Gin is back in vogue, there’s no doubt about that. But do you just grab the bottle of Bombay Sapphire or Tanqueray, or is there something better out there?
Simply put: yes! Along the same lines of the craft beer movement that’s sweeping the land, so craft gin is gaining huge, delicious momentum in bars everywhere.
These small batch, low yield distilleries are creating some amazing gins – each one so different from the next, it’s like discovering gin again every time you taste one.
We’ve talked about Australian craft gin before, but we’re still exploring and discovering new juniper delights as we go. Here are three gins – two from Australia, one from the States – that have caught our attention most recently:
This is a powerful, unctuous gin. It’s full of spicy muscle, aniseed and cardamom. But at the same time, there are some very clearly defined delicate notes that make this gin a masterpiece in its own right.
Coming to us from the stills of Mount Uncle Distillery in North Queensland, the complexities of this gin, not to mention its beautifully crafted bottle, really turn heads.
Made just outside of Bathurst, New South Wales, this spicy gin is a very lively drop. It’s quite citrusy too (possibly from the native finger limes Stone Pine use in their other spirits), which balances out the spice and herb factor.
This really is a superior gin, yet its lightness and bright flavours make this so accessible. If you’re just starting to explore the gin world, this is a good place to start. However, there’s certainly more than enough flavour and character going on to hold even the most earnest of gin drinker’s (is there such a thing?) attention.
Old Grove from Ballast Point
A gift from our friends visiting us from California, this San Diego-based distillery produces a lot more than just gin. Vodka, whiskey, rum, beer… but it’s all hand crafted, all made with the love and care that you’d expect from a craft producer.
Old Grove gin is a beautiful drop. Smooth as satin and subtle as… well, I don’t really know subtle! Fresh juniper, rose and coriander abound this little number. Absolutely delicious – and another excellent reason to head straight back to San Diego as soon as we can!
We’ve tried all of these gins in our favourite cocktail – a classic gin martini – so we could taste the gin in its near purest form. They all worked well in a martini, but the distilleries will all have their own preferred way to drink their brews.
Stone Pine, for example, say to drink their dry gin as a G&T using a specific tonic, so check out the different websites for recommendations… though I still can’t go too far past a good old martini!
Which is my all-time favourite gin? So far it’s a toss-up for me: the Botanic Australis or the Four Pillars. They’re both fantastic. Mind you, if you can find yourself in the presence of the Sipsmith’s smoked gin, do not miss out. It’s incredible but famously hard to find.
What gin do you usually drink? How do you take your gin – martini? G&T? A Fizz or a Sling? Tell us in the comments!