First of all, to get this straight, although this is called Damson Gin it’s actually a Damson Gin Liqueur, bottled at 18.5% ABV. Foxdenton, the company behind it, make a whole range of gin and gin-based liqueurs, which sound fascinating.
In fact the whole family history is fascinating. The estate dates back to 1387. One ancestor was knighted at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, another was knighted on the field at the Battle of Lostwithiel in 1644, while yet another took part in the Charge of the Union Brigade at the Battle of Waterloo. You can read it all in full detail on their website:
The family has a long history of making fruit liqueurs at home, so discovering all this definitely made me want to try their Damson Gin. Mind you, their plum, raspberry, rhubarb and apricot also sound pretty good, and a Goliath bottle of their Sloe Gin, all 4.5 litres of it, would not go amiss either.
So, to the gin. I can’t tell you much about how it’s made, though the website does tell us that they use damsons from several local suppliers, including a famer in Herefordshire and a nearby religious community that also supplies Foxdenton with its plums.
We poured ourselves a sherry-glass sized slurp after dinner, and took a sniff. We both said the same thing. ‘Cough medicine’. Don’t get me wrong, not in an unpleasant way, but that familiar mix of sweet and savoury and slightly medicinal. The kind of cough medicine you enjoy taking.
So we took some. It was indeed very pleasant. Tasting it there was more of the fruity damson sweetness, but not the overly sweet taste that you get with some liqueurs. It was the natural taste of the fruit, and interestingly different as damsons are one of those fruits we don’t eat very often. It was plummy, and a little like drinking an unusual style of port. The medicinal smell morphed into a savoury fruitiness as we sipped it.
The drink was about as concentrated as a port or a sherry, and our sherry-glass-sized helpings were perfect, though it was very moreish and it was tempting to have another. We decided to save it, and spread out the pleasure over several evenings, and perhaps try it in a cocktail.
Damson Gin Cocktail
I do love the name they came up with for a Damson Gin cocktail – Damson in Distress. I haven’t had the chance to make this yet but if you want to try it, here’s the recipe:
Damson in Distress
50ml Foxdenton Damson Gin
15ml Luxuardo Amaretto Liqueur
7.5ml Fresh Lemon Juice
Shake it all up with ice and serve with a garnished slice of lemon to get this year’s winter cocktail serve to perfection.
Visit the Foxdenton Estate website.
You can also buy Foxdenton Estate Damson Gin Liqueur from the Master of Malt website.