Local artisan gin is popular, due to juniper being grown here. These brands are just a few cherry-picked ones, but also look in your local area, for more. Gin is a sort of ‘flavoured vodka’, the main difference being that juniper berries are added. In fact, the original gin was from The Netherlands (‘genever’) and that’s the country where we also get the phrase ‘Dutch courage’ from (troops about to fight the Dutch during the 13th century war, would down gin before the battle).
Try these with some local artisan tonic water. These are all vegan (check your gin tipple is too at Barnivore). Good brands are Fentimans, Square Root and Twelve Below (natural low in sugar, with agave). Or mix Jeffrey’s Handcrafted Cordials (Cheshire) with carbonated water to make your own tonic water. Avoid quinine for pregnancy/breastfeeding and grapefruit slices for certain medications.
The Old Curiosity Distillery (Scotland) creates colour-changing gins, made with garden herbs. The founder (who has a diploma in herbology) grows 600 varieties and discovered a natural reaction that changes each gin’s colour, when mixed with tonic water. Choose from Rose, Elderflower Jasmine, Lavender Echinacea, Geranium Mallow, Lemon Verbena and Wild Gin (20% of profits to RSPB to preserve Scotland’s Flow Country).
Chameleon Pine & Orange Gin (Cornwall) is handcrafted using sustainable locally foraged botanicals in small batches. The infusion pockets means you can add more orange to the Scottish pine drink. Contains many herbs and citrus flavours, (the orange is packed in a factory with nuts).
- Fatty’s Organic Gin (London) is made with sustainable ingredients, and also comes in a winter spiced version with bitter Seville orange, cinnamon and nutmeg. Or choose the Grapefruit Spirit drink that is almost the same, but with half the alcohol.
- The book Yorkshire’s Gins celebrates the best brands – the glorious countryside, rich history and Yorkshire grit make great gins, inspired by ancient walls to wonky potatoes – one even launched on a moving train! Serve with Yorkshire tonic water. One local brand is Forged in Wakefield (made with organic cherry, strawberry or rhubarb (there’s also a Yorkshire Strength version, if you’re a tough northerner).
- Rosemullion Distillery (Cornwall) uses seasonal fruit to offer a seaside-inspired gin (with seaweed) and autumn gin (apples & plums from the orchard). It also offers a chocolate rum and Christmas spirit (infused with cloves, nutmeg, candied orange, ginger, raisins & muscovado sugar). Also in Cornwall, Tinkture is an organic rose gin distilled in copper pots, blending juniper and coriander to make a golden amber gin, which goes pink, when mixed with tonic water.