A gin that looks as great as it tastes – the aqua blue of the Silent Pool bottle is mesmerising. A delicious mix of chamomile, lavender and honey flavours, it’s made on the Albury Estate in the Surrey Hills so it’s a real product of its location. Wrapping up a bottle of this will definitely earn you brownie points.
Tappers Hydropathic Pudding
Some gin drinkers prefer a flavoured variation, which adds a certain sweetness to the overall drink. This particular bottle is classed as a ‘fruit cup’. That’s a gin-based drink flavoured with herbs, spices and fruits – the gin version of Pimms, essentially. Made in small batches in West Kirby, it’s perfect when mixed with lemonade and should be served cool in the summer, or warm in the winter.
Curio Rock Samphire Gin
Run by husband-and-wife team William and Rubina Tyler-Street on the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall, this is a craft gin that explores the terroir of the area. Rock samphire is used to give a fragrant balance of botanicals to the gin and brings a slight waft of coastal sea spray through into the taste. It’s refreshingly different and will make a great present for the adventurous gin drinker in your life.
Beefeater London Dry
Nothing beats a classic and Beefeater is arguably the grandfather of gins. Crafted in central London, the distilling process still utilises copper pot stills to this day and, from the distillery’s home in Kennington, you can see directly into the Oval cricket ground. With juniper at its heart and balanced with botanicals, Beefeater is best when simply mixed with tonic and ice. It never goes wrong as a decent bottle to hand over on special occasions and is widely available in supermarkets if you need something last-minute.
Ki No Bi
Push the boat out! The first dedicated craft gin distillery in Japan, Ki No Bi creates a bold yet classically styled gin with luscious herbaceous juniper, but also distinctive notes of Japanese yuzu, hinoki and sansho pepper. Perhaps worth purchasing for someone tired of British gins (if that’s even possible). Kampai/cheers!
No.3 London Dry Gin
Produced by Berry Bros & Rudd (the oldest wine and spirits merchant in the UK, by the way) this gin takes some beating. Expect to find citrus, cardamom and lashings of all-important juniper. No.3 subscribes to the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’mentality and is all the better for it. Outstanding, simple and a crowd-pleaser.
Star of Bombay London dry gin
With its distinctive blue bottle, Star of Bombay is produced in the beautiful surroundings of the Bombay Sapphire distillery at Laverstoke Mill. Star Of Bombay is a punchy gin and is big on juniper, coriander and bergamot, bringing added intensity to your G&T. Do pay a visit to the distillery if you get the chance – its glasshouse is a thing of unadulterated beauty.
In a world where most craft gins seem to stuff tens of botanicals into their recipes, this wonderful brand from America stands out for its simplicity. Death’s Door uses just three botanicals: juniper, coriander and fennel. The result is an earthy gin sure to impress for its outstanding balance.
Drinks By The Dram gin tasting set
Why try one gin, when you can try a flight of them? Drinks By The Dram specialise in small sample and tasting packs with a variety of different gins. Perfect as a small gift and for someone still discovering which gins they prefer.
An Aussie gin built on the four pillars of a copper still, water from the Yarra Valley, local botanicals and a whole lotta love! Beautifully balanced, full-bodied and full of Aussie personality. Bring a ray of sunshine from the southern hemisphere to chilly UK climates.
Abelforth’s Bathtub Gin
One of the new wave of gins to hit shelves in the past few years, Bathtub Gin is ‘compounded’, by adding the botanicals into a neutral spirit and steeping them till the flavour develops. The result is a gin that is delicate yet balanced and perfect for the beginner.
FEW barrel-aged gin
An aged gin? FEW is an independent outfit from Chicago where the distillers make their own spirit from scratch (a fairly rare occurrence). It is then re-distilled with juniper, lemon peel, cassia bark and angelica before being enhanced by resting it in an oak cask which adds a vanilla complexity and a golden colour.
Themartiniis having a moment once again. The question is: how do you like yours? If you enjoy it with an olive rather than citrus zest, then Gin Mare is the one for you. Rich and smooth, this Spanish gin has a distinct savoury backbone.
When it comes to flavour, chefs know more than most. Hepple is distilled in the north-east and is the brainchild of well-known chef and uber-forager, Valentine Warner – and it shows. This is a gin made with passion and flavour at the very heart of it and can be enjoyed simply over ice.
Vermouth is to gin what McCartney was to Lennon – together, in a martini, they make a great pair. However as individuals, they’re also star performers. For anyone who is building a decent collection of different gins, try giving them a bottle of Martini’s latest. It’s spicy yet delicate, with blossoming elderflower notes.
For someone who is teetotal, or simply having a break from booze, then Seedlip is the perfect go-to drink. Seedlip Garden 108 is a gin-like alcohol-free distilled spirit that pairs brilliantly with tonic.