The Lakes Distillery Pink Grapefruit
The Lakes Distillerys classic gin was already a favourite and this new offering is a notch above many of the flavoured or novelty brands around. The notes are perfectly balanced and the pink grapefruit has just the right kick without overpowering the experience. The only drawback may be that it is too easy to drink. You can mix it, but since its already flavoured it might be best to stick to G&Ts and Martinis. £29.99. Atanddrinksandco.co.uk
Best To Drink Neat: Gray Whale
Courtesy of Wine
Region: California | ABV: 43% | Tasting Notes: Mint, Lime, Juniper
While gin is not ordinarily considered a sipping spirit, there are a few bottles out there that taste great neat. Californias Gray Whale Gin is one of these, made with six sustainably sourced botanicals from the state: juniper, mint, limes, fir tree, almonds, and kombu. This combination of flavors results in a light and crisp gin that works well in any cocktail, but can also be enjoyed in a Glencairn glass, or perhaps in a tumbler with some ice.
Best Overall: Sipsmith London Dry
Region: UK | ABV: 41.6% | Tasting Notes: Lemon, Juniper, Pepper
Sipsmith, the London-based distillery, is making some of the best gin you can find right now.
Sipsmith didnt reinvent the wheel, but they managed to thread the needle by taking an innovative small-batch craft approach to making a historically spot-on, top-quality commercial gin, said Alex Smith, partner at San Franciscos gin palace Whitechapel. You can choose from the original London dry gin, the higher proof VJOP gin, or some flavored options like Zesty Orange and Lemon Drizzle.
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Enjoy Hendrick’s Gin In These Cocktails
Hendrick’s is the gin you;want when mixing drinks with;fresh ingredients. It pairs well with almost any flavor, from fruits to flowers and herbs.
Enjoy it with pomegranate in a poinsettia punch, warm it up mulled wine style with the;hot gin punch recipe, or enjoy the lovely flavor of a delicate;rose martini. It also does wonders when that cucumber is accented. A recipe like the;green gin giant;pairs the gin with elderflower, basil, mint, grapefruit, and fresh cucumber for an intriguing, fresh-from-the garden cocktail.
Additionally, Hendrick’s is the gin of choice for many drinkers who prefer vodka. You can use it as a substitute for a variety of vodka cocktails, as seen in the sparkling strawberry cocktail, the;cherub’s cup.
Roku: Best Bottle Design
Roku is the gin you want proudly displayed in the centre of your cabinet. Not only does it look stylish, but whats on the inside follows through too. Created by the House of Suntory in Osaka, Japan, Rokus history of gin distillery dates back almost 100 years.;
Roku means six in Japanese: named as such because there are six very important botanicals in the gin. All sourced from Japan, the bottle offers a unique flavour on the market when mixed with another eight more traditional gin botanicals: juniper berry, coriander seed, angelica root, angelica seed, cardamom seed, cinnamon, bitter orange peel, and lemon peel.
This overarching combination results in a successful taste thats both unique and delicious. The bottle design, inscribed with a floral design, adds to the appeal.;;
Best bottle design: Roku Japanese Gin
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Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin
Another standout Indian release, this gin is more traditional in its overall profile while also highlighting many of the wonderful spices associated with Indias cuisine. The palate is balanced and surprisingly versatile, meaning you can confidently mix it in the classics knowing you wont miss the mark but can expect a subtle, enjoyable twist. Average price: $51.
Barr Hill Tom Cat Best Overall
As weve mentioned in the past, Barr Hill makes a great regular gin thats optimal for converting;gin haters. But another stunning triumph theyve produced is their barrel-aged Tom Cat gin, which is distilled from honey. Interestingly enough, you get a lot of that thick, mouth-coating honey oomph without cloying sugar. Tom Cat is a pretty savory gin, but it still maintains a creamy mouthfeel and nut notes along with some butteriness. This gin will tease out the bitter flavors of the Campari without edging into too much herbaceousness. Its an A plus gin that will make a full-flavored, full-bodied Negroni.
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Fords Officers Reserve Gin
Fords Officers Reserve is over-proofed aka Navy Strength gin, meaning it will put a little hair on your chest when you drink it. This London dry gin recipe contains nine botanicals. This gin is then finished in oak barrels, and the final result is a bold 109-proof gin. Even though its stronger than most gins, it still maintains a great floral and citrus aroma.
We love Fords Officers Reserve because the tasting profile allows you to use it as a base for mixed drinks. It is also surprising how well this gin works with mixers because of its extensive botanical profile, but through some gin magic, it all seems to work. This is a bartenders secret gin weapon and one we highly recommend adding to your liquor cabinet.
Warner’s London Dry Gin
Warner’s London Dry Gin is made on a farm in Harrington, using home-grown ingredients and it shows. The fragrance and freshness of this gin is something else, rich with juniper and spice but with a mellowness thanks to vanilla. It’s best served without garnish but with Indian tonic and ice. At a recent taste test we tried it just like that and neat, and it really is a lovely, refreshing drink.
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Conker Spirit Dorset Dry
This refreshing take on the classic London Dry combines Dorset elderberries, samphire and New Forest gorse flowers for a delightfully smooth spirit. Its perfect serve with classic Indian tonic and a twist of lime is simple but seriously effective, allowing the gins subtle sweetness to shine through. £34.40. Atandmasterofmalt.com
Best Budget: Haymans London Dry
Courtesy of wine
Region: UK | ABV: 41.2% | Tasting Notes: Juniper, Orange, Coriander
Hayman’s is spicy, it’s my winter London dry gin with an excellent aftertaste, says James DeFrance, bar manager at Refectory Restaurant in Columbus, Ohio.
This gin launched in 2008, the creation of descendants of the Burrough family behind Beefeater Gin. The core London dry gin is distilled in a pot still called Marjorie and is made from a recipe of ten botanicals. At less than $30 a bottle, this is a great budget gin to keep in your home bar.
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Differences Between Gin And Vodka
Gin and vodka overlap in certain areas and are vastly different in others.
Both vodka and gin are clear spirits that undergo distillation. This is a process of separating components of a mixture based on different boiling points, giving the spirit its own unique flavor profile and taste.
Additionally, both drinks are popular mixtures for cocktailsespecially martinis. This is because they both pair well with vermouth, the other key ingredient in the creation of a successful traditional martini. The main difference between vodka and gin is their taste. Although both spirits are clear and colorless, their effect on the palate varies.
Gin has a distinctively herbal taste. Alternatively, vodka is generally neutral and tasteless, apart from the spirit itself. This phenomenon occurs because gin is distilled with juniper berries and other botanicals to give it a distinct and unique flavor, while vodka is water-based.
Gin can technically be classified as a flavored vodka because it is redistilled from vodka in addition to botanicals and other spices. However, vodka cannot be referred to as a type of gin, as it does not undergo the same herbal-infusing processes.
When it comes to incorporating these spirits into your martini, it is best to make sure that they are thoroughly chilled. This will capitalize on the natural viscosity of the spirits, giving them the perfect taste alongside the vermouth.
Variations On A Theme
Even the best gin and tonic recipe likes to mix it up every once in a while. Here are a few of our favorite variations:
- Rhubarb has some of the same brightness as lime and some of the same vegetal quality as gin. This makes rhubarb juice or rhubarb syrup a great addition to a G&T, with or without the lime. Plus, you can’t beat that gorgeous pink color.
- A cucumber slice makes a nice garnish, especially with Hendrick’s gin. You can also add a couple of . When using alternate garnishes, squeeze extra lime juice directly into the drink.
- Blood orange is gorgeous in this cocktail. Slide a thin slice into the ice-filled glass before adding the gin. Add a splash of blood orange juice if you like.
- Grapefruit and thyme. Add an ounce of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and garnish with a sprig of thyme.
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Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin
Sailors created Navy Strength booze as a way to get drunk without taking up too much space on their ships. Its the strongest of the strong when it comes to ABV %. And this gin by Four Pillars certainly lives up to the Navy Strength label. Its a boozy 58.8% alcohol that is only released once a year. This high-strength gin is made in Australia and made from oranges, limes, turmeric and coriander. This powerful gin has been awarded the Master status at the Global Gin Masters the last five years. Its powerful, delicious and highly sought after.
Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin
Portobello Road Savoury Gin
The gin formerly known as King Theodore Of Corsica was originally only served at 186 Portobello Road, but Jake F Burger, cofounder of the four-floor ginstitute The Distillery, couldn’t resist sharing his savoury spirit. Made from a collection of Mediterranean botanicals, including Calabrian bergamot peel, green gordal olives from Seville and rosemary , this is a sophisticated but stunning grown-up gin that might be the closest we get to a European holiday this year. GQ‘s top tip is to serve it with Fever-Tree’s Mediterranean Tonic for the ultimate sunshine-meets-the-sea hit. £35. Atmasterofmalt.comandwaitrose.com
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From Apritif To After
Finally, another way the Spanish have revolutionised the G&T is by making it an after-dinner drink rather than an apéritif. The relative lightness of the tonic water as opposed to other forms of tonic, combined with the refreshing coolness of the ice make it an easy drink to sip on long into the night.
So theres not two ways about it really, Spain is a league above when it comes to the gin and tonic. Purists may lament a good old-fashioned G&T with a slice of lime but the Spanish revolution has already caught on with cocktail bars across the world, ditching the old high-ball glasses and getting creative with their garnishes.
Opihr Oriental Spiced London Dry Gin
We’ve been sitting on this one for a while, not quite sure if the taste was for us. It’s usually our rum that we like spiced but then we paired Opihr with a ginger ale and were blown away. This is a bit like the Thomas Dakin on this list, which uses horseradish, it’s not for everyone but if you want a kick with your G&T then Opihr offers that and more, with hints of cardamon and black pepper.
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How Is Seedlip Made
Before we get into tasting, heres some background about their process. Seedlip is made by distilling high quality botanicals individually then blending them to create the final products. Its a six week process involving maceration, copper pot distillation, and blending and filtration for each ingredient.;
Then the final product is blended. The ingredients are all listed on the products. Its actually quite impressive the lengths they go to to create this non-alcoholic beverage.;
The Best Gifts For Gin Lovers For 2021 Are:
- Best overall Smith & Sinclair gin obsessed alcoholic cocktail gummies: £15, Smithandsinclair.com
- Best for trivia geeks Talking Tables the gin game: £22, Ladida-andover.com
- Best for colourful drinkers Anton Studio Designs fizz gin glasses, set of four: £46.10, Notjustjugs.com
- Best for samplers Drinks by the Dram tasting set: £19.95, Houseofmalt.co.uk
- Best for G&T fans Double Dutch exploration pack: £18.15, Doubledutchdrinks.com
- Best for martini fiends No.3 Gins Vesper martini: £35, Johnlewis.com
- Best for Instagram drinkers Pollys Petals the gin botanical collection: £24.99, Pollyspetals.co.uk
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- Best for bookworms Gin Glorious Gin by Olivia Williams, published by Headline Publishing Group: £10.99, Waterstones.com
- Best for slogan fiends The Just Slate Company gin is my tonic set of four gin tonic stemless glasses: £40, Justslate.co.uk
- Best for DIY types Sandy Leaf Farm the ultimate gin makers kit: £30.87, Onbuy.com
- Best for kitchenware lovers Peak extra-large ice cube tray: £15, Oliverbonas.com
- Best for mixologists Urban Bar coley jigger, copper: £12.28, Thedrinkshop.com
- Best for homeware junkies Lumira tonic of gin candle: £56, Selfridges.com
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Can I Make Tonic Water At Home
Many types of soda are fun to make at home. However, tonic water is one that should always be purchased from a reputable manufacturer. Due to the serious side effects of cinchonism, it can be harmful to make your own tonic syrup from cinchona bark because it is impossible to control the amount of quinine. It is generally safe to purchase a premade tonic syrup if you follow the company’s recommended dilution to make tonic water. As an alternative, you can make quinine-free tonic syrup at home.
Tanqueray No Ten Scotland
While you may recognize the signature green Tanqueray bottle, the No. Ten gin is something quite special. Distilled at Diageos state-of-the-art Cameronbridge distillery in Scotland, this gin bursts onto your palate with buttery orange, vanilla, and grapefruit zest, Stoddard says. In addition to the classic four Tanqueray botanicals, whole limes, oranges, and white grapefruit plus chamomile yield a distinctive nose of juniper, jasmine, and fresh grapefruit. Possessing an oily rich texture, theres very good reason why this gin has won so many prestigious awards since its launch in 2000.
Luxardo Sour Cherry Gin
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Best American: Dorothy Parker
Region: New York | ABV: 44% | Tasting Notes: Elderberry, Citrus, Juniper
There are so many distilleries making American gin these days, from craft distillers waiting for their whiskey to age, to larger operations intent on creating gin using local botanicals.
This American gin is made in Brooklyn by the New York Distilling Company, which named it after the famed poet and writer. This is a thoroughly modern gin with hints of classicism, made using a botanical blend that includes elderberries, citrus, cinnamon, and hibiscus, along with the requisite juniper.
Region: UK | ABV: 54.5% | Tasting Notes: Plum, Baking Spice, Juniper
Navy strength means gin that is higher proof , a throwback to the days when the British navy sailed the seas with gin stored onboard near the gunpowder. If the gin was high proof and leaked into the gunpowder, it would still lighthence, the name. Fords introduced its Officers’ Reserve Gin in 2019.
It is an excellently executed London dry gin made with mostly traditional old-school botanicals that is wonderful in its original all-purpose expression, said Smith. But then they decided to tantalize us with a more concentrated version that they rest in sherry barrels for a touch of authentic British Royal Navy flavor.
Greenhook Ginsmiths American Dry Gin
Invigorating cardamom and coriander spice kick things off and lead onto a juniper-rich palate that has a wonderful citrus zing. The bottle, which was recently updated with a new design, states American Dry but the profile feels quite classic. Mix in a G&T or let Greenhook do the work for you and pick up one of its wonderful RTD canned versions. Average price: $35.
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Introducing Our New Gin Hampers
Theres no better way to create a fun evening at home to celebrate a special occasion than with a cocktail party. You can transform any get-together with friends into an evening to remember with a few elegant cocktail party ideas. Get creative creating your own cocktail recipes, or just shake and stir your way through a list of the most popular cocktails to find your favourites.
If youre planning a cocktail party, or youd like to stock your home bar with a few of the most versatile spirits and mixers, there are a few essentials that will make it easy to put together a fun range of different cocktail ideas to suit all tastes.
There are only six base liquors needed to make most cocktails: whiskey, vodka, gin, rum, brandy, and tequila. They each have a unique and distinct flavour profile, and pair with different mixers. If you want to start simple, then we recommend sticking with the three essentials with a bottle of whiskey, vodka and gin. To get started, we have a range of spirit hampers with all the essentials.