The new Salcombe Gin and Whatley Manor collab has got us feeling restless …
Salcombe Gin are big on collabs and, in the creation of its Voyager series of exclusive limited-edition gins, have teamed up with culinary figures such as Michael Caines and Monica Galetti. Their latest release Restless, crafted in coordination with Whatley Manor and Spa’s two-Michelin-starred chef Niall Keating, involves a first in the world of gin.
The craft distillers took Niall’s blood orange kombucha, which he makes at his smart culinary residence, and used it as a liquid botanical – something entirely new in the world of gin making. They then added 15 additional ingredients including Asian pears, Japanese salted plums, Chinese black dates and perilla leaves (the full recipe is a trade secret, naturally) to create a sip of distinction.
The bespoke blood orange kombucha adds a delicate sweetness, a tang of citrus and a touch of vanilla, while the Asian spices – inspired by Niall’s love of Korean and Japanese cuisine – add sweet smokiness.
Niall is acclaimed for his daringly innovative cooking and relentless quest for perfection (as seen by his rapid rise through the culinary world), and this challenge to the conventional distillation process is fully in line with his approach.
If the launch of this unusual kombucha gin has you feeling restless for the opportunity to taste the culinary flavours of Korea and Japan, you won’t have to risk a fortnight-long quarantine as Niall will be serving Restless at Whatley Manor and offering a special Michelin dine-and-stay package at the country house hotel this autumn. Prices for the package start from £524 for two people and include a Restless Salcombe Gin cocktail per person, an overnight stay, a chef’s menu, breakfast and full use of the Aquarias Spa.
Restless tasting notes
NOSE: Exotic spices, sweet smokiness with a hint of vanilla followed by toasted orange peel, freshly sliced pear and fragrant hops.
PALATE: Rich and decadent citrus followed by an almost floral sweetness from sencha sakura tea and salted plums. There is an underlying green savoury note from the perilla leaves, combined with a background of juniper. The addition of blood orange kombucha delivers a delicate sweetness reminiscent of a pick ‘n’ mix sweet selection, which is beautifully balanced with warming spice.
FINISH: Slightly drying with a sweet umami smokiness balanced by a freshness from citra hops and kaffir lime leaf.