Ah, gin. Like most of the nation it seems I’m a little bit partial to this winsome tipple. And honestly, it doesn’t get me drunk either (although my colleagues would beg to differ). So when the opportunity came up to sample some dreamy new mixers from Fentimans in the aptly named surroundings of The Botanist at Broadgate Circle, I was practically first through the doors.
If the name Fentimans rings any bells, it’s because you’re probably familiar with their stylish traditional-looking glass bottles featuring rose lemonade or classic ginger beer. It’s an iconic brand started in 1905 by Thomas Fentiman and is now run by his great, great grandson Eldon Robson. What a triumph to still keep the brand in the family which seems so hard to do these days. I also love the fascinating fact that Thomas’ dog Fearless still features on the branding. He’s been on the bottles since the Traditional Ginger Beer was stored in stone bottles and was a twice Crufts Champion winning the obedience class in 1933 and 1934! Little animal nuggets of information are always my favourite.
Tradition is important to the Fentimans brand which is one of the reasons they’ve stood the test of time over more than a century. It’s the only brewer in the UK to use the time-honoured process of botanical brewing to produce natural, botanically brewed and exquisitely crafted beverages and mixers that have a rich and complex taste.
That said, the audience today is a discerning one, especially when it comes to our mixers. With small batch brewing rising in popularity all the time and more gin choices than most of us know what to do with, it stands to follow there’s a huge market for the creative and luxury mixers to accompany our favourite drink.
The evening at The Botanist gave us the chance to sample all of the Fentimans products as well as seeing the launch of their ‘Connoisseurs Tonic Water’. And the timing couldn’t be better. Here’s what they have to say about the latest product to hit market shelves:
‘With a growing number of people seeking to discover premium mixers to drink with luxury spirits, Connoisseurs Tonic Water has been developed to accentuate and amplify the delicate botanical flavours found in artisanal and premium gin. The smooth taste profile has been achieved by the infusion of natural botanicals and the careful blending of clean, subtle and natural flavours.
Fentimans Marketing Director, Andrew Jackson, explained: “As more and more consumers continue to have heightened quality expectations and as renowned flavour innovators, it’s important that Fentimans create drinks that meet the needs of an increasingly discerning and knowledgeable audience. With the development of Connoisseurs Tonic Water, we have created the crème de la crème of tonic, that will delight even the most ardent connoisseurs.”’
I have to admit, I’m sold. These are exciting times for us gin lovers, far removed from Gordon’s and Schweppes days. I’m all for variety and sampled enough at The Botanist to have a few new firm favourites in mind.
Do you have a favourite gin and mixer combination? Thank you so much to Fentimans for inviting me to the launch of their new tonic and mixers and for the lovely case of drinks to try at home which has since arrived!