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Highclere Castle Gin Releases a Barrel-Aged Gin  

Celebrate with a Gin Cocktail Tribute to the Immortal Empire

3,300 years have gone by since King Tut’s Reign over the New Kingdom. One hundred years have passed since Howard Carter and the 5th Earl of Carnarvon discovered King Tut’s Tomb. 

Minds much greater than mine (Drs John and Colleen Darnell) have brought this remarkable history to the 21st century through translations, prose, research, and stories. My attempt is to do this rich legacy justice and highlight the release of what I believe is the finest barrel-aged expression of gin. 

The Alchemy of the Barrel-Aged Gin

My philosophy behind spirits and cocktails is to add what’s necessary and leave the rest behind. I always look at barrel-aged spirits with a critical eye. Oak is a zero-sum game-whatever it lends to the spirit, something else is taken away. Care must be taken to preserve the soul of the original distillate and not just produce a bottle of Werther’s Original. 

With this bottling, the alchemy is quite high. Citrus is one of gin’s main calling cards. The natural London Dry citrus is accompanied by a hint of brûlée orange from the bourbon barrels. The lavender of the original gets swept away by hints of plum and vanilla imparted by the Armagnac Barrels (if you have never had Armagnac, I highly suggest it. It’s Cognac’s lesser-known but equally enthralling relative). The most daring (and successful) note is the slightest aroma of smoke imparted by single malt scotch wood. 

After getting over my flummox at our fearless leader for making me contemplate this liquid for hours and miss a dinner party (Adam von Gootkin consistently makes me think, whether I want to or not, and I’m grateful for it. My schedule might feel otherwise.) I was inspired to craft a martini that achieved something as magical as the barrel-aged gin-a monument to the virtues of the original and something new, unique, and pleasantly complex. 

The Original Martini 

To review, the classic martini gives us the following: 

  • 4-8 parts London Dry Gin, providing juniper, and botanical notes 
  • 1-part Dry Vermouth, providing steely white wine notes with a subtle herbaceous finish 
  • Orange bitters to give structure and cohesion 
  • Oils of an expressed lemon peel to drive the aromatics and brighten up the nose 

Highclere Castle's Barrel Aged GinThe Debut of the Golden Ankh Martini

2.25 oz. Barrel-Aged Highclere Castle Gin-Notes of vanilla, burnt orange, and smoky cherry with a classic juniper backbone. 

.5 oz. Italicus Rosolio 

.5 oz. Amaro Nonino 

 1 Bar Spoon Orange Oleo Saccharum 

Italicus Rosolio 

Martini, Highclere castle gin, barrel aged gin, italicusItalicus is the stand-in for vermouth and, factually, has existed centuries longer. Rosolio is the original Apertivo beverage known as the Drink of Kings. Rosolio means “morning dew”- farmers would harvest the ingredients at dawn where the flavors were most concentrated. Bergamot is perhaps the finest and most intense citrus, providing the base for this complex miracle of liqueurs. The recipe is a closely guarded secret, but a traditional technique of essential oil extraction is blended with neutral spirit and infused with lavender, gentian, yellow roses, and Melissa balm. 

Amaro Nonino 

Amaro, translating to “bitter,” is just that-a potable concoction of herbs that render a bittersweet Italian liqueur. While some are midnight black and aggressive,Gin’s Iconic Cocktail using Highclere Castle's Gin Nonino (makers of the finest grappa available) is a lesson in a lower key. Bitter notes provide structure to our martini and are followed by allspice, black pepper, and honey. It’s less sweet than the average amaro, making it perfect for our martini. 

Orange Oleo Saccharum 

As discussed in previous posts, the magical oils from citrus rinds are at our fingertips. 

Orange rinds were muddled into sugar, and the essential oil strained off. This adds the proper touch of sweetness and makes the other notes crescendo into a symphonic explosion. 


This being a unique cocktail, some extra extraordinary panache was added. 

Frozen lemon wheels are used to chill our glass while we mix. 

All ingredients are added to a mixing glass and stirred for at least 20 seconds. 

The resulting mixture is strained into a long-stemmed cordial glass that evoked the magic of the Egyptian Empire, to my eye at least. 

Garnish is a scored lemon peel upon the side of the glass. 

Embrace the Eternal

The name of the cocktail has been chosen because the Ankh symbol is an expression of eternal life. The journey of humanity is marked by a never-ending sojourn toward the perfect spirit, the perfect cocktail, and the perfect party. I hope you treat yourself to a bottle of this unique spirit and make your mark on the immortal journey of good living. 

Enjoy a unique twist with Highclere Castle Gin. Shop Online.