Wednesday, February 21, 2024

James Martin Motors Into Gin – TV Chef’s 44% Silky Smooth Spirit

Matthew Steeples samples petrolhead and television chef James Martin’s London Dry Gin and finds tradition with a twist dominates in his punchy 44% ABV tipple

In recent months, I’ve reviewed new gins from historic landed estates such as Goodwood and ones from recently created small-scale distilleries and vineyards such as Terlingham and Bone Idyll. In a once staid sector that now surprisingly keeps growing and growing, there is clearly room for all sorts of varietals, so my next sampling had to be from a favourite television personality of mine, the cheery chappy and North Yorkshire born chef James Martin.


50-year-old Martin – who anchored BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen for ten years from 2006 to 2016 and whom now has an equally popular ITV1 series, James Martin’s Saturday Morning – is a farmer’s son and trained as a chef at the Hostellerie De Plaisance, Saint-Émilion in France.


He went on to appear on television shows from 1996 onwards and won a Michelin star at a restaurant he opened at The Talbot Hotel in Malton, North Yorkshire in 2012. Subsequently came a range of premium wines produced in in the village of Névian near Narbonne in the Corbières region of France in 2021 and then also a gin.


Described as a “rich flavoured gin” and a “truly proper gin” in marketing material, the chef’s eponymous spirit is made in Holland with grain spirit and, as it should be, the dominant botanical is most definitely juniper.


Featuring a total of eleven botanicals, the 44% ABV offering has notes of coriander, angelica and orris, but it is the ginger, lemongrass and limoncello lemon zest that gives it a taste that will appeal to both the traditional ‘Gin & Jag’ set as much as this renowned petrolhead’s much younger ‘Insta Influencer’ fans.


Of his gin, in a video introduction at the time of launch, Martin suggested:


“I worked on it for about a year… I’ve blended a whole range of different botanicals, eleven different botanicals in this gin and I’m really proud of it.”


“It’s just won its first award in Vegas [in 2021]. We sent a bottle out there not knowing what we were going to get and it came back with a gold award… As it says on the bottle, it’s my own gin, try it.”


To purchase a 50cl bottle of James Martin’s London Dry Gin for £39.95 (tax and shipping included), click here. Follow on Twitter at @jamesmartinsgin.


Editor’s Note – Unlike as is the case in many publications, this article was NOT sponsored or supported by a third-party. Follow Matthew Steeples on Twitter at @M_Steeples.


Botanicals featured in this handmade small batch, 44% ABV spirit include organic juniper, coriander, angelica, orris, as well as Valencia orange peel and limoncello lemon zest. Ginger, pine, lemongrass and a “few secret ingredients” are also included. It is lauded as a “silky smooth, flavor rich gin.”
Marketing material
The television chef has joined many other personalities who have ventured into the booze business. George Clooney has made more money from his tequila, Casamigos, than he has in acting (the brand was sold to Diageo for US$1 billion), and Robert De Niro has indulged in vodka making in a partnership that created Vdka 6100.
Car collection Jodie Kidd
As obsessed with cars as he is with food, James Martin has a £5 million collection of motors that, when featured in an article in ‘The Sun’ last June, included an Audi RS e-tron GT, a Bentley Continental, an all-wheel-drive John Deere Gator, a Ferrari 275 GTB, a Ferrari 288 GTO, a Ford Escort MK1 rally car , a Ford GT40, a classic Land Rover Range Rover, a Mercedes-Benz R127 SL, two Mini Cooper S rally cars, a Shelby Mustang 350 and two Subaru Impreza rally cars.
Saturday Morning
The chef currently presents ‘James Martin’s Saturday Morning’ weekly on ITV1.
His gin, James Martin’s London Dry Gin, features in a 11:10-minute video review that was shared on YouTube last year by the popular vloggers ‘The Ginfluencers UK.’ The pair describe the gin as “herby” and “a savoury gin” that is “fresh and warming.” They suggest “it would be amazing with food” and “having enough power to cut through a lot of food flavours.”
Matthew Steeples
Matthew Steeples
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Matthew Steeples is a writer and marketing consultant. He conceived The Steeple Times as a media arena to fill the void between the Mail Online, The Huffington Post and such organs as the New York Social Diary in 2012.


  1. James Martin is a brick and always reliable for great recipes. I bet his gin is great too. I note the bottle is only 50cl however. Don’t they do standard 70cl and even 1 litre bottles? 50cl wouldn’t last me and my household half an hour!


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