I have received, for Christmas, perhaps the most splendidly, awesomely, gloriously pretentious bottle of gin it has ever been my pleasure to meet. My lovely friend Piglet gave it to me (and had bought it before even reading about what I wanted for Christmas).
It is The Botanist, and even the bottle is a work of art. Completely clear glass, with raised lettering front and back listing each of the 22 botanical ingredients. In Latin. And they're not just any old botanical ingredients, oh no, these are hand foraged botanicals. And I suspect I may well feel more than a bit foraged* after consuming some of it.
Apparently, this is a lovingly hand-crafted, artisanal, small-batch, labour of the distiller's art. And it's distilled at one of my favourite distilleries - Bruichladdich on the isle of Islay. That's right, it's Scottish Gin.
What's more it's "a gin as much for the mind as for the palate. A thinking person's gin. A rollercoaster botanical odyssey in a glass." My mind will get back to you on the veracity of that statement later. I told you it was pretentious. And I haven't even finished yet. Apparently "the aromas explode like an olfactory Aurora Borealis filling the senses
with meteorites of smell sensations as they explode from the glass." BigBear says the pretension is making his hackles rise. I say he's not joining in the spirit of it all (geddit?)
But what does it actually taste like? I hear you cry. I don't know yet. I have a cold that's making my head ache, my nose run, my throat sore and making me want to curl up in bed by 8pm. The very last thing I want at the moment is gin. However, I shall leave you with two positive thoughts about which I can feel thankful as we roll into 2016...
1. I have a friend who knows me so well, and is so lovely, that she is able to buy me the very thing that I asked for without even knowing that I'd asked for it.
2. It's six days after Christmas and I still have a completely full bottle of awesome gin left unopened.
* A note for readers unfamiliar with all aspects of vernacular British English - it has been observed that almost any verb will served to indicated intoxication when uttered with the right emphasis and in the right context. For example, "we went out last night and got completely badgered"; or perhaps ,"it was Bill's farewell drinks and he was utterly curtained"; or even "The groom was totally turniped at the wedding and forgot his speech". Try it yourself, almost any word will do. "Foraged" seems like a perfect addition to this canon in the circumstances.