Rare tasting of the world’s ‘oldest’ gin
A special tasting of Gin 1495, which replicates what is believed to be the oldest gin recipe on record, took place in Sydney last night as part of the World Gin Day celebrations.
The gin, made by French producer EWG Spirits & Wine, which also makes G’Vine gin, was created after spirits educator Philip Duff unearthed the recipe in an out-of-print Dutch-language history of jenever and shared it with EWG master distiller Jean-Sebastien Robicquet.
Last night, in Paddington’s Juniper Hall, Duff conducted a tutored tasting of the two variants of Gin 1495 – Verbatim, the original 1495 recipe; and Interpretatio, a modern interpretation of the original.
Duff explained how expensive the original gin would have been to make.
“There was no real spice trade in Europe at a decent price at this time,” he said.
Yet the original recipe calls for nutmeg, ginger, cloves, galangal, grains of paradise, cinnamon and cardamom.
The recipe also contains a little juniper but, unlike most modern gins, no citrus – citrus fruits were unavailable in the Low Countries at the time.
The Interpretatio variant is more juniper-forward and contains citrus, making it more obviously recognisable to modern drinkers as gin.
Guests who attended the rare tasting, which was hosted by G’Vine distributor HMH Beverages, included Charlie Ainsbury of This Must Be The Place, Cristiano Beretta and Manuel Terron of The Keystone Group, Mikey Enright from The Barber Shop, and The Drink Cabinet’s Jason Crawley.