Gin Maze - where's your favourite?
Where's your favourite?
Finding your way around the hundreds of gins adorning our shelves and our online shop can be a bit like looking for a juniper berry in a giant gin still - hot, sweaty, frustrating and time consuming. Don't give up! Here's a quick guide to how we categorise ours - to keep it simple it's exactly the same online and in our shops.
First up - London Gin (or London Dry)
Did you know it doesn't have to be made in England let alone London! Don't ask! There are controls, legally enforceable too, so if you must explore the intricacies then head off to the EU regulations created in 2008 and unravel them - good luck and let us know when you find out. What we are sure of is that making a great London Dry Gin is an art, carries great tradition and it does have to contain junipers - just like the rest.
Unsweetened, London Dry is a familiar and highly versatile gin style with a beautifully balanced bouquet of botanicals playing a supporting roll in the aromatic and juniper led joy.
We have plenty to choose from, all great but we especially love, properly from London, Portobello, Beckett's (Kingston upon Thames - the only gin distilled with English Junipers, picked fresh from Box Hill Surrey), from Belgium try Copperhead (elixir of life), or head down to Devon to the only distillery in the country that you can visit by boat for the fabulous Salcombe gorgeous location, gorgeous refined gin.
Dry Gin (clear, unsweetened and doesn't say London on the bottle).
Similar in style to London Dry but typically the juniper is more delicate and the subtle aromatic botanicals coming a little more to the forefront. You are likely to find botanicals such as coriander, cassis and angelica here.
A few of our favourite dry - Botanist, from Islay you expect amazing spirits, usually whisky, which presents me with an opportunity to say Lagavulin, - YES!
Sorry gin lovers, back on track now - Botanist is amazing, silky smooth, complex and featuring 22 hand foraged botanicals. Also check out Conker Dorset Dry (no conkers here - just delicious New Forest botanicals), from Hampshire the superbly crafted watercress led Twisted Nose. You must try, from the Black Forest,Germany, (don't mention the World Cup) Monkey 47 - multi award winning 47% proof gin containing 47 botanicals, how lucky was that! Sophisticated, complex, sublime.
Hugely popular, less juniper flavour but still enough to provide a beautiful ginny backdrop to showcase the delicious familiar flavours that we all love - rhubarb, strawberry, orange, you name it it'll be in a gin somewhere. Leading the way are our long standing and best selling Warner Edwards Rhubarb (tastes smooth creamy and just like rhubarb), from Spain the wonderful triple distilled strawberry delight Fresha. Aber Falls Orange Marmalade is another fruity one to savour, pine, citrus, juniper and ideal with your toast (enjoyed responsibly).
New Wave Gin
Here's where we group together the modern in style gin delights produced by our favourite artisan wonders. The new wave gins tend to be a bit less heavy on juniper and place more emphasis on a wide variety of herbs, spices and floral botanicals. Try some of our top new wave gins - we recommend from New York, using hand cracked juniper and fresh citrus peels the super vibrant Brooklyn Gin, or, moving much closer to home where we are blessed with so many supreme gin producers, start with Dorking's delightful Dancing Dragontail, how about this for their description...
Fragrant lanterns rise
Through a dancing citrus mist
Sips of silken dew.
Couldn't have put it better myself, we love what Kate & Helen are doing with their Dinky Dragondale (copper still).
Hard to follow that but definitely don't miss out on the amazing Silent Pool, Hidden Curiosities, or Spain's rosemary summer special Gin Mare.
Must state - 'other gin styles are available', maybe something for another time but those are our headline gin categories - hope it helps you find your special tipple. Still confused, don't be, pop into one of our shops, give us a call or drop us a line and we'll be delighted to help.
Chin-chin, or even gin-gin, drink well, have fun, drink responsibly,
David and all at Inn at Home