It’s midsummer. The festivals are underway, tennis is on the tv and poppies are sprinkled among the cornflowers in the hedgerows.
The sun is even putting on a reluctant appearance in some parts of the country although not at The Royal Norfolk Show. Last Wednesday it was overcast and nowhere near the 28 degrees we had been promised earlier in the week. The food hall however was warm and of course is an integral part of a visit to the RNS. The area is packed with stands showcasing a variety of Norfolk food and drinks and there are samples galore.
There were several gin producers handing out samples, displaying jars of botanicals involved and even mixing up the odd cocktail. Here I was drawn to the Fenlands stand. The attractive but simple bottles of gin, liquers and vodkas caught my eye, especially the beautiful blue coloured Aurora gin. Initially, because of the colour, I thought this must be a fruit flavour gin but it turns out to be a lovely robust London dry gin.
It is also a lot of fun. Whilst it may be blue when first poured into the glass, once the tonic water is added the gin instantly transforms to a pink colour.
Alchemy! Said Mr Fenland (not his real name) handing me a sample but we know from those litmus papers in school science lessons that it is because the ph value changes from an alkaline to an acid don’t we? No talking at the back.
It’s not just a fun gimmick this gin. As I said before it is a traditional, robust, crisp, no messing about London Dry Gin. Ice and lemon and a straight tonic water is all that is needed to accompany the Aurora.
Fenlands is a family run distillery located near Wisbech where everything is fermented and distilled from scratch so the sugar is fermented from sugar beet and distilled into vodka (96%) and then redistilled into gin. Each bottle is filled and sealed by hand. As well as gins Fenlands produce several flavoured gin liquers such as rhubarb or blackberry and apple and their toffee vodka is the best I have tasted. For more information: http://www.fenspirits.co.uk