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82 | squaremeal.co.uk

G

et a taste of Africa during your

next cocktail hour with Whitley

Neill Gin. This unique and

distinctive spirit might be crafted

here on our shores, but its heart

is most certainly in Africa.

John James Whitley Neill became

enamoured with this intriguing continent

long before creating his gin - not least

because of his wife's African heritage. It

was from her he learnt of the Tree of Life,

or Baobab, the iconic upside-down tree

of the African bushveld.

This unusual tree earned its name from

its ability to store vast amounts of water in

its trunk, to cope with its sometimes harsh

environment. In the face of this adversity,

it nevertheless produces delicious fruit.

The bright citrus pulp became a crucial

ingredient for Neill's gin, and became its

logo, featuring on every bottle.

But Africa had more to oƒer Neill in the

form of the bittersweet Cape Gooseberry,

or physalis, whose citrus notes add a

brightness and sharpness to the gin.

It's safe to say that neither of these

botanicals have featured in a gin before,

but they nevertheless combine ideally with

the gin's other ingredients - seven carefullychosen,

and somewhat more traditional

botanicals, from juniper to coriander seeds,

Whitley Neill Gin is an exotic spirit that's rooted in tradition. It's no wonder that it's made

a home for itself in some of London's �nest bars, and in some beautiful cocktails to boot

the tree oflifeangelica root and Florentine Iris.

There was no shortage of inspiration or

expertise for Neill to draw on when it came

to the traditional component of his gin. Neill

comes from a family steeped in gin-distilling

history, with a direct line, eight generations

before him, to Thomas Greenall, founder of

famous gin producer Greenall's. Not only that,

but he was born half a mile from Warrington,

home to Greenall's distillery to this day.

Neill was destined to create a great gin, and

Whitley Neill Gin is proof of his success in this

regard. His creation is distinctive, and a ˆtting

tribute to the continent that has inspired it. It

is soft and generous, complemented by fresh

citrus and a spicy, fragrant freshness, all lifted

by a racy peppery note.

It's no surprise that Whitley Neill does such

great service in a classic G‰T or Martini, or

that a number of top London bars have been

using it to great eƒect. The knowledge, the

passion, and the inimitable heart of Africa all

combine together seamlessly in every drink.

Where to try it

Whether you're enjoying the glamorous

setting of the Bassoon Bar at the Corinthia

Hotel, or having a party at The Big Chill

House in King's Cross, you'll ˆnd Whitley

Neill in an array of diƒerent cocktails.

In Hoxley ‰ Porter, the Cape-to-Cairo

themed time capsule on Upper Street,

you'll ˆnd the andricia, a cocktail that truly

embraces Whitley Neill's African heritage. It

matches the gin with date-infused gomme

syrup and cashew bitters, lifted by some

lemon juice and egg white, and ˆnished oƒ

with a Cape gooseberry.

'I wanted to capture the taste of Africa and

complement the baobab and physalis fruits,

not overpower them,' says the drink's creator,

Bianca Hepworth. 'That's why I have gone for

dried fruits and nuts which are soft ‘avours

and really bring out the warm fruitiness of

the gin, but remain refreshing. Totally what

I would want to drink on an African evening!'

Over at Victorian drinking den Powder

TRY THIS AT HOME

African Sundowner

Glass: Sling

Garnish: Mint and grapefruit

Method: Pour ingredients over

ice and top with soda.

25ml Whitley Neill Gin

25ml Triple Sec

65ml orange juice

soda

Gilbert Scott Bar

Hoxley  Porter

African Sundowner

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