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Introducing our very own Gin

At Bel & the Dragon, we’re highly selective of who we work with, and push all of our suppliers hard – it probably drives them mad! – but the upshot is that we end up working with people who are similarly passionate about great produce and doing things just a little differently.

As many will know, we’ve had our own label Burgundies, produced for us by Olivier Leflaive via the inimitable Corney & Barrow, for a number of years – but we’ve never made a gin before. However, when we first started working with the team at Corner 53 Distillery, introducing their Pomelo Gin to our bars, it was clear we had found a like-minded partner for all things gin related.

Corner 53 is a small, artisanal distillery based in Clanfield in Hampshire, run by a number of ex-bartenders. They’re intensely passionate about making flavour-packed gin, unrestrained by any labelling style, and from humble beginnings in 2016 are rapidly gaining acclaim and recognition.
We put their creative talents to the test to devise a gin that represents some of the key flavours of Bel & the Dragon – for example, using pink peppercorns (more commonly seen garnishing our Squid dish), fresh apples and pears (the perfect accompaniment to Suckling Pig), and fresh basil hand-harvested from our kitchen gardens. Why? Because we love to be able to offer produce and experiences only available inside our doors – and, because let’s face it, we’re just as much in love with gin as everyone else.

The result, after several long months of deliberation and debate, is our very own Bel & the Dragon Gin. It’s smooth, citrus-led with a warming heat from pink peppercorn, a roundness from Meon Valley honey and a delightfully fresh basil finish. In keeping with our ethos, some of the fruit used is Class 2 – ie perfectly ripe and delicious, but the wrong shape or colour for supermarket use.

It’s crying out for a large serving in a big glass, topped with a Mediterranean-style tonic to bring our that herbal side – or as Tom, Head Distiller, says: “As much of a pleasure to drink as it is to make”.
We love it, and we hope you will too.

The Perfect Serve:
50ml Bel & the Dragon Gin
A tall glass full of ice
Mediterranean-style tonic (we use Fever-Tree)
Garnish with fresh lemon and pear (we dehydrate our pears for a crisp garnish).

Botanicals in Full:
Hand Cracked Juniper-Orris-Almond-Pink Peppercorn
Coxs Pippin Apple-Conference Pear-Lemon-Meon Valley Honey-Basil

Posted 12th December 2019 by Harry Christie

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