Introducing April’s limited edition release, Cloud Forest Gin! This month’s release was distilled in collaboration with Samara Gin. Inspired by misty mountain tops in the rich, dense jungles of Costa Rica. Using botanicals abundant in Central America such as banana leaf, annatto seeds, orange peel and cardamom. This savoury, slightly spicy and aromatic gin pairs well with fresh citrus and crisp tonic.
Cloud Forests are unique habitats, common in Central America. Essentially rain forests at higher elevations, where the atmospheric conditions allow for a consistent cover of clouds. These misty and somewhat mysterious jungles are home to many rare and endangered animals, hidden away in dense vegetation.
There’s a heavy theme when it comes to the team developing recipes, food and travel. Once again we were dreaming of tropical shores as we crafted you another delicious spirit. Head distiller Ollie worked on this recipe in what was arguably the most depressing month. A very dark, wet and cold January in lockdown. But the delivery of banana leaves and bright red annatto seeds certainly brightened things up a Batch HQ, as did researching Costa Rican artwork for Aprils label branding.
Eduardo Montero from Samara Gin reached out to Batch Director, Phil, to see if there was any potential to work together. We believe collaboration is an important part of Innovation, so of course we said yes! While Samama Gin is produced in the UK, founders Eduardo & Ana, have taken inspiration from the botanicals and flowers of their homeland, Costa Rica, when distilling Samara Gin. Giving drinkers a a joyful way to transport themselves to the tropics of Costa Rica. If that’s not inspiration for team Batch then we don’t know what is!
Molly and Eduardo discuss Cosra Rican botanicals and how they could be used in distillation…
After a few zoom calls with Eduardo we got a feel for what might produce a tropical, Costa Rican feel in a Batch Gin. Eduardo sent us some Annatto seeds to play with. This bright red seed is native to Central America and has a peppery and slightly nutty taste, which we thought would perfectly suit our well know early spice profile.
Costa Rica is home to almost 5 million orange trees and is known across the world for its fruit and juices, so using orange peel was an obvious choice for this release. We also included cardamom, which grows in tropical areas and Costa Rica is one of the largest producers of this spice, which is often used in the cuisine.
Graphic Designer, Lady Jane, was originally looking into Costa Rican street art for inspiration when Eduardo suggested Sarchi Ox carts as a vibrant, authentic, starting point for the label artwork. Jane incorporated this traditional artwork into a toucan design, an animal which is often used as a symbol of the country. The ox cart design makes up the bold wing and bill of the toucan on the Cloud Forest label, combining two important cultural aspects. The finished label also features annatto pods, one of the more unusual botnaicals we used in distillation, which is native to Costa Rica.
See what the original ox cart designs in the clip below…
It was also while researching Costa Rican artwork and symbolism that Jane suggested we name April’s spirit, Cloud Forest, as it is the habitat of many rare and endangered wildlife.
This month’s perfect serve is, 50ml of Cloud Forest Gin, over ice with Indian Tonic. Garnished with annatto seeds (supplied in the envelope) and an orange twist.
For each release we send a mystery sample to our Club Member of the Month (MOM). We ask them to develop their perfect serve using only their expert palate. For April, we chose Mike and Amanda, who without any idea of botanicals or backstory chose this delicious serve…
If you’re looking for something a little more fruity, try this month’s cocktail Pura Vida!