Fords Gin is distilled in London at Thames Distillers, and is a collaboration between 8th generation Master Distiller Charles Maxwell and Simon Ford of The 86 Co. The mix of 9 botanicals starts with a traditional backbone base of juniper & coriander seed that's balanced with citrus (bitter orange, lemon & grapefruit peels), floral (jasmine flower & orris) and spice (angelica & cassia). The botanicals are steeped for 15 hours before distillation in 500 liter stills.
“A JACK OF ALL TRADES” - THE STORY OF FORDS GIN
The journey to create Fords Gin began on cocktail napkins in the world’s greatest bars. As fellow bartenders, The 86 Co. founders found themselves having countless conversations with their peers about the need for a go-to- standard gin — a “Jack of All Trades”. Bartenders wanted a versatile spirit that could be used in any classic gin inspired cocktail, no matter what the recipe called for. It was this notion that lead to Simon Ford’s (one of The 86 Co.’s Principal Co-Founders) late night brainstorming sessions with top bartenders to help him crack the gin code.
With some of the biggest names in the industry by his side, Simon drew out flavor maps of botanicals on scraps of paper and then worked with them to match each one to a classic gin cocktail. These exercises began the process of determining the flavors that would be crucial to the formula and truly bring the versatility of Fords Gin to life.
As the resident “gin guru” of The 86 Co. team, Simon Ford (who for 14 years worked with Plymouth Gin) took the lead in developing The 86 Co.’s Fords Gin, wanting to develop a London Dry recipe that could work in any gin drink.
Through months of insightful research and his general knowledge of the best UK-based gin distillers, Simon found the perfect match with renowned Thames Distillery and 8th Generation Master Distiller, Charles Maxwell.
A true collaboration between two dedicated craftsman, Simon and Charles worked arduously for over two years to find the perfect balance of botanicals & oil content that would allow fords gin to shine in any cocktail and become to go-to juice for all bartenders.
The first step was sourcing the botanicals to ensure a consistent quality, which they instantly found with the world- famous Joseph Flach & Sons, a company who had been sourcing botanicals for gin houses & tea companies since the days of the British Empire. Once this was covered, they came up with the four core flavor components of the gin that would enable it to work in almost any type of cocktail —
1) Juniper & Structure
3) Spice and
With the flavor components in place, they could determine the different ratios of botanicals to alcohol that would deliver the highest oil content.
Distilling with different proportions of botanicals, they were able to test those results in a plethora of cocktails from Gin & Tonics, to Martinis, to Tom Collins, to French 75s & Negronis, all in an effort to create the most versatile gin possible.
After 81 samples, they finally settled on the award winning Fords Gin formula, resulting in the use of nine different botanicals sourced from around the world. Knowing that botanical selection alone does not make a good gin, high oil content was at the forefront of their focus, and for good reason. Today it is Fords Gin most defining components, as it gives it the ability to stand on its own as a rich and silky cocktail base for some of the more alcohol forward drinks.
The nine botanicals that make up Fords Gin — juniper, coriander, jasmine, orris, cassia bark, angelica, bitter orange, lemon and grapefruit peel — are steeped in custom made stills for 15 hours which bleeds out the botanicals’ oils, giving Fords Gin its defining weight and viscosity. At 90 proof, Fords Gin is juniper-forward, yet deceptively soft, aromatic, fresh and floral with elegant notes of orange blossom that come together in a harmonious blend of citrus and juniper. Each ingredient decidedly blends together to create the perfect base for any gin inspired cocktail.
Fords Gin is a true work of craftsmanship. The time, love and labor that was put into making this full-bodied gin is evident in its taste, style and overall versatility in cocktails. The 86 Co. relied on the same mentality it was founded on to create Fords Gin — “what does the bartender want?” — and its final result answered the question perfectly. Fords Gin is a workhorse, a jack of all trades gin that gives the bar professional the tools to execute all of his gin based cocktails flawlessly.
ABOUT MASTER DISTILLER CHARLES MAXWELL & THE THAMES DISTILLERY
The Thames Distillery has been making gin in London since the 1700s. 8th Generation Master Distiller Charles Maxwell, a descendant the 17th Century Distillery, has inherited one of the oldest unbroken family involvements in gin distilling history. The accrued knowledge of 300 year’s experience, along with the unique family recipes of esoteric botanicals, has given Charles the unwavering ability to consistently produce truly fine gins.
FORDS GIN FACT SHEET
ABOUT FORDS GIN
Versatility, approachability and quality were the three core requirements when The 86 Co. set out to make its London Dry, award winning Fords Gin.
Distilled in London at Thames Distillers, Fords Gin is a collaboration between 8th generation Master Distiller, Charles Maxwell, and Simon Ford of The 86 Co. Fords Gin is made up of a thoughtful mix of 9 botanicals sourced from around the world.
It starts with a traditional base of juniper & coriander seed and is balanced by citrus, orals and spices that are steeped for 15 hours before being distilled.
The resulting gin is juniper-forward, aromatic, fresh and oral with elegant notes of orange blossom that come together in a harmonious blend of citrus and juniper. Each ingredient decidedly blends together to create the perfect base for any gin inspired cocktail.
WHERE IT’S MADE
17th Century Thames Distillery in London
8th Generation Master Distiller Charles Maxwell
THE FORDS GIN CORE FLAVOR PROFILE
The nine botanicals of Fords Gin: juniper, coriander, jasmine, orris, cassia bark, angelica, bitter orange, lemon and grapefruit peel, make up the gin’s four core avor components.
JUNIPER & STRUCTURE: Juniper makes up almost half of the entire Fords Gin recipe and is the driving avor across the board. The coriander added makes the gin savory by bringing the juniper out of the olfactory and planting it firmly on the tongue. Theses two botanicals give Fords Gin its main avor base & structure.
FLORALS: Aromatics are the key to making quality gin. The added jasmine owers softens the sharp needle of the juniper on the nose and the orris rounds it out by bringing notes of raspberry and violets to the forefront.
SPICE: A mix of sweet & earthy spices is added to balance out the avor pro le on the palette. The cassia bark gives zestiness and sweetness, while the angelica brings out an earthiness to the palette as well as a bitter dryness.
CITRUS: The citrus in Fords Gin is used to balance the avor- forward juniper found throughout. Lemon brightens the overall mix while orange adds a sweet bitterness. Grapefruit peel is the pivotal ingredient as it lends brightness and pithiness to the gin, which allows Fords Gin to work so well in cocktails that use lemon or lime juice equally.
SOURCING OF INGREDIENTS
All of the nine botanicals used in the making of Fords Gin are sourced from Joseph Flach & Sons, a company that has been importing herbs & spices from around the world and to London for over 125 years. Fords Gin’s botanicals come from:
- Angelica: Poland
- Bitter Orange: Haiti/Morocco
- Cassia: Indonesia
- Coriander Seed: Romania
- Grapefruit Peel: Turkey
- Jasmine: China
- Juniper: Italy
- Lemon Peel: Spain
- Orris Powder: Italy/Morocco
HOW IT IS MADE
STEEPING: The nine botanicals that make up Fords Gin are steeped in stills for 15 hours to soften them and bring out more flavors.
Because of this 15-hour process, the botanicals bleed out most of their oils giving Fords Gin weight & viscosity, and most importantly, one of its de ning characteristics.
DISTILLATION: Fords Gin is distilled in custom made stills, crafted by the legendary John Dory still making company for the Thames Distillery. Appropriately named Tom Thumb and Thumberlina, these 500-liter stills each produce a 200-liter batch of Fords Gin.
FINAL STEP: After the distillation process, Fords Gin is shipped to Mendocino County, California, where the gin is cut with water, giving it its nal layer of quality and is then sent o for bottling.
NOSE: Very pleasant, bright & aromatic. The juniper, coriander and angelica root are up front with developing layers of citrus, jasmine and hints of vanilla in the back.
FRONT OF PALATE: A light sweetness on the tip of the tongue and gentle introduction of the orris and angelica root botanicals to follow.
MID-PALATE: A prominent mid-palate presence that is deceptively soft with juniper oils on the center tongue and full aroma on the top palate. The citrus oils excite the side palate beautifully and the under tongue stays dry but animated. An excellent mid-palate structure to serve as a base for mixing gin drinks.
BODY OR MOUTH FEEL: Medium body with a fresh mouth feel
FINISH: A long, rich lingering nish of grapefruit and juniper with a balance of oral notes.
SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE:
1 Liter: $34.99
750 ml: $27.99
Please Drink Responsibly. Fords Gin®. Product Of England. 45% Alc./Vol. Distilled From Grain. ©2014 Imported By The 86 Co., Miami, Fl