*Name: Malfy GQDI - Gin Di Qualita Distillato (41% ABV)
Distilled: Italy, at the family distillery of it's makers, in Moncalieri, just outside Torino. It is distilled in a stainless steel vacuum still, and the family in question are the Vergnano family: Carlo, his wife Piera and their children Rita and Valter.
Encountered: The short answer is 'in M&S' but the long and possibly more interesting answer is that I started seeing pictures of Malfy gin on Instagram, and I was drawn to the beautiful bright blue and yellow colours of the bottle, which call to mind sunshine and beautiful skies and seas. I had no idea what the gin would taste like but I thought that I would like some just for the colours! Then I came across a bottle in my local M&S food hall and I was so happy! The bottle came home with me immediately (I paid for it, obvs).
Flavours According To Me: This gin absolutely BURSTS with the flavour of beautiful Italian lemons and it's like summer is exploding in your mouth as soon as you take a sip. It is extremely crisp and wonderfully sharp and sweet, although not sickly in the slightest. It calls to mind the taste of Limoncello*, a drink I like very much indeed, or lemon sorbet, a food I like even more! The juniper comes afterwards, and while it is there, I feel that this is definitely another gin that is made for people who don't really like gin, because it's ALMOST not like gin at all.
*Limoncello, incidentally, originates from Southern Italy and uses lemons taken from coastal regions such as the Amalfi coast - just as the lemons for Malfy are!
Actual flavours: Malfy uses Italian lemons grown in coastal regions such as the Amalfi Coast and Sicily. There are 6 other botanicals including the juniper, also Italian of course.
Extra Good Stuff: The back of the bottle tells a story that I really like:
'My uncle used to "enjoy the view" looking over the Italian seacoast with his gin and tonic. He would slice a lemon from his favourite tree and splash it in his drink. Malfy marries the finest Italian coastal lemons with our family's unique gin recipe to help you "enjoy the view".
And to help us along with enjoying the view, Malfy put loads of beautiful coastal Italian scenes, drenched in sunshine, on their Instagram page. So maybe look at those when drinking this gin, so you can pretend you are in the Med rather than Medway. Or you know, wherever you happen to be.
Trivia: Malfy claim that gin began in Italy - invented by 11th Century monks on the Salerno coast. I haven't done the research required to discover if gin actually DID begin in Italy or not, because I'm committed to the gin cause, but slightly pushed for time. Still, it's nice to think of Italian monks adding 'ginepro' (juniper) to their alcohol and producing gin, before the rest of the world caught on. They probably couldn't post photos of the results on Instagram.
You Can't Judge a Bottle By It's Cover: ....but if you could, this one would be a winner. The light blue and bright yellow colours are eye catching and dazzling. The cork is shot through the middle with a light blue wax seal and the shape is of a pleasing, squat and rounded persuasion that makes one think of apothecary bottles and therefore harks back to the olden days. All in all, it's a happy display that fronts this even happier tasting gin.
Did I Like It?: Now, I don't want to get carried away or anything but if I'm absolutely honest, I think this is my new favourite gin. My previous favourite was Monkey 47, but that German delicacy has been toppled, in favour of sunshine and Italian lemons. I bought my 70cl bottle of Malfy in April and there is only about a third left. I know I should save some and drink it only on special occasions but I can't help it - it's too delicious, and goes especially well with this lovely spring weather we've been having (in between the rain showers!).
Can You Buy It?: Yes, as mentioned above, you can get your hands on a bottle at branches of Marks and Spencer, or you can buy it from the official website, although it will re-direct you to a different online shop, depending on what country you reside in.
Gin For Tea Rating: This is a tricky one. My instinct is to give it a 10, precisely because I love it so much. However, I did write above that this isn't a traditional gin, and that's true. In fact, it's SO un-gin like, and more akin to limoncello, that you can sip it quite easily. The juniper comes through, but not strongly. If I tasted it blindfold, I'm not sure I would identify that it is a gin. So taking that into account, I'm giving it a 7/10. Everything about it is delightful. But it's not really gin as I know it.
Photographs Copyright Christina Owen 2017
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Christina, 32, London. Likes gin.