August’s Gin Box
from REBEL CITY DISTILLERY
A quick google search will give you a small sense of the furore and craze which has greeted the launch of this month’s gin. That craze originates at the Rebel City Distillery in Cork, and extends all the way to Kerala in Southern India. We have not previously seen such a phenomenal reaction to a gin launch in Ireland and the requests for shipping have come in from as far as Abu Dhabi, India, Japan and Pakistan, let alone all across Ireland! You are amongst the very first to try it.
What makes Maharani different is its story. The Gin is distilled by Irish – Indian husband and wife team Bhagya Lekshmi and Robert Barrett. It is an homage to Keralan women who are known for their strength and importance in society. Maharani means High Queen and so this gin is a celebration of strong revolutionary women everywhere. The botanicals have been carefully sourced from a woman’s organic farming co-operative in Bhagya’s home state of Kerala, India. From this farm they choose some spices that have never been used in distilling before, like Nutmeg Mace which has a lovely cinnamon and pepper flavour and brings a unique spice to Maharani. It is what makes it different, and we all love different.
Robert had worked in brewing and distilling before a blind date in 2015 with Bhagya. It went well and whilst planning their wedding in Kerala he discovered the bountiful spices there. Once he started to experiment with Keralan spices and distilling gin with them, the couple became hooked on the potential to create an Irish Keralan gin. The women’s led cooperative where the botanicals come from employs over 200 women in the province and it’s something they are both proud to be a part of.
Subtle tributes to Indian women ooze from the bottle; The name Maharani ‘Queen’, Malayalam lettering and the Moksham liberation on the cap, along with a tribute on the rear of the bottle. However, this gin is uniquely Irish and Robert and Bhagya are as proud of the Distillery they created, the first in Cork in over 50 years as they are with their finished product. It’s a privilege for us to bring it to you this month and we wish them all the success in the world with their launch.
The perfect serve here is grapefruit, perhaps a sprig of mint as well and it’s incredibly smooth. Robert recommended this himself and he would know. We wanted you to remember this month’s delivery, because we think it’s a pretty special month for Gin Box Subscribers. The first bottle was bottled on June 23rd 2020 and as before, you are amongst the first to try it. We’ve included a stylish copper jigger for you to pour your Maharani, and keep afterwards.
We hope your enthusiasm is as strong as ours when you try Maharani.
From the Gin Box Team
“Absolutely stunning gin, one of my favourites so far”
— John Crean, @the_ginthusiast
Pomelo Fruit: Citrus Grandis –this is an ancestor of the grapefruit and gives the gin its zest and zing! Cassia: Cinnamonmum Cassia –the bark of a tree from the laurel family with a strong flavour which give the gin its tang, Nutmeg Mace: Myristica Fragrans –the cinnamon and pepper flavour from the nutmeg mace as well as Cardamon is what gives the gin its unique spice.
Nose: Citrus elements of pomelo with notes of cardamom and cassia
Palate: Creamy mouthfeel with spice of nutmeg mace, sweetness of cassia and subdued elements of juniper with citrus of coriander and lemon.
Finish: Long dry finish with small hit of nutmeg mace spice
The perfect serve for Maharani is with pink grapefruit and mint leaves. We loved it and felt the mint just gives a nice balance between flora and spice on the palette. So fill your glass with stacks of ice, pour over your Maharani and garnish with a good wedge of grapefruit and a sprig of mint if you have it – enjoy!