We get asked a lot about how best our navy strength gin works in the context of either a G&T or a martini.
Its probably best to start with what the original idea was with Navigation Gin, and perhaps why it then took three years of research and development to bring the first bottles to market. We had decided that if we were going to release a gin at navy strength (57% alcohol by volume), it could not compromise the textural quality our gins are known for, and it would not be just a higher strength version of one of our existing lines, but rather something which utilised that higher ABV to good effect.
A long journey began of creating a relationship between juniper (milled in our special way) and foraged culinary seaweeds in order to capture that elusive umami note. Once we had worked that one out, we wanted to identify how to amplify that character (there is an interesting Radio 4 programme which includes commentary about umami amplification here, if you're interested), which led us to a brilliant winemaker friend on the island of Madeira. Using one of Barbeito's rarest and oldest barrels was the key to really unlocking this gin's personality.
1 part navigation gin
2 parts plain tonic water
1 part soda water
lots of ice
green olives to garnish (on a cocktail stick)
This includes our (very optional) approach to incorporating soda water to reduce the sugar and quinine in a G&T (but still keeping enough tonic to make it a G&T!). And using the principle of only adding a garnish which makes a drink better (rather than just more instagrammable), this borrows a classic martini garnish to further amplify those umami notes.
50ml navigation gin
10ml dry vermouth (see below)
green olive to garnish (on a cocktail stick)
The proportions here can, and should, be adjusted to your own personal taste. Place a decent quantity of ice into a mixing glass of some kind, and add the gin and vermouth. We'd suggest leaning towards a less herbal style (you could use for example Cocchi Americano, Lillet Blanc or Martini Riserva Ambrato) for this particular gin.
Then stir through the mixing glass with a mixing spoon (or a fork will do!). This bit is important, as the stirring time doesn't only chill the resulting martini, it also dilutes it. And with navy strength, you may want to therefore stir for longer. Experiment, and find the best amount of time for the drink as you enjoy it most. Then strain off the ice into a chilled martini glass, or wine glass. With navigation gin, we pass on any citrus twist or garnish and go straight to a nice quality green olive (again to amplify the umami notes).