What's in a name? In Agnes Arber's case, a great deal.
I was beyond excited to see the name listed on Hype's experiences to review and further a-jitter when it dawned on me that it was to review all three of their expressions. These gins had been on my radar for quite some time. Launch in the UK in 2017 by Signature Brands and distilled at Langley Distillery in the West Midlands, the name Agnes Arber has become synonymous with quality and style in a bottle. Everything about Agnes Arber is an ode to its namesake, the late female botanist and philosopher of biology amongst other talents. A luminous mind who pioneered in her field becoming not only the first female botanist to be elected as a fellow of the Royal Society in 1946 but also the first woman to receive the gold medal of the Linnean Society in London at the age of 69. A true inspiration!! The inspiration doesn't stop there. The stunning bottles reflect the shape of the many books she etched her drawings on and these are further reflected in the colourful botanicals that decorate every bottle front. The Agnes Arber gin is created with nine carefully balanced botanicals, distilled together in a copper pot still called Jenny. Juniper, coriander, angelica, cassia, lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit and liquorice. A culinary trip around the world. To this 9 strong team rhubarb has been added to the Rhubarb gin, naturally, and pineapple and mango to the Pineapple gin. All fired up, I wanted to showcase these gins in something other than my go-to G&T. Although I can vouch that they all worked well in this format. I decided to up the game. Enter the gin Mochatini, a gorgeous blend of gin, coffee liqueur and chocolate liqueur. It makes a great after-dinner cocktail or can be a substitute for dessert even. Buoyed by the success of the Mochatini, the Pineapple gin was transformed into a Pineapple Sour. Gin, triple sec, lemon juice, sugar syrup and an egg white. So, so good. Flavoured gins come way down on the pecking order of favourites for me but I will hold this Pineapple gin as an exception. It's the tastiest flavoured gin I've had to date. I saved my favourite cocktail for last. The almighty negroni. The Rhubarb expression was the obvious choice. It held its own, giving the otherwise typical negroni bitterness an edge of sweetness but only the right side of sweetness so as not to tip the scales into the sugary cocktail territory. These will be perfect for the upcoming festive season. Fruity, elegant, fun and easy to batch prepare ahead of time. I will never know if Agnes Arber ever drank gin, or if she drank at all for that matter but I am convinced she would be delighted to see her legacy lives on in the form of these botanically impressive spirits.