For some, entertaining and liquor go hand in hand. If Hollywood movies are anything to go by, the close of a dinner party includes the main character reaching into their liquor cabinet to pour their guests a tipple of their poison of choice.
If we were such a character, we’d be whipping up a tall Gin & Tonic in no time at all.
To celebrate the upcoming East Imperial Gin Jubilee, we took at a look at some of the gin brands involved in the festivities to offer up some tips and tricks on which gin to choose, because let’s be honest, there’s a lot to choose from.
Check out our curated list of the best gins of the bunch below:
Monkey 47 – Schwarzwald Dry Gin
Like the name suggests, 47 hand-picked botanicals including spruce, lingon berries, elderflower, blackthorn among others are delicately prepared in soft spring water from the Black Forest, and poured into every bottle of Monkey 47. With so much love and attention in each bottle, it’s easy to see why Monkey 47 is popular in more than 50 countries all over the world.
Thomas Dakin Gin
Zesty notes of sweet orange, fresh citrus and savory root botanical combine in Thomas Dakin’s single London dry gin, giving it a long, lingering finish. With distilling methods harking back to the early 1760’s, this gin is proof that some traditions are too good not to keep.
Perhaps the most well-known gin brand, Hendrick’s is distilled in Ayrshire, Scotland, and marries two spirits from a Carter-Head and Bennett Still. The cucumber flavour comes through strongly, offering a clean finish that sets Hendrick’s apart from other gins.
Childhood friends Fairfax and Sam set up London’s first traditional copper distillery since 1820 in a workshop in 2009, and haven’t looked back since. Handcrafted in small batches, Sipsmith is a traditional London Dry Gin that doesn’t compromise on quality or character.
Rogue Society Gin
Kiwi newcomer Rogue Society gin pulls together a blend of 12 botanicals, Southern Alp spring water to offer a classic, citrus and smooth finish.
Sacred Spring Gin
Based out of Wellington, Sacred Spring gin challenges the punchy, citrus-forward, new era of gin. Highlighting spicy notes and licorice root, Sacred Spring Barrel Aged gin is the first of its kind in New Zealand. Aged for three months in different casks, the gin is bottled at 48% and features a huge oak flavour and sweetness drawn from the rum casks.
Proudly distilled off the beaten track in the back blocks of Africa, Whitley Neil is slightly softer than more traditional dry gins, and offers a smooth finish with rich juniper, citrus, potpourri and exotic spices. Every note celebrates the area from which it is pulled, think subtle herbs, cocoa, candied lemon peels and floral aromas.
The Botanist Gin
A progressive exploration of the botanical heritage of the Isle of Islay, The Botanist gin melds together nine classic gin botanicals with 22 local herbs and flowers. Foraged responsibly from the hills, shores and bushland of the fertile Hebridean island by a team of scientists, the result is described as a roller coaster botanical odyssey in a glass.
The story of Elephant Gin reads much like an adventure novel, starting in South Africa where 14 botanicals, including rare African ingredients that haven’t been used in gin making before. Heading across the globe to Germany, Elephant Gin is handmade in small batches in Germany.
In the business of distilling gin since 1872, Rutte uses no artificial flavours or colours in their gin, rather opting for fresh fruit, herbs and nuts to inspire the aromas of their gin. The family run business operates in a historical building in Dordrecht, where their former living room on the first floor has been converted into a gin tasting room. From the smallest distillery in the Netherlands to the rest of the world, Rutte gin is rooted in its history.
A global best-seller, Beefeater gin brings a quintessentially British character to the world of gin. The recipe has remained virtually unchanged since the 1860s, using James Burrough’s original recipe, including nine botanicals, to create a full-bodied premium gin with a beautifully balanced flavours. In 2007, a new iteration followed, Beefeater 24, which featured the addition of grapefruit, Japanese Sencha tea, and Chinese green tea to the original Beefeater recipe.
Check back next week for more on the East Imperial Gin Jubilee, including where to discover the best G&T’s in the city, and details on how you can get involved.