The 1970s TV series The Good Life was based on suburban life in Surbiton and when local restauranteurs Sam Berry and his wife Alex decided to create their own gin, they took the name from it and so The Good Life Gin was born. They have since rebranded, but their passion for creating spirits remains and indeed has grown since then and they are about to launch a Bar and Distillery on Kingston riverside.
The husband and wife team have been nothing close to Bone Idyll, running at least 4 restaurants in Teddington, Surbiton, Thames Ditton and Farnham, producing gin and slinging cocktails late into the night. The gin they have created is an expression of their travels and experiences and combines the best of city and country living - modern, but also traditional. You can see this in their playful branding, which at first glance appear to be portraits by Old Masters but are actually parodies recreated to include modern day elements. Their latest venture in Kingston will open its doors in April and have a cafe and bar area as well as bottle shop and produce in excess of 75,000 bottles of gin, rum or vodka every year, as well as a range of cocktails and merchandise. They will offer gin tours, gin school (where gin lovers can make their own gin) and gin cruises on the Thames. Gin lovers can choose from their London Dry, Blushing Pink or Barrel-Aged Gins, but my first choice was Barrel-Aged. This gin has rested for 3 months in a whisky barrel and yet is still very much juniper forward with lots of citrus, a bit of wood and smoke and a lovely dry, clean finish. It's beautiful sipped on ice with orange zest, but I've also served this up as a negroni, with equal parts Campari and Cocchi Vermouth Amaro and of course, and orange peel ruffle! I can also highly recommend serving this with a good Ginger Ale and slice of orange or in a Martinez.