Is it cause or effect? The ginaissance has firmly established gin as the trendy drink du jour. More people are drinking it and more distillers and brands are entering the market. Is this fuelling the demand or simply a market-led response? Who knows? But what is becoming crystal clear is that gin makers are having to become ever more innovative and resourceful to carve out even a small space in the gin market.
If there was a prize for the most beautiful and impressively designed gin bottle, and for all I know there may well be one, Generous Gin would be up there amongst the leading contenders. It is a stunning, white vase-shaped bottle covered with the images of botanicals in black – the organic version of the gin uses green. In the centre of the front of a bottle is a black label with white script, informing the prospective purchaser that it is called Generous Gin and that it is “delightfully fresh and aromatic.” The label at the rear gives more information about the product.
Generous is a French gin which, rather like G-Vine Floraisson, comes from the Cognac region, and bottled by Odevie SAS, who are to be found in La Rochefoucauld. The bottle proudly proclaims its French provenance. According to the manufacturers, it is their attempt to create a “simple gin” which highlights the “best of what French tradition can offer: great natural ingredients, combined with a high precision of distillation in small pot-stills” and one which can give “the best Gin and Tonic.” Their aim, they state, is to produce “a smooth and aromatic gin which combines fruity, floral and spicy scents with an extraordinary freshness.” No lack of ambition there, then.
From what I can establish, there are six botanicals which make up the gin – juniper, citrus, red pepper, jasmine and elder flower – some of which are macerated and others distilled. The process is not quite clear but then it’s the product rather than the process that we should concern ourselves with.
The bottle is a delight to touch and feel and opening the screwcap top unleashes a heady aroma of pine, citrus and flowers, quite delightful and somewhat intoxicating. If you get the impression that this is going to be a floral gin with the dial set at eleven, you would not be wrong when you take your first sip. The spirit, wonderfully crystal clear, has a very fresh taste to it with floral elements and spices to the fore. The juniper takes very much a backseat in this gin. The aftertaste is clean, fresh with a lingering sensation of dryness and at 44% ABV it packs a punch.
I could imagine myself sitting in a shady bower, seeking refuge from the harsh sun, breathing in the aromas and fragrances of the flowers which surround me, sipping a glass of Generous. The match between the floral notes of the gin and my surroundings would be perfect. But for everyday drinking, I miss the juniper lead and I found that if you were not careful with the mixer you used, you could seriously destabilise the fragile balance of the spirit. A very neutral tonic seems to work best for me, at least.
If you like a floral led gin, then this is definitely one to explore. For me, it will certainly feature on my summer gin-drinking menu. For the meantime the bottle will take pride of place on my gin shelf, standing like a Ming vase, until the sun starts to shine.
Until the next time, cheers!