If World Gin Day isn’t the best day of the year, I think there’s something very wrong. So to make sure we’re all making the most of this great occasion, here are three superb gins and how to use them.
On the second Saturday of June every year, the world celebrates the best thing you can do with juniper.
World Gin Day has been officially celebrated since 2009, but in reality, we’ve been blowing up the balloons and hanging the bunting for this wonderful spirit for a lot longer than that.
3 world-class gins for World Gin Day
Gin has seen an amazing resurgence in popularity in recent years and with it some amazing new craft distilleries doing wonderful things with gin.
So here are very different gins and some ideas for what to do with them.
Karu Distillery’s Lightning Navy Strength Gin
Tucked away at the feet of the Blue Mountains, NSW, Karu Distillery is run and owned by the excellent Ally and Nick Ayres – you can find out more about them here.
Their navy strength gin, Lightning, is a powerful yet well-structured gin, full of bright citrus, earthy herbs and zingy spices – many of which Nick and Ally grow onsite at the distillery.
And if you’re not sure what navy strength means, you can read all about it here.
There are so many things you can do with this gin, including drink it neat with a dash of water just like scotch. As a gin and tonic, this gin really shines, and we’ve got another top tip about G&Ts a bit later.
But you can also cook with this one. Here’s our recipe for Gin and Lemon Custard Tarts you seriously have to have a go at.
Warner’s Distillery’s Rhubarb Gin
Warner’s Distillery is an English gin also made by a husband-and-wife team. Tom and Tina Warner created their Rhubarb Gin using actual rhubarb juice, which turned the gin pink.
This pink gin trend took off based on their creation and is now a world phenomenon. But this was the first one.
Warner’s Rhubarb Gin actually makes an excellent boozy twist on the classic Eton mess dessert, which you can read all about here, but it also makes a delicious sour too:
– 50ml Warner’s Rhubarb Gin
– 25ml lemon juice
– 20ml sugar syrup
– dash of Angostura bitters
– 1 egg white
Shake everything over ice until the shaker is icy, then double strain into a glass, empty the ice and ‘dry shake’ again for another 10 seconds.
Pour into a coupe glass or a small tumbler and garnish with a lemon twist.
Smooth and velvety from the egg white, sharp and sherbety from the sugar and lemon, and a fresh pop of juiciness from the rhubarb, this version of the classic sour is excellent.
A household name, Bombay Sapphire is a truly international gin. Although it’s distilled in Hampshire, its ingredients come from far and wide – an ambassador for World Gin Day indeed.
Juniper from Tuscany, coriander from Morocco, lemon peel from Spain and cubeb berries from Java (plus another six botanicals) all go into this beautifully balanced gin.
And because it’s so well balanced, this is a real multitool for any home bar, and this Winter Fizz is a great place to start:
– 45ml Bombay Sapphire
– 20ml red vermouth
– 10ml lemon juice – strained to remove pulp
– 100ml tonic water
– orange twist to garnish
Build over plenty of ice in a collins glass and garnish with the long strip of orange.
The Cure tonic syrups
I love tonic syrups and these are amazing.
A lot of the time, the tonic water you buy in the shops – even the good stuff – is too powerful or doesn’t match the gin you’re using.
But tonic syrups – a bit like cordial – mean you can choose the strength of your tonic and these ones even give you different flavour profiles to put with your gin. These syrups are spot on for G&Ts and cocktails like Winter Fizz above. In fact drinking them without gin – especially the Aussie Bush syrup – is great too.
Made in Sydney by bartenders who struggled through the pandemic lockdowns, The Cure tonic syrups bring a bit of that professional cocktail bar feel home.
You just add the amount of soda water you want to the syrup and away you go. Since Christina got these for my birthday, our Sodastream’s been on double shifts!