Amázzoni gin is made in Brazil’s first dedicated gin distillery, using botanicals from the Amazon.
Price: ~ £44
Say hello to July’s Craft Gin Club offering, all the way from Brazil! Established in 2015 the distillery is set by an 18th century coffee farm and sits amid rivers, palm trees, fields, and fish farms, all within the Paraíba Valley, Rio de Janeiro State. Arturo Isola, Tato Giovannoni, and Alexandre Mazza are the team behind this classic, but proudly Brazilian gin.
Featuring a number of classic botanicals, the gin also features five never-before used botanicals from the Amazonian forest: cocoa, Brazil nut, maxixe, victoria regia, and cipò cravo. If you’re like me, you’ll have only ever heard of the first two! So, a little more info for you:
Maxixe (Cucumis anguria) is more commonly known as Maroon Cucumber, and is a thinly stemmed, herbaceous vine with fleshy fruit that tastes similar to common cucumber.
Victoria regia is actually the old name for Victoria amazonica and is the largest of the Nymphaeaceae family of water lilies. I can’t actually find any information on whether the flower has any taste or scent, so I can’t guess what this brings to the botanical mix.
Cipò cravo (Tynanthus elegans) is a species of flowering plant in the family Bignoniaceae, in the order Lamiales, commonly known as the bignonias. What does all that mean? Well, they’re woody plants and are most commonly ornamental, however this particular species I believe is clove-scented and can be used as a condiment.
To make the gin, the botanicals are macerated and, according to the website ‘the out-coming infusion is then poured in the proportion calibrated by Captain Tato Giovannoni’s top secret recipe’.
The bottle almost cylindrical with a ridged base and rounded shoulders, and is made from recycled glass, which is a big plus for me. The shape is based on old renaissance medicine bottles, and has some nice bold embossing. Front and centre is a beautiful label in muted blues and detailed with gold. It features a number of images which are referenced on the website as having particular meaning so I won’t go into too much detail here, but it’s a gorgeous design. Above this is an embossed crest of some sort, and below the label the word ‘gin’ is embossed in capitals. On the back, there is a small label at the base with the distillery details, but otherwise it is plain, but with large wording embossed into the glass. One nice little touch is that the back label is back printed with a waved line design visible from the front. It’s nice and the recycled glass definitely stands out.
Sweet, fleshy herbacious notes are prominent, with a slightly savoury turn that eventually leads me towards a citrus end. It’s fresh and watery, not intense but not diluted. It makes me think of the edible, fleshy parts of the relevant botanicals, rather than the more overpowering zests. The lemon comes through soft and mouthwatering, with hints of warmer, more earthy elements which eventually sweeten to a subtle cocoa. It’s clean and enticing, and for me definitely warm lemon in profile.
Neat, the lemon is very much there, but with a kick from the pepper and some herbal undercurrents. There’s a leafy green note, and a little bitterness which I think could be the laurel and possibly even the cocoa, as well as the lemon, of course. It’s gin-like in that it’s clear juniper has played a part, but for me there’s a lot of lemon too, which I’m enjoying, but for me it’s the dominant flavour, though with a definite leafy-green, herbal edge. It’s hugely enjoyable.
Water brings a big hit of chocolate to the table, dark and earthy. The herbal elements are brought forward too, though with a depth that increases the savoury element of the flavour. The lemon is still dominant, but there’s a much bigger play of flavours going on now which make it much more interesting. It’s definitely less sweet though. The brighter tones we evident before, but now it’s the richer, deeper notes, which may not be welcome to everyone.
Finally, a G&T (3:1 Franklin & Sons Indian Tonic with a wedge of orange to garnish). The result is understated, but absolutely wonderful. It’s so fresh and light, I’m honestly having difficulty processing it, but this gin could be lethal in a G&T. It doesn’t taste alcoholic, and goes down very easy. For my tastes it’s pretty much the perfect balance between sweet/savoury/bitter, there’s no particular flavour that stands out but for me, this is what this gin was made for. This is the best G&T I’ve had for a while and I am loving it!
Amázzoni is a decent gin that turns into an absolute wonder when mixed with tonic. My initial impressions were that it was well into the contemporary category, with the lemon dominating, but that the overall profile was very pleasant, and derserving of appreciation. This isn’t just a gin you throw into a drink and go with, it has depth and quality that is worth exploring, but from what I could tell those elements would only really appeal to a limited audience. The G&T on the other hand was exceptional, and I very much look forward to having another!
Remove up to 1 feather if you don’t drink G&T’s and don’t like lemon.
Amázzoni is available online
All reviews are of the author’s personal collection, bought and paid for by the author, unless otherwise stated.