Hidden Curiosities is, first and foremost, a labour of love. Nothing good is ever made without passion and inspiration, and from the very start Hidden Curiosities has been guided by one person, Jenny Lane, and her desire for the perfect gin.
Hidden Curiosities gin began life in the picturesque Surrey Hills, but the real story starts a few years earlier in Yokohama, Japan. Hidden Curiosities’ founder, Jenny, spent five years residing in Japan refining her palate, followed by a year of extensive research in the UK, sampling and assessing over 100 different craft gins. This search inspired her to make something that was truly to her taste. Flavour, mouthfeel, body, bouquet and aftertaste were all considered and noted, and all mattered in the pursuit of the perfect gin. Jenny was committed to her craft and relentless in her search for the perfect botanicals, and wanted her gin to possess something unique. These qualities are present in the gin you drink today, making Hidden Curiosities something a little special. But how did we end up here?
Why Hidden Curiosities?
While the quality of the product is always paramount, you could say that the name was inspired by the design. Jenny’s other business, Cravat Club, provides high-quality silk accessories, and aims to inspire men to dress with panache and imagination. “Hidden Curiosities” is a hand drawn design taken from a silk pocket square (available here) and is featured prominently on the reverse of the label. Influenced by William Morris and the Arts & Crafts movement, the decorative and intricate design features a woodland scene, redolent with flowers and animals both living and historical. The design was conjured up by Jenny herself, and given to her good friend, London artist Christopher Bardo, to spectacularly realise. The name, along with the styling, is intended to evoke an apothecary or travelling circus, or be a trip through Alice’s looking glass. This is a nod to the many exotic botanicals in the recipe, and hints at the fact that there is plenty in the flavour profile to fire your imagination.
East Meets West
Jenny puts her five years in Japan down as a major influence. The refined and delicate nature of Japanese cuisine is reflected both in the choice of botanicals, and in the final flavour. Hidden Curiosities is a London Dry Gin in the traditional style, with nothing added post-distillation, but with additional refinement in the Japanese manner, something a bit curious. Food and drink in Japan simply has a different flavour profile than it does in the UK, with different elements valued, and the gin speaks of this meeting of cultures when you taste it. Jenny marries exotic elements such as Japanese yuzu and voatsifperifery peppercorns with lavender from Surrey’s Mayfield lavender farm, for something that is more aromatic and perfumed than is usual. A balance of tradition and modern creativity.
Perfecting a recipe takes time. While some spirits taste good at the first sip, they can often end up one-dimensional and uninspiring, leaving you unsatisfied and looking for something new. Jenny’s aim with this gin was to make sure that a different flavour comes to the fore each time you drink it. The balance of five different types of peppercorn, green cardamom, yuzu and pink grapefruit, along with an orchestra of other botanicals, keeps the flavours moving on your palette and ensures you come back for more. And while Hidden Curiosities is a pepper-forward gin, there are other subtle flavours that emerge every time you take a sip. Balance, interest and subtlety, as well as big pepper and citrus flavours, should stay on your palate long after drinking. While versatile, we believe the gin should always taste like what it is.
Handmade in Small Batches
Jenny works closely with Silent Pool distillers, in the picturesque Surrey Hills. Each run of Hidden Curiosities is distilled in a traditional wood-fired copper still, and is only made in batches of a thousand bottles. Once the gin has been rested and carefully bottled, each bottle is then labelled and wax sealed by Jenny herself. No automation is used whatsoever, and every one passes through the hands of the company’s founder. Craft gin is not just a buzzword for us; everything has the personal touch. When you buy a bottle of Hidden Curiosities gin, you are getting something that truly is an artisan product.
Do you care about high quality spirits? Do you value British craft products? Do you want something slightly different to put in your glass? Try Hidden Curiosities with your favourite tonic, garnished with pink peppercorns and green cardamom, in a martini with your favourite vermouth, or as a base for a Negroni, and sample the unusual flavours for yourself. The subtle blend will change every time you drink it, and offer something slightly different with every sip, keeping curious drinkers coming back for more.