If you follow me on socials, you’ll know that I love me a drink, and especially that I love gin. I maintain that one of the biggest achievements of my life is our gin cabinet at home (I say cabinet, I really mean a repurposed Ikea bookcase) and I’m always looking to find something new for the collection. So when I heard that there were some brand new gins in town, I just had to get in on that action.
After a stonking launch party back in September (why oh why was I away in Spain?!), Espensen Spirit has exploded into the Bristol scene with their one-of-a-kind flavours and locally-sourced spirits. Namesake of the brand, Sam Espensen has been making booze for her friends and family for years, before finally deciding to share her talent with the rest of us in the West this year. The team were lovely enough to send me a few bottles for some, ahem, tasting, so I quickly got to work one Sunday evening with my fellow gin connoisseur, Jon.
We decided to try each spirit on its own for flavour, before trying it with a mixer to get the full experience. First up was the one I was most intrigued by – the Gin Genie blueberry gin. I absolutely loved this one, both on its own and mixed (I reckon I could easily polish off the whole bottle at once – dangerous!). It still had the lovely botanical flavour of gin, but with a delicious sweet blueberry undertone. Espensen don’t use artificial colours or flavours, so the taste you get is so real which definitely gets a thumbs up from me.
Next we moved on to the raspberry gin, Pump Up The Jam, which packed just as much of a fruit punch. This one was a little more tart, which mixed really well with lemonade when we made it into a long drink.
Then it was time for the vodka. I’m not much of a vodka drinker, I’ll admit, but the flavour combos sounded amazing so I was happy to wade on in. I started with Ruby Cuby, which was rhubarb and custard flavoured. This one wasn’t quite my bag, but it was definitely just as strongly-flavoured as the others, and Jon quickly coined it as his fave.
I finished up with Pig Sips – a pink grapefruit and raspberry vodka. This was a little sharp on its own, but with some lemonade, the grapefruit flavour cut across the sweetness of the raspberry and lemon perfectly to make a really well balanced drink.
Overall I loved Espensen’s spirits, and I’ll definitely be investing in some big bottles of the gin especially to add to our already sizeable stash. You can even buy the little bottles I tried over on their website, which are perfect for Christmas gifts…or as a gift to yourself!