Match of the week | Hepple gin and venison tartare

Match of the week

Hepple gin and venison tartare

We think of gin even less than whisky as a pairing for food but with the incredible popularity of gin these days - and the need for the many new entrants to the field to create a distinctive image for their brand that could be about to change.

Last Friday I was tasting a new super-premium gin called Hepple from Northumberland with one of its creators, TV chef Valentine Warner. It’s based on juniper of course but handled slightly differently with three different distillation methods, green berries as well as riper ones along with bog myrtle, lovage, Douglas fir and citrus so it’s incredibly aromatic and herbal.

After we’d tasted its component parts we drank it as a gin and tonic (with Fevertree Naturally Light) and I had a hunch - based on gin’s compatibility with patés - it would go with the venison tartare on the menu at Wallfish Bistro where we were doing the tasting - and so it proved. I'm guessing you could also drink it neat though at 45% that might be a bit challenging. Maybe a martini.

You can currently buy it at Fortnum & Mason and drink it (cough) in my son Will’s Hawksmoor restaurants though it will be in wider distribution from early November.

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