VII Hills, the gin brand headed by two leading bartenders, has been relaunched with a new bottle and a new recipe made in Italy with exclusively Italian ingredients.
Originally launched three years ago and made in the UK, the gin has now switched production to a distillery in Turin and adjusted its botanicals from 12 to seven – to match the seven hills of Ancient Rome that inspired its name.
The recipe now features Italian-grown ingredients of juniper, coriander, angelica roots, celery, artichoke, blood orange, rosehip and Roman camomile – all of which would have grown on the city’s seven hills in the past.
It is still made with one-shot distillation in the style of London dry gin, using the vacuum or cold technique at low temperatures to maintain the delicate flavours of the botanicals. The base is a neutral sugar beet spirit.
Now called an “Italian dry gin” to reflect both its English and Italian heritage, it has been relaunched in an elegant, tall new bottle instead of the original shorter, squat bottle. Its ABV remains 43%.
The new recipe was devised by the brand’s owners, Danilo Tersigni and Filippo Previero, two bartenders who met while working at bars runs by Inception Group. Danilo was general manager of Mr Fogg’s Residence before leaving to set up Bokan bar for Novotel hotels in Canary Wharf this year while Filippo was head bartender of Mr Fogg’s Tavern and general manager of Cahoots.
Danilo said: “In an era of increased awareness, consumers tend to value more high-quality ingredients, artisanal techniques, attention to details, and individuality. The more crafted a gin is, the more interesting the story behind it is.
“From a producer’s point of view, it is extremely important to be transparent with the audience and to keep authentic the relationship with them.
“Our aim is to communicate the uniqueness of VII Hills Italian Dry Gin. Its earthy and citrusy flavour is not only inspired by the Italian cooking traditions, but by the Roman culture itself. The result is an unusual taste, where ancient and modern flavours merge into an unforgettable libation experience.”
VII Hills is an aromatic and fruity juniper spirit, lightly citrusy on the nose. On the palate, sweet pomegranate notes with hints of roman camomile are perfectly balanced by the earthy freshness of the celery. The classically Italian bitter but warming flavours of the artichoke linger in the finish.
To enhance the aromatic flavours of the botanicals, VII Hills Italian Dry Gin is recommended for serving with Fentimans 1905 Herbal Tonic over ice, garnished with celery. It is also suitable for drinking neat over ice with a slice or twist of blood orange.
Danilo and Filippo have been supported in their endeavours by Italian spirits specialist Guiseppe Gallo, who last year launched Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto. He said: “I am a huge fan of the new VII Hills Gin. The duo, who have been using their expert knowledge to build unique drink menus and innovative cocktails for years, know what goes into a truly great gin.
“Even though I was already aware of Filippo and Danilo’s talent, I am amazed about the wonderful product they have managed to bring to life. Salute!”
The new version of VII Hills is already being used in cocktails at Oriole bar in London. Its bartender Gabriele Manfredi said: “I really believe it is a high-quality product. It has a beautiful herbal note and a good spiced end and a sweet pepper note. I prefer it with a nice tonic to underline its flavours, but it is ideal also for mixing.”
VII Hills is available through Amathus Drinks, Speciality Drinks, Enotria&Coe and Bibendum.
Danilo and Filippo have devised some perfect serves including a perfect Negroni.
30ml VII Hills Italian Dry Gin
30ml Sweet vermouth
Slice of orange to garnish
Serve in a rock glass