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Tuesday 18 October 2011

The boy and his poison: No.3 Gin

I covet new gin like the Domestic Sluttery girls covet shoes. Unfortunately though I've yet to persuade most off licenses to adopt the shoe selling approach of letting me try before I buy so there's often a healthy element of risk involved with each purchase. Still, who doesn't like a juniper-based gamble? For every obscure bottle I've grimaced through (I'm looking at you, Cork Dry Gin, and the birthday you ruined) there's always the lure of sipping something incredible.

And so to the bottle of Berry Bros. No.3 gin. I finally got hold of the other day. Named after its home at No.3 St James's Street in London and heralding from 300 years of keeping us well lubricated; its little surprise that the folk at Berry Bros. decided to look towards their heritage to make their first gin and what a great start. Whilst I admire Hoxton and Beefeater for experimenting with their botanicals, No.3 is doing what I adore, letting every ingredient sing by keeping the drink simple. They've stuck to three fruits, three spices and kept the falling-down water right up at 46%, allegedly they even found someone with a Gin PHD to put the whole thing together.

Don't taint this lovely juniper juice with anything too harsh. I had a killer recipe for a Bramble I wanted to share, but this just didn't feel right as the cocktail dilutes everything that makes No.3 special. If you want to be bling, feel free to use it in any cocktail but if you're a fan of the taste of mothers ruin it makes perfect dry martinis, and incredible G&Ts. Bright and punchy with a earthliness from the angelica and slightly higher alcohol content, dare I say it, this is a ballsy manly gin, but what better drink to pack a punch after a hard day.

As for the bottle, it's a thing of beauty. Apparently the key on the front of the bottle is modelled on the key of the distiller's parlour door. For the record I have not taken an impression, and I am not going to explore whether is actually works next week.

It's not a cheap gin by any means (the good booze never is). The best-value stockist is The Whiskey Exchange and it'll cost you £30.95. Just divide that price by the number of martinis you'll make - drunken maths is always the best maths.


  1. I got to try this a couple of weeks ago at a Gin Cocktail class in brum, and it is indeed gorgeous! Have been trying to justify getting a bottle, so I'm loving your drunken maths.

  2. You are absolutely right; I came to the same conclusions about mixing. It is almost too good to mix, even with tonic water for me. A dry martini or neat seems to be the beswt way to enjoy No.3.


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