Industry trio launch gin made with Indian tea

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A trio from the bar and drinks industry have launched a new gin made using a single-estate Darjeeling tea from India.

Jindea is made with juniper, lemon, grapefruit, coriander, ginger, fennel, cardamom, cinnamon and angelica plus the key botanical of “first flush” Darjeeling. It is bottled at 40% ABV.

It has been created by bartender and cocktail specialist Matt Dakers (pictured right) with Adrian Gomes (centre), who owns Aberdeen bars The Tippling House, Rye & Soda and Bos’n and events company 10 Dollar Shake, and Jack Rackham (left), commercial director of leading distributor Emporia Brands.

The Darjeeling tea, which imparts aromas of muscatel grape and stone fruits, is sourced from the Goomtee Estate, a single-estate tea plantation in the Kurseong Valley. The first batch of the gin uses the 2016 harvest which means future bottlings may use tea with subtle variations detectable to connoisseurs.

It uses the first “flush” which is the first harvest in spring and produces the gentlest of black teas – known as the “champagne of teas”. Darjeeling is traditionally made with more intense flushes harvested later in the year.

Matt added: “The high altitude and artisanal cultivation yields in the Kurseong Valley produce arguably one of the finest black teas in the world and it is long-considered the ‘grand cru’ of Darjeeling.”

To select the right tea, the team enlisted the help of Ajit Madan, co-founder of Camellia’s Tea House in London and the UK’s first certified International Tea Education Institute (ITEI) master tea sommelier.

Matt said that the choice of an Indian tea, reflected in Jindea’s name and the branding, came from the strong ties that both he and Adrian have with the continent. “My grandfather was born in India and my great-grandfather served as a captain in the Indian Army. Adrian’s father grew up in Goa where his family worked on the Indian railways.

“These stories connected us and we wanted to make a gin which would reflect both our British and Indian heritage. We were inspired to look to Darjeeling tea to draw on the gentle aromatic and floral qualities it imparts to the gin.”

The spirit is produced in a traditional alembic copper pot still to a classic London Dry gin recipe at the Gabriel Boudier distillery in Dijon in France.

Jindea gin

Cocktail recipes created by Matt Dakers

Chai Pani
40ml Jindea gin
10ml Campari
1 teaspoon Mango chutney
15ml Fresh lemon juice
1 dash Angostura Orange Bitters
Shake all ingredients with ice. Fine-strain into a champagne saucer and garnish with a poppadom shard.

Make Mine a Beer
50ml Jindea gin
25ml Fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Caster sugar
Indian pale ale
Shake gin, lemon juice and sugar with ice. Strain over ice into a large wine goblet and top with Indian pale ale. Garnish with fresh herbs, seasonal fruits and edible flowers.

West Bengal Punch
40ml Jindea gin
10ml Crème de pêche
30ml Cold-brew Darjeeling tea
15ml Lemon juice
1 teaspoon Caster sugar
Shake all ingredients with ice. In an Old Fashioned tumbler, fine-strain over a large block of cut ice and serve with a sprig of mint and slice of fresh peach.

The Calcutta Club
40ml Jindea gin
10ml Dry vermouth
15ml Fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Raspberry jam
1 teaspoon Sugar syrup (1:1)
Shake all ingredients with ice. Fine-strain into a champagne saucer and garnish with a fresh mint leaf.

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