August is disappearing faster than the list of gins I want to write about, how do I even go about choosing which ones to cut from the list, and which of the unopened, hoarded, bottles will stay that way until the next occasion to drink them finally comes along? It's a lot to think about on a Wednesday evening.
What I really haven't done yet though is fully share my enthusiasm for all things Tanqueray, high on the list of gins I want to try is their Old Tom, there's standard (not a word that does it justice) Tanqueray which is very much a favourite, the lavishly awarded Tanqueray Ten which really is phenomenally good, and then there's Tanqueray Rangpur.
Rangpur has its doubters, but I'm not one of them. Rangpur limes are apparently a bit special (extra juicy as far as I can tell) and here they're distilled along with the other botanicals to create a gin that really delivers on both the citrus and juniper fronts. Lime, lovely zesty lime, really dominates the nose but there's plenty of juniper punch in the palate - so basically my favourite style of gin (juniper forward) with a hefty dose of something else I really like (lime) for good measure in a crisp clean gin which makes an excellent G&T. A few customers have assured me that it's great with ginger as well but I like it so much with tonic that I've felt no need to explore further.
Tanqueray Ten does something sort of similar (and I accept that it might just do it with more finesse) with Mexican limes, and grapefruit, but Tanqueray Ten feels like the gin equivalent of a Bentley and sometimes a prefer the friskier Rangpur. In the end it comes down to personal taste, and this one ticks all the boxes for me. It's easy to recommend 'Ten', I never doubt its ability to live up to expectations, but I get enthusiastic about Rangpur in a different way, and just a little defensive when people say they don't see the point of it. Other gin drinkers will have to make up their own minds!
The book I would currently pair with it (I have happy recent memories of doing just that) is Eric Ambler's Passage of Arms. It's the extra lime that makes me think particularly of anywhere Eastern, and Tanqueray has been around long enough (even if this expression hasn't) to feel like it would have been quite at home in that post colonial world. It would be just the thing to cut through the sultry heat, would do well in a Singapore sling, and just looking at the bottle is making my fingers itch to reach for the next Ambler on the pile.