If the first half of 2017 has taught us anything, it’s that few things in life are certain. Perhaps that’s why, in these ambiguous times, we at Sated are looking for something strong (in alcohol content) and stable (in service). Enter, the UK’s number one gin subscription club – Craft Gin Club.
Every month, members will receive a hand-picked full-sized bottle of one of the world’s finest small batch gins, along with a range of gourmet snacks, high-end tonics or mixers, cocktail ingredients, and a glossy members’ magazine, all carefully packaged and delivered directly to their doors. For those not so partial to a G&T – we’re trying very hard not to judge you – there is also a Bubble Club, which sees the “Juniper Goddess” replaced with two bottles of sparkling wine. As both Craft Clubs source new, limited edition and one-off batches for their members, you can be sure that you’re getting something truly unique that you’ll be hard pressed to find elsewhere!
Craft Gin Club
This month’s guest is Bordiga’s Occitan, a gin excitingly unknown to us from a 130-year-old family distillery in the Italian Alps of Piedmont. What’s more, it has been specially imported for the occasion, making its exclusive UK off-trade debut through Craft Gin Club, so if you whip this bottle out when your gin snob friends are about (we all have/are them), you will be due some serious bragging rights.
Apparently distilled from a recipe hand-written by Master Distiller, Pietro Bordiga, in 1900, Occitan’s classic botanicals include juniper, angelica and coriander, which are handpicked in the Italian Alps. These are in turn combined with cardamom, lemon peel and orange peel in the distillery’s antique copper still to create a refined and surprisingly complex gin with a clean, elegant taste.
Along with it comes a surprise bottle of Bordiga Vermouth Bianco, which has been included in case members wish to try their hand at one of the specially created cocktail recipes defined by Chelsea’s Ritorno bar, which have been included in this month’s pack. Complex and balanced in character, this classic vermouth is based on Piedmontese white wines, including some Moscato, and is infused with more than 30 different botanicals. The balance between sweet and bitter is laudable, making it a delight to have chilled on the rocks. If this is a bit too much for you however, it also works beautifully with a splash of soda water or in a gin-based cocktail.
Prosecco has been all the rage in recent years, with sales of the young upstart far surpassing those of its more matured relatives. Supermarket shelves are chock-full of the stuff, but no matter which chain you go into, they’re all offering the same choice. The beauty of subscription clubs like Bubble Club however is that they give small producers, who would normally struggle to get their products into supermarkets, direct access to discerning and curious consumers who are bored of the usual options. Saying this, of course you can bulk-buy interesting grower wines from Majestic or judge a bottle by its label at an independent wine shop and hope for the best. However, this is another option for bubble lovers who want to support small producers but who also want their bottles handpicked by experts and delivered directly to their doors without fuss.
This month’s offerings comprise a slightly sweet and very frothy Scandolera Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Costa d’Oro and a bright and citrus-y Montmarin Méthod Traditionelle Brut, blending Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier.
If a monthly subscription is a bit much for your liver or wallet, both clubs offer the option to receive a box every two months instead. Craft Gin Club members can also choose a quarterly subscription at the same price of £40 per delivery. Bubble Club membership is slightly cheaper with each month costing £32.99. Either way, this is a fantastic, hassle-free way to sample genuine, handcrafted and small batch products that will not disappoint.