Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin

By Neil Brotherston Sunday 29th Nov, 2015

Are you sick of Gin yet? No, we thought not – because we actually think it might be physically impossible to get tired of this wonderful spirit. We’ve become a little obsessed with G&T over the past few months here at Dapper Chapper HQ, but that’s for good reason.

First of all, after a long day at work, when it’s dark and cold outside, a nice Gin is just the tonic (excuse the pun) to help you settle into the evening and relax.  But more importantly, we absolutely love testing out all of the different Gin’s that exist – because each and every one has such a different flavour profile.

That is the beauty of Gin – there is such versatility in the botanicals that you can use in production meaning that every new Gin you try brings something different to the table.

And our next Gin up for review – Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin really does take you on a journey.  A quick visit to their website takes you on a journey along the famous ancient spice routes to find the various botanicals that are used to make this great new Gin.

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The journey starts on the small Malaysian island of Malacca to find the mysterious Piquant Cubeb Peppers – rumoured to have aphrodisiac like powers and also ward off evil spirits, the Piquant Cubeb Peppers are a key ingredient of this Gin – the spice of pepper is dominant on the palate and evident throughout.

The next stop on our ancient journey is Kerala, India in search of fragrant Cardamom and Tellichery Black Peppers – otherwise known as the “Black Gold”. These black peppers, combined with the Piquant Cubeb Peppers really do give this Gin a spicy heat that I haven’t experienced from other gins.

Next up, it’s Istanbul, Turkey for another spicy note – Cumin seeds, before a whistle-stop tour to pick up the more traditional Gin ingredients. We start in Venice, Italy for the staple of any Gin – Juniper. From Venice it’s onto Morocco for zesty Coriander, then onto Spain for their magnificent Oranges and their zesty peel before touching down in London, where the botanicals are combined in a Copper Pot still and Opihr is created.

There can be no denying that in this particular Gin, the spicy notes of cumin and Cardoman and the peppery notes from the Piquant Cubeb Peppers and the “Black gold” are the main protagonists. It is in no way too much, but it is a dominant flavour – which definitely overwhelms the traditional Juniper flavour of most gins – so if you’re expecting a ‘traditional’ gin flavour profile then this one may not be for you. But if you’re like us and like to try new things and experience things a little different to the norm – then you’ll love this.

It brings a warm heat to the throat, which awakens the taste buds and really makes you sit up and notice the unique approach to Gin. The more traditional Juniper flavour does eventually come through at the end, to bring a calming influence to the mouth.

Ultimately this is a Gin that has been made with the highest quality ingredients and that tries to do something slightly different to most traditional Gins. And I for one think it works fantastically.

The dominant spicy notes of this Gin could potentially make it a tricky one to balance in cocktails – however; we’ve found the perfect solution – The Three Kings cocktail – described as a reviving drink to reinvigorate the weariest of traveller.

And as an additional bonus – if you’ve been following our drinks suggestions closely you should already have one of the key ingredients on your bar – Aperol.

The Three Kings Cocktail

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Ingredients

40ml Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin

40ml Dubonnet

20ml Aperol

Method

Stir the ingredients together in a mixing glass with a dash of chilli pepper.

Double strain into a tumbler over ice.

Garnish with Orange Peel.

Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin is available for a price of £22.95 from 31dover.com