Phoebe Miller8 Comments

How to: Gin

Phoebe Miller8 Comments
How to: Gin

The title is quite self explanatory, this blog post is all about gin. I think after an anxiety blog post this is my most requested on instagram so I am finally proud to offer up everything I have learned and consumed about gin in my years of enjoying it. I will preface this by saying that these are my opinions, my taste preferences and there a million and one ways to enjoy gin. Also, drink responsibly. The gins listed were all bought by me, or gifts from family and friends.

I wasn’t sure how to break up my gins so I thought I would run through my favourites, what I like to have with them, where I like to buy my gins, which gins I don’t like, and then finish with gins I would like to buy/try this year. If you feel you may like similar to me, check out the gin list at the end of the post and aim for the 4s and 5s. If you like straight up gins, go for the 1s and 2s.

If there is a gin list in a bar I am always drawn to a more spicy/peppery or floral gin as opposed to a traditional straight up dry gin and tonic. Nothing will beat a classic G&T but there are so many flavours to try and life is far too short. One of my favourite gins (that I currently don’t have at home) is Opihr. Currently on offer at £18 in Tesco by the way. It is an oriental spiced gin and when I tried it in a bar a few years ago I proclaimed that would be the only gin I drank for the rest of eternity. This turned out to be somewhat of a lie because the next round I was swayed by the delicious Aviator gin (Ryan Reynolds gin btw). I enjoy my Opihr with a simple tonic or ginger beer. And a little grapefruit slice if I am feeling fancy.

My second “go to” is Hendricks. It should be a staple of any gin bar (home or away) the delicate hint of rose and cucumber make it delicious on a cool summers day with a mediterranean tonic but it is also my favourite to have with ginger beer in the winter. There is a theme of ginger beer by the way. If you don’t like ginger beer but fancy something fun then rose lemonade or dandelion and burdock also work well. Or M&S do this fizzy blood orange thing which is delicious but not sure if that was just for Christmas.

Ok, on to my home stash. So I have a gin wardrobe, I change out my summer and winter gins much like you do with clothes during the year. This is mainly so I circulate through my gins, don’t drink the same one all the time and there is a nice seasonal selection for when friends come over. Obviously, this is totally over the top and not in the slightest bit called for, you will welcome a cold G&T after a stressful day no matter what it is…even Gordons.

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Some of my favourite gins are da mhile Seaweed gin - a really interesting taste, its salty and savoury but so pleasant. Perfect to have with fish dishes. Everyone that has tried it has loved it and its one I will definitely repurchase over and over. I like to serve this with lots of ice and sometimes rosemary or lemon.

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Another favourite I reach to is Whittakers Pink Peculier Gin, it’s flavoured with pink peppercorn and hibiscus and has a beautiful soft peppery taste which is balanced beautifully by cardamom (my fave) lemon and rose. I like this with a Mediterranean tonic and twist of orange.

A favourite Christmas addition was the Edinburgh Gin Apple & Spice ( it was also on sale in John Lewis). This is perfect with a crisp tonic or Fever Trees Clementine tonic was quite the revelation.

My current favourite is violet gin. It tastes just like parma violets but with some bitterness from the tonic, I got mine for £12 in Tesco but many brands do their own version.

How to serve - ICE ICE BABY! Always as much as you can pack in, and usually in a larger glass as is de rigueur nowadays. Id drink gin out of an egg cup or a mug so don’t dwell on that too much but ice is essential. Its something to do with the more ice, the longer its chilled, the better the flavour. As for tonic, yes there are many arguments that if your drink is 3/4s (or 2/3s) mixer then the mixer should be the best you can afford, but in all honesty I am just as happy with a fancy tonic as I am with a supermarket own brand.

Which garnish with which gin - to put it simply there is no correct garnish and it is all personal preference. I try and look at the gin like food. You will already know what compliments each other. Seaweed - salty - fish - nice with lemon. Herbs (rosemary, mint etc) always go well with something that is heavily citrus such as a Malfy or Bathtub Gin. Spiced gins, when paired with a normal tonic (not ginger beer) go well with more spices; star anise, pepper, fresh ginger.

Fruit and floral garnishes go well with most gins and its best to choose what is already in the gin, cucumber with Hendricks or strawberries with Bloom. I find floral garnishes like rose or lavender quite light and will compliment most gins. But if in doubt, always go with grapefruit.

I have a set called Originario (which is sold out everywhere) but this is similar and is little tubs of garnishes.

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I buy my gins from a few places. John Lewis has a great selection at the moment. Supermarkets (usually M&S or Tesco) have a wide variety and usually at competitive prices, then online I use The Whisky Exchange, Master of Malt (also buy all my dads whisky from here) and 31Dover.

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My list of gins I don’t like is rather short, its mainly anything too “strip the back of your neck off with alcohol” couple of examples of this for me is Beefeater or Portobello Gin. They just aren’t to my taste, however I have friends that love them so often keep something similar in the cupboard. I have one friend that hates anything spicy or floral so that rules out 70% of my collection. I also don’t like Gordons, but who does?

Ok so now for the fun and lengthy part. I have listed, to the best of my knowledge, every gin I have tried and rated out of 5. You’re welcome.

7 Dials London Dry Gin - 2/5

Ableforths Bathtub Gin - 3/5

Adnams Copperhouse Distilled - 2/5

Audemus Pink Peppercorn - 4/5

Aviation Gin - 4/5

Beefeater Dry - 1.5

Blackdown Sussex Dry - 3/5

Bloom Gin - 4/5

Bombay Sapphire - 3/5

Boodles - 3/5

Brockmans - 3.5/5

Brooklyn Gin - 3/5

Bulldog London Dry - 3/5

Burleighs Pink - 4/5

Caorunn - 4/5

City of London Sloe Gin - 1/5

Conker Dorset Dry - 2/5

Copperhead - 3/5

Da Mhile Seaweed - 5/5

Deaths Door Gin - 3/5

Eden Mill - 4/5

Edinburgh Elderflower - 4/5

Edinburgh Apple & Spice - 4/5

Edinburgh Plum & Vanilla - 3/5

Edingburgh Rhubarb & Ginger - 3/5

Elephant Gin - 3.5/5

Forest Earl Grey Gin - 3/5

Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin - 2/5

Geranium London Dry - 5/5

Gordons - 1/5

Granny Garbutts - 4/5

G’Vine Floraison Gin - 3/5

Hale Hitch Gin - 3/5

Harewood Gin - 4/5

Haymans Gently Rested - 4/5

Hendricks - 5/5

Jawbox Classic - 3/5

Jinzu - 4/5

Larios 12 Botanical - 3/5

Malfy con Limone - 3/5

Mare Mediterranean - 3/5

Martin Millers - 3/5

Masons Yorkshire - 4/5

Monkey 47 - 4/5

Opihr - 5/5

Oxley - 4/5

Portobello Road - 1/5

Sacred Cardamom Gin - 5/5

Salcombe Gin - 3/5

Silent Pool - 4/5

Sipsmith - 4/5

Slingsby 3..5/5

Slingsby Rhubarb - 4/5

Tanqueray Flor de Seville - 4/5

The Botanist - 4/5

The West Winds - 3.5/5

Warner Edwards - 4/5

Whitely Neill Gin - 3/5

Whittakers Pink Peculiar - 4/5

There will undoubtedly be more I have missed off. 3/5 and above to me are good, and ones I would drink again or order in a bar. 4 and up are gins I want to own and have via IV daily.

To try this year -

Old Curiosity - Rose Gin

Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin

Filliers Pine Tree Blossom Gin

Gordon Castle Gin

Harahorn Norwegian Gin

Spring Gin Black Pepper

Tarquins

Ok, I think that is everything! If you have any questions let me know but what would be amazing is if you could leave a comment with your own ratings of some favourite gins so we can all try at some point!