A Martini with Hayman’s Gin

I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while.

A very good friend and reader of this blog presented me with a bottle of this gin from Haymans. I instantly loved the branding and packaging. The colours, dark blue and gold, were positively regal.

So I put the bottle in the freezer and awaiting a visit from my friend so we could have a martini (or three… oops).


This is the Family Reserve edition, where the gin has been stored in Scotch whisky barrels for three weeks prior to bottling. This mellows the drink and apparently conforms to a traditional method popular in the nineteenth century. Bottles from this limited batch are individually numbered, adding to the exclusive feel of the brand.

I loved the detail on the neck of the bottle in particular; a little flourish of olde worlde meets sharp brand new, reminiscent of the barrel and bottling process perhaps.

The gin has a distinctive taste of liquorice. Not usually my favourite botanical (I’m a citrus and juniper traditionalist), it was very smooth and rich and I definitely enjoyed it. 

I made the martinis using my usual method – keep the gin in the freezer and mix with vermouth to taste as follows:

  • between 2tsp to 30ml vermouth
  • around 80-130ml gin


I served the martini with lemon peel garnish rather than olives as I wasn’t sure the latter pairing would work, although olives were served on the side and went very well. Black olives in particular could compliment the liquorice flavour of the gin.

Other nibble dishes that could go well with this martini include asparagus, cheeses of all shapes and sizes, seafood (including the classic martini accompaniment oysters) and strongly seasoned meat, cured, fried or grilled, particularly if it incorporates liquorice or anise-type botanicals.

Because of its distinctive flavour a martini made wth this gin works well as an aperitif to build ones appetite (especially if you are a liquorice fan) but could also break martini tradition and be served as a digestif as well.

Just don’t overdo it! The rule exists for a reason, it doesn’t matter how nice the gin is.

And nice it is. You can see the full range from the traditional family distillers here.

3 thoughts on “A Martini with Hayman’s Gin

  1. Just came across this site – always nice seeing someone sharing the love for the “Silver Bullet”.
    Since I myself prefer my Martinis heavy on Juniper and Citrus too, my go-to Gins are Sipsmith V.J.O.P and Martin Miller Westbourne.
    As for the Vermouth, I stick to Noilly Prat, but happily choose Dolin if available.
    The original recipe for the Dry Martini demands Orange Bitters, Regans No.6 or Bitter Truth are the best options, in my opinion.

    Some spots for well made Martinis that I can recommend:
    – 69 Colebrook Row
    – The Star at night London Gin Club
    – The Dry Martini Bar at the Melia White House Hotel

    1. You are quite welcome,
      Especially the London Gin Club and the Dry Martini bar should be of interest to the descerning Martini connoisseur, since they are the only places in London I know of, where the bartenders will use a technique called “Cuban Rolling”, which gives the Martini an extra silky mouthfeel.

  2. Aside from the Duke’s Bar I guess most bars do not store their gin in the freezer, which is fine with me as long as they put at least the glasses there.
    I do agree that a proper Martini must be a glacier to begin with, “Cuban Rolling” though is more about the texture of the Martini and enhancing the flavours.
    Another adress I can highly recommend is the
    “Seven Stars” in Holborn they use Plymouth straight from the freezer and their homemade dishes (chicken liver pâtè, lamb meatballs) make for a nice pairing.

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