Not since the 19th century 'Gin Craze' have so many independent craft gin distilleries opened in the UK in such a short time. The difference, however, is that these gin producers emphasis quality over quantity and are proud of their ecological credentials (such as using organically-grown botanicals). Also, they are interested in experimentation and finding alternative ingredients which enhance this juniper-flavoured drink.
The London Distillery Company, established by crowd-funding in 2011, is named in tribute to the 19th century failed businessman, Ralph Dodd. It has two stills to distil the 100% organic-based spirit separately from the botanicals (which include angelica, lime peel, red raspberry leaf and honey) to ensure top quality gin.
During 2008-10 Sipsmith successfully challenged an arcane law restricting the size of copper stills to become the first distillery to open in London's city limits in two centuries. All of its varieties of gin are made using Ludwell spring water from the Cotswolds and one of the sources of the Thames.
Founded in 2008, this gin was the overall winner in the Ginmasters awards only the following year receiving a near perfect score. Its gin distillery, located in Highgate, is a family-run affair and uses a vacuum process rather than a traditional pot still.
Established in 2014, the gin of this seaside-based company is made with pure wheat spirit which is re-distilled with the botanicals. These include the first coriander seeds to be grown in the UK in 200 years and milk thistle (from the South Downs). Its creators recommend its gin is served with an orange twist.
This company is the first gin distillery in London's East End in over 100 years and uses a system of rotary evaporation to bring out the flavours of its botanicals. Its light green/yellow tint comes from the combination of lemongrass and cardamom. Its creator recommends his gin is served with cucumber garnish.
Located in Fife, Darnley's View is owned by the Wemyss Whisky Company and uses elderflower as one of the botanicals in its original gin since they grow in abundance on the Wemyss family estate. They also produce a number of other gin varieties including spiced gin.
The Sustainable Spirit Company, established in 2012, uses a combination of old and new methods (a tower and copper still) to produce its gin. Its botanicals, including Himalayan juniper distillate, bergamot and citrus fruit, are added after distillation so their distinctive flavours aren't lost.
Located just off Fleet Street, this company's dry gin uses a combination of flavours such as angelica, liquorice, coriander seeds and zest (orange, lemon and pink grapefruit) to make a unique combination. In 2017 it signed a contract with Halewood International to improve its distribution.
Set up in 2012, this gin distillery is located in a barn outside Harrington in Northamptonshire. The Falls farm is the source of the natural spring water used in its gin production while its 11 botanicals are grown in farms across England and Wales.
This distillery is based in Clapham whose postcode is SW4. The strong juniper flavour of their gin is a return to a traditional taste reminiscent of the 1800s before gin cocktails were the rage. They exclusively use UK-grown grain in their production and 12 different botanicals.
|Campo Viejo Rioja 75cl||£6.40||39%|
|Aberlour year Speyside 70cl||£22.00||34%|
|Reyka Vodka 70cl||£20.00||32%|
|Laphroaig Year Old 70cl||£28.00||29%|
|Aberfeldy Year Old 70cl||£30.00||29%|
|Bloom London Dry 70cl||£20.00||28%|
|Tanqueray No Gin 70cl||£25.00||25%|
|Chivas Regal Year 70cl||£20.00||23%|
|Jameson Irish Whiskey 70cl||£18.00||21%|
|Sipsmith London Dry 70cl||£22.50||21%|