January Gin of the Month - Teasmith Original Gin
Our chosen gin of the month for our gin club members this month is the Teasmith. Hailing from Aberdeenshire, Nick and Emma Smalley, the creators of Teasmith Original Gin, were inspired to form a gin that captured the essence of the land and stories that surrounded them. Therefore, they produced Teasmith – the first Scottish gin to use tea as a primary botanical.
The use of hand-pick Ceylon Tea was influenced by the regions largely unknown rich historical links to the tea-trade. James Taylor, a young man from Auchenblae in the North East of Scotland, was known as the 'Father of Ceylon Tea' as he planted the very first tea plantation in Sri Lanka over 150 years ago. It was Taylor who started the process that transformed the island into one of the finest tea-growing regions in the world.
The Teasmith is distilled with hand-picked and hand-rolled black loose leaf Ceylon tea sourced from the Amba Estate, Sri Lanka. Nick and Emma worked with tea consultant Beverly-Claire Wainwright to source their unique Ceylon tea. Grown at an elevation of over 1000m and nestled in a small valley above the Ravana Ella Waterfalls, this hand-rolled tea from Amba Estate offers something truly different. A rare tea that has been developed with meticulous care, using only the finest leaf and bud, to create rich aromatic flavours. Production is tiny and is made entirely by hand without machinery in the same way that Taylor produced his very first batches of tea.
Other carefully selected botanicals include juniper, coriander, grains of paradise and orange peel.
The Teasmith is distilled in one of Perthshire’s leading distilleries. The essence of The Teasmith lies in a classic gin recipe with juniper, coriander, citrus peels and other carefully selected botanicals distilled twice in traditional copper alembic stills. The black loose leaf Ceylon tea is distilled all by itself to ensure the unique flavour is captured perfectly in the heart of the run. These flavours are then carefully blended together.
The result is a gin that is bright and crisp on the nose with a mix of juniper and citrus. On the palate juniper and citrus are at the fore with the subtle addition of spice. As these fade, a minty sweetness develops.
The Teasmith Gin is packaged in a short, round necked bottle created by a local design company. A pattern depicting a tea leaf and juniper berry chain is etched all around the glass and also appears in the customised gold typeface at the front of the bottle. It’s exquisitely detailed, adding a tactile element to the bottle that carries on through to the stopper, which has been fire-branded.
Best enjoyed with a sprig of fresh mint, your favourite tonic and ice (1 part gin to 4 parts tonic works well). Also great with a range of mixers or as the base of a number of cocktails.