I’m jumping off the usual format to review Daffy’s – heading into unchartered territory, so hold on to your hats. Usually I pour myself a glass of gin and tonic, add a garnish and write a review, but this time I am pouring myself… wait for it… two glasses of gin and tonic and writing a review. Tiny minds blown yet? No? Drat, ok, if that is not impressive enough, I can pretend I am travelling on a rocket to Mars if that helps.
The thing about a rocket trip to Mars is, it is rather boring, and long. You really need something to take your mind off the long, boring journey through the blackness of space as everything you love is left behind you. Fortunately I have a bottle of Daffy’s gin, and two glasses, so I’m as happy as larry.
The makers of Daffy’s, or, to give it its full title – Daffy’s Small Batch Premium Gin – will tell you that ‘Daffy’ is the goddess of gin. Daffy, their web site tells you, was first written about in the 1700’s. The story of who wrote what, where or how is then missing, which is a shame, but artist Robert McGinnis has done his best to capture her image on the bottle’s label. I’m guessing fashions in the 18th century were very similar to those in the early 1980’s as Daffy has the appearance of someone who is up for a leading part in Charlie’s Angels.
I digress, somewhere beyond the stratosphere, passing the moon at warp speed, I am sitting with two glasses of gin and tonic and I have failed to explain why. It is a question of mint. I don’t really like mint, be it chewing gum, sweets with holes, lamb on Sunday or freshly picked and popped into my gin. But Daffy’s recommends this as a course of action, so I have reluctantly agreed (which is more than I did for Brighton Gin and their stick-of-rock idea) and am broadening my horizons. When you are in a space ship heading for mars, your horizons are certainly going to be widened.
Within the Botanicals of Daffy’s gin they boast Lebanese Mint, Juniper, Coriander, Angelica, Lemon Peel, Cassia and Orris. The gin bottle itself is an elegant shape, with a cork lid and heavy bottom, an IWSC gold medal (2015) adorns the label. 70cl bottles at a robust 43.4% vol will set you back just under £35 from The Gin Box Shop. On the nose you get the traditional Juniper as well as coriander notes. They slow-distil this gin from French grain spirit in an old copper whisky still.
I batter my mint a little (something I learned from the good folk at Pinkster Gin – give the mint a smack first) and, with no small pang of worry, place something I really do not like, into a glass of something I really really do like. The result, I report happily, is a lovely product that is not at all diminished by the mint. Somewhere on the roof of my mouth and the back of my gums, there is a minty freshness left after my glass is drained, but that is the extent of the minty feeling. It reminds me that there is an occasion where I do like mint – I like that zingy feeling you get from mint extract shower gel. I don’t want to compare Daffy’s to a bath product, but they are both things that I really like, so lets go with it. Meanwhile, my second glass, sans mint, is perfectly acceptable – this time garnished with Blueberries, as recommended by the Ginventory app.
Scottish Gins are really rather marvellous I’ve decided, there has yet to be one that I haven’t enjoyed. Perhaps it is something in the distilling tradition, but they really seem to nail a good gin north of the border. Daffy’s is a fine example of a Scottish craft gin, and I’m quite prepared to embrace the mint and recommend you give it a go, if only I could brush my teeth with it, I’d be set for life.
Daffy’s Small Batch Premium Gin – £34.60 for 70cl
Gin & Tonic Rating – 4/5
Buy Daffy’s at The Gin Box Shop