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25 Mar 2020 By

Planning a House Party? Here Are 50 Artisanal Gins to Help You Nail That G&T (or Martini).

From GQ UK


Gin, once merely remembered either as the preferred libation of the 17th century or the chosen tipple of aged aunts everywhere, has made a stunning comeback over the last five years. The UK’s juniper intake has skyrocketed, with gins brewed from Cornwall to Kent to the Orkneys to Belfast lining supermarket shelves, and bars offering page upon page of G&Ts and gin cocktails in their menus. But how to choose one? Read on to find GQ’s guide to the very best gins money can buy, from fragrant, fruit-infused fancies to poitín-like potato gins best enjoyed in the knowledge of a clear diary the next day. And if something else tipples your fancy, then check out our favourite vodkas and whiskies.

Some highlights:

Whitley Neill Gooseberry Gin

All sorts of gins are described as “fragrant”, but few quite live up to the descriptor as Whitley Neill’s gooseberry gin. Alongside the usual suspects – the juniper, the angelica root, cassia bark and so on – cape gooseberry, plum and pear aromatics give this spirit a scent almost like a fruit crumble or fool, minus the intense sweetness of taste. If a gin could remind you of your childhood (in a good way), it would be this one. It’s worth being skeptical about gimmicky gins with flavours added purely to stand out in a crowded market, but in Whitley Neill’s case the twist works. £20. whitleyneill.com



Ealing Gin

Have you ever seen a more beautiful bottle than this gilded pastel-hued dream? A stunning addition to any drinks cupboard, this new, ultra-premium boutique gin is handcrafted in small batches using a copper distillery in the West London suburb of Ealing. The bottle nods to Ealing’s art deco buildings, while the tasting notes – think rosemary, garden mint, scented rose and chamomile flowers – are inspired by the leafy enclave’s gorgeous gardens. The result is a clean, smooth and thoroughly pleasing spirit that tastes just as good in cocktails as it does with tonic. Plus, 20 per cent of the profits go towards tackling loneliness and social isolation. £44.50. ealingdistillery.co.uk


Raasay Gin

The Hebrides are generally best known for their proud whisky tradition but Raasay Distillery has branched out, producing a delicious, powerful gin to rival their single malt. Isle Of Raasay Gin is dry and strong at 46 per cent ABV, making it a solid base for gin cocktails, while its citrus nose and lasting rhubarb aftertaste means it pairs well with a twist of orange zest. GQ enjoyed it on the rocks, in the shade of a parasol on a summer evening. Hardly Hebridean weather, but idyllic nonetheless. £35. raasaydistillery.com


An Dúlamán Irish Maritime Gin

A truly original drink, the list ingredients are somewhat lengthy so here goes. Firstly, the oceanic stuff: kelp from Donegal, moss (yes, really), two types of dulse (a red alga eaten for centuries across the North Atlantic) and channel wrack. Then the “regular” stuff, which includes juniper, coriander and orange/lemon. Hailing from the windswept Irish coast, this is not one for steamy summer afternoons but for wild autumn and winter nights. Add plenty of lemon for a G&T. There’s a lot going on with this already, so keep it simple. £32.99. At thewhiskeyexchange.com



Bluecoat American Dry Gin

The accent of this Philadelphia-distilled gin leans very definitely towards fresh citrus. Juniper and angelica root add robust botanicals to complement the dominant orange, which opens up to reveal complex traces of tangerine and clementine. At 47 per cent AVB this is some powerful hooch, but stays smooth and bright enough to keep you coming back for more. £35. At Majestic. majestic.co.uk


Anno B3rry Pink Gin

The clue is in the name. This Kent gin uses a combination of three berries – strawberries, blackberries and elderberries – to give it that special something. But it’s not overly sweet and the classic botanicals still come through. The finish includes cocoa and candy, but it still has enough about it to make it refreshing in a G&T or in a wide range of summery cocktail. The packaging may not to be to everyone’s taste, but the taste will be. £32.99 At amazon.co.uk



Manly Coastal Citrus Gin

Born on Sydney’s famed Manly Beach, this gin combines coastal botanicals – including sea parsley, finger lime and lemon aspen – for a true taste of Down Under. This zesty tipple is best enjoyed in a classic Tom Collins; simply muddle with soda, sugar syrup and fresh lemon juice. The closest you’ll get to a balmy Sydney sundowner, without the jet lag. £38.75. At The Whisky Exchange. thewhiskyexchange.com


A Mari Indian Ocean

It’s no surprise that A Mari (Latin for “from the ocean”) takes its inspiration from the high seas. Its Indian Ocean blend combines fragrant East African botanicals – including Swahili lime and Madagascan pink peppercorns – for a true taste of the tropics. The final product is delicately infused with Chai Masala, giving the gin a unique golden glow and lightly spiced finish. £38.75. At The Whisky Exchange. thewhiskyexchange.com


One Gin

We don’t mean to alarm anyone, but we think we’ve found The One. Bursting with fresh English sage and Spanish citrus, this award-winning gin tops taste tests time and time again. Not only that, but 10 per cent of profits go to fund life-changing water projects in the world’s poorest communities – we’ll drink to that. Serve with crisp apple and sage for a dangerously quaffable G&T. *£42. At thespiritofone.com *

7 Continents

Bringing the best of global gin together in one bottle is the 7 Continents Gin, a special edition made by That Boutique-y Gin Company for World Gin Day. While the distillery may be wordy, their gin is straight to the point; a full and zesty drink which features a single botanical from each continent – European juniper, Australian coriander seed, North American angelica root, Asian cinnamon, African liquorice root, South American lime zest and even a pinch of Antarctic sea salt to add the final polish. And for the final drink, with a combo of lime juice, maraschino and chartreuse, it has to be the Last Word. £31.95. At masterofmalt.com


See the rest at GQ UK

Like this? Here’s How To Pair Tonic With Gins


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