North42 Rhubarb & Blood Orange Gin
We headed down to North Bar & Kitchen tonight for the launch of their new gin, North42. It’s pretty special, because as far as I’ve been able to tell, very few restaurants have ever made their own in-house branded gin.
North42 Gin has been a bit of a labour of love for Sally & Joanna, the co-owners of the North brand. They adore gin, and it has been an important part of the Leicester fine dining restaurant’s offer since they opened back in 2015 (on February 4th in fact – 4/2 – geddit?). Now, thanks to a successful project on Crowdfunder, they have been able to produce batch number 1 of their own gin, developed in house and distilled in Leicestershire.
I went along to the party tonight to pick up the bottle of gin I bought on the crowdfunder and enjoyed some delicious canapes and an all round great atmosphere. It was such a joyous celebration as everyone there was a backer of the project and it was so nice to have played a small part in getting something so lovely off the ground.
The gin is available to purchase via North42gin.co.uk, along with the bespoke glassware and reservations to the specially curated 5 course gin tasting menu, but that’s not the end of the story. The really crazy part came out of the blue.
The twist in the tail
Sally was invited to speak about her Crowdfunder success at a Natwest Back Her Business event – a grant giving scheme that the successful project became eligible for. This encouraged them to undertake a second Crowdfunder project (also a success) in order to gain the grant monies. At this talk, headed up by the publishing of Alison Rose’s fascinating paper on female entrepreneurship, Sally talked about her dream for her gin. I know this is Sally’s dream, as I remember her telling me about it roughly 18 months ago, when all of this was just a twinkle in her eye.
She wanted her gin, her restaurant’s house gin, to be on sale in Selfridges. Not Harrods. Not Fortnum and Mason. It had to be Selfridges. She loves the brand, she loves the ethos, she loves what they represent so that was the pinnacle of success for her craft product. She told this story in front of the Back Her Business audience and when the time for questions came an amazing thing occured. A woman raised her hand – she was the GM of Selfridges Birmingham. She offered North42 Gin a pop up shop in Selfridges without hesitation – and bought her own bottle from the online shop on the spot. The stuff dreams are made of!
And so this is just the beginning for this latest Leicestershire craft product. It has made its way out into the world now and it looks and tastes great. Let’s see just how successful it can be!
North42 Tasting Notes
A 42% ABV craft distilled flavoured gin with a distinctive scarlet colour. The pronounced nose carries both of the key flavour elements – the rhubarb and the blood orange – along with a a strong juniper aroma and back notes of coriander seed and citrus peel.
In the mouth, this is a fruity, fresh gin that takes you on a journey of flavour. The robust weight warms the mouth with the alcohol hit of the high quality base spirit, but this soon gives way to juicy rhubarb and a light spice, followed by the citrus and floral characters of blood orange and the complex mix of botanicals.
The finish is long, leaving the delicious taste of freshly squeezed blood orange on the palate.
North42 Gin has sufficient complexity to make an enjoyable sipping gin that reveals more and more of its character through the serve. It also partners well with plain tonic or ginger ale to make a refreshing long drink – with the pleasing aesthetic of each of these mixers drawing out either the pink or orange tones of the spirit respectively.
The robust 42% weight also makes North42 Gin perfect for mixologists, providing a strong spirit base for a range of cocktail recipes, including the signature Rhubarb Tumble developed by the gin’s creators, the team at North Bar & Kitchen in Leicester.
I was invited to this event as my company, Thirst Media, bought a bottle of gin
to support the Crowdfunder campaign. I paid the standard price in full.