As if we ever needed an excuse to drink gin. We asked Myles Cunliffe of the Mixology Group to tell us about some of his favourite independently-produced gins…
Gin has taken the world by storm, and Sussex and the surrounding areas are producing so many amazing new gins we can hardly keep up. But these are some of the faves at the mo…
There is no better way to understand gin than to taste it. I’ve gathered what I’ve found to be some of the best locally sourced gins in the UK to give you a running start for testing some out!
Blackdown Sussex Dry Gin is the first Gin to be produced in Sussex and was launched in 2012. Distilled seven times from 100% British wheat, infused with 11 botanicals including; Juniper, Angelica, Cassia Bark, Orris Root, Liquorice, Cinnamon, Bitter Orange Zest, Sweet Orange Zest, Lemon Zest, Coriander, Nutmeg. Blended with only pure Sussex water, charcoal filtered with the Silver Birch sap added after distillation. The Silver Birch sap is tapped once a year in early spring and is sourced within the 40 acres of woodlands, which surround Blackdown.
www.blackdowncellar.co.uk priced around £27.99/70cl
Made in Cambridgeshire, Pinkster is distilled in small batches to an original recipe with five botanicals. It is then macerated with a further three botanicals and hand-steeped with fresh raspberries grown locally, giving it its distinctive pink colour. Deliciously dry with a hint of fruit and an exceptionally smooth finish, it makes a refreshingly different G&T when served with a raspberry and a sprig of fresh mint.
www.pinkstergin.com, priced around £35/70cl bottle.
This innovative idea of pressing grapes for a second time for use in the distillery, instead of binning them after wine production makes Foxhole Gin a gin to remember – this gin is from the Bolney Wine Estate. It takes a whole year to produce one batch of Foxhole gin due to the use of grape spirit, as a full grape growing season has to be factored in, so even if they wanted to produce it quicker, they couldn’t. The time and effort that goes into producing this environmentally friendly gin is definitely worth taking time over. Velvet-textured with floral coriander and orris flavours, balanced with grapefruit and lemon zests. Perfected with a long finish of subtle bitter orange notes.
www.foxholespirits.com, priced around £40/70cl
4 Pink Pepper
‘Making waves in the world of gin’. Created by an Aussie in France this trend setting gin is a must have this summer with its unique flavours of pink pepper, juniper and cardamom, creamy notes of vanilla and honey which evolve in the glass. Pink pepper is a spice that grows wild in Australia, its duality of sweetness and heat have always fascinated him. When he started experimenting with the spice he understood its potential in a spirit, but it was only when he assembled the liquids from this idea with that for a honey gin, that Pink Pepper Gin was truly born.
Pink Pepper Gin in Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, selected Waitrose stores and online retailers like Dover31 and Master of Malt, priced around £40/70cl.
5 Blackwood 60
Shetland sits on the 60° north line of latitude which first inspired this 60% gin. Each vintage is produced in very limited quantities, each one being subtly different, the flavour is always determined by the availability of our handpicked botanicals. This unique 60% vintage dry gin is produced for the professional mixologist. It is perfect for making more complex gin based cocktails. This has a nose bursting with fresh citrus and subtle floral notes, but floral notes on the palate with an exceptionally silky smooth finish.
www.blackwoodsgin.co.uk for stockists
This is a bold Sussex gin based in Shoreham by Sea, full of flavour, a little less dry than most with a rich mouth-feel. Distilled in a single-shot from a premium grain spirit base infused with both traditional and locally grown ingredients. Picked, blended and bottled by hand to best capture the taste of the seasons, Sussex by the Sea and the South Downs. Ingredients include Juniper, Coriander, Cassia, Cardamom, Fennel, Angelica, Lemon Balm & Lemon Verbena.
www.slakespirits.com for more details on how to buy the gin
7 Silent Pool
Silent Pool Gin is produced on the Albury Estate in the Surrey Hills and named after the eponymous spring-fed lake near to the estate. This juniper-driven gin is a classic gin at heart – full-bodied and fresh, with depth, clarity, and above all else flavour. It features 24 locally-sourced botanicals, including kaffir lime, chamomile, local honey and lavender, among others. The result is a very clean, subtly sweet and intricately-balanced tipple with lavender, chamomile and juniper on the nose and a long-lasting, dry finish. Perfect with premium tonics.
Buy for around £33.95 at Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Majestic, Wine Rack and www.silentpooldistillers.com
8 One Gin
If you’re interested in doing something helpful with your gin habit…
One have been selling bottled water and great-tasting soft drinks since 2005 and using the profit to fund life-changing water projects in some of the world’s poorest communities. To date One has raised over £15 million and changed the lives of over 3 million people.
The One Foundation has now made a foray into the exciting world of British gin… One Gin is distilled by multi-award-winning Master Distiller Sarah Thompson at Blackdown Distillery in Sussex. The process uses 9 botanicals from around the world, plus one quintessentially British botanical – sage – foraged from the grounds of the distillery. Every bottle contributes to funding clean water projects in some of the world’s harshest regions.
www.onedifference.org – One Gin is currently only available at duty free so look out for it at all major airports