Crazy Gin is a premium gin with a difference. The result of a drunken night in with a mediocre curry, Crazy Gin is a truly unique spirit that fuses British and Indian cultures through that beautiful medium of high quality booze. We take another look at this, one of our favourite gins out there, and explain why it’s one gin that you should definitely give a go.
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Gin is a category that has grown exponentially over the last eight years or so. With a seemingly endless number of brands out there, navigating these waters sometimes feels like you’re swimming against the current, making it near impossible to happen across anything worthwhile. Many gin drinkers we know, understandably choose to stick to a few tried-and-tested bigger brands, whilst others – sick of the constant use of marketing buzzwords like “small batch” and “artisanal” for basic and sugar-heavy nonsense – have seemingly given up all together. Whilst there is a lot of (quite frankly) sh*t gins on the market with the exact same formulas as one another, charging way too much for the liquid because it comes in a pretty package, there are a few gems that are worthy of attention. One such, is Crazy Gin.
Why Crazy Gin?
The Beginnings of Madness
The idea for Crazy Gin came to Bruce and Paramjit Nagra over drinks on a tipsy Friday night, in their London living room. Disappointed by a sad excuse for an Indian takeaway, they began to reminisce about the food of their childhood, which was an eclectic mix of Indian and British cultures. Whether it was Tarka Baked Beans for breakfast or Spam Sabji for dinner, the fusions were always packed full of fun and flavour, combining the best of both their Indian heritages and British upbringings. The couple drunkenly postulated as to why there were no similar attempts to combine their dual identities within spirits, before deciding that it was down to them to create one.
The result of this drunken conversation was Crazy Gin – the world’s first clear lassi gin, fat-washed with ghee to give the gin an insanely smooth and creamy mouthfeel, and flavoured with yoghurt, botanicals and spices traditionally associated with Indian cooking. Crazy? That’s certainly what Bruce’s mum called their decision to quit their respective jobs to pursue this dream, hence the name.
This was back in 2016. Today, Crazy Gin has a huge, loyal and growing fan-base including the likes of Chef Sat Bains (two-Michelin-starred chef at Saint Bains), Chef Atul Kochhar (two-Michelin-starred chef) and Tinnie Tempah, as well as being voted into The Observer OFM Top 50 2020 earlier on this year.
How is Crazy Gin made?
First, the well-sourced spices (turmeric, black pepper, coriander seeds, black cumin, dried pomegranate seeds) are individually macerated in 40% ABV base spirit for 48 hours at room temperature (with the seeds blitzed to increase surface area and impart greater flavour). These are then filtered out and the liquids individually distilled in a rotary evaporator at low pressure and temperature. Yoghurt (the lassi part) and juniper don’t need to be steeped and are put separately into rot evap filling flasks and distilled. Alcohol levels of all liquids are then brought down to 45% ABV, blended and stored.
Next, for a ghee fat-wash to create a smooth and creamy mouthfeel, recalling lassi. This is done by heating the pure ghee until it is clear, adding an equal amount of gin liquid, then freezing the mixture. This is then poured through filters to leave behind a beautifully clear, ghee-washed lassi gin. From there, the liquid is left to rest for 24-hours before being diluted to 41% ABV, bottled, wax-sealed and labelled by hand.
Vacuum-distilled and fat-washed in this way to enhance the flavours of the fruit lassi and fragrant spices of classic gin botanicals, the unusual gin combines traditional lassi (a traditional and delicious Punjabi drink drunk by the pair’s forefathers) and quintessentially British gin (drunk by, well, them). Delicately spiced with British and Indian flavours, this is a supremely versatile gin that works in as many ways as your mind can, bringing the best of both worlds together to create something truly unique and delicious.
About the adventure so far and what’s coming next, Bruce tells us,
“It’s been a Crazy journey from that drunken Friday night conversation to now having our own distillery and bar. And with the impact of COVID, which no one could have predicted it’s now about how we can bring the bar experience to your home. With that in mind we have created a range of pre-made cocktails that you can have delivered through your letterbox (without receiving that dreaded “we missed you” delivery note.) We are also about to launch a range of atomisers to help elevate your drinks (or food) with aromas to give you that sensory fun experience to have a little escapism during these strange times.“
We can’t wait until these exciting new products drop but we’re more than happy to sip on some Crazy Gin whilst we wait!
Tasting Notes – Crazy Gin
Earthy turmeric and coriander find themselves in the company of juniper, coming together to create an intriguingly aromatic bouquet that is instantly gastronomic.
Wow! Just wow. This is ludicrously creamy and smooth on the palate, with a luxurious, robing mouthfeel that is the perfect base for the dynamic flavours to play upon. Surprisingly refreshing and zesty with pomegranate entering stage right. Cumin and black pepper kick up the spice, followed by coriander and the ever-present juniper. The spices are held in check by a gentle sweetness, finishing off on the palate with gorgeous, long-lasting creaminess and full mouthfeel. Incredible.
This is absolutely incredible in just about any gin cocktail you can think of: it makes a great G&T garnished with a fresh basil leaf, and a killer Martini (see recipe below). The team has also come up with their very own cocktails such as the Crazy Flat White (with almond milk and cold brew coffee) and Crazy Old Fashioned.
Crazy Gibson Martini
60ml Crazy Gin
20ml Dry Vermouth
Stir ingredients over ice in a mixing glass and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with a pickled onion.