Below is an excerpt from the May 2015 edition of GINNED! Magazine about Anno Kent Dry Gin. Every month, Craft Gin Club members receive a bottle of amazing small-batch gins accompanied by GINNED! Magazine which is full of features about the gin, the distillery and loads of fascinating features.
Ask any number of powerful individuals about their positions at the top of society and they’ll all tell you, with so many contenders nipping at their heels, that it’s difficult to stay on top. The county of Kent, known as the Garden of England, is no stranger to falls from grace.
In 2006, the short-lived UKTV Style Gardens digital television channel caused a row when it put Kent’s hallowed status in question. In a poll conducted by the channel that asked 4,000 people to name their favourite county from a curated list of “12 beautiful English counties,” Kent placed 5th with a mere 5.2% of the vote while North Yorkshire grabbed the top spot with 31.3%.
Where the public cited North Yorkshire for its “breathtaking countryside”, Kent fell from favour with survey participants due to “congestion, pollution and the adverse effects of over building” and even mentioned the county’s chavs as a weighing on their decision. Representatives of Kent’s government defended their turf and their historic claim to the title. One went so far as to quote Dickens who, in The Pickwick Papers - his follow-up novel to the stories that made his name - wrote, “Kent, sir, everyone knows Kent. Apples, cherries, hops and women.”
Another English follow-up work that references the Garden of England is that of contemporary alternative band, alt-J, whose second album’s sixth song title is the same as Kent’s defended title. The song itself more mimics music you would expect to hear in Shakespearean England rather than in that of Dickens. A one-minute, seven second break between more substantial tracks, “❦ Garden of England” lays a soothing melody of two intertwining recorders over sounds of chirping birds and crickets: the listener gets the sense of stumbling upon a country fair in a quaint medieval village on a sunny day, maybe even in Kent.
As the county defended its title as the Garden of England, alt-J’s album was released to defend its music critic-granted title of “the New Radiohead,” a tribute previously applied to several bands such as Coldplay and Muse, none of which ever lived up to the expectations carried by the homage. But like Kent’s status as a beautiful county seems to have waned in the public eye, alt-J’s second album, This is All Yours, failed to impact music fans as much as their first - the 2012 Mercury Prize winning An Awesome Wave - despite opening at #1 on the UK charts. Looks like the old Radiohead is finding it easier to stay on top than the county of Kent.
Garden of England
25ml Anno Kent Dry Gin
25ml Anno Elderflower&Vodka
50ml Fresh cloudy apple juice
Lime juice (dash)
Muddle blackberries, raspberries and strawberries in a shaker. Add other ingredients, shake with ice, strain and serve in a tea cup or coupe glass with finely crushed ice. Garnish with strawberry slices, raspberries and blackberries