Taste test: Saffron Gin

Updated 21 March: The experts at Gabriel Boudier have been in touch to confirm that Saffron gin does contain juniper. Happy to put the record straight.


Now here’s an interesting prospect – the delicately elusive and exotically expensive spice saffron, coupled with that refreshing taste of summer, gin.

Apparently this French colonial recipe of eight natural botanicals has been rediscovered by France’s leading micro-distiller Gabriel Boudier of Dijon and is being promoted as  a Mother’s Day gift for something a bit different

Gabriel Boudier is a leading micro-distiller in Dijon France with a reputation for fine spirits since 1874.

When the producers of this gin got in touch to see if I’d like to taste it, I was intrigued. And when I got a look at the contents of the bottle it was clear this is no ordinary tipple – it’s orange in colour.

To my mind, drinks that are orange are generally reserved for children, or the sick – think squash or lucozade -or even everyone’s favoured hangover cure, Irn-Bru.

But don’t be fooled, this is a far more delicate shade of orange and just as delicate and sophisticated in flavour.

Tweeting about this taste test prompted some discussion about whether a distilled drink without juniper can rightly be called a gin.

That’s a point the wikipedia entry for gin also supports, suggesting the tipple should have a predominently ‘juniper’ flavour. As noted above, the gin does contain juniper even if the flavour isn’t dominant.

Verdict: This tipple definitely doesn’t have that dominant flavour, or aroma, but is instead an unusual and light taste, an extremely dry drink and an interesting alternative.

* You can buy it online at www.thedrinkshop.com priced at £27.39.