When we found out there was a (relatively) new gin being made just up the road, we had to go and check it out. Based in Marden, Kent, this gin is the product of owners Andy and Norman’s interest in local ingredients and chemical precision – based on 30 years working as professional chemists. Pleased to meet us and show us around, you can tell this is a real passion for them and we’re sure it will become a very successful business.
Anno Gin is a real taste of Kent. Using a selection of locally sourced ingredients including samphire from Romney Marsh, this is Kent’s first micro-distillery, and the first to distill gin in the county for 200 years.
Using their impressive copper still made by Christian Carl from Germany (called Patience), this new distillery is creating precision products. Distilled with clarity and perfection and mixed with a fascinating mix of botanicals they are creating a crisp, citrusy finish on their gin with herbal notes and a dry lift at the end from the addition of Kentish hops.
We went along to meet them and have a look at the distillery. Tucked away in an industrial unit, we learnt about the process this gin goes through, from 96.3% neutral English wheat spirit which is distilled and purified by them. This is mixed to 60% alcohol with water, perfect for taking on the botanical flavours. They use 16 flavours, including whole lemons for a fuller flavour, a secret blend of culinary lavender from local DownDerry nursery , samphire from Romney Marsh, local elderflower and cammomile and foraged rose hips. Based on months of testing (and tasting of course), a combination of earthy notes and delicate floral flavours were chosen to create the Kent Dry Gin which we will serve at The Crown.
Andy and Norman recommend serving their gin and tonic as a double measure, in a wine glass, straight from the freezer, with a sprig of slightly bruised samphire. Then, drink slowly over 20 minutes or so and you will notice the different flavours coming through as the gin warms up. Alternatively, it makes a fantastic Kent gin and tonic, serve with either lime or lemon as these are both botanicals used in the process (kaffir lime leaf and whole lemons). Keep your eyes out for their next inventions, including a sloe gin and a summer cup.