Summer is finally here, which can only mean one thing, gin! This time of year is perfect for a gin and tonic, gin cocktail and gin in general. Gin will help you to cool down after a warm day in the sun. With so many different gins around, it can be hard to find the right one.
That’s why the Think Gin team has put together a list of the top 10 gins for you to try this summer. Whether you enjoy them on your own, in a cocktail or with a classic G&T, that’s completely up to you.
Wild June Western Style Gin
This former gin of the month is for those who are wild at heart. Wild June Western Style Gin boasts 10 botanicals, including wild Red Berry Junipers which have been foraged from the West Texas Mountains. The red berry juniper is the American cousin to the European juniper berry and hand-picked before they are carefully curated and vacuum sealed before the distillation process begins.
Other botanicals include hops, a range of citrus, white pepper and cinnamon. The result; notes of red berry juniper, vanilla, caramel and rye spices. This gin is award-winning, having scooped gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2018. For the perfect serve, enjoy with a delicious tonic and garnish with lemon or cucumber.
Gin of the month for November, HMS Spirit’s Dreadnought Gin is a must have for any gin lover this summer. This well-balanced navy-strength gin gets its name because a warship’s gunpowder could still ignite, even if it was soaked in spirit. The gin is distilled in small batches using a copper pot still, which is known to retain a higher essential oil content, giving the gin richness and smoothness on the palate.
When drinking Dreadnought, you’ll notice subtle notes of rosemary and grapefruit, as well as a fantastic kick, making it stand out from other gins. To truly enjoy this gin, pair with a sprig of rosemary and a slice of pink grapefruit to bring out the botanicals.
Cambridge Dry Gin
The Cambridge Dry Gin uses a flavour combination that has been mastered over the past 20-years. Distilled by William and Lucy Lowe, the freshest botanicals are used and distilled individually to provide the perfect flavour. Temperature, timing and pressure are just three of the nine variables that the distillery tailors to every botanical.
Cambridge Dry Gin is distilled using botanicals grown in and around William & Lucy’s home, including juniper, fresh basil, rosemary, angelica, lemon verbena, blackcurrant leaf and rose petals. This gin is award-winning, taking gold at the China Wine & Spirits Award 2017. For the perfect serve, add this gin to a G&T, martini or summer cocktail, garnishing each drink with fresh mint.
Pin Gin craft gin is the first creation from the team at Bottomley Distillers Ltd, providing the perfect tastes for summer. This gin is created in the first distillery in Lincolnshire and is well-balanced, smooth and versatile. The gin is intended to encapsulate the seasons, tastes and smells from Lincolnshire, providing everyone with a slightly different experience.
The botanicals within this gin are cinnamon, citrus, ground almonds, juniper, lavender, liquorice and rose. Head distiller Alan made the gin after deciding to go back to the distilling techniques he’d learned from his father in previous years. For the perfect serve, garnish with a cinnamon stick and a curl of orange peel. if you’re really feeling summery, add strawberries and a lime wedge for a more refreshing taste.
Conker Spirit Gin
The first gin distilled in Dorset, Conker Gin is the perfect craft gin to try this summer. Distilled in small batches of just 60 bottles, Conker Spirit distil, bottle and source New Forest gorse flowers for their copper pot still. Conker Spirit is the brainchild of Ruper Holloway, who stopped his career as a chartered surveyor to launch Dorset’s first gin distillery.
A genuine alternative to London Dry gins, the Dorset dry is defined by flavours of the county, incorporating the fresh Dorset notes of marsh samphire, elderberries and handpicked New Forest gorse flowers. Alongside these botanicals are juniper berries, coriander seed, angelica root, ortis root, cassia bark, bitter orange peel and lime peel, giving this gin a lively and bright nose with a long, complex and balanced mouthful. When added to a G&T, this gin is in its element. As lime peel is incorporated in the mix, there’s no need for a fancy garnish.
Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin
The Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin is a combination of Glendalough’s four seasonal craft gins. Each gin is distilled in small batches in a Holstein copper still, using sustainably foraged botanicals from the Wicklow Mountains.
Distilled by Rowdy Rooney, all the ingredients are freshly foraged by one person. Added to the still mere hours after being picked, the botanicals are infused in neutral spirit overnight before distillation the following day. The infusions are then distilled before diluting the spirit. The gin starts with spring-like notes on the nose, distinctly juniper and citrus tones, before moving through to summer flowers, then autumn fruits before finishing on winter spice.
Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin
is a classic Australian craft gin brewed with notes of citrus and pepper. Made in the Yarra Valley, everything is based around the company’s four pillars. The Four Pillars copper-pot still is called Wilma, they use water from Yarra Valley which is triple filtered, they use local botanicals and put love into what they make.
The botanicals used include Tasmanian pepperberry, lemon myrtle, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander seeds, star anise, juniper, lavender and angelica root. The pepper leaf adds warmth rather than piquancy while lemon myrtle is a unique alternative to lemon peel. Juniper is a strong flavour but isn’t dominant, with slight twists adding new depth.
Arbikie AK’s Gin
The Ak’s Gin is named after Alexander Kirkwood Stirling, the father of Arbikie wonders Iain, John and David. The gin is distilled using local honey and wheat farmed at Arbikie along with black pepper, mace and cardamom. As farmers, the Stirlings are aware of the importance bees play in their crop, so they work with Colin Smith, a leading beekeeper and secretary of the East of Scotland Beekeeper’s Association.
Honey lends the gin its characteristic sweetness, while the botanical blend gives it the weight of liquorice, a woody character as the essential oils come alive. Tasting notes include butterscotch, honey, vanilla and Crème Brulee. To enjoy this craft gin this summer, serve, garnish with a sprig of thyme and orange zest.
Mayfield Sussex Hop Gin
Created by James Rackham, founder of the artisanal spirits company, Emporia Brands, the Mayfield Sussex Hop Gin certainly stands out. The label depicts the story of St. Dunstan & The Devil, which according to the story, happened in Mayfield Village in the 10th century. This gin’s recipe uses 8 natural botanicals, including juniper berries, orange peel, lemon peel, coriander, angelica, orris, liquorice and Sussex hop.
Sussex hop is picked from local hedgerows and cultivated in just one acre of a thirty-acre hop farm in Salehurst. Each botanical is micro-distilled in a copper pot still, then brought together to create a unique personality. The gin has floral notes, paired with subtle sweet bitterness and an elegant finish. Serve with a slice of lemon or a dash of bitters.
Twisted Nose Watercress Dry Gin
Twisted Nose Watercress Dry Gin combines ten botanical, including locally grown watercress, to create a gin that is intense, fragrant and refreshing. Distilled in Winchester Distillery, this gin is award-winning, having received a Great Taste award n 2016 and the Hampshire Life drink product of the year in 2015.
All products created at Winchester Distillery are made by and in small batches using closely-guarded recipes. The gin is distilled using traditional methods and local botanicals sourced from the surrounding landscape. This gin is perfect over lots of ice and with good tonic water, as well as a wedge or twist of pink grapefruit.
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