Long time readers will know that Onin.London, specifically myself love Gin! My personal collection is over 122 bottles so it is a pretty impressive talking piece in our house during times when friends are allowed to visit. So you can imagine my excitement when I was sent a bottle of the first high-end African spirit served in some of London’s top hospitality venues!
Procera is an African craft gin that is distilled in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. It contains ten different botanicals, all sourced from across Africa. The main botanical is an otherwise unseen species of juniper, Juniperus Procera, which is also known as African Juniper or Cedar. This specific juniper only grows above 1,500 meters above sea level and the berries for the gin are harvested at 2,200 meters in the Kijabe Forest. The is the first and only gin using the Juniperus Procera, a juniper berry native to the sun-drenched high plateaus of Kenya.
The 9 other botanicals in this special gin are Madagascan pink pepper, Moroccan Orris Root and Coriander, Kenyan Pixie Orange and Swahili lime, Somalian Acacia honey, Zanzibari Cardamom and Mace and Selim Pepper from Nigeria.
Now Procera is a delightful gin to drink straight, it was smooth and incredibly tasty. It is quite earthy and has spicy notes which linger on the tongue. But I also can’t go past the gorgeous bottle it comes in. “Each bottle is carefully handcrafted and is one of a kind. Procera comes in a unique mouth-blown bottle, crafted by the team at Kitengela Hot Glass with a striking palm wood hand-carved stopper produced in Kilifi on the Kenyan Indian Ocean coast. The packaging is made from one piece of glass, one piece of wood, and one piece of leather, with no label”. The bottles are also made of recycled glass and even better the team behind Procera Gin ensure they plant an African Juniper tree for every bottle sold! Each bottle is hand engraved with it’s production number which is currently only in the 3,000 globally. This is going to take centre place in my gin cabinet and become a talking point as soon as lockdown ends.
What really intrigued me about the gin was that it came with a little bag attached to the bottle. I thought it was just a decoration but no… it’s a little bag of salt made with all the botanicals in the gin, minus the Somali Acacia honey). It is one part Indian ocean sea salt and two parts botanicals mix roughly in the ratio of gin. It is made up of the unused fresh botanicals dried and finely ground in an old school hand grinder.
Procera were kind enough to share their five suggestions for tastings in the same glass (Spanish Coppa or wine glass) and I must say this just made the Gin tasting even more of an experience I won’t forget. It was very easy to imagine myself at a proper tasting again and not in my living room.
So on to how to drink it! First pour yourself double measure and choose one (or all) of the following ways to drink it.
1) Neat – dark spirits connoisseurs will appreciate more
2) Add a big ice cube (bigger the better as less melt water) – essential oils come out of suspension, a little cloudy, more viscous and luscious and less strong. moving forward on the pallet towards the aromatic notes away from the spices
3) Tonic 2:1 ratio to gin
4) Generous pinch of botanical salt and stir. can always add more but can never take away so add a pinch at a time and taste.
5) Salt on tongue and hydrate it with a sip of the G&T. The contrast of Salt/Sweet and Dry/Wet causes your senses to explode!
My favourite way was too 3 and 5, it was really something else to experience the saltiness mixed with the gin.
To purchase Procera Gin visit: https://www.masterofmalt.com/gin/procera/procera-gin/
Bottles cost £69.95 for a 50ml. While this is a little pricier for gin, given that you’re not just buying a gin, you’re buying a full on experience… it is definitely worth it!