And what, you may ask, is Navy Gin and how does it differ from your average run-of-the-mill gin?
In short, the term refers to gins with greater strength or alcohol content. Originating after the first 'gin boom' of the 18th century, the Royal Navy legislated that there must be a certain amount of gin aboard each vessel when at sea. Gin was needed on board to help fight illness and diseases, which were rife, and no doubt to help morale as well. Quality would vary from maker to maker and to allay the suspicion that some gins were watered down, it was tested by lighting a mixture of the spirit and gunpowder. If the mixture burnt with a clear flame then it was deemed as ‘proof’ that it was the correct strength (57% ABV). Failure to light or a smoky flame suggested that the spirit had been diluted. If it exploded it was declared overproof, and if the explosion didn't kill you, the gin probably would. So Navy Gins are generally about 36% stronger than a standard London Gin.
Tarquin's take on a Navy Strength Gin is no shrinking violet, being declared the 'World's Best Gin' at the 2017 World Spirits Competition. You can't get much better than that.