Spirit Cartel goes double dutch with Indonesian-influenced gin and jenever

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Spirit Cartel is introducing Bobby’s Schiedam Dry Gin and Schiedam Jenever to the UK, a duo of Dutch-Indonesian hybrids that owe their existence to the 150 year-old shared history of the two countries.

Bobby’s is named after the two founders’ grandfather who emigrated to Holland in the 1950s, but who missed the taste of Indonesia and started infusing Dutch jenever with spices from his homeland. Inspired by this story, in 2014 his grandsons partnered with one of Holland’s oldest distilleries, Schiedam-based Herman Jansen, to create a bold gin using Bobby’s original ingredients. This was followed three years later with the pair’s jenever, using a new recipe nicknamed ‘The Grandsons’ Cut’.

The gin features all eight such botanicals and the jenever five. In the gin, juniper strongly anchors the liquid, while clove, cubeb pepper, cinnamon and lemongrass lend a distinctive ‘Eastern’ element. Rose hips, fennel and coriander complete the ingredients. The gin is described as being “Spicy and fragrant on the nose, with a fresh burst of citrus and herbs at first sip, with a slight hum of pepper”. The recommended garnish for a Bobby’s G&T is a clove-studded orange slice. 

With the jenever, five botanicals are used – juniper, cardamom and ginger, plus lemongrass and cubeb pepper. Based on a traditional malt wine, it’s fragrant on the nose, with a fresh burst of lemongrass and herbs at the very first sip. It’s best enjoyed neat in a tumbler – or mixed with ginger ale and a mint sprig.

David Hood, general manager at Spirit Cartel, said: “Bobby’s drinks may be crafted in the home of gin and jenever, but they beautifully incorporate Indonesian flavours to create the best of both worlds, East and West.”

Continuing and complementing this unique approach is the packaging – with bottles modelled on the classic Dutch jenever ‘kruik’ and decorated with a traditional Indonesian ‘Ikat’ pattern.  

Because of the Netherlands’ long-held relationship with Indonesia, it’s estimated that over 25% of Dutch people have family links to the country – which includes the brand’s founders, who have a Dutch father and an Indonesian mother.

Bobby’s Schiedam Dry Gin, 42%. RPP: £37.99/70cl. Bobby’s Schiedam Jenever, 38% ABV. RRP: £35.99/70cl. @BobbysGin / bobbysdrygin.com. Available via Spirit Cartel, plus Amathus and Master of Malt.