Café Royal Cocktail Book‘ and though it may not be seen all that readily on today’s cocktail menus, it is certainly one worth adding to your personal cocktail repertoire. Short and punchy, our Celebrated Butter Gin works a treat.
20ml Creme De Cacao (Fair Cacao)
20ml Lillet Blanc
10ml fresh Lemon juice
Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker and shake well. Strain in to a coupette and garnish with a twist of lemon peel.
Portobello Road’s most celebrated ursine fan; Paddington Bear, or Pastuso to use his given name as we really should in the post colonial era, was a big fan of marmalade sandwiches, and of Portobello Road. Our liquid version takes our Celebrated Butter Gin; a unique gin redistilled with salted English butter which has a slight creamy taste and has a noticeable weight on the palate, and mixes it into a sour with English marmalade, which provides a strong orange flavour and a degree of sweetness, the bitter Italian aperitif, Aperol, which balances the sweetness and adds another layer of flavour. and a sprinkling of toast dust, which completes the sandwich.
If ever there were a day for our Celebrated Butter Gin, it would 1st May apparently, so a very happy National Butter Day to you.
In all our expressions at Portobello Road Gin there is an element of history and tradition. The Celebrated Butter Gin is no different – in fact the idea came from a book of short stories by Charles Dickens – ‘Sketches by Boz’. Dickens loved to observe and document London in its industrial growth and social turmoil. This is most probably where he took inspiration for many of his characters such as Oliver Twist.
In ‘Sketches by Boz’, Dickens talks about the experience of being in a Gin Palace. Whilst in the Palace he recorded different expressions of Gin which included titles like: “The real knock me down”, “The strip me naked”, “Cream of the Valley” and the “Celebrated Butter Gin”. The names or ‘brands’ of gin were very descriptive, perhaps due to the fact that the majority of those drinking them would have almost certainly been illiterate. It is also very unlikely that Gin producers would have been distilling with butter. The name ‘Celebrated Butter Gin’ was probably a very early marketing tool used to suggest that the gin was of high quality, much like Crème de mure or menthe as in these times, sugar and fats were the pleasantries of the wealthy. If you were a pauper, you wouldn’t have been able to afford butter on your bread but something cheaper such as beef dripping.
“Then, ingenuity is exhausted in devising attractive titles for the different descriptions of gin; and the dram-drinking portion of the community as they gaze upon the gigantic black and white announcements, which are only to be equalled in size by the figures beneath them, are left in a state of pleasing hesitation between ‘The Cream of the Valley,’ ‘The Out and Out,’ ‘The No Mistake,’ ‘The Good for Mixing,’ ‘The real Knock-me-down,’ ‘The Celebrated Butter Gin,’ ‘The regular Flare-up,’ and a dozen other, equally inviting and wholesome liqueurs.” Charles Dickens – Sketches by Boz.
Reading this exert gave us the idea for an experiment. To take the idea of “Celebrated Butter Gin” much more literally. We redistill our signature 171 London Dry expression with 5 blocks of unsalted British butter.
Our house Gin historian and recipe master Jake Burger describes Celebrated Butter Gin as “like meeting your friend’s twin without knowing they had one, catching you unawares, and befuddling one’s expectations in a thoroughly welcome turn”.
When thinking on how best to use this gin – it works perfectly well wherever our signature 171 London Dry might. It makes a great Gin and Tonic, however if you want to really play on the subtle texture and unique character of this expression then Martini style drinks are the way to go. It will help to highlight the viscosity and creaminess of the gin.
In March of 2020, in the wake of Covid-19, our production line turned from gin to hand sanitiser. Along with lots of other distilleries around the world, our team answered the call of front line workers and began work on World Health Organisation regulation hand sanitiser.