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2020

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Kingfisher Pink Gin – A Proustian Gin 

Stanna Wieclawska Kyiakou 

 

 

Fortunately for me and other ‘ginnoliers’, the gin craze shows no sign of stopping, as across the world, the alcohol industry experiences a ‘ginnaissance’. With a significant increase in gin sales over the last few years, it is believed that gin sales will increase by 37% by 2021. So, like most growing industries, the landscape of gin is always evolving, with new trends emerging every year.  

 

For gin trends, UK brands are always at the forefront of this evolution, however, we saw the influence of gins from faraway lands last year, including specialist brands from Japan such as V and Sakurao, and there has also been an influx of flavoured gins. Finally, the Mediterranean island of Cyprus made its way into this specialist market and the Lionspirit Distillery of the Lambouri Winery, has leapt into the fray with three astounding gins. 

Kingfisher, a fresh aromatic gin; Tastes exceptional over ice neat or with cucumber and/or watermelon tonics 

Iris Blue, a contemporary neutral grain spirit of Rosemary, Lavender, Thyme, Lemon and Orange botanicals 

and their latest, 

Kingfisher Pink,  

 

 

These gins have been individually distilled with juniper, and a selection of 28 indigenous Cypriot botanicals, reflecting Cyprus’s warm climate and relaxed ‘siga siga’ easy lifestyle. The King fisher bottles feature the glorious birds found around the sea, dams or rivers and seeking to chase a fish or reptile. 

 

 

Made by Lionspirit Distillers based in Platres, in the heart of the Troodos Mountains of Cyprus, the small Eastern Mediterranean island is known as the 'Jewel of the Mediterranean' and legendary birthplace of Aphrodite. Famed for its ancient Chypre (Copper), its historical links to King Richard the Lionheart, and the island of Bitter Lemons by the novelist and Lawrence Durrell, it has sat at the crossroads of Europe, Africa and the Middle East for eons and as such has played its part in the trade routes, wars and mishmash of culture, heritage and ethnicity. 

 

The distillery developed within the famous Lambouri Winery, and began as a husband and wife team of Roland and Anna Wig, ably assisted by their friend and Master Distiller, Hubertus Vallendar.  The winery has been producing outstanding wines since 1989 and now stands tall for its Seaside Dream, a dry white wine made exclusively from Xinisteri, Apollonia, its sweet and perfectly balanced Commandaria, and its unique Kosher wine, Ya'in Kafrisin

 

The Lionspirit gins are a result of sampling over 75 famous and boutique gins from around the world, noting exactly what they liked about each particular gin, collecting all the herbs and fruits available in Cyprus and starting with small, crafted batches. 

 

The 28 herbs used are distilled separately, a process that requires ample dedication, time and love, and this care of detail to the independent, handcrafted distillation exhibits itself in both in the long lasting aroma and flavour of all three gins. The unique flavours and the consistent results, also represent Cyprus in all its diverse aspects; the fresh summer taste, the soft tones of the Troodos herbs and the smell of summer and autumn fruits, but none more so than the Kingfisher Pink. 

 

Kingfisher Pink Gin is very soft, light and yet exceptionally fragrant gin. A gentle pink to the eye, the aroma explodes like a showering of freshly picked rose petals, evoking childhood memories of the sweet Triantafilla syrup (Thirty petals – Greek for Rose) from Yiayia (Grandmother) and Mahalepi and Rodostema, (www.kopiaste.org/2008/10/mahalebi-and-rose-water/). Its fragrance is so dominant that you would be excused for thinking the gin had been steeped in rose petals, as in days of old, when they were first dried and the petals placed in airtight pithari (vases) and opened only in exceptional cases.  As Homer says in the Iliad, even Achilles’ shield was decorated with roses.  

 

With an exceptionally long ‘earthy nose’, the gin then cascades onto the palate with the classic gin botanical, Juniper. Piney and citrusy, the flavours evoke the fresh aromas of Troodos pines and high altitude lemon groves. Coriander seed, and cardamom pay homage to Eastern Mediterranean spices while the myriad of other botanicals complement the palate with a freshness and almost breezy ‘Welcome’!  

 

This is a ‘familiar’ gin to those of us accustomed to the Mediterranean diet, and yet the addition of a rhubarb or pomegranate led tonics instantly evoke taste bud memories to the most ardent diet restricted gin heathen. Its sweetness is natural, unforced. No artificial sweeteners in this gin, just filtered pure Troodos spring waters and the very essence of natural island flavours. Drunk neat, it’s very long on the palate, however, beware when drinking with ice and tonics, this light and flavousome gin packs a punch.  

 

I taste a lot of gin, it’s one of the benefits of being a ginnolier, and I truly believe this is a perfect craft gin to represent the abundant mountain rose gardens of Troodos. It is a very Cypriot gin and I look forward to others of its calibre.  

 

So, why not cast aside your artificial Strawberry Candy Floss fake gins and herald the authentic explosion of aroma and taste from Lionspirit Kingfisher Pink Gin. You won’t regret it. I am sure Homer and Achilles would agree with me! 

 

 

Best enjoyed with rose lemonade as a mixer or with a light tonic and cucumber twist!

 

Published in Booze

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