Gin-harbour-of-Portofino

A Gin tasting in Portofino

I recently landed at the picturesque harbour of Portofino for a few hours shopping, walk about and have a few refreshing glasses of G&T in the afternoon sun. I eventually arrived at a nice small bar right beside the harbour in the company of a few friends and much to our surprise we came across a team of people who were in the middle of a tasting session of a new Gin. They say that curiosity killed the cat and by the end of the afternoon their Gin just blew our minds away.

We started talking and realised they were in the middle of a blind tasting session with a series of Gins at various strengths, neat, over ice, with a slice of Bergamotto, and Tonic. We started talking and were quickly invited to participate. All I can say is that it was fascinating. The Gin we had to identify was called Oliver Twist. What a great name. It reminded me of Hemingway in Havana. Oliver Twist came good and made it to Portofino. How could we identify their Gin? Well we quickly found out that was not too difficult a task. We found most of the Gins; while nice they were mostly sweet and not very distinctive. However, once we starting sipping Oliver Twist we instantly noticed a difference. We noticed a slight hint of summer Italian Cypress which countered the sweetness just to perfection. The strength was over 40%vol. but the smoothness was just lush. We quickly discovered little tonic was required and we settled for an equal split in liquid once the blind tasting session finished. Much to our surprised they had a little cocktail trick of Oliver Twist Gin in the middle of ice cubes. Don’t ask me how this was achieved but being in Portofino I suppose everything is possible.

We told them they should make sure a bottle is for the ready at the Dukes in London, home to Dry Martinis and Gin. Fleming would have loved this one I’m sure. Meanwhile we were honoured to participate on their pre-launch session and were kindly offered a bottle to take on-board when we left.

I did ask why Oliver Twist? A simple straight answer came our way. A Twist of Bergamotto and a spiced Olive brings out the best of the numerous flavours in their London Distilled Dry Gin.

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