Gin is making a major comeback on the cocktail scene, so keep ahead of the crowd this summer by knowing your Butler’s from your Hendricks.
While gin has been growing in popularity over the last five years as the key ingredient in cocktails including Martini, Tom Collins, Negroni and of course the classic G&T, it’s the launch of numerous small ‘craft’ gin labels which is really exciting bartenders and gin-drinkers alike.
Although all gin is juniper based, today’s ‘craft’ distillers have played with the various botanicals used to enhance the gin’s flavour to create a wide range of unique tasting gins which, in turn, subtly influence the taste of the cocktails they’re used in.
Huge new range
From the Tasmanian pepperberry leaf and lemon myrtle, which flavours Australian Four Pillars, to the rose petals and cucumber of the Scottish Hendrick’s and sweet orange, cardamom and thyme of Suffolk’s Adnams First Rate, no two craft gins taste the same with flavours as varied as the distillers themselves.
This rich diversity of craft gins is, of course, great news for a new generation of gin aficionados as it means a summer of dedicated tasting and trialling, checking how each craft gin suits the different gin cocktail recipes.
Key names to look out for on your summer journey of gin discovery include:
- Sipsmith – a clean smooth gin with rich botanicals
- Portobello Road – fresh with citrus and coriander with a spicy nutmeg warmth
- Monkey 47 – named after the 47 botanicals it contains, this gin from the Black Forest in Germany has a complex, compelling flavour
- Gilpin’s Westmorland Extra Dry – An earthy mix of sage and borage mixes with notes of citrus to make a strong, rich gin
- Jinzu – Created by British bartender Dee Davies this is a heady combination of gin, botanicals and distilled sake
Gin cocktail recipe to try
Once you’ve selected your favourite gin why not try it in an English Garden Cocktail, created our bar manager at Constance Belle Mare Plage, Guillaume.
English Garden Cocktail
- 5cl rosemary-infused gin
- 2cl Asian syrup
- 2cl lemon juice
- 1 pinch black pepper
- Fresh mint
Shake the ingredients over ice and pour into a jam glass. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary or mint, or a slice of cucumber.
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