When, the ones in the house Plymouth Gin they invited me to England, to visit his distillery I thought, - What has been lost to me in a distillery, if all I know about gin is that it is rich with tonic? -. After two minutes I thought about it and said to myself - Don't be silly Juana, take advantage of the trip, learn something new and in the process you know first hand something about the country and its gastronomy -. So after four minutes I had already accepted the invitation and at six, I was already thinking of throwing it in my suitcase and what time it would be in England.
One of the first things I did was to document a little about the characteristics of the gin that I had been invited to know. The first thing I discover is that, the Gin Plymouth It is manufactured since 1793, although there is documentary evidence of the existence of the distillery since 1697. It is not a simple trademark because it is the only brand of gin that has a designation of origin.
It receives its name from the place where it is manufactured. Plymouth is a town located in the South West of England. It was the port from where departed in 1620, towards the new world, the Mayflower with the first 102 settlers . In fact, the last night they spent under an English roof, they did it in the bedroom of a Dominican monastery, a large room with high ceilings that today is a beautiful bar, inside the distillery facilities.
How gin is made
Upon arriving at the Plymouth station we were transferred to the distillery, there I had the opportunity to see how the huge copper stills, which have been operating since the beginning of the company. As an important detail of this gin comment that It is manufactured entirely by hand, that its flavor is given by the combination of all the elements that make up the old original formula, juniper berries, lemon peel, angelica root, cardamom, Florence root, coriander seeds and a couple of more important things like cereal alcohol and the Dartmoor National Park Water.
Sean Harrison is the master distiller and in charge of preserving the quality and flavor of this gin in a completely faithful way. It travels to the countries where the ingredients come from, to select the highest quality ones, in Yugoslavia and Italy it locates juniper, oranges and lemons in Spain, in Italy the root of Florence, the root of angelica in the Netherlands , cardamom in India and cilantro in Russia and Morocco.
They explained to us that the distillation process is very fast, the alcohol and the ingredients named above are mixed, in the proportion indicated by the old formula. The alcohol is subjected to a source of heat, becoming steam to later be condensed. The liquid resulting from this process can already be called gin.
After attending an interesting tasting of gins, where they taught us the olfactory and taste differences between several gins, where we could appreciate the subtle differences between citrus and floral flavors and where we learned to value the importance of a correct combination of flavors, to achieve the perfect roundness on the palate and smell, we pass to one of the most fun parts of our visit to the distillery, we manufacture our own gin.
In a room with several laboratory distillers and a flask in hand, each of us we were selecting the ingredients and quantities We considered fair and necessary to make our own exclusive gin. Here we worked a little by intuition and a little looking at the master Sean Harrison, who was supervising us, we checked if when we took the amount of ingredients that each one had selected, he smiled, wrinkled his nose or opened his eyes a lot, as a sign of approval , disapproval or fright.
At the end of the morning and after passing through the cocktail bar of the distillery and trying the occasional combined and cocktail made with gin, we left there, happy and happy, a little for the gin effluvium, a little for the Cocktails that we could have had and a lot for the bottle of the exclusive gin, which we had in our hands.
Tasting the local cuisine
Of course among so much activity dedicated to gin, it also gave us time to try some of the gastronomy of Plymouth, after questioning some of the people who worked in the distillery, and who accompanied us during the trip, I could discover that the local cuisine is very marine and that since it is not a population dedicated to tourism the premises are full of neighbors of the locality and that therefore the letters are made up of typical preparations of the area and to the taste of the people there.
Of all the restaurants that we find on the street of the distillery, we decided on a small one called Platters Restaurant, with the appearance of an old one, located in front of the port, with a decoration and a letter very in keeping with the atmosphere of the place. After letting me advise, opt for some mussels and a cheese stuffed potato.
The mussels It was cooked in a very simple way, with a little onion and white wine, and because of the whitish color of the sauce I think they had also added a splash of milk cream at the last moment. The cheese stuffed potatoIt consists of a baked potato, to which two cuts have been made, one vertically and one horizontally, to leave it open and to which at the last moment a large amount of cheese has been added to melt it. From this same potato you could find a more seafood version with a stuffed shrimp. Normally they usually accompany all the dishes with an exquisite fluffy cereal bread and some butter tubs in case you want to spread.
I was able to photograph, and even try, some of the dishes that the rest of the group people asked for. Some classics fish and chips or what is the same, a battered and fried fish, with fries and this time accompanied by peas, also a plate of Roasted Fish accompanied by tartar sauce and chips to accompany, as well as a Shrimp Salad, with oriental reminiscences.
In the next installment, I will explain something about the dishes I had the opportunity to try at a formal dinner, consisting of classic dishes and about a visit to the Dartmoor National Park.