Martin Miller’s Gin – The Juniper Society

Who would have thought that Martin Miller, the inventor of his namesake gin, would have had such an extraordinary life. He published an etiquette guide called Success with the Fairer Sex and the famous Miller’s Antiques Price Guide, organised pop concerts, bought a string of boutique hotels in London and the country, established the Miller’s Academy (an arts and science lecture venue) in London that attracted many celebrity speakers from the world of arts (and then gives it up when he gets bored), and then creates the first super premium gin on the market.

I was to learn all this and more on Monday 2 June 2014, when John Gakuru gave us the lowdown on Martin Miller’s Gin at an event hosted by the Juniper Society at The Rook, Sydney.

Martin Miller’s makes two types of gins. The first super premium gin (80 proof) was produced in 1999. Unlike other gins of the time, it had two seperate distillations. The juniper and earthier botanicals were distilled first and then blended with the second distillation of bitter orange peel, lemon and lime peel. Once combined, the gin is sent off to Iceland to be blended with pure icelandic water – a 4800 km round trip because ordinary water won’t do! From 2002 to 2003 a second variant (the Westbourne strength variant) was developed in response to requests from barmen and mixologists requesting a higher proof version of the gin. It has a higher 90 proof that makes it ideal for more complex flavoured cocktails. .

It is no wonder that Martin Miller has the slogan: Born of love, obsession and some degree of madness.

The drinks that were served on the night were:
1. Gin and tonic made with Martin Millers gin, tonic water. white peper, lemongrass, and garnished with lemon and star anise
2. Gimlet made with Martin Millers gin, muddled cucumber, fresh lime juice, sugar syrup and a dash of orange bitters

Juniper Society (named from the juniper berriers that are used to flavour gin) holds gin tasting events (usually) on the second Monday of every month at the Rook. They are open to the gin loving public.

The Rook is also celebrating World Gin Day for a whole week from 10 – 14 June 2014 with ‘seven deadly gin’ cocktails from the Rook’s seven favourite gins.

 — at The Rook

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