What makes a gin stand out from the crowd? Is it the packaging? Is it the taste? Or the provenance of method of production or the ingredients? I have compiled a list of gins that all have that certain something, that genius in distillation that leaves a happy flavour memory lingering in your mind.
Aviation gin is packaged in a beautiful bottle reminiscent of the Great Gatsby era – batch-distilled in Portland, Oregon from an adventurous blend of spices from around the world.
Adnams Copper House gin is distilled from East Anglian malted barley at an artisan distillery in Southwold, an aromatic gin bursting with juniper, lemon, orange and hints of anise.
Beefeater gin can be used in the Eastend Dicky Bird, a cocktail made with mixed berry purée, rhubarb syrup, Funkin Pro pure-pour lime and Beefeater London dry gin, and pays homage to the bustling East London markets of old.
Bloom premium London dry gin is a light, delicate and floral gin with a unique, slightly sweet taste created by a bespoke blend of three botanicals:
honeysuckle, chamomile and pomelo.
Bourbon Barreled Big gin, from Captive Spirits Distilling, is made in Seattle, Washington by third-generation distiller Ben Capdevielle.
Bombay Sapphire also produces Star of Bombay alongside its classic gin: this includes bergamot peel from Calabria in southern Italy and musky ambrette seeds from Ecuador – as well as the ten botanicals in the Sapphire. It’s also stronger at 47.5% ABV.
Conker Spirit’s Dorset Dry is a fresh approach to gin, balancing ten select botanicals including the Dorset notes of elderberries, samphire and hand-picked gorse flowers.
Crossbill is the first Scottish gin to be produced from 100% locally sourced juniper and rosehip. Its micro-distillery is housed in a converted chicken shed, which beat 2,520 other sheds to win the title of Shed of the Year.
Corsair gin is an artisan gin made in very small batches using a hand-hammered gin-head pot still for a crisp and smooth finish. Its slogan is “hand crafted, small batch, ultra premium booze for badasses”.
Daffy’s is created in Scotland by master distiller Chris Molyneaux and his wife Mignonne, who is also the muse for the bottle design. It contains juniper from the Balkan states, lemon peel from southern Spain and Lebanese mint for soft creamy, toffee notes.
D1 London gin is super-premium gin infused with a daring kick of nettle leaf. The bottle is designed in collaboration with contemporary artist Jacky Tsai, who created the Floral Skull for Alexander McQueen.
Dr J’s gin from the English Spirit Distillery was developed by Dr John Walters and includes five varieties of coriander, lemon, lime and orange zest as well as macadamia nuts and grated angelica root.
Ebb + Flow gin is made by Sound Spirits in Seattle (the city’s first craft distillery since the prohibition era) and boasts a 47% ABV with soft vanilla and malty notes.
Foxdenton Estate’s father-and-son team Nick and Piers Radcliffe produces sloe, plum, damson and raspberry gin liquers.
Gordon’s, the classic gin we all know and love, has extended its options to include gin with elderflower and gin with cucumber.
Greenall’s Gin is a traditional London dry gin with with rounded juniper notes complemented by mature citrus and spicy aromas. Serving suggestion: as a classic G&T with lime and plenty of ice.
G’Vine is a traditionally crafted gin, but made from grape distillate and vine flowers. The two variants Floraison and Nouaison are infused with Ugni Blanc grape, plus botanicals including ginger root, liquorice, cardamom, cassia bark, coriander, cubeb berries, nutmeg, lime and juniper.
GinRaw gastronomic gin from Mediterranean Premium Spirits in Spain uses cedar, kaffir lime leaf, lemon, bay leaf, black cardamom and coriander seeds for a delicate, low-alcohol sensation with smoky flavours plus citrus, floral and herbal aromas.
Hendrick’s is currently touring the UK on cucumber bikes, visiting mainstream bars to raise awareness of the best way to serve a Hendrick’s and tonic.
Imagin from Sweden is made with juniper and 11 other botanicals including citrus, aromatic herbs and rich spices.
J Rieger has partnered with Tom Nichol, a retired master distiller from Tanqueray gin, to craft its new Midwestern dry gin.
King of Soho – created as a tribute to the original King of Soho, Paul Raymond, by his son Howard – is a 42% ABV super-premium gin, which is smooth and full-bodied with soft juniper, coriander, and citrus botanicals including grapefruit peel, balanced by angelica root and cassia.
Koval – also from Sound Spirits – is made with a unique blend of woodland spices, juniper and wildflowers.
Little Bird hit upon the recipe for a new London dry gin that includes pink grapefruit, sweet orange peel and ginger, plus seven more botanicals that all contribute to its smooth citrusy taste.
Martin Millers gin is a premium gin made from nine carefully selected botanicals blended with the purest Icelandic water.
Monkey 47 is an unusual gin from the Black Forest in Germany, botanically complex, with 47 botanicals used in its creation.
Newmarket gin, a new craft gin based on horse racing at Newmarket, is handcrafted by artisan distillers using the traditional copper pot still method, with the botanicals steeped in double-distilled English grain spirit. The result is complex with flavour, depth and hints of sweet pepper notes from locally foraged wild horseradish.
Oola Gin boasts a complex and aromatic nose of citrus and rose with a subtle scent of juniper berry. On the palate the citrus and floral notes come through the juniper first, followed by coriander and cardamom on the mid-palate. The lengthy finish shows hints of caramel and vanilla, reminding us that this gin was made with a base of Oola vodka.
Pickering’s is gin that meets whisky. The craft gin distiller based in Edinburgh has brought out oak-aged gins matured in single malt whisky casks, from distilleries in Islay, Speyside, the Lowlands, Islands and the Highlands.
Picnic Gin from Poetic License combines traditional botanicals, including juniper and coriander, with real strawberries and cream that are distilled and infused to ensure a stronger, fruitier taste – best served with a premium elderflower tonic water or lemonade and mixed fruit.
QCumber is a gin mixer in 200ml crown-cap bottles, created from natural cucumber essence and spring water; 100% natural, this premium mixer is lower in calories than rival products.
The Little Red Berry Company’s fruit liqueurs, made by hand from locally sourced fruit, are perfect for making hot and cold cocktails like a raspberry Collins.
Sipsmith is a multi-award winning gin created in an artisan copper distillery and sold in beautiful bottles.
Slingsby artisan gin is a small-batch London dry gin from the beautiful North Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate. It pays tribute to William Slingsby, who, in 1571, discovered the unique properties of natural spring water from the Tewit Well in Harrogate.
Blackdown Sussex Dry Gin is the first gin to be produced in Sussex and was launched in 2012. Distilled seven times from 100% British wheat, it is infused with 11 botanicals.
Sainsbury’s Blackfriars Taste the Difference gin is clean and zesty, and was named in ShortList’s top ten gins.
Tanqueray, which Charles Tanqueray left the church to create, is now owned by Diageo and among the world’s top gins. Distilled four times over, only four botanicals – juniper, angelica, coriander and liquorice – are added to the spirit.
Uncle Val’s botanical gin combines juniper, cucumber, lemon, sage and lavender to give it a unique flavour.
The botanicals in Van Gogh gin include coriander and liquorice from the Middle East, angelica and juniper berries from the Netherlands, grains of paradise from West Africa, almonds from Spain, lemons from the United States, cassia bark from India, orris from southern Europe and cubeb berries from Indonesia.
Walter Gregor tonic water from Scotland’s Summerhouse Drinks combines quinine from cinchona bark with citric acid and various botanicals as an accompaniment for a gin.
Whitebeam Arran gin from Girvan, South Ayrshire contains juniper, orris root, angelica, coriander, lemon and orange peel, caraway seeds and chamomile flowers.
Williams Chase Elegant gin begins with vodka, redistilled with 11 botanicals including juniper, coriander, angelica, liquorice, orrice, orange, lemon, hops, elderflower and Bramley apple – and water taken from the aquifer running underneath the cider apple orchards.
X-Gin is bottled & distilled by De Moor (Aalst), one of the last strongholds of artisan gin making in Belgium.
Mister Y. Gin is a premium gin made by Belgian Jules Delaere and packaged in a striking bottle.
Zephyr blue elderflower gin carries a unique flavour of elderberry and a hint of blue iris.
Zuidam gin’s jenever, wonderfully named Dutch Courage, is a rich and dry gin from the Netherlands, created using traditional windmills to make the mash from various grains – barley, rye and corn.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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