Before he started making Marylebone Gin, Johnny Neill was the founder of Whitley Neill. Built initially around the exotic baobab tree, his latest outing stays a little closer to home. Meet your Whitley Neill Rhubarb and Ginger Gin, the expression of a quintessentially English summer.
The product of eight generations of distillers, it’s safe to say that you’re in good hands with any gin adorned by Johnny Neill’s signature. But while the Marylebone Gin in your July Gin of the Month Box is a straightforward masterpiece that packs quite the punch, your Whitely Neill Rhubarb & Ginger Gin is a slightly softer affair.
“I love both brands,” Johnny says, “but Whitley Neill in particular has a special place in my heart. It’s where I started!”
And those beginnings couldn’t be further away from pleasure gardens. In fact, Whitley Neill was initially conceived as a tribute to Johnny’s lifelong love of adventure.
The original Handcrafted Dry Gin features exotic African botanicals – like Cape Gooseberries and Baobab – alongside more traditional juniper and lemon peel, creating a gentle gin with an otherworldly allure.
But for the Rhubarb and Ginger Gin in your July Gin of the Month Box, Johnny was looking slightly closer to home. He was inspired by the glory of English gardens, and the way they teem with life all through the spring and summer.
To capture it in a gin became his goal, and to that end he turned to a very English ingredient: rhubarb.
The essence of this English treat adds a slightly tart edge to the soft base of Johnny’s handcrafted gin. And to complement it, he added spicy ginger to the mix.
He explains: “The two flavours complement each other so well – the tartness of the rhubarb and the depth and spice of the ginger really work well together, and also alongside the other botanicals within the gin.”
While Johnny loves this gin in a classic G&T, it’s also perfect paired with a quintessential summer tipple: ginger beer. Whip up a Whitley Neill Ginger and Gin using the recipe below.
Whitley Neill Ginger and Gin
50ml Whitley Neill Rhubarb & Ginger Gin
150ml ginger beer
Twist of lime, to garnish
Combine your ingredients in a glass packed with lots of ice and stir gently. Garnish with a twist of lime.