A cigar gin by Nick Hammond. Hammond is the author of Around The World in 80 Cigars. He hosts the podcast with the same name, and is a long-time Cigar Journal writer. He is also the author of Cinco Decadas: The Rise of the Nicaraguan Cigar for Joya de Nicaragua. And now he is launching a brand new cigar gin.
Hammond has personally blended the gin for luxury English label, Leggets. It is part of a new series of collaborations that will bear the Leggets x Nick Hammond label. The spirit is believed to be the first-ever gin specifically designed to accompany a fine cigar.
‘If I’m honest, I’ve never had a lot of success pairing gin and cigars in the past. Although I know a lot of cigar lovers often put the two together,’ said Hammond. ‘But it was nothing short of luck which brought me to a conversation with an eminent British gin distiller one day and it got me thinking. Since then, we’ve worked painstakingly to create something really unique; something we feel does both cigar and gin justice, without one overpowering the other.’
Oriental Cigar Gin is being produced in very small numbers. It will only be available from select stores in the UK, potentially reaching out to other nations in due course. Hammond says the exact ingredients are a closely guarded secret. He does concede that the name Oriental came about in part because of certain spices used in the blend.
‘I have some links with the East, not least because my mother was born in Darjeeling and I include a chapter on London’s Oriental Club in my last book,’ he says. ‘One of the Directors of Leggets is of Indian heritage too, so it seemed somehow natural that the gin eventually began to lean in that direction. I think it is the addition of Eastern spices – alongside the pairing back of Juniper, which I personally think ‘clangs’ quite badly with a cigar, and raising the percentage alcohol by volume – which lifts our gin into something utterly unique. You have to taste it to appreciate it.”
Other products in the Leggets x Nick Hammond collection will follow, including cigar folios and etuis, travel bags, and sporting pieces. Leggets is an English company specializing in hand-stitched English bridle leather and other beautifully crafted luxury goods.
You can read an interview with Nick Hammond on Ministry of Cigars.