Ableforths Bathtub Gin is an award-winning English gin, a compound gin, made using a technique called cold compounding. It is made by Master of Malt in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
Compound gin is simply made by flavouring pure, neutral spirits with essences, natural flavouring or the botanicals themselves. The name Bathtub Gin most likely derives from 1920s Prohibition-era United States when bootleggers would mix cheap grain alcohol with various flavourings to make their rough spirit more palatable. This would often have been done in metal or ceramic bathtubs. Others say it was because the gin bottles had to be topped off with water from a bathtub tap because the bottles were too tall to fit under the sink taps. Take your pick!
Cold compounding (infusing, basically) has always been used to make gin although it has never been considered to be quite as good as a distilled gin. However, it is possible to make a very good gin as Ableforths Bathtub Gin proves. They begin with only the the finest copper pot-still pure neutral spirit to which is added 6 botanicals: Juniper, Orange Peel, Coriander, Cinnamon, Cloves and Cardamom. The period of infusion is determined by regularly sampling the gin to see when it is ready. A tough job, I guess! When the gin is ready it is basically filtered and the abv adjusted to 43.3%. Due to the infusion process, the botanical also give the gin a lightly tinted colour.
Ableforths Bathtub Gin is packaged in a smart, apothecary type bottle, wrapped in brown paper and sealed with string and wax. It was previously known as Professor Cornelius Ampleforth’s Bathtub Gin.