Top 10 British Gins
Summer’s here, and with it the arrival of G&T season! Yes, we know the juniper-forward libation is for life and not just for sunshine, but we can’t help but dream of long, refreshing serves out in the garden.
Gin is made all around the world, but why not start your gin exploration right here in the UK? We are immersed in all manner of delicious tipples, from small, craft distillers and big names alike. And the tastiness comes in all forms, too: traditional London dry styles, to flavoured gins and beyond.
Some gins on this list use their botanical recipe to convey a sense of place and to celebrate their locale. Others are all about imparting a flavour experience like no other. We’ve picked out our top 10 to appeal to all palates. We hope you find something delectable right here!
Love gin but also enjoy wine? Here’s a way to (sort of) combine the two! Chapel Down, known for its fabulous English fizz, among other things, uses the skins of its Bacchus grapes from its very own vineyards. Add in the traditional juniper, orange peel and orris botanicals, alongside more unexpected lavender and elderflower, and you’ve got a winner!
A gorgeous small-batch gin from Scotland’s idyllic Isle of Mull! Its local botanical recipe includes tea and wild heather, plus a dash of Tobermory new make spirit (the very same that goes on to make its mouth-watering whiskies). The initial teeny production run proved so popular that the distillery has now built a dedicated stillhouse with its very own gin still.
Gin that actually tastes like Jaffa Cakes? That’s exactly what you’ve got right here! Made in Kent, this sweet treat brings together traditional gin botanicals (yes, you can still taste the juniper) with orange peels, cocoa, and real actual Jaffa Cakes. We’ve heard on good authority that this makes a really rather wonderful Negroni.
Right here we have the very first spirit to come from Edinburgh’s brand-new Port of Leith Distillery! Its recipe was inspired by Dr. James Lind of Edinburgh who discovered that eating citrus fruits could ward off scurvy. Hence the lime used in this mighty tasty gin! We’re also big fans of the bottle.
Hailing from Wales, Dà Mhìle is all about the seaweed! The folks at the distillery craft their gin, then infuse it with seaweed for up to three weeks to get its coastal character and subtle green shade. Comes highly recommended as an accompaniment to seafood, or in a Dirty Dà Mhìle Seaweed Martini!
For those of you that like a slightly more pronounced gin, get your taste buds around Bathtub! It’s made using a week-long infusion process that ensures the traditional botanicals sing, and also gives it its rather lovely hay-toned hue. Wonderful simply with tonic and a big wedge of orange, or in a simple Southside recipe.
Mermaid Gin is ALL about the sense of place. Made down on the Isle of Wight, its botanical make-up includes rock samphire from the local beach, plus Boadicea hops. It’s delicious stuff, but also – feast your eyes on that bottle! There’s also a Mermaid Pink Gin bottling available, should you feel the need.
As the name would suggest, Glaswegin comes from the heart of Glasgow! Its botanical line-up includes Scottish milk thistle, coriander, chamomile, and Italian juniper. It’s really rather lovely, and also comes in a pleasingly cuboid bottle by award-winning designer, Paul Gray! One that satisfies the eye as much as the palate.
If you happen to be shopping for pressies rather than something for yourself, this is an easy peasy one! Silent Pool is made in the Surrey Hills, next to the actual Silent Pool! It’s made with 24 botanicals – including local honey – and in this gorgeous gift set it comes with a pair of branded glasses. Perfect for summer sipping!
We round off our Top 10 gins selection with a day trip to London to visit Berry Bros. & Rudd at No. 3 St James’s Street – the address that gives this classic its name! It’s wonderfully juniper-forward, complemented by a fruit- and spice-forward botanical recipe, made using copper pot stills. All-round lovely!
We hope this list will inspire some fabulous summer drinking. Happy sipping to you!
Updated 30th June 2020