The idea of sitting outside in the garden, on a warm summer’s day, holding a chilled G&T might just sound like the stuff of dreams (especially after the events of 2020!) – but fear not, summer is now within reach!
In anticipation of longer days filled with sunshine, barbecues, picnics and outdoor get-togethers with friends and family, our minds have turned to the drinks department – naturally!
Typical summertime refreshments are refreshing, fruity, zesty and of course ice-cold! So, taking this into account, we’ve rounded up 12 superb premium gins which we believe are best suited for the occasion. Roll on summer 2021!
Named after a picturesque fishing village in Liguria, a coastal region of north-western Italy, Portofino Gin is made with 21 locally sourced ingredients featuring a mix of aromatic, herbaceous and floral botanicals.
Handpicked from the hills of Portofino, these carefully selected botanicals are individually macerated for 7 days in an alcohol base from Italian wheat grain, before being distilled separately using an ancient Italian copper still and a state-of-the-art Rotavapor – which helps to preserve the most delicate aromas from the freshly picked botanicals.
Portofino Gin has a perfect balance of flavours, with initial notes of fresh citrus and juniper moving into a Mediterranean mix of floral lavender, herbaceous rosemary and sage and delicate notes of sweet marjoram.
Recommended Garnish: Lemon Peel or Rosemary
Notable Botanicals: Juniper, orris root, angelica root, lemon, grapefruit, lavender, rosemary, marjoram, sage, iris, rose, laurel, chamomile, cardamom
Produced in Spain, Alkkemist Gin is made using a base of grain spirit 3 times distilled and 21 carefully selected botanicals including Mediterranean Muscat grape – which interestingly had never been used before in the making of a gin until the release of this expression.
Alkkemist Gin is claimed to be “distilled by the light of the full moon”, 12 times a year when the influence of the moon is bigger. The result is fruity with notable flavours of clove, peppery juniper and subtle floral. On the finish there is orange with a hint of samphire coming through.
Recommended Garnish: Lemon Peel or Grapefruit Peel
Notable Botanicals: Muscat grape, orange peel, lemon peel, rose petals, samphire, fennel, thyme, mint
A fine example of first-class Italian Craftmanship, Malfy Gin Con Limone is made using six botanicals infused with Sicilian and Amalfi Coast lemons – providing a very special zesty scent. The expression is created by the Vergnano family and produced at the Torino Distillati, near Turin, which is renowned for producing spirits, wines and liqueurs dating back to 1906.
This delicious gin offers a bright and fresh flavour, but not too overpowering, with prominent notes of earthy juniper bringing character to the gin.
Recommended Garnish: Slice of Lemon
Notable Botanicals: Italian juniper, coriander, angelica, cassia bark, lemon, grapefruit
Produced in the Spanish town of Carmona in Seville, Puerto De Indias Strawberry Gin is made using the freshest and highest quality ingredients that have been carefully sourced, creating a truly special product with a unique identity.
Made with ripe strawberries, grown in the region of Huelva in Andalusia, this vibrant gin offers a fruit-forward flavour with gorgeous aromatic berry scents, balanced with citrus notes and subtle wild juniper.
Recommended Garnish: Strawberries and Lime Wedge
Notable Botanicals: Juniper, coriander, strawberry, lime, grapefruit, orange peel, lemon peel
You can read our full review of Puerto De Indias Strawberry Gin by clicking here.
Capturing the essence of the South of France, the award-winning ‘Rosé Sainte Marie’ is a delightfully fresh artisan gin handcrafted in the coastal town of Salcombe, South Devon. The expression is named after the ‘Sainte Marie’ lighthouse, which marks the Southern entrance to the Old Port of Marseille, from where 19th century Salcombe Fruit Schooners would load citrus fruits and herbs bound for England’s ports.
Inspired by the flavours and aromas of the South of France, it is ideal to enjoy on a warm summer’s evening as the sun goes down. Distilled with the likes of juniper berries, strawberries and angelica it has a soft sweetness with a very fresh and delicate flavour.
Recommended Garnish: Slice of Strawberry or a Fresh Lemon Peel Twist
Notable Botanicals: Juniper berries, strawberries, lemon peel, orange peel, lemon verbena, angelica, rose petals, orange blossom, pink peppercorns
Named after the Aviation cocktail created in the 1900s, Aviation American Gin is small-batch gin distilled to an old Dutch recipe, produced in Portland, Oregon.
Offering a distinguished flavour, it has crisp notes of juniper, not too overpowering, balanced nicely with warm notes of earthy spice, hints of delicate floral sweetness and lasting notes of spice and citrus on the finish. It works particularly well as a base in many cocktails, including the classic Aviation cocktail.
Recommended Garnish: Lemon and Lime Wedge
Notable Botanicals: Juniper, lavender, anise, sarsaparilla, orange peel, cardamom
Handcrafted at Manly Spirits Co. Distillery, located on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, this award-winning gin is created using a blend of ten sustainably foraged botanicals, including marine and ones native to Australia, along with other more traditional botanicals.
The result is both refreshing and balanced, with initial fresh citrus and juniper giving way to savoury, peppery notes on the palate. The finish is lingering and complex with minty eucalyptus making an appearance.
Recommended Garnish: Slice of Fresh Orange
Notable Botanicals: Juniper, angelica root, orris root, coriander seeds, cardamom, pepper leaf, sea lettuce, anise myrtle, finger lime, orange peel
Presented in a beautiful bottle depicting the botanicals used in its creation, Darnley’s Navy Strength Spiced Gin is a bold and spicy London Dry offering an intense warming flavour.
The expression is produced in small batches by Darnley’s Gin, based in Fife, Scotland, and is inspired by the illustrious Royal Navy career of their ancestor Sir Rosslyn Wemyss, who commanded ships around the world and rose to the rank of Admiral of the Fleet. His ships’ officers would enjoy a daily ration of gin, that had to pass a gunpowder test to prove that it was over 57% alcohol and therefore Navy Strength.
Enjoy served with a premium tonic water, plenty of ice and a slice of pink grapefruit – for a delicious juniper led G&T with a bold character.
Recommended Garnish: Slice of Pink Grapefruit
Notable Botanicals: Juniper, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cumin, ginger, grains of paradise, cassia, angelica root, coriander
This premium gin is produced by The Lakes Distillery in the heart of the Lake District – and is featured as one of their award-winning spirits within their fantastic range of gins, whiskies and vodkas.
The gin is made using 9 botanicals which are gently infused in the finest British wheat spirit, before being distilled in a traditional copper pot still. The botanicals are left to steep overnight like loose-leaf tea, allowing the essential oils to release more slowly, thus protecting their delicate nature whilst also achieving maximum flavour.
A classic English gin, offering a wonderfully smooth flavour, it features piney juniper with notes of cracked black peppercorns and tangy marmalade.
Recommended Garnish: Orange Peel or Wedge of Grapefruit
Notable Botanicals: Juniper, coriander, angelica, orris root, cassia bark, liquorice, bitter orange, sweet orange, lemon peel
Another offering from the Spanish gin brand, Puerto de Indias, is this gorgeous dry gin made with a delightful mix of orange blossom, citrus, jasmine and vanilla.
Using only the finest quality botanicals and natural spring water, this full-bodied gin delivers generous fruit and floral aromatics accompanied by intense citrus notes. In particular it is recommended for consumers with a palate for stronger, more bitter flavours.
Serve with a Mediterranean tonic for a fresh and elegant G&T.
Recommended Garnish: Orange Peel and a Cinnamon Stick
Notable Botanicals: Orange blossom, citrus, jasmine, vanilla
Recently released, this new addition to Beefeater’s flavoured gin range is made using a base of Beefeater’s London Dry recipe, with added natural sweet peach and raspberry flavours.
Inspired by two recipes dating back to the 1800s – for a peach liqueur and a raspberry gin, that were created by founder James Burrough, this delightful gin offers a slightly sweet taste with a gentle raspberry tang.
Paired with a premium tonic, it creates a light and refreshing drink, ideal for sipping on a warm Summer’s day.
Recommended Garnish: Peach Wedge and Fresh Raspberries
Notable Botanicals: Juniper, lemon peel, Seville orange peel, almond, angelica root, coriander seed, orris root, peach, raspberry
You can read more about Beefeater’s Peach & Raspberry Gin by clicking here.
Produced by Scottish distillers BrewDog, LoneWolf Cactus and Lime Gin is inspired by America’s Wild Frontier and offers sharp citrus notes with a strong juniper backbone.
The expression is loaded with flavour from the lime, before it is topped up with the juice from a pressed cactus and Queen of the Night – a fragrant cactus flower that only appears at nightfall.
The result is a vibrant, zesty gin with delightful undertones of watermelon and lychee.
Recommended Garnish: Slice of Lemon or Lime
Notable Botanicals: Scots pine, Tuscan juniper, grapefruit peel, lemon peel, angelica, orris root, cardamom, lemongrass, kaffir lime, almonds, lavender, cactus flower
You can read more about BrewDog’s LoneWolf Cactus and Lime Gin by clicking here.