At the recent Distilled Spirits expo in London, we learned that at one time in Europe ( early 1900s ???), tea infused Gin was all the rage.
Are the big commercial distillers going to make a tea infused Gin? I say not likely.
Therein lies an opportunity for the innovative craft distiller. I have been requested by someone near and dear to me who likes my homemade Gin to start making her lots of this tea Gin. And I can see why – it is a truly unique product.
You can use Earl Grey tea, Lapsang Suchong or for that matter any tea you wish.Infuse the Gin with loose leaf tea, add a bit of simple syrup to slightly sweeten it and voila – teatime will never be the same again.
In a recent post to the Linked In Group (Urban Distilleries Workshop Participant Discussion Group), I outlined my experiences making liquor from my crab-apple wine using my Hillbilly Still. Instead of just drinking this apple liquor, I decided to use it for something interesting. I was lucky to get my hands on an old family Lemoncello recipe from some friends who live on the Mediterranean island of Malta. What you see in this image are some of the bottles that I filled this morning ( 35% alc/vol). It tastes sooooooo good! I am sure that with a bit of dark chocolate, it will be simply divine.
I would like to hammer home the point that craft distillers need to stop behaving like lemmings falling off a cliff. Just because someone makes white, unaged spirit does not mean that everyone needs to rush out with their white dog, white bear, white “animal” version. Think outside the box…..Hit the consumer with some naturally flavored liquor/liqueur made using your white spirits as a base alcohol. Seven days of maceration was all it took to make this lemon spirit. If you are worried the consumer will not know what Lemoncello is, then don’t call it Lemoncello. Call it Lemon Drop Liquor, Lemon Squeezin’s, etc… Make it interesting, wrap it in a story, engage the consumer…… dare to be different.