With warmer weather fast approaching and Spring in full bloom, many have been left to contemplate how to christen the imminent outdoor season in style. BBQ’s, G&T’s, DIY weekends… So many three letter words to consider! The most important of course, is GIN. Gin’s resurgence has dominated the spirits news for the last 18 months and there are now more world-class craft gins available at your fingertips than ever before. This begs the question, which gin to buy for spring?
To help you decide we have compiled a list of four delectable gins to suit all tastes, in addition to cocktail suggestions. It’s all the help you’ll need to choose what to bring at your next BYO!
There are also numerous new, smaller distilleries that have begun life as ginsmiths in the past 6 months too. Most recently, Makar Gin from Glasgow joined the fray. Big bold juniper combined with a classic, crisp finish and packaged in a dynamic bottle all make for a safe choice that is sure to impress. The fuller flavours of Makar Glasgow Gin mean it doesn’t get lost in tonic while the craft nature of its small batch production delivers a smooth, lingering finish.
Try it in a Gin Buck…
Gin is a great base spirit for simple mixed drinks. Gin Bucks are no exception and a simple twist like this cocktail can make a nice change of pace from a G&T or a Gin Rickey. Makar Gin’s resinous and fuller flavours work well here as they combine perfectly with the acidity of the lemon and piquancy of ginger.
50ml Makar Glasgow Gin
150ml Fever-Tree Ginger Ale
Twist of lemon
Build in a tall glass filled with cubed ice and garnish with a lemon wedge
Whilst talks of water shortages may affect the South East of England at the height of Summer, Spring in the UK is a far cry away from being comparable to the African Savannah. Never-the-less, if you feel like you’re desperately clinging to a watering hole during a prolonged sunny spell – here is a gin you can quench your thirst on whilst actually helping those who really need some protection.
Elephant Gin donates a percentage of its profits to Elephant conservation efforts in Africa. Philanthropies aside, the German-made gin’s unique botanical line up makes for an intriguing and captivating flavour. Aromatic dry pine, sweet floral flavours and other herbal notes emerge in what smells like a dusty, earthy gin. To taste, spicy flavours present themselves upfront, before pine and juniper dominate to create a dry, warming gin with a long finish. It is worth seeking out but more importantly, it is also proof that you really can drink tasty Gin and help save the world in one swoop.
Try it in a Bees Knees…
If you are going to save the Elephants, you might as well go whole hog and save the bees too. This cocktail came from Prohibition era although the recipe has since evolved to become less sweet. This recipe is on the more boozy side of a classic Bees Knees in order to make the most out of the earthy, piney tones of Elephant Gin. If you want to accentuate this further, opt for an intense wild flower honey, or even Manuka.
50ml Elephant Gin
2 teaspoons of Honey
20ml Fresh lemon juice
20ml Fresh orange juice
In base of the shaker, stir the honey with the gin until the former dissolves a little.
Add the rest of the ingredients and shake with ice, before straining into a Martini glass and garnish with an orange zest twist.
Named after its creator, the iconoclast Martin Miller, the eponymous gin has been around for over a decade. Using a dual distillation method and the very purest water from Iceland, the gin is both light, bright and full of flavour. At 40% ABV, Martin Miller’s has a full citrus taste with the juniper notes emerging half way through. It has a clean soft finish too, which makes this gin rather enjoyable neat.
It’s one of those gins whose fresh minerality works well in a Martini. For anyone contemplating doing some outdoor DIY while sipping their gin this year, take the time to have a look at the man behind the Gin too. His life was a quest for excellence, be it in antiques, hotels and later, gin. You may just be inspired to transform your shed into something far grander…
Try it in a Hedgerow Sling…
Spring drinking is about maximising fresh ingredients while also creating a sense of lift. Too heavy on the fruit juice and it’s overbearing, if too boozy its effects take hold too fast. With a change of ice, this recipe can be transformed into a punch and served to many. The bright fruit flavours of elderflower liqueur and pink grapefruit compliment Martin Miller’s Gin very well.
50ml Martin Miller’s Gin
20ml St Germain liqueur
20ml Pink grapefruit juice
10ml Lemon juice
Top with soda
Put first three ingredients in a tall glass, top with cubed ice and add soda. Then finish with crushed ice and crème de mure and garnish with a lemon slice.
Rock Rose Gin
Let’s face it, a warm Spring in the UK is more a damp winter on the continent. They say that when life gives you lemons, you should make G&T’s. However, if you were dreaming of sandy beaches and sun drenched aperitivos but you got Sea Buckhorn and an Easterly breeze perfectly suited for growing Rose Root… you make Rock Rose Gin! Yes. We’re sure that crossed your mind too.
Rock Rose Gin is made at the Dunnet Bay Distillery all the way up in Caithness, Scotland. It’s packed with berries, vibrant flavours and as with any good Gin, juniper beaming out from the core. Refreshing to taste and beautifully packaged in a ceramic bottle, Rock Rose is the happy medium of a lighter gin perfect for Spring with big enough core “ginny” flavours to keep the purists content.
Try it in a Southwinds Cocktail…
Lime, mint and gin are more commonly used in juleps but try this little twist for a refreshing re-interpretation of the classic cocktail. Perfect for a pick me up after dinner or a quick jolt to forget the horror of the rush hour traffic; this little nipper is a delicate balance of sweet, clean and sour all dancing around on a tasty gin.
50ml Rock Rose Gin
25ml Fresh lime juice
12.5ml Mint syrup
Shake the ingredients in a shaker filled with ice and strain into a Martini glass. Garnish with a mint leaf.
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