As the night’s draw in and the debate about the heating schedules begin anew, a Pembrokeshire gin specialist has a tasty treat to tantalise the tastebuds and soothe the soul.
Golden Road Gin was launched in the warmer days of the summer and has already secured a Great Taste Award and exhibited at the Speciality and Fine Food Fair.
The copper pot gin, created from 100% natural botanical ingredients, is distilled close to the heart of Pembrokeshire’s Preseli Hills and is the result of 18 months of hard work behind the scenes for husband and wife team Phil and Jennifer Wheeler.
The gin is named after the historic “Golden Road” route which dates back some 5,000 years and is now a well-trodden, 7-mile moorland route for ramblers and fans of the great outdoors.
However, once a bracing walk is over, what better way to warm up in front of a roaring fire than with a carefully crafted gin cocktail, which Phil and Jen have named, a “Hector’s Bramble” after their loveable basset hound.
Here’s the recipe, as devised by Phil and Jen and “supervised” by Hector:
Golden Road Gin – 50ml
Blackberry Liqueur – 12.5ml
Blackberries – 2 Muddled
Lemon Juice – 25ml
Simple Syrup – 5ml
‘Place the ingredients (except the garnish) into a jug or something similar, you just want to make sure you have enough room to give everything a good stir, explains Phil.
‘Then just add ice, stir until cool, sieve into a glass and serve with a garnish of blackberries.’
The Golden Road, which winds close to the couple’s distillery, has views that reach as far across the waters as Ireland, has been home to bronze age burial mounds, smugglers and if legends are to be believed, the final resting place of the legendary King Arthur.
‘Pardon the pun but we are “steeped” in history here,’ says Phil, who together with former chef Jen embarked on their artisan gin journey back in 2022.
‘We also love a sense of adventure and an unashamed pursuit of fun and freedom, so naming the gin after this incredible trail seemed pretty apt and the cocktail has to be named after Hector because he insisted!’
As for the gin itself, the unmistakable taste of juniper provides that quintessential gin essence, with citrus notes of orange and lemon following, offering a zesty height that invigorates the senses.
The unexpected twist of pink peppercorns introduces a mildly spicy and aromatic nuance which is mellowed by the gentle presence of bay. Finally, an infusion of a secret tea blend adds a delicate flavour that adds a layer of complexity with subtle floral notes.
As these flavours begin to meld, the finish is beautifully punctuated by a gentle sweetness, reminiscent of a serene twilight. This lingering sweetness offers a counterbalance to the spice, wrapping the experience in a velvety embrace. The journey of savoring Golden Road Gin remains etched in memory long after the glass is empty.
Jen Wheeler concludes;
‘The goal was to create a craft gin that evokes a feeling of relaxed adventure and refreshing smoothness and I think we’ve done just that.
‘We’ve been hugely supported by the amazing team at In The Welsh Wind distillery who have worked with us from the moment we said “wouldn’t it be fun if we created our own gin?” so our massive thanks go to them and indeed to our neighbour Sally who introduced us.
‘Of course, we don’t insist you go rambling over 7 miles of moorland to enjoy the cocktail, I find it works just as well alongside a good book in a cosy corner somewhere!’