If you want one product to sum up Imbibe Live 2019, Hayman’s Small Gin is it.
In a show awash with gin, talk of sensible drinking, mindfulness and low/no abv, the new ‘small but mighty’ addition to the world of juniper ticks all the boxes.
Launched at the show, it’s a 43% abv gin, but the flavours are more concentrated, so you don’t need as much of it to make a decent G&T.
Hayman’s suggests just 5ml for a single serve, and, rather than measuring it out with a teaspoon, has attached a Monopoly-board-style thimble to the neck of each bottle for measuring purposes.
If you follow the brand’s suggestions, it means that each drink contains just 0.2 units per serve. So customers could have five before reaching the alcohol consumption of just one normal G&T.
It also means that you’ll get 40 serves out of the 20cl bottle, rather than 28 out of the standard version, so your accountant ought to be happy, too.
Like all good ideas, the central premise is simple. So simple, in fact, that you can’t help thinking it should have been done before.
But Hayman’s seems to have got there first, and the company has copyrighted the 'Small Gin' term to ensure anyone following in their footsteps doesn’t get too easy a ride.
‘We started playing with this a year ago,’ James Hayman told Imbibe. ‘We’ve had a lot of bars telling us they need more low- and no-abv on the menu. The question was, how do you create a G&T at low alcohol that still tastes of G&T?’
Essentially, to make a more concentrated-tasting gin, the process at heart has been no more complicated than increasing the volume of botanicals used for each distillation.
But with all the botanicals reacting differently to the increased quantities, it took a while to get the proportions right, with the team at the Balham distillery working on the new recipe since the start of the year.
‘It’s pushed the boundaries of distillation,’ said Hayman. ‘But the feedback so far has been very positive.’