Proof that you can drink gin in winter! While we wait for the mercury to top up the thermometer, here are three winter gins ideal for cold weather.
Of course, there’s nothing like a bright, sparkling G&T to cool you down on hot days or a citrus zap of a gimlet to see out a warm evening. But what about when the weather turns?
Are we really expected to stop drinking gin?!
Thankfully, with so many gins around at the moment, there are plenty of options for a winter gin that won’t chill you when you’ve worked so hard to warm up during the short days and long nights of these chilly months.
Here are three gins perfect for the winter.
Seven Spice Gin from Hickson House Distillery, Sydney, Australia
Crafted by the clever fellas of Hickson House in the Rocks in their beautiful distillery and bar, Seven Spice Gin is a real display of what head distiller Tim Stones is capable of.
As the name suggests, Seven Spice Gin has seven main botanicals that create spicy layers within the gin. The botanicals, all of which are Australian natives, are finger lime, wattle seed, native lemongrass, pepper leaf, aniseed myrtle, bush tomato and lemon myrtle.
The result is a beautifully aromatic gin with initially savoury and then citrus notes, oily, peppery and mocha flavours and a rich, long finish.
This spicy full-bodied gin is perfect for a martini while you’re sitting by the fire.
Alternatively, head to the distillery on Hickson Road—almost under the arches of the Harbour Bridge—try this gin straight from the distillery’s beautiful bespoke martini trolley.
Harrington Dry Gin from Warner’s Distillery, Harrington, England
From the distillery that started the pink gin movement with its Rhubarb Gin, Warner’s Harrington Dry Gin is ostensibly a traditional dry gin, but there’s something extra that really makes this a wonderful drop.
Deep in the Northamptonshire countryside, this distillery grows almost all of its botanicals. In fact, to prove this is a great winter gin, it was at Warner’s cellar door in late autumn that we fell in love with the Harrington Dry.
Juniper aromas leap out of the glass in all their sharp and herbal yet savoury-sweet Sunday best. Lemony floral notes come forward too as well as a gravelly peppery note.
To taste, Harrington Dry is slick, smooth and savoury on the palate. It’s a robust gin, loaded with juniper and an impressive range of spices, ideal for cold weather.
Cardamom, black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon all warm you from the inside, as does the elevated ABV of 44%.
Talk of G&Ts with this gin make sense, but a Harrington Dry martini or martinez would do me very well.
Tulchan Gin from Speyside, Scotland
A wolf in whisky clothing, Tulchan Gin is made in the very heart of Speyside scotch country, with the banks of the River Spey running right through the 22,000 acres of Tulchan Estate.
Only a handful of well-known gins hail from Scotland—the likes of Tanqueray, The Botanist and Hendricks all flying the white-cross-on-blue Saltire—so Tulchan is in good company.
Indeed, this small-batch gin, which uses botanicals inspired by the things growing on the grounds of its Highlands home, should feel very comfortable on this list of legendary gin names.
Tulchan Gin has a floral aroma, but in a rich, rose and geranium way rather than spring flowers and daisies, with underlying herbal notes.
Dry, grassy and green flavours come forward in this gin rather than full-on juniper, and there’s a dark berry finish to this gin that’s quite interesting. An oily texture and lip-tingling warmth heat things up—just right for winter.
The bottle deserves some admiring too, which is as unique as the gin itself. From the flattened edge and its Tartan pattern to the embossed gold cap to the closure, careful design is clearly a big part in this premium spirit.
Mind you, I’m not sure about the piper on the label. It took me a minute to realise that instead of a human head, the figure playing the bagpipes in fact has the head of a grouse!
Of course, this gin works well as a martini—as does any high-quality gin—but in a negroni or a gimlet, Tulchan would really shine.
I’m also thinking about rinsing my martini glass with a drop of Speyside scotch before pouring my Tulchan gin and vermouth.
It doubles down on the Speyside theme and the whisky would throw an extra blanket of warmth over the drink—just right for winter.