Of all the gins I've met I think the current bottle for Bramley and Gage's 6 O'Clock gin has to be the prettiest. It's a smooth gin, with plenty of juniper upfront (which is how I like it) and a pleasing citrus edge to it as well. I'm currently sipping one with fever trees lemon tonic which is entirely satisfactory and may be helping me believe in the detectable presence of elderflower as a botanical. Or that could be me getting carried away in the moment. There is a 6 O'Clock tonic to, ive not tried it myself, and not been encouraged to by anyone I know who has, but the attention to detail is impressive, and if I see some I'll pick it up and see for myself what it's like.
Either way 6 O'Clock is a very satisfactory gin that more than lives up to its packaging, I've seen it described as 'summery' in a few places, which is an intriguing idea (are there seasonal gins? I suppose there might be) but as I first fell for it in winter m not setting much store by that.
Bramley and Gage, who might be better known for there excellent fruit liquors are a Bristol based company which may be why they've decided to embrace blue glass. I love the apothecarys shop feel of it, complete to the glass stopper. It's much better than the old clear bottle with a sticky blue label on it. (The labels peel off so eventually I'll end up with a useful, pretty, label free, bottle which is another bonus). The whole thing says drink me...
With that and the clockwork/time theme it's hard not to think of Alice in Wonderland (although if I was better acquainted with steam punk as a genre I might have some other ideas). Certainly as I continue to sip my glass as the last of the twilight fades into a sultry August night, and the bats come out, it seems like an appropriate time for fantastic tales - and maybe Chinese lanterns, silk cushions, oriental rugs to lounge on in scent filled gardens (though I suppose that leans more towards Oscar Wilde or someone equally decadent, and none of it reflects the actual state of my flat.)
The 'drink me' feel of the bottle also has me thinking of what to serve my gin in. If it was a mad hatters gin party than tea cups would be de rigueur. I'm currently using a copa glass (Increasingly popular in the UK), it could easily have been a tumbler. The advantage of a copa is that you hold the stem which means your hand can't warm the contents of the glass, the disadvantage is that it's huge so it's to easy to pour a much larger than intended drink, and after a larger than intended drink they're easier to knock over. Tumblers are fine, but it's worth remembering that one of the key things with any cocktail is generally to keep it cold, and icy tumblers leave wet rings on everything (these are real, if not very serious, problems). Tea cups, as long as they're not clumsy mugs, are on consideration quite a practical way to drink gin. They're not to big, the handles stop you getting the drink warm, or if it's a toddy type drink stop you burning your hands, and they're pretty. Jam jars might make an acceptable makeshift cocktail shaker, but drinking out of them is basically wrong. A good drink deserves a bit more ceremony and respect than a jam jar can provide.