Best of Leicester @NatterjacksBar

The Best of Leicester celebration is at full swing in Natterjacks Bar on Braunstone Gate. A full programme awaits, looking at the best in local talent and products. We popped along on the first day so discover some of the finest locally produced boozy drinks.

It was a pleasure to meet Liz from Rothley Wines and sample her wares. More on that to come in a month or so, but in the meantime well worth recommending their King Richard 2014 wine which has delicate peach and honeysuckle aromas, and a rounded peach flavour with a tart finish, a sort of deep citrusy punch, reminiscient of pink grapefruit reflective of our cooler climate here in Leicestershire. The apple mentioned on the label seems a viable observation on the finish, it leaves you with the taste of having just eaten a crisp green apple but also has a minerally, earthy note reflective of the Leicestershire hillsides with their rocky outcroppings.

The wonderful Liz from Rothley Wines

It was also a pleasure to meet the chaps from Burleighs gin and be given a real rundown of the different gins they make up in Nanpanton, near Loughborough. It’s always great to meet people who are so passionate about their products and you could really taste the quality in the Burleighs.

Look at their mini still!

Burleighs Standard

The source of Gin knowledge

An excellent quality of gin for £32.50. At 40% and with 11 botanicals it has a hefty nose of juniper. It has strong notes of the hedgerow, English burdock and orange peel predominate in the mouth.

Burleighs Export Strength
Slightly more expensive at £37.50 to reflect the higher strength of 47% this is made for cocktails, so it is a more concentrated version of the Standard giving stronger flavours – it has a similar smell, but then is extremely more herbal, more spicy and earthy, almost vegetal in the mouth. The spices are reminiscient of cloves and ginger. The staff at Natterjacks are using this in their Aviator cocktail, so you can try it for yourself.

Burleighs Distillers Cut
Another great drink, this has an increased level of the floral botanicals which gives you an aroma of the most beautiful complex wine rather than a gin and just an edge of the alcohol that is so predominant in the other gins. It has flavours of Spring – like elderflower, and it is much more open, smoother and slightly sweeter than the others with more orange on the finish. Taste fabulous with a slice of orange in a gin and tonic. The recommendation for the other gins interestingly is to serve with a slice of pink grapefruit – let me know if you’ve tried it!

So get yourself down to Natterjacks, there’s still plenty going on through the Bank Holiday weekend – cocktails today, food tomorrow (as well as the Leicester Food and Drink Festival on at the Market) and the All Day Pub Quiz on Monday, which we may not be able to resist trying out!


Bestselling author and freelance drinks writer. Champion of pubs and breweries. Occasional printmaker.

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