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Bullards Strawberry & Black Pepper Gin - 70cl - 40% ABV

£37.90

When Bullards Spirits’ co-founder Craig Allison was offered the chance to buy a 120-litre still, he couldn’t quite resist the temptation. Until then he’d been running a Gin palace in Norwich, and serving up Spanish style copa glasses to thirsty customers had given him a good idea as to the diversity within Gin. He bought the still and roped his friend Peter Smith in for distilling duties, the only rule being that the gin must include tonka, a mad, mystifying ingredient that Allison had previously baked into fudge.

The flagship product, Bullards Norwich Dry Gin met those aims with distinction, but it wasn’t long until the duo decided to get out the recipe book again and start conjuring up some new spirits. Before long, a Strawberry and Black Pepper addition was born, followed by an Old Tom and an aged addition.

Bullards Strawberry & Cracked Black Pepper Gin gets is sweetness from a surprising source: bananas. Strawberries are in their too, of course, and they dominate, but there’s definitely a hint of banana to note, bringing with it a big, tropical leafiness. This is one of those rare exceptions in which a gin’s herbal heart remains. It’s not a silly, fruity and frivolous tipple made for the sake of shifting units, instead it’s utterly lovely, honest-to-goodness gin with a smattering of summer fruits. Delicious, and definitely one to share.

To serve: More strawberry and pepper would be overkill, so try a couple of lightly slapped basil leaves for a hint of freshness.