Soaring at a bumbling total of 6 feet and 3 inches tall, it’s fair to say I’m vertically blessed. And I love it. From the exceptional view at festivals to spotting dandruff in the checkout queue, there’s many benefits to my loftiness. One infuriating drawback however, is that it’s pretty near impossible to fit in a bath. I just end up with unwashed knees and neck cramp. I have a friend who towers above even me, and has recently extended his bath to accommodate his gigantic frame. Regrettably, I’m not in a financial position to do the same, nor am I willing to take him up on his kind offer to ‘have a go in his bath‘.
So as I was perusing the shelves of my local tipple store, my eyes are immediately drawn to a beautifully packaged bottle named Bathtub Gin. It sounds like a challenge in a bottle. While I am not an advocate of sipping spirits around water, I am captivated by the stunning typography on the label, and the hand-wrapped paper casing which is accompanied with a wax seal is screaming out to be held. It feels good in my hand, and the interesting combination of ingredients suggest it will taste equally as unique. The magnitude of awards it has won backs up my suspicions.
On arrival at home, as I unleash the cork, my nostrils are treated to intense aromas of a strong combination of juniper berries and orange, with congenial floral undertones. This gin is actually palatable enough to drink straight, but I opt to experiment with a twist of lemon and splash of tonic, which only enhance the experience. I decide that having a gin in the bath, although undoubtedly enjoyable and remarkably relevant, would be a regrettable idea. I don’t want be that guy on the cover of tomorrow’s daily rag. Instead, with the New Year weather battering my creaking windows, I sink into my armchair and wonder if I should’ve invested in the 6-litre methuselah that was released last year. I think this modest 70cl 43.3% delight will do for now. I enter hibernation mode, pour myself another dram and think about all those poor souls that are attempting Dry January. Texting a photo of this intricate packaging alone should be enough to test their allegiances.
Despite my whimsical visions of a crazed monk frantically stirring his old bathtub to create this sublime conglomeration of coriander, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom, it turns out Bathtub Gin was invented by a southern English distillery named, Ableforths. It is however produced using a traditional method called cold compounding, and is only ever made in small batches. The bold flavours of the infused botanicals result in a scintillating grain spirit.
To get your grubby hands on a rapturous bottle of Bathtub Gin, visit their website. And please remember to enjoy it responsibly. But do let me know if you ever try a glass in the tub.
John Harfield is a travel writer and photographer based in Edinburgh
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