The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2016

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64  /  the tasting panel  /  april 2016 DEPARTMENT HEADER MARTIN MILLER'S CONTINUES ITS QUEST TO BRING GIN INTO THE LIMELIGHT by Emily Coleman photos by Cal Bingham Since its founding in 1998, Martin Miller's Gin has earned a close relationship with many of the world's top bartenders and mixologists. Gin- Spirational B ack in 1998, the gin category was in a sad state of affairs. It was seen as old and tired and the quality of the spirits on the shelf left something to be desired. While at a bar in Notting Hill in 1998, three friends, Martin Miller, David Bromige and Andreas Versteegh, decided to make an ultra- premium gin—one that would encourage a new generation to dive into the spirit. The trio launched Martin Miller's Gin in 1999 and, by doing so, began a revolution in the world of gin. Starting with the company in 2002, Jacob Ehrenkrona, CEO of Martin Miller's, reminisces about the days before he found the brand: "At the time, I was very cynical about gin. All of the products on the market relied heavily on marketing, but then I tasted Martin Miller's and realized it could also be about the liquid. It was like working with someone who invented color TV; I finally understood that the category did not have to be black, white and boring." The gin that turned Ehrenkrona, as well as countless bartend- ers and consumers, onto the category uses steeping instead of "berry trays" or carterheads to introduce the botanicals into the spirit. These ingredients include juniper from Tuscany and India, cassia bark from China, Florentine iris from Florence, along with angelica, orange, coriander and liquorice root. Dried lemon and lime peel also are added, but sepa- rately from the earthy botanicals in order to maintain the bright citrus notes that make this offering iconic. When creating the recipe for the brand, Miller, Bromige and Versteegh decided that each ingredi- ent should elevate the spirit and no expense should be spared, which led them to Borganes, a tiny village in Iceland. Here, a spring provides soft, pure water from the base of the Basalt Mountains to blend with the gin. It takes ten days for the spirit to make the journey to this remote island, but since water makes up over half of the final product, the journey is well worth the extra time. The quality of the product has led to a close relationship to many of the world's top bartend- ers. "Mixologists have kept Martin Miller's alive and relevant," Ehrenkrona explains. "We incorporate their feedback into our brand as much as possible. When they expressed a need for a higher-proofed gin for cocktail creation, we developed 90 Proof Westbourne Strength. We also are developing an aged expres- sion geared towards the mixology community." Named Nine Moons, this expression will rest for nine months in single-use bourbon oak barrels, aging slowly in Iceland's cold, dry climate; this offering will be released in May 2016. Through these bartenders and tastings, Martin Miller's has been able to share the potential of gin with consumers around the globe. "We know if can get someone to try Martin Miller's," he continues, "They will like it, even if they claim to only like vodka." Martin Miller's Gin has received more top awards than any other gin, including a 97-point "Superlative" award for the Westbourne Strength from the prestigious Beverage Testing Institute, the highest in the category. This expression is a favorite among mixologists and seasoned gin drinkers. With Martin Miller's on the backbar or shelf, the world of gin is finally in Technicolor. Jacob Ehrenkrona, CEO of Martin Miller's Gin. COMPETITIONS

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