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BEHIND THE LIQUID: A GIN TO FULFIL THE SENSES

Imagine you created a gin nearly 190 years ago and this year it as voted once again as the bartender’s favourite gin[1], (you would be pretty chuffed we’re sure). Well that’s the real story of Charles Tanqueray – but who was he really and how did he create this unmistakable gin?

Sit down and settle in as we explore the remarkable story of gin and Tanqueray and even offer up some gin cocktail recipe inspiration for you to try.

WHERE GIN STARTED

First things first, let’s take a brief look at the story of gin and how it became the popular spirit we know and love today…

Gin’s origin starts with a Dutch spirit known as Genever which was very popular in the 1600s. Genever had reached English shores following the Dutch war of independence from Spain, where English soldiers had tasted this cheap spirit when fighting alongside their Dutch counterparts.

With imported spirits banned, alongside the deregulation of home spirit production, gin’s popularity exploded and by 1720, 90% of gin was being distilled in London. Around this time, this gin was still different to what we know today and it was strong and often sweetened by sugar to hide its imperfections.

By the middle of the 1700s you now had to be licensed to make and sell gin, and with a wide range of spices, fruits and teas arriving in London at this time, distillers started to experiment with different flavours and refine their gin production.

As the quality improved there was still a big step change to happen in the world of gin with the invention of the Coffey still in 1832. This innovative still allowed distillers to craft a much cleaner rectified spirit which ultimately resulted in the creation of the London Dry gin style we know today.

STEP FORWARD A MAN CALLED CHARLES

Charles Tanqueray was born in 1810 in England and he was passionate about crafting the world’s finest gin. In the 1830s he set up the Vine Street Distillery in Bloomsbury, London, with the intention of creating the finest London Dry style gin.

Charles experimented with many ingredients, testing the finest botanicals from all around the world and after 300 recipes, he discovered a perfectly balanced recipe that combined a rich, full flavour with a bold, unmistakable taste and Tanqueray London Dry gin was born.

Charles’ complex combination of the finest botanicals and spices met with instant approval and success, and by 1847 Tanqueray gin was being exported to the colonies of the Caribbean and beyond.

GIN PRODUCTION WITH A DIFFERENCE

Today Tanqueray is crafted in at the famous Cameronbridge Distillery on the banks of the River Leven in Fife, Scotland.

The team at Cameronbridge, led by Master Distiller, Terry Fraser, continue Charles Tanqueray’s legacy, ensuring Tanqueray’s unmistakable taste and quality stands out against all others.

Tanqueray London Dry

To this day, Terry and his team still use the four iconic botanicals of juniper, coriander, angelica and liquorice from Charles Tanqueray’s original 1830s recipe, to create the perfectly balanced Tanqueray London Dry.

The team are still driven by Charles’ unwavering attention to detail with only 1 in 10 botanicals received at the distillery having the superiority and characteristics to go into Tanqueray.

At the distillery there are 3 large copper pot stills used to make Tanqueray London Dry - one of which dates back from the reign of King George the III and has been in continuous use for 250 years. The team like to call him - Old Tom.

Tanqueray No. TEN

Also crafted at Cameronbridge is the other Tanqueray variants including the first ever super-premium gin, Tanqueray No. Ten.

It took the team of Tanqueray distillers two years of experimenting and determination to create this exquisite gin, crafted using a small pot still from the 1950s known as ‘Tiny Ten’.

Fresh orange, lime and grapefruit are distilled together to create the citrus heart of Tanqueray No. Ten, offering an exquisite smooth citrus burst in your cocktail creations.


Tanqueray Tom Collins

Tanqueray Negroni

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Find out more about Tanqueray London Dry


Find out more about Tanqueray No. Ten


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[1] The Bartenders’ Choice - Drinks International Brands Report (2018)