Twisted Nose Watercress Dry Gin, Winchester Distillery 40%


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Twisted Nose Watercress Dry Gin is Hampshire Gin made at the Winchester Distillery. The botanicals include Hampshire Watercress, which gives a pepper-y kick, Hampshire Lavender and the citrus botanical is Pink Grapefruit.

When Twisted Nose Watercress Dry Gin was first released in May 2013 it was really at the forefront of the new gin revolution of recent years. At the time Winchester Distillery was the only gin producer in Hampshire. Of course, it has since been joined by other notable Hampshire gins like Silverback Gin, Corner 53 and Fort Gin. However; Twisted Nose Gin has a very good unique selling point: it is the only Gin in the UK to use watercress as one of its botanicals (as far as I know, although I am ready to be proved wrong!). Watercress grows locally around Winchester and the Meon Valley where the crystal clear chalk streams provide an ideal habitat. Watercress is from the genus Nasturtium (not to be confused with genus of flowering Nasturtiums which is called Trapaeolum). In Latin Nasturtium means “twisted nose” and is said to be named after the effect on ones nose after eating the spicy, peppery leaves. Hence Twisted Nose Watercress Dry Gin.

Watercress is only one of 10 botanicals used to make Twisted Nose Gin, the botanicals are:

Watercress – sourced from The Watercress Company, 3 miles to the north of Winchester

Juniper – Obviously, you can’t make gin without juniper berries

Coriander – crushed coriander seeds bring a citrus-y, spicy note

Pink Grapefruit Zest – adds richer citrus flavours than lemon or orange

Cassia Bark – adds cinnamon type character

Fennel Seed – for a sweet Anise flavour

Lavender – locally sourced from Long Barn Growers and Distillers near Arlesford

Orris – brings flowery and woody aromas

Angelica – remember the green, crystallised stuff people used to bung on the top of cakes, that is from the Angelica root. 

This is a small batch gin distilled in a traditional copper pot still, a descendent of the alembic still, which is used to make batches of spirits, unlike the continuous distillation of large, more commercial column stills. Pot stills produce a very fine grade of spirit. The botanicals are gently crushed, mixed and macerated pure, neutral spirit to release the oils that give the gin its characteristic flavours. The spirit and macerated botanicals are then re-distilled in the pot still and only the heart of the distillate is used for the final bottling of this superb Hampshire Gin. The spirit is let down to 40% ABV with local New Forest Spring Water.

Good enough to drink neat or over ice!

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Twisted Nose Watercress Dry Gin has a good clear colour with a slightly blue-ish tinge.

Nose: The nose is spicy and peppery. There are floral notes, a big hit of citrus fruit and some more spicy coriander and anise (fennel) notes

Palate: The citrus really comes through on the palate with lots of pink grapefruit. There are more floral and fennel flavours.

Finish: Very nice, clean, dry finish with very good length.

To Serve

If serving as a gin and tonic use a slice of pink grapefruit or pink grapefruit zest instead of lemon or lime as a garnish. If you are feeling playful you could also garnish with a sprig of watercress. It works well with Fever Tree Mediterranean tonic water.

Of course, it will be great in a Martini and recommended cocktails include a Salty Dog:

2 parts Twisted Nose Gin
5 parts Grapefruit juice, pink grapefruit juice would be good

Shake the vodka and grapefruit juice with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a salt-rimmed highball glass and serve straight up, without ice.


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