Since I became a bit of a gin afficionado last year, I’ve started picking up different gins to try out. Sometimes I buy them in the supermarket with my groceries. You can find some fantastic bargains if you keep your eyes open – I picked up a bottle of Gin Mare in Aldi before Christmas for just £25! Other times, I buy a bottle after seeing it mentioned on social media or when I am at a food event.
One of the things I love about gin is the variety of flavours, thanks to the range of botanicals that can be used. Some of the gins on my gin shelf are very juniper forward, and I do love a gin that is heavy on the juniper. But I also like gins that focus on a particular group of botanicals to give a very different flavour. I’ll often try to guess the gin that Mark has used if he has mixed me a Gin and Tonic – I’ve got a pretty good record so far!
So in no particular order, these are the top five gins that I tend to reach for when Gin o’Clock comes around.
I actually wish that I’d bought two bottles at the show, because it’s perfect for sipping on a cold winter’s night. The mulling spices of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg give it a warm flavour, which is lifted by clementine as well. It’s a limited edition gin, so visit the Poetic Licence website to pick up a bottle while you can!
Brockmans’ tagline is ‘A Gin Like No Other’ and it is quite unlike any other gin I’ve tried so far. I first tasted Brockmans in our ‘local’ bar on holiday in Burgau, Portugal. I liked it so much that I bought a bottle for myself as soon as we got back home.
It has a very distinctive berry flavour and is so smooth that it’s perfect for sipping neat over nice. People who claim not to like gin should definitely try this one – I think they’d be surprised. Click here to find out where you can buy your own Brockmans.
This bottle was one of my supermarket bargains. I had seen Whitley Neill being sold in Selfridges for over £30 a bottle, but spotted it on offer for just £20 at Asda before Christmas. It’s always worth having a look to see what offers the supermarkets are running!
This is distilled in small batches, and there’s a heavy hit of juniper to this gin. It also uses unusual botanicals like South African Baobab fruit and Cape Gooseberries for a distinctive flavour. It’s good with ginger ale as well as the more traditional tonic water.
Williams Seville Orange Gin
Mark bought me this bottle as a Christmas present – he knows me well! Chase vodka is distilled and infused Seville oranges to give a delicious crisp-flavoured gin. It will definitely be perfect for the summer if the bottle lasts that long. I can’t resist reaching for this bottle at gin o’clock though, so I might have to buy a second bottle for summer cocktails!
I’ve spotted this gin in various retailers, but click here to find out more information about Williams gins online.
Tanqueray Bloomsbury Gin
My final gin for this selection is probably my absolute favourite right now. Like the Williams gin, I received this as a Christmas present, and it is another limited edition gin. So obviously I’m trying to make it last as long as possible! The recipe dates back to the 1880s, when the Tanqueray distillery was based in Bloomsbury. Unlike many gins, it only has a handful of botanicals: Italian juniper, coriander, angelica, cassia and savory.
This is a lovely dry gin, heavy on juniper but also has a citrus lightness. I’m limiting myself to an occasional G&T with this gin, in the hopes that I can pick up another bottle before this one runs out! You might have to hunt around to find Tanqueray Bloomsbury in a shop, but it’s still available online if you’re quick.