We were recently sent a bottle of North 42 Rhubarb and Blood Orange gin to review by the lovely ladies behind the North42 brand. Being fellow ‘Women in Business’ we are keen to support other women entrepreneurs and will soon be stocking North42 on our bars and at our Gin Tasting events. We thought it was great timing to be writing this blog with #InternationalWomensDay this weekend! 

Background on North 42 Gin.. 

Sally Davis and her partner Joanna Betts own the fine dining North Bar and Kitchen restaurant in the trendy West-End of Leicester, which they opened five years ago. The number 42 has been key to the brand – not only is their restaurant at 42 Hinckley Road, it opened on 4/2/2015 and the gin is 42% ABV. How cool is that?! When they opened their bar, they wanted to offer the best range of gins in the city and dreamed of one day producing their own brand of gin.

In March 2019, Sally & Joanna realised their dream of creating their own brand of gin. After successfully crowdfunding £10,000, the ladies had an initial 1000 bottles of their gin made. They then went on to crowdfund another £20,000 to produce more bottles and also raise investment for the brand. The following month, Sally was invited to speak about her crowdfunding success at a launch of the ‘Back her Business’ event – a treasury-led inquiry into the barriers faced by women entrepreneurs. Sally told the audience, how it was her dream to be stocked in Selfridges. Unknown to Sally, Sam Watts, Selfridges Birmingham General Manager, was in the audience and was so impressed by the North42 story, that she spoke to Sally after the event and offered to support them. Sam Watts commented, “Sally and Joanna were so passionate about their gin that I was really keen to bring it into the store. Our customers love an exclusive, premium product and they also love a good story behind it. The fact that we’re supporting female entrepreneurs from the Midlands is also fantastic.” Since then, Selfridges in Birmingham as well as London and Manchester are stocking North42 gin and Sally and Joanna regularly host pop-up events in the stores, where shoppers are encouraged to sample the gin before purchasing. North42 gin can be purchased from Selfridges or online from North42 at www.north42gin.co.uk.


Tasting Notes (& The Gin Kitchen’s recommended serve)…

Once poured into your glass, North42 is a beautiful dark pink.

On the nose, the fresh blood orange citrus leads, followed by the piney scent of juniper.

To taste, don’t be fooled into thinking that this is going to be a sweet-sickly-fruity tasting gin. To taste you get the initial citrus hit of the orange, followed by the fruity freshness of the rhubarb. There is also a hint of spice from the coriander seed. At a robust 42% ABV, North42 is so smooth it can be served neat over ice as a sipping gin with a slice of either dehydrated or fresh orange, as a long drink with tonic water/ginger ale or used as a cocktail base.

We tried the gin with a variety of tonics and my favourite was a good old traditional G&T using Fever-Tree Indian tonic and a dehydrated orange slice, whereas Chloe preferred hers served with Fever-Tree Mediterranean tonic. Adding tonic really brings out the juicy fresh rhubarb flavours.

The inspiration behind the gin comes from one of the bar’s best-selling cocktails, ‘The Rhubarb Tumble’. See recipe below:

25ml North42 Gin
12.5ml 40% blood orange liqueur
Ginger Ale
Crushed ice

Put crushed ice into a cocktail shaker along with a measure of North42 Rhubarb & Blood Orange Gin and a half-measure of blood orange liqueur. Shake and then pour into a low-ball glass. Top up with ginger ale and garnish with dehydrated blood orange and lime.

An impressive first launch and an exciting prospect from these Leicestershire ladies – we can’t wait to see what they come up with next! Now that we have tried their gin, we would like to try their restaurant next as the food on their website looks amazing! Check it out for yourself – www.northbarandkitchen.co.uk.

Trudi x