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Much more than just a number

PUBLISHED: 12:02 30 May 2013 | UPDATED: 16:17 31 May 2013

No.3, the London Dry Gin

No.3, the London Dry Gin

No.3, the London Dry Gin

Much more than just a number

A certain number looms large in everything to do with No.3, the London Dry Gin from Berry Bros. & Rudd, Britain’s oldest wine and spirit merchants (established in 1698) and also by appointment to both HM The Queen and The Prince of Wales.

From the fact that it is named after Berrys’ home, No.3 St. James’s Street and the merchant’s three centuries of heritage, through to its use of just three fruits and three spices (the ‘botanicals’ which flavour every gin), the significance of the number to this premium gin is inescapable. In fact, though purely by coincidence, even the team of outside experts who Berrys gathered to help create the gin was comprised of three men and three women.

Led by the holder of the world’s only PhD in gin flavour, Dr. David Clutton, the team deliberately set out to make No.3 taste ‘as gin should’ – without the use of an excessive amount of ingredients and distilled in traditional copper pot stills without any over-elaboration. So, with classic simplicity the goal, the experts placed a robust helping of juniper – the key ingredient in any gin - at the ‘heart’ of No.3. This striking juniper quality was then cleverly complemented by just 5 other fruits and spices; namely, sweet Spanish orange peel, grapefruit peel, Angelica root, Moroccan coriander and, finally, cardamom seeds (see notes to editors).

Limiting the ingredients bucked the current multi-botanical trend (anywhere between 8 and 12 is common) and instead harked back to a traditional taste of gin – fittingly, given its maker’s impressive history. The mix of these fresh and crisp flavours, led by juniper and combined with a strength of 46%, has resulted in an end product that Berrys call the ‘last word’ in gin for the classic Dry Martini - as well as that ‘everyday’ gin cocktail favourite, the G&T.

No.3 comes in a handsome high-shouldered green bottle with a key set into its glass. The inspiration for the key comes from that used to open the door of ‘The Parlour’ – one of the oldest rooms in the Berry Bros. & Rudd shop, which has stood in St. James’ since 1698. Notable dignitaries who have dined there over the centuries include Lord Byron, Napoleon III and William Pitt. Setting off the stylish look of the bottle is a traditional cork stopper, sealed with a light foil wrap.

No.3 is available at Sainsbury’s and Waitrose stores nationwide, as well as at Selfridges and Harvey Nichols; RRP of £35.00 for a 70cl bottle.

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