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By Michael Hepworth

France is not really known at all as a producer of Gin, but two additions to the gin market both from France that I recently became aware of should make consumers take note pretty quickly. Both gins are well worth checking out, and which of the two you prefer will depend on personal tastes.  Citadelle comes from the sea port of Dunkirk from a recipe originating in the 18th century. Dunkirk is famous of course for the 2nd World War evacuation of the British Army in thousands of vessels of all sizes. The French distillers Carpeau and Stival took spices from the Orient and Africa and distilled them in 12 copper mills at the Citadelle Distillery.

Today, Citadelle Gin is wheat based and triple distilled, harvested in the Beauce region and brewed with natural spring water. The spices are placed in a special protective bag, and at the fourth distillation at the Cognac Ferrand Estate, the 19 botanicals are carefully infused to create Citadelle Gin. A list of the botanicals reveals a diverse Geographical base: coriander (Morocco), orange peel(Mexico), cardamom and nutmeg (India), licorice (China), cubeb pepper (Java),juniper, savory, violet and star anise (France), fennel (Mediterranean), iris (Italy), cinnamon (Sri Lanka), almonds and lemon rind (Spain), cassia (Indo China), angelica (Germany), grains of paradise(West Africa) and cumin from Holland. The Citadelle Gin Reserve 2009 priced at $40 has just been released, and is the only gin in the world aged for 5 months in small oak casks in the Cognac region. Each cask used for aging is discarded after bottling, making it an expensive gin to produce.

G’ Vine is another French Gin also from the Cognac region but differs from Citadelle in subtle ways, coming from the Ugni Blanc grape and not wheat. This is a full bodied gin that was launched in 2006 that goes well with cocktails and is quite versatile and which has a high alcohol content of 43.9%. The botanicals used for this gin are ginger root, liquorice, green cardamom, cassia bark, coriander, juniper berries, cubeb berries, nutmeg and lime. The botanicals are infused over a two to five day process and distilled in the Unit Blanc grape neutral spirit. A fifth and final distillation sees the green grape flower essence added to the process and copper pot distilled one more time to produce G’Vine, and considered a sophisticated and sexy gin.  In 2008 G’Vine gin was named best distilled Gin in the world by Drinks International, a global authority in the industry.

Fact Sheet


Citadelle Gin   $25    

Website: www.citadellegin.com


G’Vine              $35    

Website: www.g-vine.com



1 ½ oz Citadelle Gin

¾ oz lemon juice

1 oz syrup

1 small egg white

Club Soda


Shake all ingredients with ice until fully mixed. Strain neat into a highball glass with no ice, top with club soda.












































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