As the nights draw in, many of us spend our days thinking about getting home from work and getting tucked up in front of a roaring log fire. Trouble is, who’s got access to an open fireplace these days, let along a convenient log-pile? But, even if the best you can hope for is cranking up the central heating and climbing under the nearest duvet, you can always fend off the cold with a well-mixed cocktail. And while your mind might turn to whisky or brandy at this time of year, there’s a range of high-quality gins available guaranteed to lighten even the darkest of winter nights. So here, for your consideration, are five of the very best.
Produced in County Down, Northern Ireland, Jawbox is an established top-shelf gin famous for employing 11 Botanicals so as to produce a unique and unmistakable flavour. Immediately apparent is the sweet smell of juniper, which combined with fresh pine, citrus and green angelica creates a serene and wonderfully palatable effect. Enjoy with ginger ale and lime, an Irish tradition going back centuries. And with history as rich and flavourful as that, you’ve got to ask yourself, what’s not to like?
Next on our list is a multi-award winner, and a brand hotly sought after by connoisseurs everywhere. This, in part, is because Two Spirits still only make 100 bottles of their Two Birds range at any one time, which is another way of saying that their quality control is pretty much second to none. Produced in handmade copper stills, it’s a deceptively simple recipe which employs a top secret ingredient, lending it a remarkably crisp, cool finish. One for the afficioardo in all of us.
If you haven’t already sampled a gin made in part from celtic seaweed, you’ve really got to ask yourself: what I am waiting for? Permission? Because this wonderful Welsh creation is a taste sensation quite unlike any other. The seaweed is oh-so slowly infused over many long weeks to create a gin that, unsurprisingly, partners perfectly with just about any seafood you can think of. But served with fresh oysters? Now, that’s truly an aperitif for the ages.
Originating from the Yorkshire town of the same name, this is a gin simply packed full of flavour. An impressive 24 botanicals go into each bottle, most of them sourced locally. These are added to brilliantly pure grains and the local spring water, famous for its high mineral content and overall healing properties. Citrus and juniper are the order of the day, working in perfect harmony to create the kind of light, vibrant flavour associated with the very best in classic, British gin.
For a wholesome and altogether organic experience, look no further than this London Dry variety originating from the Southwest of the capital. This is a brand bursting with berries, fruits and other superfoods, and due to the handmade nature in which it’s crafted, it’s a blend that never quite tastes the same twice. And if that’s not enough to earn it a resounding seal of approval, it donates a percentage of its profits to a number of conservation projects across the globe. The very definition of responsible drinking.
So, if you’re in the market for a great gin this winter, then here’s something we hope will whet your appetite. Because even when it’s cold, dark and snowy out there, the finer things in life still remain: a taste of the good life for those willing to seek it out, whatever the weather.