As the nation’s most popular spirit, the gin craze in the UK is showing no sign of slowing down.
With more and more gins appearing daily, it’s difficult to know where to beGIN (see what we did there) when choosing your bottle for those summer months…or weeks, no judgement here!
From the sweet to the savoury; the fragrant to the fruity, VIVA Lifestyle Magazine has scoured and tested the best gins and top tipples on the market this summer so you don’t have to spend your time staring at the overwhelming choice on supermarket shelves.
Edinburgh Gooseberry & Elderflower Gin and Edinburgh Raspberry Gin
Gin has been a part of Edinburgh and Leith’s heritage since the first gin craze in the 1700’s, and Edinburgh Gin holds the flag high as one of the most notable and popular gins on the market, so it’s no surprise that these summer editions have been so perfectly executed.
The Raspberry edition is juicy and is complemented by floral undertones; I found this was best with tonic and chucked a few raspberries in there too. If you aren’t into your flavoured gins and prefer a more subtle flavour, then their elderflower edition would be more suited, as its aromatic flavours create a perfectly balanced G&T.
The thing I love about Edinburgh Gin is that it’s premium taste at a more affordable price, meaning you can try a few variations without feeling cheated if it’s not to your taste. A big thumbs up from me! Here are a couple of cocktails you can try with each.
Last year, I was won over with the ‘Pixie Tears’ gin from Firebox, and it’s safe to say I’m obsessed with their ‘Unicorn Tears’ gin this year. I mean come on, it’s a glittery drink, who wouldn’t want that?! Not only would this make a great gift, but it’d also be a great present to yourself. I don’t know who needs to tell you this right now, but you deserve it!
To achieve the unique taste of this gin, legend has it that they feed the unicorns ‘entire wheelbarrows of citrus fruit, oranges, juniper berries, bunches of coriander, and sticks of liquorice. We then force down this concoction with a giant glittery pestle, like fantasy foie grass, and reap the tears as they fall.’ If you’re not intrigued by that then I don’t know what will intrigue you!
Unicorn Tears Gin can be found on Firebox RRP £29.99.
When I picture Hendricks, I imagine I’m sat in an English country garden sipping on a G&T as the sun beats down onto my face. This year with Hendricks’ summer cocktails, I can (just about) recreate this in my back garden if the weather manages to behave itself!
Although the beer gardens are starting to open up, if you’re not quite comfortable going yet you can have the perfect garden party with Hendricks and try out a few of their cocktail recipes. My personal favourite was the watermelon cucumber spritz because I loved the refreshing, bursting flavours; here are their signature recipes for those long summer days.
Watermelon Cucumber Spritz
30ml Hendrick’s Gin
30ml fresh watermelon juice (blend watermelon then fine strain)
Top with soda
Garnish with cucumber slice and watermelon wedge
You can purchase Hendricks from all good retailers RRP £30.
From the makers of ARLU Rum, the lovely Didsbury Gin have conjured up a collection that is perfect for sipping on this summer. One of their summer-ready gins stood out to me; their strawberry and Sicilian lemon, so I had to try it.
Just like Didsbury Gin I’m Manchester born and raised, and when I paired this gin with lemonade, I was instantly transported back to my school days, playing on the park and having ice lollies on a hot day. The sweet strawberry flavours and the twist of the citrus work really well together; you could definitely drink this gin neat too. If you’re into your flavoured gins, I’d also recommend trying their Blood Orange or Raspberry and Elderflower edition.
When I think of Gin Ting, I picture tropical scenery, the ocean waves and that perfectly infused G&T. The taste of fresh fruit is right at the forefront of Gin Ting, boasting tropical notes of tangy mango & a hint of passion fruit and a subtly spicy juniper and cassia in the background. What I love about Gin Ting is that it’s unique and doesn’t follow the crowd. There aren’t many mango gins out there and it certainly has them standing tall above the crowded gin market!
But if that doesn’t tempt you, they’ve also created their own take on a berries gin; ‘BERRIES BERRIES BERRIES’. Packed full of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, the natural fruity flavours punch through without being overpowering; this is a powerful contender for my favourite ‘berries’ gin. I found these gins worked best with lemonade over tonic as the soft flavour complimented the flavours in the gin. Top marks all around for Gin Ting!
‘Wow.’ Was the first word I uttered when I opened the box to the Isle of Wight’s distillery’s ‘Mermaid Gin’. Arriving in a crystallised teal, blue and aqua sophisticated bottle, it seemed too nice to touch, let alone drink. Awarded first place in the IWSC Design Awards, Mermaid Gin take pride in their sustainable and plastic-free packaging. Crafted from recyclable glass, the bottle features a sustainably sourced natural cork stopper and compostable tamper-proof seal, and by simply producing a bottle of such beauty, they hope that customers are inclined to repurpose it (mine will definitely be on my windowsill with fairy lights in it after I’ve finished).
The gin itself is centred around citrus botanicals with a hit of sea air, so I teamed this with a light tonic and a slice of lemon. It’s a perfectly balanced G&T that is a revitalising and refreshing drink for a summer’s day. The whole experience of this gin was wonderful, from the mythical bottle to the crisp, fresh tasting gin, I’d have it again in a heartbeat.
As one of the oldest distilleries on the Isle of Mull, Tobermory’s whiskey distillery was famous for its whiskey, up until now- there’s a new spirit in town! First of all, the Tobermory Gin bottle has to get a mention; it’s a quaint painting of the famous multicoloured Tobermory houses!
Inspired by the expressive nature of Mull, a splash of spirit from the whisky stills are added to gin to create a unique character. It’s distilled on the island with a rich palate of hand-selected botanicals including juniper, tea, heather, elderflower, sweet orange peel, and just a little bit of knowledge from 220 years of history. If you want to try your hand at making an alcoholic iced tea with this gin,add all ingredients to a teapot and churn, fill a teacup with lemon slice, mint leaves and ice before pouring.