Be seduced by the spices of the Orient

Be seduced by the spices of the Orient

A brilliant article by The Little Hedonist, original article can be found here.

With an eye for pretty things, OPIHR Oriental Spiced Gin was a pure aesthetical journey of the senses as it lay between my hands. To enhance this experience even further, it promised to lead me down the ancient Spice Route as I opened the bottle for my next adventure.

Introduction

Ever curious about gin, I recently received a stunning drop from OPIHR (pronounced {O-peer}) Gin.  A stunningly classic interpretation of a London Style Gin, this UK gin landed on South African shores towards the end of 2019.

What intrigued me even more, was their extended range of ready-mixed gin and tonics, each little bottle as intrinsically beautiful as the previous. I couldn’t wait to dive into this spice adventure, and be transported back to the time of merchants and traders.

Background

OPIHR is a legendary region famed for its wealth and riches which prospered during the reign of King Solomon. The King regularly received cargoes of gold, silver and spices from OPIHR and whilst its exact location remains a mystery, it is thought to have been in the Orient along the Ancient Spice Route – a network of sea routes that link the East with the West.

The routes stretch from the West coast of Japan through the Islands of Indonesia, around India and the Middle East – and from there, across the Mediterranean and into Europe. Traditionally merchants would travel thousands of miles along the route, trading exotic spices and botanicals from distant lands.

OPIHR Oriental Spiced Gin is crafted with a selection of exotic hand-picked botanicals, carefully chosen by OPIHR’s Master Distiller, including spicy Cubeb berries from Indonesia, Black Pepper from India and Coriander from Morocco (https://opihr.com/discover/the-ancient-spice-route/).

The range also includes a European Edition (Aromatic Bitters), an Arabian Edition (Black Lemons), and a Far East Edition, which is infused with Szechuan Pepper.

London Dry Style Gin

I’m particularly fond of a London Dry style gin. A benchmark of quality gins around the world these days, it is usually characterised by a very juniper-forward nose. In a classical sense, you may be met with a bouquet of aromatic botanicals, which could include a combination of coriander, citrus peel, cinnamon, almond or liquorice.

It is important to understand that historically, the term “London Dry” has been a quality control measurement and not a flavor profile. That is still the case today. So, although a London Dry Style gin might have a very distinct profile, the name refers to how it’s traditionally made instead.

OPIHR Oriental Spiced Gin

Add in a mix of exotic spices, including Cubeb berries from Indonesia, Black Pepper from India and Coriander from Morocco, and we have reached our destination of OPIHR’s Oriental Spiced Gin.

The bottle is a beautiful ode to the frequented sea routes of the historic explorers, with intricate map work scrawled across the back label visible from all angles. A stunning homage to the elephant is emblazoned in red across the front; a sacred symbol of good luck, power, success wisdom and experience in the Orient.

Best served with ginger ale, in fact. I also tried it with Indian tonic and a slice of juicy orange, which tempered the spice beautifully. Also great with a cinnamon quill and a sprig of fresh mint. Delightfully refreshing and aromatic, without losing that great juniper punch that any good gin delivers.

OPIHR ready-to-drink range

But then there’s more. Except for a stunningly spicy gin, infused with treasures of the Orient, OPIHR also boasts with a range of ready-to-drink stubbies.  The range includes three flavors; gin and tonic with a dash of ginger, gin, and tonic with a twist of orange and a classic gin and tonic.

Pop these in the fridge, decant into a beautiful copa de balon glass, add a bit of garnish and you’ve instantly leveled up to master mixologist. Or refresh straight from the bottle; I’ve done both. The OPIHR ready-to-drink range is probably the best pre-mixed G&T offering I’ve tasted thus far. I guess I’m just old school – I usually like my gin and tonic in two separate bottles. Having said that –  I won’t argue the undeniable practicality and convenience of these stubbies.

More than that – they look like a million dollars and taste absolutely delicious. Packaged in stylish bespoke glass bottles, these are statement pieces in perfect-serve sizes.

In conclusion

Being temporarily seduced and lead astray from my proudly South African craft gin obsession, OPIHR was a refreshing look at an international gin brand and the flavours that inspired them. A great addition to my gin cupboard and a bottle I will surely frequent often.

Thank you, team OPIHR, for the sea-farer’s journey to the Orient through your precious bottle of liquid gold!

Second photographer: The Tall Hedonist, aka Timothy P. Gibson

Disclaimer: I was given this product(s) as part of a press drop in exchange for my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated / credited, are also my own.

The Little Hedonist endorses responsible drinking.
Don’t drink and drive. Not for persons under 18.