When my diminutive bottle of Dà Mhìle seaweed gin arrived this week in the post, I wasn’t sure what to expect of it. I know that it’s organic, that it’s made from seaweed gathered on the beach at New Quay in Ceredigion, Wales, and that this boutique brand officially launches on 1st March.
Yes, yes, yes…but would I actually like it?
So for two days, it has sat on my kitchen shelves amongst the half-filled (okay, mostly empty) bottles of whisky, cachaca, elderflower liqueur, absinth, rum, Campari, more gin, and Harvey’s Bristol Cream of questionable origin. (For the life of me, I don’t remember where the sherry came from, but there it sits, gathering dust and daring me to pour it down the kitchen sink).
But now it’s Friday, and I’m feeling that familiar weekend recklessness coming on.
Time to pop the cork—or rather, unscrew the little gold cap—on my mysterious sample of gin. Dà Mhìle has been drafted for active duty.
I admit, I take my first whiff with some trepidation, prepared to rock back on my heels as if slapped in the face by a fish. But no. In fact, if anything, the strongest scent I detect is the slightly spicy smell of…cardamom?
It’s like a faint, exotic perfume. Quite pleasant, really…and not at all like a mermaid’s armpit, as I had feared.
I take my first sip straight up…no ice, no tonic, and a-ha. There it is. A slightly briny taste, like licking your lips after taking a dip in the sea.
I find it deliciously savoury, even more so after adding a splash of tonic and ice, like a proper G&T. (Sea & T?)
If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to close my eyes, sip my drink, and pretend I’m sitting on a wave-lashed beach with sand between my toes. Pass me the sun cream now, would you?
More info: Dà Mhìle Distillery is located at Glynhynod Farm in Wales. The distillery is the brainchild of John Savage-Onstwedder, producer of Caws Teifi Seaweed cheese, who has apparently never met a pile of seaweed that he couldn’t craft into something delicious. Dà Mhìle’s on-line shop will open by 4 March 2014. www.damhile.co.uk.