We attended a Tanqueray Gin mixology class and reception at Bymark Restaurant. Leading the class was Rachel Ford, aka Lady Tanqueray, a sommelier and award-winning mixologist, and the Tanqueray National Brand Ambassador. It was Rachel‘s first time in Canada and she was a vibrant and fun instructor.

Tanqueray Gin Workshop with Rachel Ford
Tanqueray London Dry, Tanqueray No.Ten and Tanqueray Rangpur

Tanqueray Gin was created in England in 1830 by 19-year-old Charles Tanqueray, who mixed four botanicals to create the unique flavour of the gin.
The four pillars are Tuscan juniper, coriander, liquorice root, and angelica root with juniper being the most dominant botanical.

Tanqueray is the official gin of Buckingham Palace and is in the Hall of Fame for gin for the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

We first did a tasting of the three different gins:

Tanqueray London Dry (the benchmark for all gins), has a fresh, woodsy taste to it.

Tanqueray No. Ten, which was the first gin to be distilled using whole fresh citrus (whole white grapefruit, lime and orange), has a tangy citrus flavour.

Tanqueray Rangpur, made with the Rangpur lime from India (a crossbreed of lemon and mandarin), has a more exotic citrus element to it.

Tanqueray gin tasting
Tanqueray gin tasting

Rachel explained the secret formula in making the perfect cocktail: The 2:1:1 ratio: 2 parts Tanqueray, 1 part sour (citrus), and 1 part sweet (syrup or cordial)

With all this knowledge, we then got down to mixing our own versions of these classic cocktails:

French 75 cocktail, affectionately named after a French cannon, is a combination of Tanqueray London Dry Gin, lemon juice, and sparkling wine. We learned the trick of shaking the cocktail first and adding the sparkling wine after.

Southside cocktail, (a gin version of a mojito) is a combination of Tanqueray London Dry Gin, mint, lime juice, and soda.

Tanqueray cocktails
Tanqueray French 75 and Southside cocktails

Both cocktails tasted refreshing and were the perfect complement to the tasty crab rolls, beef sliders, and mini pizzas provided by Bymark.

After the cocktail class, we spoke with Rachel to learn more about her thoughts on gin.

Rachel feels that in comparing vodka and gin, “Vodka can be somewhat one dimensional but gin, with its botanical base, has a complexity of flavour and excitement“.

As a bartender, she became very interested in the mixability of gin and became a fan ever since.

Lady Tanqueray - Rachel Ford
Lady Tanqueray – Rachel Ford

Rachel favours classic cocktails because in her view, “They are harder to execute. The classics show passion and pride of the bartender. The original martini was gin-based as gin was the only white spirit.”

In terms of trends in drinks, she sees a “Rediscovery of the gin-based cocktails. Reteaching the excitement of gin, transporting ourselves to the glamorous days of the past: Great Gatsby and Rat Pack eras, with Sammy and Frank drinking Tanqueray“.

We have definitely learned a lot about Tanqueray and have become bigger fans as well.

(photos by Tanya)

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