If you love lemon with your gin and you’re a fan of complex flavours, Citadelle Gin could just become your favourite drink.
Citadelle is complex and yet deliciously easy to drink, particularly with a Mediterranean tonic and a slice of lemon on a long summer evening.
It balances 19 different botanicals with juniper berries using a method called “progressive fusion”. The process, based on the methods of distilling cognac, is unique and patented to Citadelle.
“This is a method by which we respect the personality of each botanical, we don’t throw them in the maceration vat altogether,” Master Blender Alexandre Gabriel said.
“We do it one after the other, and we let it sit for a while so each one has the perfect time of infusion before it’s being distilled.
“Some botanicals need a long time to infuse, some require shorter time so this method respects all the different botanicals.”
Gabriel said he wanted to make a gin that was “beautifully intense” and that he has certainly done.
Despite the 19 botanicals, the hero of this gin is the juniper berry. Which is actually incredibly refreshing after the trend for flavoured gins. Freshness and flavour is the key to Citadelle’s success.
The company grows its own juniper berries around its chateau in Southern France. The master blenders can then pick the berries at exactly the right time to obtain the best flavour. I’d liken it to the difference between a store-bought tomato and one grown organically in your garden. The taste difference is immediately noticeable.
It’s not surprising when you realised Gabriel’s inspiration for Citadelle came from long summer holidays in France.
“I remember endless Sunday family lunches where everybody at the farm and extended family would eat and talk together,” Gabriel said.
“These lunches lasted for hours.
“Most discussions were about the quality of the food, the different dishes, how to make wine, how to distil (I learned the art of winemaking and distilling with my grandfather) and this is something that stayed with me and the heritage that inspired me to create Citadelle.”
How to drink Citadelle Gin
To appreciate the flavours of Citadelle Gabriel suggests a simple gin and tonic, with a little bit of lemon zest.
“Fill a glass with ice cubes, pour 5cl Citadelle Gin and 15cl tonic,” he said.
“Then express on top of it a lemon zest that will complement the citrus notes of Citadelle.
“You have yourself a very refreshing cocktail.”
Our you could get a little more French.
“In the southwest of France, we enjoy pairing our Citadelle Gin & tonic with fresh oysters from our region of Charente,” Gabriel said.
“The perfect French aperitif with the “ginto” as we say here.”
Need more culinary inspiration? Try these stories?