Nothing says slow love like a hand-crafted gift--whether it is a piece of pottery, a length of woven linen, or, to my recent amazement, a bottle of gin. My wonderful host in Victoria, B.C., Valerie Murray, made a quick detour on the way to the airport and whisked me out to the family distillery, Victoria Gin. Their spirits had been featured in cocktails at the previous evening's dinner--and the guests were rapturous.
great recipes on their website, for food as well as drink. After this sodden week I'm liking the sound of a hot mug of Alchemist's Brew.
This really is a family affair. Valerie's husband Bryan presides over Victoria Gin, when he isn't too busy practicing medicine--he is a GP.
the impressive Butchart gardens--to say nothing of tending her own romantic horticultural spill). The wood-fired still is a thing of beauty; they make their spirits in small batches. Valerie is a design nut; even the bottles looked gorgeous, and the labels were properly idiosyncratic and eye-catching. I was shaken and stirred.
Victoria Gin is an outfit that, as they say, embodies Victoria the Eccentric, not Victoria the Staid. The company produces about 12,000 bottles annually, and distribute all over Canada--lucky if you happen to live there. Time for them to move into the United States. I would imagine that vodka made from hemp would be a huge hit in San Francisco--to say nothing of New York City. Are you listening, Chez Panisse? You there, Per Se? This is my kind of foraging for ingredients....