The first gin to be distilled using the Juniperus Procera – a juniper berry native to the high plateaus of Kenya – Procera Gin has launched in the UK.
Having seen immediate success in London hotels and bars such as The Connaught, The Savoy, and Duke’s, Procera was “founded with a vision to bring the very best of Africa to the world”, distilled in Nairobi at 1638 metres above sea level.
Also known as African Juniper or Cedar, Juniperus Procera grows over 1,500 meters above sea level and the berries are harvested at 2,200 meters in the Kijabe Forest, just 70 kilometres from the distillery. Harvested at the end of the short rains, in the middle of the year, the equatorial, high-altitude berries provide a distinctive nutty, earthy flavour to the gin, ultimately setting the spirit apart from a crowd of commercially available gins using dry, stored, generic juniper berries.
In addition to the Juniperas Procera, Procera Gin contains nine botanicals sourced from across Africa, including Madagascan pink pepper, Moroccan orris root and coriander, Kenyan Pixie orange, Swahili lime, Somalian Acacia honey, Zanzibari cardamom and mace, and Selim pepper from Nigeria.
Once distilled, Procera Gin is ensnared in mouth-blown bottles made using recycled glass, engraved with its production number. For every bottle sold, an African Juniper tree is also planted. A small bag filled with salt and a mixture of all the dry botanicals used to produce the gin is also attached to each bottle.
Comprising one part Indian ocean sea salt and two parts botanical mix, roughly in the ratio of the gin, a small pinch is suggested as an addition to a measure of the gin, or on the tongue, to be washed down with a sip of Procera Gin and tonic, which accentuates the gin’s bright flavour profiles, with plenty of earthy juniper on the nose, joined by rich nutty aromas and a whiff of tangerine zest. Warming spices are, meanwhile, prominent on the palate, balanced by some herbal and sweet notes with juniper at the fore and woody notes which linger on the long, smooth finish. A superb martini gin, but also suited to sipping neat or as the base of a gin and tonic.
Procera Gin is available from a range of specialist retailers, including Master of Malt. RRP £69.95, 50cl.