There’s an extra special glow to the ice cubes in my Negroni. Bathed in ruby red liquid they’re reflecting the warm hues of the two distilling towers at the heart of the East London Liquor Company.
In eight hours, botanical-infused spirit will be pumped out and bottled up on site as the East End’s own gin and vodka.
“You’re drinking the gins you’re watching us make,” says former barman and ELLC owner Alex Wolpert, smiling.
His original desire, in part, was to create a gin to stand up to the Vermouth and Campari in his favourite drink and it’s mission accomplished.
Batch 2 gin, the strongest at 47%, is silken, infused with earthy herbal tones that sharpen up nicely with a dash of lemon.
It stands just as proud in signature cocktail ELLC Martini No2, paired with the fresh tang of pickled cucumber.
London Dry Gin and Batch 1 gin complete the trio – the former intended as a staple for barmen.
Paired with tonic it’s utterly refreshing and crisp, with a pungent citrus depth that hits the nostrils and delightfully tickles the taste buds.
It’s something to sink in the sunshine – perfect for the current warm spell – and equally delicious mixed with warming Kaffir leaves, ginseng liquor and Forbidden bitters for the bar’s Far East End cocktail. For something lighter, try Batch 1’s cinnamon and tea infusions, crammed with grapefruit.
The spirits can also be purchased from the Bottle Shop for enjoyment at home, although whisky lovers will have to wait.
The distillery is making one – the first in London not north of the river for more than 100 years – but it won’t be ready until 2018.
Bow Wharf, 221 Grove Road, London, E3 5SN, 020 3011 0980,
Go to eastlondonliquorcompany.com.