Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Handbags and Hayman's

Hayman's London Dry Gin

I often find myself at the bar with my good friend Tallulah Von Tramp - one time Paris showgirl, with the face of an angel and the mouth of a sailor. She’s been on my case since discovering I’m involved somewhat with the ladies of Gin Lane. I’ve explained many a time that this kind of scientific approach to the study of gin in its many guises requires patience, poise and restraint. Tallulah told me to ‘fuck off’, threw her cocktail at her face, complained loudly that there wasn’t enough Vodka in it, and ordered a pint of house white.

We were in a confusingly named bar in Islington. Upstairs was dark wood, low leather sofas, and felt a little like you might be in Barcelona provided you were running a temperature and squinted your eyes. Downstairs was a cavernous, semi-club affair, which involved loud electro and no people. As it was a Wednesday I opted for the only sensible choice – a Martini – featuring Hayman’s London Dry Gin in the starring role, with lead support from Noilly Prat vermouth and three green olives.

Whilst not necessarily a household name, the Hayman family is a stalwart of the gin world. The Hayman Distillers was founded in the nineteenth century by none other than James Burrough; the creator of the world famous Beefeater Gin and great Grandfather of Christopher Hayman, the current Chairman of Hayman’s. The family name has continued distilling fine gin to the present day under this name, while Beefeater Gin and James Burrough Limited were sold to Whitbread in 1987.

Hayman’s is a fine example of a London Dry Gin, and held up well against the oakiness of what many consider the Rolls Royce of vermouths. True to description, Hayman’s was light and pleasantly citrusy; a good, reliable choice for a mid-week Martini, and it would have leant itself well to tonic water and a hunk of lime. I would have obliged this urge had I not noticed my companion had inhaled her Eastern European Chardonnay and was now busily giving another girl’s shoes the evils…

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