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Want to sip G&Ts without the hangover? This 12% gin might do the trick

Want to sip G&Ts without the hangover? This 12% gin might do the trick
Quarter might have found the perfect middle ground between a spirit and alcohol-free drink with its delicious 12% ABV gin

When I first came across Quarter gin (£27, Quarterproof.com) and read about the idea, 我心想: “为什么 spirits so strong?”

Everyone’s first experience of tasting spirits is most likely the same: a small sip incurs an indescribably ugly face full of disgust, along with a burning sensation, while you try desperately not to spit it back out. Let’s be honest. Even as an adult, I still feel like this about whisky – and I’m not sure if I’ll ever change my mind on that one. 对不起, Scottish heritage.

那 “burningsensation is owed to the alcohol content, also known as the ABV (which stands for alcohol by volume). Having an ABV of 37 per cent plus for most spirits is – when you stop to think about it – quite extreme, especially considering most wines range from around 8 至 15.

Low ABV drinks have been fast gaining traction in the drinks world, and are finally being taken seriously. Quarter contains one quarter of the usual ABV of gin. This makes it too high to be considered a truly low ABV drink, as these usually sit between 0.5 per cent and 0 per cent ABV.

反而, Quarter is somewhere in the middle. Or perhaps that’s a quarter of the way: not totally zero, but also not the full whack; it calls itself alight gin”. So as a gin lover, I’ve taken it upon myself to put it to the test.

我们如何测试

Before trying it in a mixed drink, I sipped the gin neat in order to really understand its flavour profile.

Then I poured my G&T using Quarter in the same way I usually would; a huge ice cube in a tumbler with a decent European measure of gin, topped with tonic water. I used a classic Fever-Tree tonic here, as I didn’t want it to overpower the flavour of the gin I was trying to taste.

Quarter gin

立即购买 £27, Quarterproof.com

首先, I know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but Quarter has absolutely nailed its branding. It’s clean cut and simple yet very aesthetically pleasing, with a bright and bold colour choice that immediately makes me think of oranges, which also happens to be its signature flavour. When you’re in a market like gin, which is already so saturated, it really helps to make your product look different.

Which brings me to the gin itself. Lower ABV drinks have been steadily gaining traction for a handful of years now, with the likes of vermouths happily teetering around the periphery of the mainstream drinks world, almost getting a decent slice of the consumer pie. These low- and no-alcohol drinks even have their own space in the drinks aisle in supermarkets now, and many of the big drinks brands have brought out their own versions, from beers to wines. The first wave of these was mediocre at best, but now many of them stand on their own as proper replacements.

虽然 Quarter is not a “low ABV”, it’s not the full-blown 37per cent either. I had some reservations about how a spirit that only had 12 per cent ABV could still taste like a traditional gin. Could it really get that junipery flavour we all love in something that’s got far less alcohol in it? It turns out the answer is yes. Even during my sip test, it tasted like a gin: a very citrusy one. There wasn’t a hint of a scrunched up face, nor a burning sensation in my mouth, either.

Created by founders Fabian and Rohan, who enlisted the help of ex-Diago head distiller Anthony Wilson, Quarter took a year to make. After more than 70 different creations, this is the finished product. Their aim was to produce something lower in alcohol content, with the idea of being able to drink more (好, four times more, as it’s a quarter of the strength) than if you were drinking a regular, 37 per cent gin. 当然, that doesn’t mean you need to drink four times more, just that that would be an equal amount.

Quarter’s light gin still has that classic London dry gin flavour that’s so recognisable in your G&吨. It is also infused with some of my favourite gin botanicals including citrus and coriander. On the nose, it’s undoubtedly full of orange, and it uses the juice from sweet, southern Spanish examples for a little sweetness. They are hand peeled and then their peel is dried under the Mediterranean sun, and also used in the drink. Delicious.

Next up in the list of botanicals is grapefruit, which is more bitter, balances out the orange and adds that real zingyness. An earthy note comes from the angelica root, which also has a hint of woodiness and bitterness. Bringing even more citrus is the coriander seed, which also provides a hint of nuttiness that rounds off the flavour profile, giving balance.

It’s a fresh, fruity and refreshing gin that is perfect for summer, although I can see it still being one to reach for around the festive season too, thanks to its strong orange flavour. Plenty of thought has gone into what it doesn’t have, 也: it’s vegan and free from gluten and sugar.

It’s undoubtedly a gin, 尽管. If you gave it to me in a blind test in a G&T against other, full-strength gins, I think I’d struggle to tell you which one had the much lower ABV content. The only giveaway is likely to be when sipping it neat. What I do really like is that when you’re drinking this you don’t feel like you’re “missing out” on anything – the “thing” being the gin flavour. And that’s thanks to the excellent distilling and well-balanced botanicals.

Quarter also has sustainability in mind, as most new and young brands do, and it’s pledged to donate 1 per cent of its profits to the charity 1% For The Planet, a non-profit that supports efforts to help the climate crisis. Keeping with its namesake theme, it will choose to support a different charity every quarter of the year, from a different quarter of the world.

判决: Quarter gin

给我, this seems like the future of spirits. The issue with low-ABV examples has always been getting that gin-like flavour, so it feels and tastes like you’re still drinking a cracking G&吨. There’s no missing out here, and you’re not inducing a hangover, as who wants that? We’re not 21 anymore – they hit harder than they used to.

It’s quite amazing that this is the first of its kind, and the middle market has remained untapped until now. So I’m raising a glass to Quarter’s light gin – thank you for bridging that gap.

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