Let the fun be gin

Riddle tries the newest addition to the Manchester Gin family

Review by Catherine Ferguson

When Riddle first dipped their toes into Manchester Gin, everything was shiny and new.  The going was good with a small batch gin made with local botanicals in their three stills, Emmeline, Wendy and Victoria.  In fact, the going was really good, but there was a sense even bigger and better things were still to come.  

Oh how right we were.  Not only have they jumped from producing 100 bottles a month in their living room to 80,000 a year, they’ve also just opened ‘Three Little Words,’ their own cocktail bar in the disused railway arches of Deansgate, and have a range of five impressive gins to boot.

The latest addition to the Manchester Gin family is a glorious nod to one of the city’s most iconic venues of all time.  Award-winning distillers, Seb Heeley and Jen Wiggins have joined forces with Peter Hook to create a partnership celebrating the city’s rich cultural spirit and lasting impact on house and dance music around the world.  And so…Manchester Gin – FAC51 The Haçienda was born.

If anyone can bring the Haçienda spirit to life and choose the perfect botanicals to celebrate the acid house movement, it’s Joy Division and New Order legend, Peter Hook.  Manchester Gin’s much lauded, locally foraged dandelion and burdock botanicals remain at the heart of the Haçienda blend, but there’s a perfect equilibrium with the lemon and lime peel, bringing a blast of citrus and zestiness next to a burst of juniper.

The creation of the gin was a family affair for Mr Hook.  “The whole process was brilliant,” he said.  “I wanted to choose ingredients for the gin that told a story of the Haçienda – I love the reference to acid house and smooth notes.  But, while I was there for the selection of the ingredients, I had to leave the final tasting and approval to my wife.”  

While the gin itself is a plucky little number, so too is the bottle and I’m a sucker for a great design.  The label has been reimagined in the instantly-recognisable Haçienda colours and style.  Each label has been assigned its own ‘HAÇ’ number in place of batch numbers, with HAÇ13 using the hallmark yellow and black stripes as the label backdrop and HAÇ15 using the celebrated “Use Hearing Protection,” poster image.

If it wasn’t already obvious, this adopted Mancunian is a very big fan.  Now all I need to do is rummage through the record box for some Hacienda classics as the soundtrack to my perfect Northern G&T. riddle_stop 2

Enquiries: Manchester Gin/ manchestergin.co.uk

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