The 11th of June is quite literally one of my favourite days in the calendar. Better than birthdays, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. Why? Because it’s an entire day given over to the celebration of one of Britain’s favourite libations: Gin.
Gin has a truly fascinating place in the British psyche – it’s intrinsically part of our modern heritage and responsible for some amusing and curious political and social stories.
An exciting trend has been growing over the past few years, and that’s the rise of the craft distiller. Local gins are almost as easy to find now as local ales, or local jams, for that matter, and that’s a fantastic thing. The best part is that through rigorous tasting, we’ve learned that the quality of these gins is generally very good; many have a fantastic story and a flavoursome point of difference.
From pungent pine cones to scented lavender and Japanese tea, the range of botanicals used in these exciting gins makes for spirits of unique and fascinating character.
One of my all time favourite Gins is Sipsmith, a stalwart of our Gin range for a few years now and unquestionably well made. Founded by Sam, Fairfax and Jared, (find out more about drinks historian Jared on his website Mixellany) Sipsmith is crafted in Prudence, the first new still in London in over 200 years. Sipsmith use ten carefully selected botanicals from around the globe to make their London Dry Gin; including Macedonian juniper berries, Bulgarian coriander seed, French angelica root, Spanish liquorice root, Italian orris root, Spanish ground almond, Chinese cassia bark, Madagascan cinnamon, Sevillian orange peel and Spanish lemon peel.
These are some of the latest, exciting additions to our Gin range – we have many which are only available in stores local to the distillery, so be sure to ask our store teams for a taste!
Introduced into a handful of local stores over Christmas, Silent Pool Gin was an outstanding hit with our customers and very nearly made it in to the top ten craft spirits sold over the festive period! Crafted in the Surrey hills by distiller Cory Mason, it mixes 24 botanicals for a rich and fresh Juniper hit with floral intrigue coming from lavender and chamomile, clean citrus and kafir lime with a slight liquorice sweetness on the finish. And it looks beautiful.
Bathtub Gin is by far and away our most popular craft gin in the range, made using a classic method of cold-compounding, where botanicals are left to steep in grain spirit. The name comes from the Prohibition era, but the quality is definitely modern. Using only 6 botanicals, the resulting gin is bold, superbly balanced, and a delight to drink. And if you’re wondering, those 6 botanicals are juniper, coriander, orange peel, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom.
I have waxed lyrical about Pickering’s Gin before, so at the risk of repeating myself, this beauty is crafted at Summerhall near Bruntsfield Links in Edinburgh, and is “…a phenomenally silky gin, loaded with piney, earthy, and herbacious wonderment. I love the huge whack of citrus and clove that hits after the juniper, and a gentle caress of lavender on the finish rounds off what is an unquestionably excellent gin. Plus it’s from Edinburgh, so I get to taste a little bit of home every time I take a sip.” Quote from me, last time I wrote about it.