We've just launched Chilgrove Dry Gin - a completely new style of English Gin, but with its roots in the past.
Husband and wife team, Christopher and Celia Beaumont-Hutchings created Chilgrove, which is named after the pretty West Sussex hamlet where it's produced. It's the first British Gin to be made using spirit distilled from grapes, but a few hundred years ago the Dutch drink from which Gin originally evolved was made using spirit distilled from wine. So Chilgrove is an innovation and follows tradition at the same time, and is making its own history, having been awarded a 4 star rating from Difford's Guide.
The Gin is produced using traditional methods and distilled with natural mineral water that has filtered through the very chalk hills that surround Chilgrove, in the South Downs National Park. Christopher grew up in the hamlet, just down the road from Goodwood Racecourse and Motor Circuit, where Chilgrove Dry Gin has swiftly become a featured drink at its high-profile events.
Christopher and Celia Beaumont-Hutchings ensure a glass is in suitable condition before receiving their Gin
Charles Maxwell, Master Distiller (and eighth generation gin-maker!), describes it as “A big, powerful, complex Gin. The neutral grape spirit base gives a soft mouth feel and bring forward floral notes [notably violets - ed] as it combines with the citrus botanicals. Overall there is a gentle delivery of the botanical flavours which end up with a spicy peppery note delivered by the grains of paradise working with the juniper berries.” We found it outstandingly smooth, and slightly fruity and sweet, with exceptional length.
The trendiest bars are now mixing cocktails with Chilgrove, including The Blue Bar at The Berkeley, Gillray's and Artesian at The Langham hotel, that has just won The World's Best Bar Award for the 3rd year in a row. Chilgrove's new seasonal serve is Autumn’s Chilgrove Fizz (below): Shake together over ice 25ml each of Chilgrove Dry Gin, fresh pink grapefruit juice and fresh lemon juice. Pour gently over a ¾ filled flute of English sparkling wine and garnish with a twist of orange peel in the fizz.