Five Fabulously Festive Gins you must taste!🍸
With Summer done and dusted, the great heatwave and Southgate’s football revolution a thing of the past, the mornings are getting colder and the journey home darker. So there’s only one thing to keep our spirits up – turning thoughts towards Christmas. The first thing to organise? Presents!
Just because the weather is crisper doesn’t mean we need to neglect our crisp summer sipper, the G&T. Boozy gifts are always a hit, and the gin craze shows no signs of stopping. What better time than the festive season to branch out into gin pastures new, and brighten up those Christmas cocktails?
We decided to gorge ourselves on gin and sample some of the fanciest and quirkiest available, to help you find the perfect gift for the special gin lover in your life. Heres our fabulous festive five:
It’s more famous for its Whiskey, but Scotland actually produces 70% of gin consumed in the UK – and the small batch, artisanal Caorunn is about as Scottish as a drink can get. Overseen by Gin Master Simon Buley, it’s produced in one of the oldest distilleries in the Highlands. Even the name Caorunn has ancient roots – it’s Celtic for rowan berry, one of the gin’s key ingredients.
Alongside rowan berry and traditional botanicals, Caorunn includes four more locally-sourced from the Highlands: bog myrtle, heather, coul blush apple and dandelion leaf, giving this gin its wonderfully unusual and distinctive taste. It’s a standout in any collection. Try with cold tonic and a slice of red apple.
One of our favourite (and most dangerously drinkable) gins, Pothecary was created by Martin Jennings and Lukasz Dwornik (hats off to you gentleman). The two friends share a passion for organic, handcrafted produce, and their gin is no exception. Rather unusually, each botanical is distilled separately then blended later – which its makers say optimises the scents and flavours.
Whatever they do, it works anyway. The result is an aromatic gin with fresh florals and a sweeter finish than most, which would complement any gin collection. Try neat with a garnish of grapefruit or rosemary and look out for notes of lavender, citrus and honey-like tilia flower.
Distilled in the Surrey Hills next to its namesake – the beautiful Silent Pool with its accompanying myth of a drowned maiden – this Gin has harnessed the local landscape to create a spirit that is equally magical. Harvesting local ingredients such as elderflower, chamomile, pear and honey, it’s sweet and floral to smell but has an edge of spice to its taste. A perfect combo.
Silent Pool a unique and delicious drink, yet an even more excellent gift because of its exquisite blue bottle with copper leaf design (it looks great!). This gin goes nicely with a slice of orange, but if you’re feeling extra fancy trying adding rose petals or violets to bring out floral aromas.
The brainchild of a former wine merchant turned herbologist, Old Curiosity is the second Scottish gin on this list, based in a botanical nursery near Edinburgh. All of their herbs are grown in a secret garden before being picked, dried and infused by hand – so they are 100 per cent natural. Sounds a bit like a hipster gimmick, but the results are fantastic.
Old Curiosity distils with fresh flowers from their nursery and the result is a gin that is virtually medicinal, with floral aromas including the calming lavender and healing echinacea for which this spirit takes its name. This gin has a delicate flavour, so would be an excellent choice for those looking to try juniper juice for the first time. A perfect accompaniment to those festive parties.
SHARISH BLUE MAGIC GIN
Gin drinkers tend to be a tiny bit eccentric (guilty…), but this is one step further. The Sharish Blue Magic Gin actually changes colour from its usual indigo hue to a lilac or pink shade when you add tonic! It’s a real must-see. Unbelievably, the drink is also totally natural with no artificial additives, relying on the change in pH levels to give the appearance of SOME WONDERFUL WIZARDRY.
Tastewise, it’s fresh and fruity with hints of berries and citrus. Add strawberries or raspberries to this gin to make the best of its unusual flavours. Oh and did we mention: IT CHANGES COLOUR?! WE CAN’T GET OVER THAT…
So there we have it! A famous five of top tipples for every gin lover this Christmas, guaranteed to bring smiles to faces and tingling to tastebuds. It’d be rude not to try all of them, surely? Let us know your favourites!
To Gin and Good Health,
The CC Team
(Gin tasting notes credit to and courtesy of The Independent.com)