Everyone loves a personalized product. From monogrammed towels to tailored suits, there’s nothing quite like having something that speaks to your own taste and sensibilities. It’s in that very spirit that the Langham Hotel partnered with Bully Boy Distillers to create the Reserve Gin, a proprietary spirit exclusive to the hotel.
The idea began as a conversation between the Langham’s Food & Beverage Director Alex Valencia and Bully Boy Head Distiller and Co-Owner Dave Willis. The pair bonded over their shared love of gin and discussed the feasibility of a customized spirit. Intrigued by the possibilities, they soon narrowed their focus and got down to the task at hand: creating something that would be unique to their tastes and the aesthetics of the hotel but still have broad appeal. “We wanted the flavor profile to be accessible to gin drinkers and those who are new to the spirit, which meant something more botanical and versatile than a traditional London Dry,” Valencia says.
The process took about a year and both sides were heavily involved in research and development. Willis says they tried about 25 recipes to get the right mix and he shared his progress with Langham staff at every step. Since Bully Boy is a small-batch distillery they were able to pivot and adapt to feedback, something that isn’t cost-effective for a larger enterprise. “Doing bespoke gin is almost a eureka moment for us,” Willis says. “It was a lot of fun and was relatively easy to do. It’s something the larger brands can’t do and that’s kind of the holy grail.”
The final product, Reserve Gin, uses Grains of Paradise, a woodsy West African spice, to provide a pleasant, spicy note with lavender, hibiscus and orris root balancing the piney flavor of the juniper. Notes of ginger blossom and rose petals evoke the Langham’s signature scent. And it’s now available throughout the hotel – as an herbal infusion during afternoon tea at Cafe Fleuri and incorporated into traditional drinks on the Batch No. 1 Classics cocktail menu at BOND. “These are fairly classic recipes [Martini, Vesper, Negroni and Ramos Gin Fizz], however we use small touches like a grapefruit peel twist in the martini to enhance the Reserve Gin’s botanicals” Valencia explains.
Check out Reserve Gin and the entire lineup of Batch No. 1 craft cocktails at BOND. Call 617.956.8765 for a table or head on down to have them make a cocktail just for you.