Kosher gin captures the flavour of Rosh Hashanah
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