Gin Review

These are opinions only. We all have different tastes, one ladies trash gin can be another ones treasure…Gin…That’s why there is two of us.

All Opinions are own, including any grammar & spelling mistakes…because…Useless!

Monterey Helford Gin

@twogindependentwomen @monterey_gin

Location: Helford, Falmouth, Cornwall UK

Distiller: Helford River Distillery



Price Approx: UK £40-£45

This was kindly gifted to us by Monterey to review. Batch 003. Bottle 010. 43%vol

If you look at Monterey’s Instagram or website you will see this phrase “Gin for the Discerning” meaning that a person has a good sense of judgement. Now do we think we have a good sense of judgement? Life lessons and relationships would say Noooooooooo, BUT we are talking about Gin here so as you read we will let you come to that conclusion.

Monterey Helford Gin began in 2016 after three friends were discussing their love for Gin and what is best suited in cocktails. Unable to all come to an overall agreement, as any group of friends would do they decided to create a gin.

From that, In the last few years they have worked at distilling by hand distinct variations of botanicals, experimenting and using different techniques to finally come to the bottle you see now. Although the process has taken longer then they anticipated, their personal drive and love to bring this bottle out, they have not cut corners. These bottles are not mass produced but sold as limited batch runs, this is so that they can make sure that every bottle contains the quality and exact principles of their gin.

Single Shot

Monterey uses the ‘Single Shot’ Method, which, unless you are completely savvy with distilling terminology. Below is quoted from Gin Mag

Singleshot – “Once the botanicals have been distilled, the resulting spirit is diluted with water, in order to reach the alcoholic strength required for bottling. And that’s it. Bottles are ready to make their way into the outside world”

Which is opposite to the equally other savvy distilling lingo…

Multi-shot method utilises a greater quantity of botanicals than single-shot, in order to produce spirit with a more concentrated flavour (which explains why it’s referred to as ‘concentrate’ in the industry). Once distilled the concentrate is diluted twice. The first dilution is with spirit, invariably the same spirit used for distillation, which adjusts the flavour profile of the concentrate, and increases the
volume of liquid. The subsequent dilution is with water, to reduce the alcoholic strength for bottling”

“Single-shot is the original method, with multi-shot established by the early 20th century (though the exact origins remain elusive). Which method is most appropriate depends on the production capacity required, in conjunction with production capability. This is in turn determined by the size of a pot still, and the number of pot
stills available”

Further reading & to learn more on distilling processes take a look at Gin Mags article:,way%20into%20the%20outside%20world.

Lets Talk About The Bottle

Further to your education whilst reading this, Monterey is derived from the Endangered Monterey Pine Tree. This pine is native to the central coast of California, however, although notable other countries introduced this pine, this can also be found on the banks of Helford River in Cornwall UK…Cornwall! When Monterey Gin first purchased their Copper still Shirley they planted a tree in its honor.

The bottle is distinctive standing tall at 33cm or just over a foot. its glass silhouette resembling to me elongated diamonds (that do not exist that big haha) that fittingly go with the label including a much loved glass topper (The easiest way to open gin) Friends, your gin shelves need adjusting to accommodate this bottle.

The label design as you can see is very much 20’s 30’s Art deco Americana we all wish we could visit dressed in our Great Gatsby attire & Martini glasses. Just minus catching the Spanish Flu or Polio. Its Emerald background enhances the bottle to stand out with its eye catching gold detail reminding me of walking into The Empire State Building in New York. The design is cleverly thought out with its equilateral lines pointing straight to its name.

But What About The Gin?

On the bottle it explains this is an organic grain based spirit, suitable for vegetarians and vegans, 11 botanicals meticulously picked. Botanicals include Juniper (of course) Coriander, Cardamom, Keffir lime, Sea Buckthorn, Gentian Root & Citrus.

On opening the bottle its Juniper & cardamom is distinct. If anyone knows what Sea Buckthorn smells like, allegedly it smells like the sea, salty. However I do not come across this when first opening. Notes of citrus, however I cannot work out which Citrus family. I want to say lemon, which is why I initially paired it with this, but i could be totally mistaken.

Straight in a glass the smell changes, the juniper still there but less so. Tasting the coriander and cardamom come out more then the juniper, quickly following into a sweet aftertaste which was unexpected, maybe as I have thought about the taste of sea buckthorn that there is a slightly salty taste which pairing with the sweet makes this quite pleasant on its own.


  • Ice
  • Lemon Peel
  • Fentimans Natural Tonic water
@twogindependentwomen @monterey_gin

Although we will update this review, when we ourselves experiment with this gin, especially in cocktails, we noticed one thing missing from their site. There is no words of advice in what to pair this with, or tried and tested cocktails. When it comes to the first time we like to be told what the makers prefer how we serve. Pairing this with the lemon we could be completely misleading its botanical flavours and we hate to feel we are not giving this gin its true justice review. That said…

The lemon peel works perfectly with this gin.

Using the citrus, brings it out of the gin. It becomes even sweeter with the garnish and tonic especially its aftertaste. If you leave it to the side as you think about the aftertaste it makes you want to drink more (because thats not a worry haha). its higher volume isnt obvious nor does it give you any kind of harsh spirit aftertaste. The coriander is also there which pairing with the lemon peel softens its taste, although just a slight spice. This is a well thought out Gin.

Monterey Helford Gin should be proud of themselves that they have taken their time to bring this bottle out, just from a conversation between three friends. It will be interesting what they decide to create in future and we will be following along with them.

@twogindependentwomen @monterey_gin

Let Us Know Other Combinations

If there is any combinations you think we should try with this Gin? Let us know and we will give it a go.

All photographs property of @twogindependentwomen

Appreciation of Ice


Go to & read other Opinions not just ours!…


Ice, to us, is one of the more underappreciated ingredients in the drink’s world.

Consider this, Ice is your staple freezer filler, you will choose to store ice over frozen peas you bought two weeks ago (but not replace the fish fingers put in there in 1996) If you do not have a bag of Ice you will travel to more than one supermarket just to find some. Still don’t have any? your drink is now…well…meh…and warm its.just.not.the.same. YET no one seems to appreciate Ice as much as we all should.

Yes, I am sure as you read, you think of the magnificent Ice Sculptures created by hand at the fancy parties you see on the Television, or these days the expensive gadgets that will carve one diamond shaped piece of Ice that took an hour to form as you sit and wait for it to be put in your drink.  Alternatively, like us you’ve tried to purchase giant Ice trays that are delivered and is just not big enough. Never forgetting even when you have a tray, once the seasons approach of glorious sunshine or festivities, you have people to see, 4 giant Ice cubes in a tray is never going to accommodate your needs! Que the mad rush looking for a bag of ice! It’s OK, don’t worry, we have all done it, but now do you see how we have taken Ice for granted? No More we say!

Ice Co who ‘unknowingly to many’ have been stocking your freezers since 1860 (Well…since Freezers have been a staple home appliance) Stocked in every reputable supermarket, Ice Co have given you choice. Their Party bags when you need to fill a cocktail shaker, champagne bucket or large cooler to accommodate keeping cans cold. The Crushed Ice for when you decide to be healthy and make frozen smoothies or (less healthy) frozen cocktails, The Premium Ice when we want an easy cold beverage during the week or our favourite, the Extra-large Super Cube!

These Ice Co Super Cubes have become our staple Ice for the freezer, for us, we use these for our photos we post on Instagram. Alternatively, when we have a small gathering of guests for dinner parties, we use these instead of the party bags to give more of a sophistication for our drinks. “WHAT?” as you pull a face at your screen; “Sophistication? No one notices that?” Sure, you notice when your ice has melted in your drink, but have you ever noticed when a super cube is used it takes longer to melt? No? Oh we have, and there is the difference. These larger cubes keep our Gin & Tonics colder for longer without watering it down, we also use less cubes then what we would normally. Larger the ice the more sophisticated you feel and less scrambling in the freezer for more!!

We all know, taking one photo, whether its of yourself or your food, just the one is never good enough and as sad as it sounds it’s the same when taking photos of glasses of Gin. Sometimes the process can take sooooo much longer, using these Cubes there is no change to the drink apart from the angle in which we are taking it from (Ahem, standing on our heads with our legs in the air whilst shooing our pets from trying to paw the ice) – That’s the beauty of them, these are super cubes, you only need 1 or 2 to fill your glass. After the tons of photos, we can still sit and taste our drink and decide whether we enjoy it or not to review, which then can help anyone that sees decide whether they could enjoy the drink too. We are all Winners!

When we can host dinner parties with friends, we put these in an Ice Bucket which last the night, always some left over as the ice already used stays in their glass. Let’s be honest, we aren’t going to sit around waiting for Ice to freeze we’ve poured from the tap to serve to our guests. Made from Spring Water, these bags are easy to store in your freezer & to take out when needed. We should appreciate Ice even more now! SUPER ICE, Come on, lets hear it for ICE and lets hear it for ICE CO who have been replacing your peas in your freezers for all these years!! Hurrah!!!   

[Gifted Ice to Review]