The last few years have seen the emergence of gin as a market leader for today’s movers and shakers who like their tipple to have a bit of charisma.
There’s not a bar or pub you can walk into these days without being confronted with a huge variety of different flavoured gins and an array of mixers to go along with them.
Now a new brand gin has hit the shelves of Manchester’s finest drinking establishments.
Worsley Gin is named after the leafy Salford suburb famous for its beautiful timber clad houses, the orange waters of the Bridgewater Canal and a rather good restaurant.
Over two years in the making, Worsley Gin is the product of the uncompromising vision of Andrew Niedzwiecki (Ned) and the scientific mind of master distiller John Walters (Dr J).
“Worsley Gin was born out of pure love for gin,” says Ned.
“For me there are three things that really matter that you can get individually from different brands – but not collectively. A beautiful product. A beautiful bottle and packaging befitting the product. A beautiful story that demonstrates the provenance of the brand.
“I don’t believe that there is a product on the market like ours that delivers on all three – certainly not to the level we have gone to.”
One of the ingredients used in the creation process are roses from his Ned’s father Franko’s garden in Worsley. Other ingredients helping create the perfect journey are wild buttercups from the grounds of Worsley New Hall and dandelions from a local wheat field.
The scientific mind behind the venture is Dr.J who brings to the table a doctorate in bio- chemistry from Oxford – he was the first person in the UK to successfully map the genome of yeast – and a relentless thirst for knowledge. And gin.
“Dr. J makes the impossible possible,” says Ned. “He breaks down the molecular structure to each element of the process which takes you on an experiential journey.”
A huge amount of time and thought has gone into how the gin should be housed.
“A diamond shaped bottle, made in Italy with a hand-pressed metal label reminiscent of the printing presses that Manchester was famous for once. The exception to this will be the first batch which will have a unique appearance as they use a wooden stopper, with future editions welcoming a solid copper stopper with weighty proportions.
“The diamond-shaped bottle I felt was the way to go as I wanted elegance to match the exquisite taste. However, having once been a bartender myself, I also wanted to ensure it was a practical shape and size for mixologists to easily pick up and serve. There is nothing worse than an awkward shaped bottle when you have a bar full of customers trying to get served.”
The journey is very important to the Worsley Gin team who believe the drinker should be able to taste each element of the journey. The unique distillation process is so exacting that repeat distillation rounds are not required. A single distilled gin is truly distinctive, and a real differentiator for this gin.
“The amazing thing about Worsley Gin is that it’s great neat. But also goes smashing with the traditional gin and tonic. We have a perfect serve for both autumn and winter.
“The perfect serve for autumn is with strawberries, blackberries and a hint of mint or basil, whereas for winter serve with pink grapefruit and mint/basil.
“We are also working on some very exotic pairings. Exotic fruits used to be confined to the markets of far flung lands, but you can find a wondrous number of varieties even in local supermarkets like cucamelons, ramboutins and apple flavoured bananas. We are already experimenting with these now. They are pretty spectacular and ground breaking in cocktail recipes for gin.
“We are relentless and we are also working on mulled gin for the winter. I really think that mulled gin will be the seasonal drink this year.”
A bottle of Worsley Gin will set you back £69. Ned tells me this is to do with the cost of creating the product, from the unique distillation, research and development, diamond shaped Italian glass bottle, hand-pressed pressed aluminium labels and, most important of all, a gin that’s not just a taste but an experience.
“I have always prepared myself that once the price was released, some people would quaff at it. If you choose a product or service purely based on price then this is not the product for you and I am OK with that.
“The time taken to create our product, the sourcing of ingredients, the investment into the processes and the packaging mean that we have a different cost base to those mass producers. We believe we deliver value when considering the provenance of the product.
“I’m incredibly passionate about gin, but also I am passionate about responsible drinking. I want people to think about whether or not they want to purchase it. We all love a good bargain but when it comes to cheap alcohol I think there are very real dangers with damaging people’s lives.”
You can try Worsley Gin at George’s Bar and Restaurant and Menagerie.
For more information and purchase online visit: www.worsleygin.co.uk