When I visited the BBC Good Food Show last month, I went with a mission to find a new gin for my collection. There was a whole section of the show devoted to drinks and so I was fairly sure that I’d find something.
And the show didn’t disappoint at all. There were several of the major gin brands that you might recognise from the supermarkets dotted around the halls. But I was looking for something a little bit more unusual, something that I couldn’t just pop in my shopping trolley with my weekly groceries.
I’ve picked out five different gins that I hadn’t seen before my trip to the show. Each of them was very different, very delicious, and well worth trying out. But only one of them made it into my gin collection, read on to find out which it was.
(By the way, any of these would make a fab gift for a gin-loving friend. Just saying…)
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The first gin I came across was Cucumber Gin which is made by the English Drinks Company. They are a local brand, based just down the road from me in Shrewsbury. Cucumber Gin simply tastes of summer, with the sweet freshness of cucumber really complementing the delicate juniper base. It’s also an award winning gin, having won the 2016 International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) Silver Award.
This would be a perfect gin for a long cold G&T in the summer. And it’s especially summery when served with Qcumber sparkling water – Lyle tried a sample of that on its own and really enjoyed it.
You can buy Cucumber Gin from the English Drinks Company website, as well as from Majestic Wine Warehouses. Other stockists are also listed on their website.
Masons Yorkshire Gin – Lavender Edition
I think this was the most Christmassy gin stand that I saw at the show. The colours of the Masons gin bottles just looked gorgeous against the festive foliage.
No prizes for guessing where Masons Yorkshire Gin is produced! It’s a true small batch craft gin, slow distilled in traditional copper stills with pure Yorkshire water and a careful balance of juniper, citrus and botanicals. I sampled the Lavender Edition gin, which has a gently floral flavour. The gin is delightfully dry, and this would be fantastic in a spring cocktail.
You can buy Masons Yorkshire Gin from their website, and their stockists list is also available on the site. They also make a Tea Gin, and there are some lovely gin gift sets on the website as well.
Riverside Gin’s Damson Gin Liqueur
If you fancy trying a gin liqueur this Christmas, then I can definitely recommend taking a look at Riverside Gins. They are available from Christine’s Preserves in five delicious flavours. I tried the Damson Gin, and it was just as sweet and sticky as you would hope for.
A splash of one of these in your glass of fizz would be perfect on Christmas Day. And there is even a cocktail gift set which has a 50 ml bottle of each of the five varieties together with 50ml of London Dry Gin. Definitely a gin lover’s ideal Christmas present!
Gin Lane 1751 ‘Victoria’ Pink Gin
The award for prettiest gin of the day definitely goes to this gorgeous little number! Gin Lane 1751 make a classic Victorian style gin, heavy on the juniper and with a fresh citrus finish. They are produced in small batches, with each bottle individually numbered. You can pick up a bottle of Gin Lane 1751 from The Drink Shop website.
The pink colour in this gin comes from the herbal and spiced bitters which are blended with the gin. This is an old Royal Navy tradition which helped to balance out sweet and dry gins, and apparently cures sea sickness.
Now I’m not sure if it does that but it certainly tastes good, especially when mixed with Fever-Tree Aromatic Tonic. And it just looks so pretty!
Poetic Licence Fireside Gin
Finally, the gin that I took home with me from the BBC Good Food Show 2016 is Poetic Licence’s Fireside Gin. Poetic Licence are a small batch distillery based in the North East, and their Fireside Gin is absolutely divine. As well as the more usual gin notes of juniper, orris root and coriander, it also has mulling spices, dried fruit and zingy clementine.
I’m sipping it now in a G&T, and it really is the perfect winter gin. I’m having to ration my bottle, and right now I wish I’d picked up a second bottle!
So if you want to try Fireside Gin, you can order it (and the other Poetic Licence varieties) from the Tavistock Hospitality website.
Do any of these gins catch your eye? Or have you tried any other unusual gins that you think I might enjoy?