Today not many distilleries make a batch of Navy Strength gin just so they know their gunpowder is safe. For those of us without much gunpowder in the distillery (or, indeed at home) we make Navy Strength for other reasons.
Navy Strength Gin is for when a gin needs to stand up in a drink, for when strong is necessarily better, for when “Dutch Courage” is called for. So we started experimenting with some high proof batches for the Gin Palace in early 2014, soon after we launched.
We make ours essentially the same way as we do our Rare Dry Gin, but we reduce the amount of fresh oranges in the botanical basket by half, and replace them with intense native finger limes, harvested on the NSW North Coast near Byron Bay.
These explosive little limes are only the size of a finger (funny that) but they pack a huge flavour punch – intense, piercing, incredible lime. They are quite simply amazing, adding a superb citrusy edge to our Navy Strength Gin.
We also add some fresh ginger to the basket to enhance the spice. And along with the nine dry botanicals in the pot we add fresh turmeric to give the resulting gin an earthiness, and to balance the intensity of the other botanicals.
We landed at 58.8% alcohol by volume – the British definition of 'gunpowder-proof' is 57%, but we wanted that extra couple of points to be safe.
It is safe (and delicious, receiving Master status at the Gin Masters Competition three years in a row, 2015 to 2017). And you be safe, too. Don’t drive when you drink Navy Strength and don’t hop on a ship either, no matter where that handsome Naval officer suggests you might be going… And for god’s sake, no matter how safe it might be, steer well clear of any gunpowder. Please.
As you were.