Kosher gin cap­tures the flavour of Rosh Hashanah

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY NEWS - BY BARRY TOBERMAN

A NORTH Lon­don-based gin afi­cionado be­lieves he has come up with the ul­ti­mate Rosh Hashanah tip­ple — a kosher ap­ple and honey gin.

Since be­com­ing in­volved in the drinks world while liv­ing in Barcelona, it has been Mike Braff’s am­bi­tion to re­lease his own gin.

The dream be­came a re­al­ity on the back of the pop­u­lar­ity of the UK mi­cro dis­til­leries — whose gins he im­ported to Spain, where he es­tab­lished a mixol­ogy group and the Gin Route “for cor­po­rates and tourists to try out gins at dif­fer­ent venues”.

Since re­turn­ing to the UK in 2016 — “my mother isn’t get­ting any younger and I wanted to spend more time with her” — the Has­monean old boy has run gin cruises and mixol­ogy events.

The idea of a kosher gin was pro­gressed through a re­la­tion­ship be­tween his com- pany Hal­cyon and the award-win­ning Batch mi­cro dis­tillery in Burn­ley. “Batch is not well known in the south so from their point of view, it helps to get the name known.” The 57-year-old be­lieves the ap­ple and honey gin is a world first. He de­scribed it as “finely bal­anced and easy to drink on its own. I didn’t want a syrupy gin — I wanted a fully fledged gin.” It has been pro­duced un­der Manch­ester Beth Din su­per­vi­sion.

Mr Braff noted sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­est among young Jews for gin, whether drunk neat, with tonic, or in cock­tails. His prod­uct has been taken up by kosher stores in Tem­ple For­tune, Stamford Hill, Edg­ware and Manch­ester. The lim­ited edi­tion was launched to “a re­ally favourable re­sponse” among the 400-plus turnout at the Gin in the Park event he or­gan­ised in North Lon­don last month. Or “gin in the house”, as the tast­ing fair be­came when tor­ren­tial rain set in. Hav­ing re­cently joined Finch­ley United Sy­n­a­gogue, he can spread the word among con­gre­gants over Yom­tov. Mean­while, his 28-year-old daugh­ter Amana is main­tain­ing the busi­ness in Spain — “it is easy sell­ing gin and ton­ics to ex-pats”.

Mike Braff show­ing a lot of bot­tle

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