If you hadn’t noticed, gin is a bit of a thing at the minute. Its popularity seems to know no bounds with new artisanal distilleries popping up across the country, gin bars—pop-ups and cocktail bars are simply huge at the moment. I know of at least two tours in London where you can go and pick the botanticals and brew your own bottle. Indeed I’ve been on one tour at the Central London Distillery and had a rare ol’ time deciding on whether another gram of orris root or rose petal would make a difference.

Know Your Gin Catagories

Gins fall into four broad categories – Juniper-led where the juniper dominates the aroma quite powerfully. Citrus-led gins have prominent zesty citrus notes and sometimes a spicy or earthy edge. Floral-led gins are lighter and more delicate with a fragrant sweetness. It is these that make for a good introduction if you are unsure. Finally we have the Herbaceous-led gins that are more forceful and distinctive and often have more unusual ingredients to give a unique distinctiveness. The herbaceous gins have a natural affinity with cucumber, try using a slice as a garnish over lime or lemon.

 

What’s New in the World of Gin?

I see on fund-raising site Seedrs that one champion—Butler’s Gin a Lemongrass & Cardamon Gin—is looking for investors to expand his operation. I’m certainly tempted. And there is a newly launched mixer designed just to make a cucumber laced gin cocktail (Qcumber available from Ocado). It’s an exciting time in the world of gin.

 

Try Something a little Different

Now there is of course nought wrong with Gordons or Hendricks, both fine gins in their own right especially with Gordons releasing a couple of flavoured variants recently (Elderflower and Cucumber). But can I shove you out of the comfort zone to try something more artisanal and interesting?

A tad tricky picking just one bottle to recommend from each of the flavour categories, there are so many worthy of trying, but here goes:

Juniper Led

Sipsmith London Dry Gin one of the best gins available and I must insist on you using Fever tree Tonic Water if you are going for the simple G&T.

sipsmith dry gin

Citrus Led

Tanqueray No. Ten in its distinctive art deco bottle. Try citrus gins with a slice of grapefruit.

Tanqueray No.Ten

Floral Led

Bulldog London Gin

Bulldog Gin

Herbaceous Led

Opihr Oriental Spiced London Dry Gin

Opihr Oriental Spiced Rum

Of the dozens of gins now available these are four with wide distribution. Online you can buy gins from across the UK. To keep up to date with new releases have a look at The Gin Page

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