Cabin Pressure Gin
Cabin Pressure gin is the brainchild of David and Emily Howard. Situated in Horsham, West Sussex, their gin is one of few to be produced on a vacuum still.
David came to the gin industry from a career in software developing. He saw a gap in the flourishing gin market for a spirit which was crafted delicately and slowly, to create flavour nuances and lifted notes which may be lost when using more traditional methods of distillation.
After months of perfecting his recipe, Cabin Pressure gin was launched on 18th March 2017 with an event at Crates Local in Horsham.
Cabin Pressure gin is lovingly produced in David and Emily’s shed…it has a hygiene rating of 5! This small scale, family approach runs throughout their business and into their gin.
Juniper from Poland
Coriander from Romania
Angelica Root from Bulgaria
Cardamom from Guatemala
Ginger from India
Liquorice Root from Spain
The botanicals and neutral grain spirit are all organic.
The six botanicals are carefully chosen, (no bad seeds or berries get past this first stage) and ground by hand in a pestle and mortar. They are macerated separately in neutral grain spirit, (NGS) for 48 hours. David distils each botanical individually on his tiny two litre nano-still. Understandably, David keeps the exact temperatures and pressures to himself, but the vacuum reduces the pressure inside the still to roughly that of if you opened the door on Concord…
Vacuum stills work by reducing the pressure inside the vessel, (which houses the NGS and botanicals) allowing the liquid to boil at a much lower temperature. This means that more delicate flavours can be extracted and that the botanicals are never overcooked or stewed by becoming too hot.
Once the spirit has evaporated, it passes through a Dimroth condenser, cooled to -20˚C.
Once David has distilled each botanical, he begins the blending process – the same as if you were producing a wine. By having separate distillates, David maintains full control and can adapt the recipe on a minute level according to any variations in the botanicals. Dried botanicals are used to avoid any major discrepancies.
The blending occurs in 25 litre batches, creating around 48 50ml bottles per run. Each bottle is hand-labelled and sealed with wax. The distinctive ceramic bottles were deliberately chosen as they protect the gin against light damage and provide a stable temperature environment.
The name Cabin Pressure comes from the gin being produced in David and Emily’s shed, (their cabin) and the fact it is distilled at low atmospheric pressure.
The hot air balloon logo and the fun, intricate graphics on the Cabin Pressure website are all drawn by David and Emily. They’re adding many new skills to their portfolio! Incidentally, their website is a wealth of information and it’s refreshing to see such dedication to explaining the processes behind the brand.
Interestingly, whilst many distilleries name their stills, David believes he would be better off naming their shed. The distillation equipment is a series of complicated separate laboratory pieces which will probably be replaced and upgraded over the coming years as time dictates. They haven’t yet named the shed, but it would be a nice touch!
Like all good distilleries, they do have a distillery dog – Ralph is a bit of a pickle!
David and Emily are keen to use the highest quality organic botanicals and to minimise their environmental impact as much as possible. If you live around the Horsham area, you can return your empty Cabin Pressure bottle to Crates Local and receive a discount on your replacement. The pubs and restaurants have returned their bottles from the beginning.
Aromas: Rich prominent soft juniper, lemony coriander and pink peppercorn at the fore. A fruity back note akin to papaya lays over a deep earthy core. Gentle liquorice warmth.
Palate: Incredibly smooth and silky. Rich, gently spiced peppercorns with smooth purple tones. Bright juniper, a touch of lemongrass and grassy spice. Great lasting length, warm but not aggressive. Refreshing palate cleansing citrus on the finish.
With Tonic: Bright, crisp zesty lime and bold juniper with a touch of sweet orange peel. Delicate, sophisticated green stalk lemon and juniper. Layered subtly. Good weight.
Garnish: A juniper berry.
I'm really impressed with the delicacy and layering of flavours whilst maintaining a solid juniper presence. The liquid is delightful and it’s brilliant to see such an exciting production method being used by a tiny distillery.