Today on National Tea Day 2017 [Friday 21st April 2017] a drinks industry collaboration celebrates the launch of its first gin, Jindea, made using a single estate Indian Darjeeling tea.
The brand is a result of a partnership between three bar scene experts including Aberdeen-based Adrian Gomes owner of two Scottish bars and events company, 10 Dollar Shake, and Matthew Dakers and Jack Rackham of Emporia, a UK-based spirit distribution and export company.
The spirit is produced in a traditional alembic copper pot still to a classic London Dry gin recipe containing 10 botanicals including Darjeeling tea.
Marketing Director of Jindea, Adrian Gomes, explained why the team looked to India to create the recipe, he said: “Both myself and Matthew have strong ties to the continent. My dad grew up in Goa, where my family worked on the Indian railways. Matthew’s grandfather was born in India where his great-grandfather served as a Captain in the Indian Army.
“Our team’s collective experience includes all facets of the drinks business from bartender and bar operator to spirits merchant and brand ambassador. But this was another connection we found in our history and we wanted to create a brand that reflected both British and Indian heritage.”
The team enlisted a tea sommelier, Ajit Madan, co-founder of Camellia’s Tea House in London and the UK's first certified International Tea Education Institute (ITEI) Master Tea Sommelier. Ajit introduced the makers to a first flush Darjeeling tea from the Goomtee Estate, a single estate tea plantation in the Kurseong Valley, India.
Adrian continued: “When we began looking at Darjeeling tea as a potential ingredient we were drawn by the gentle aromatic and floral qualities it imparts to the gin including aromas of muscatel grape and stone fruits.
“It is known as the ‘Champagne of Teas' and, at the foot of the Himalayas, the picturesque artisan tea gardens of Darjeeling produce less than 1% of India's total tea production. This is mostly from single estates and often organic and hand-plucked.
“Darjeeling is a black tea and produces four harvests throughout the year, known as ‘flushes'. The first flush is the Spring picking which produces the gentlest of black teas. This and the second flush are the most desirable and it’s the first flush we have selected to impart gentle qualities to our gin.
“The high altitude and artisanal cultivation yields in the Kurseong Valley produce arguably one of the finest black teas in the world and it is long-considered the ‘grand cru' of Darjeeling.
“As well as the subtle flavours from Darjeeling tea the gin contains flavours of juniper, lemon, grapefruit, coriander, ginger, fennel, cardamom, cinnamon and angelica. We believe we have created a product which will have local and international appeal and are excited to introduce it to the market.”