In recent years, gin has become the UK’s most popular spirit – with over 83 million bottles of it sold in the UK last year. This has been largely due to the increase of independent, small-scale artisan distillers, producing true craft gins with unique and exciting flavours.
Gin has come a long way, from its earliest beginnings dating back to the middle ages when it was mainly used for medicinal purposes, to today – a handcrafted spirit infused with exotic and out-of-the-ordinary botanicals, produced by innovative craft distilleries.
Each gin we have selected offers a unique flavour, with the emphasis being on the use of locally sourced and foraged botanicals.
So, without further ado, we present to you – our Top 10 British Small-Batch Craft Gins.
Presented in a beautiful bottle, with purple heathers embossed around the base, Crofter’s Tears is a London Dry gin produced by Scottish distillers Ice & Fire. The key botanical found in this wonderfully smooth gin is local, handpicked purple heather tips which only bloom in the months of July and August.
These are blended together with a selection of other botanicals including juniper, cubeb, cassia bark, coriander, cardamom, orange peel, orris root and lime peel creating a traditional gin that evokes the spirits of the Highlands. Crofter’s Tears offers a well-balanced flavour profile combining floral and herbal notes with hints of sweet citrus.
Serving Recommendation: Serve over ice with Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic, garnished with a twist of lime and a bramble.
Crofter’s Tears Highland Gin can be purchased by clicking here.
Recently launched by Cornish distillers G&Tea, The Great Earl Gin is a beautifully balanced gin, headlining their unique range of handcrafted Plough-to-Bottle gins.
Produced on a farming estate in the picturesque Cornish countryside, The Great Earl Gin is created using carefully selected botanicals, both locally grown and from around the world, infused with whole-leaf Ceylon tea sourced from the foothills of Sri Lanka. Botanicals include bergamot, lemon, bitter Spanish orange, warming Cornish bay leaves and Macedonian juniper.
Offering a fresh and unique flavour, it has prominent notes of Earl Grey accompanied by punchy orange and apricot, with a delightful mix of herbal and floral notes. On the finish – a hint of spicy coriander, juniper and long subtle citrus tones. The Great Earl Gin is a true craft gin and an absolute joy to drink!
Serving Recommendation: Serve over ice cubes with a premium tonic, garnished with orange wedge and cinnamon.
The Great Earl Gin can be purchased by clicking here.
You can read our full review of the recently launched G&Tea range, including The Great Earl Gin, Cornish Cream Tea Gin and Eight-Tea Days Gin by clicking here.
Launched in early 2018, Duck and Crutch Gin is a handcrafted, premium London Dry gin produced in a very small shed located in Kensington, London.
Offering a distinctive flavour profile, this gin is created with an interesting mix of botanicals including Darjeeling tea, Bourbon vanilla pod, nutmeg, cardamom, orange and lemon peel, and fresh thyme.
It has delicious notes of vanilla and tea, with herbal undertones of thyme and cardamom coming through. A wonderfully smooth gin, with a subtle warmth.
Serving Recommendation: Serve over ice, in a chilled tumbler glass, with regular Indian tonic and a garnish of two fresh thyme sprigs.
Duck and Crutch Kensington London Dry Gin can be purchased by clicking here.
Produced at the Southwestern Distillery, Tarquin’s Gin is a London Dry gin handcrafted in tiny batches using a special flame-fired copper pot still called Tamara – with each individual batch including tasting notes written by hand.
Distilled with a selection of 12 botanicals sourced from around the world, including locally foraged Devon violets, Tarquin’s Gin offers a fresh and vibrant flavour profile, inspired by the wild Cornish coast.
It has crisp pine from the juniper, paired beautifully with zesty citrus and lovely floral notes on the finish, from the fragrant violets.
Serving Recommendation: Serve over plenty of ice with Fever-Tree Tonic, garnished with red grapefruit and a fresh sprig of thyme.
Tarquin’s Handcrafted Cornish Gin can be purchased by clicking here.
Conker Spirit Gin is produced at Dorset’s first gin distillery, launched in 2014, and embodies flavours of the local Dorset county with notes of elderberries, samphire and gorse flowers.
It is distilled with a blend of British wheat spirit and New Forest Spring Water along with a selection of 10 botanicals, locally sourced from the Dorset coast and New Forest.
Conker Spirit Gin is a smooth gin with well-balanced flavours – bright notes of juniper, a subtle sweetness and an undertone of earthy spice.
Serving Recommendation: Serve over large ice cubes with tonic water, garnished with a twist of lime.
Conker Spirit Dorset Dry Gin can be purchased by clicking here.
Wicked Wolf Exmoor Gin is the original small batch gin, produced in North Devon using a combination of 11 exotic botanicals – creating a complex flavour prolife of citrus and peppery notes alongside piney juniper and coriander.
Botanicals include juniper, angelica, cardamom, coriander, cubeb, grains of paradise, hibiscus, Kaffir lime leaves, orange and lemon peel, and lemongrass. It can be enjoyed neat over ice, with a premium tonic or mixed with ginger beer – as an alternative.
Serving Recommendation: Serve in a G&T with ice, garnished with lemon a fresh thyme.
Wicked Wolf Exmoor Gin can be purchased by clicking here.
Made in Sheffield by Locksley Distilling Co. Ltd, Sir Robin of Locksley Gin is a true English, artisan gin, with a distinctive juniper led flavour that offers great versatility.
It is distilled with a selection of traditional botanicals along with elderflower, dandelion and pink grapefruit. The final recipe was reached after 8 months of experimenting with over a hundred distillations and blends – but it was lucky Number Sixty One that made the final cut.
Honouring a local Sheffield legend, it was named after the heroic outlaw – Robin Hood!
Serving Recommendation: Serve with a generous amount of ice, topped with a premium tonic and a pink grapefruit peel, for extra citrus flavour.
Sir Robin of Locksley Gin can be purchased by clicking here.
This international award-winning gin is a traditional style of London Dry, produced by family distiller, Harrogate Distillery Ltd., in the heart of Nidderdale, North Yorkshire.
Whittaker’s Gin is a small batch gin that embodies the Yorkshire countryside. It is made with a base of juniper mixed with coriander and angelica root, along with a selection of signature botanicals including hawthorn berries, bilberries, bog myrtle and home-grown thyme.
With initial strong notes of juniper, the flavours begin to soften into more earthy tones, with subtle hints of floral. A delightful gin inspired by the beautiful, North Yorkshire countryside.
Serving Recommendation: Serve over ice with a plain regular tonic, garnished with a fresh sprig of thyme, rosemary or juniper berries.
Whittaker’s Gin can be purchased by clicking here.
Hailing from the Bruichladdich Distillery on the Isle of Islay, Scotland, The Botanist Gin is a well-crafted and complex gin offering a range of tasting notes from floral to herbal.
The Bruichladdich Distillery may be more recognized for producing whisky – however, The Botanist Gin, which was launched in 2010, has proved itself to be a world-class gin in its own right!
The gin is made with a huge 31 botanicals in total, 22 of which are locally foraged on the island of Islay. Notable botanicals include: apple mint, birch, bog myrtle, chamomile, cinnamon, clover, gorse flowers, hawthorn, heather flowers, juniper, lady’s bedstraw flowers, water mint and wood Sage. It is a beautifully layered gin with big floral and citrus notes, and a smooth, clean finish.
Serving Recommendation: Serve over fresh ice with a premium tonic, garnished with a wedge of grapefruit and a sprig of thyme.
The Botanist Gin can be purchased by clicking here.
You can read our full review of The Botanist Gin by clicking here.
Produced in small batches at The Spirit of Manchester Distillery, it is made with the same base recipe as the classic Manchester Gin infused with the sweetest raspberries – creating a gorgeous fruity flavour.
The result is slightly sweet with gentle notes of raspberry, accompanied by soft floral tones and hints of juniper, with a smooth finish.
Serving Recommendation: Serve over ice cubes with Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic, garnished with fresh raspberries.
Manchester Raspberry Infused Gin can be purchased by clicking here.