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James May launches London Drizzle gin

Former Top Gear present James May has expanded his gin brand with a London Dry Gin inspired by the UK capital’s often inclement weather.

Following on from his Asian Parsnip (both regular and Navy Strength) and American Ramstud (flavoured like mustard but given an anagrammatised name in the US to avoid falling foul of labelling laws), May’s latest addition to the James Gin line plays on something many of us will experience in summer, as he explained in a video uploaded to social media:

“Our third flavour is designed to invoke the olfactory sensation that you enjoy when you walk out of your house on a hot day but it’s just started to rain very slightly.”

The “big word for it”, as May alluded to in the video, is petrichor – the term, coined by Australian scientists in 1964, refers to a smell that is released into the air from the soil when it rains. It is a combination of ozone, geosmin (a compound secreted by soil-dwelling bacteria) and volatile plant oils.

In order to capture this distinct aroma, May has turned to another root vegetable, not the parsnip this time but beetroot, which possesses a similar aromatic profile. Other botanicals include lovage, bay, orange and ginger.

A 70cl bottle of the spirit is available for pre-order for £39.

A behind the scenes video of the making of an advert for the gin has also been released on the What Next YouTube channel that May presents alongside The Grand Tour co-host Richard Hammond.

May has also been known to double in using his gins in various dishes at The Royal Oak in Swallowcliffe, which he co-owns, including in the batter for fish and chips.

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