Today we focus on an amazing gin from Exmouth in Devon, United Kingdom: the “The Copper Frog Gin”!
Copper Frog Gin is a London Dry Gin made by Simon Hughes, in extremely small batches of only 50 bottles a month! Yes, you read well: I really wrote “50 bottles a month”!
Simon prefers to use a handmade Copper pot still named "Jenny", heated over an open flame, because of the greater control Simon has over the amount of heat applied.
He believes it lends the spirit a unique texture and a great mouthfeel by producing certain flavours that can only be achieved by using naked flame distillation.
Distilling gin on an open flame requires a deft touch and far more attention than a column still or steam distillation. It also means the gin is made in smaller batches, allowing the master distiller to precisely discard the ‘heads’ and ‘tails’ of the distillation, and only keeping the precious, flavourful ‘heart’.
Each bottle is then handfilled, labeled and dip waxed at the distillery. As if that's not enough, each batch is numbered and signed by every member of Simon’s family, as they all are involved at some point.
Simon also uses the purest water from Wimbleball Lake that he puts through his water purification plant to remove suspended partials, bacteria and chemicals leaving a pure and clean water.
Simon told me about the unique production process of his “baby” (yes, he always talks about his baby when he talks about his gin!) and I was amazed to hear how much time , craftsmanship and love he puts in every ml of his gin.
I asked him if I could share his unique way of working with my readers and I could, but then I deceided not to! I’m sorry guys, I’d rather keep it a secret to protect Simon against competion!
What I can say, is that I was completely astonished when I learned about his modus operandi! I’ll give you just a small example but one that will amaze you!
Before bottling, Simon always uses his precious gin to clean the bottles, as he doesn’t want the end product to suffer from even the smallest impurity! He then throws away the used gin! I still am completely shocked about that! OMG! How about that!? I could go on, but this example alone shows the commitment and the true love Simon has for his “baby”.
Off course, the key question is now: do you taste all this effort and commitment in the gin?
With al my heart, I can say: “Yes! You do!”
This crazy frog gin … ehm … Copper Frog Gin is a blast!
It’s a high standard tradition English gin with juniper berries in the head roll, accompanied by a little bit of a roasted/smoked aroma with cassia bark, smooth coriander and a nice fruity twist in the finish with an amazing smoothness! Therefore, you have to taste the gin neat before pouring yourself a gin and tonic!
Gin and tonic
The perfect serve that I recommend is made with a Thomas Henry Tonic, combined with … well … nothing! Just four chunks of nice clean ice and no fuss!
OK, if you do want some garnish wit hit, you could use a small grapefruit peel!