May was mega but this month – with World Gin Day, Junipalooza, Think Gin, National Martini Day and Negroni Week – should probably just be renamed June-iper!
Last month I wrote about the rise of the ready-to-drink and while Lone Wolf have released their new look tin with a lower ABV G&T within, we’ve also seen more newcomers to the category this month. Scotland’s Eden Mill have released both an Original Gin and Tonic as well as a sweeter Love Gin and Rose Lemonade RTD. Hot on the heels of their new (and somewhat controversial) Strawberry and Lime gin, Kopparberg have also chosen to add lemonade to their tinned offering. Brentingby, on the other hand have teamed up with Peter Spanton tonics to launch a Pink Gin and Cardamom Tonic. Coming in at a hefty 8% ABV it’s the one I’ve got my eye on!
Meanwhile the mass appeal of flavoured gin shows no sign of losing momentum either. The subject of Think Gin’s debate, it’s clear that, far from being a gateway to gin, flavoured gins are fast becoming a category in their own right with a pretty distinct audience too. With flavoured gin seeing 300% growth year on year (compared to gin’s 11%), and 2.95million households only buying flavoured gins or gin liqueurs, it looks like the category definition The Wine and Spirit Trade Association are working on is much needed. As is educating the consumer. Nonetheless, it still came as something of a surprise to see the Daily Mail reporting on the high sugar content of many flavoured gins and leading the way in calling for clearer labelling!
Finally, a big congratulations to Hawthorn’s Gin which recently became the first gin in the world to be awarded 4 back-to-back gold medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition! I reviewed Hawthorn’s Gin back in 2016 but, along with all the medals, it now also has a new look label and higher ABV while still offering great value for money at just £22 for 70cl.
New Gin Alerts
All the events of June have brought with them plenty of new gin alerts too. The ones that have really caught my eye, and tickled my tastebuds, have been Brentingby’s Barrel Aged Gin, Warner’s exceptional London Dry, and Highclere Castle Gin; produced by Langely’s but with botanicals inspired by the castle’s gardens and featuring the estate’s own oats to create a creamy palate. And, while not quite to my taste, I couldn’t not mention Mermaid Pink Gin – just look at that bottle!
I also can’t wait to try Rock Rose’s Coastal Edition Gin and Plymouth Gin’s limited edition Mr King’s 1842 Recipe flavoured with single origin Umbrian juniper, picked in one single harvest on one single day, and orris root. That’s it. No other botanicals at all. And then there’s That Boutique-y Gin’s collaboration with Masons; Smouldering Heights Gin. Looking at the incredible artwork you’d be forgiven for thinking Masons were referencing the recent devastating fire at their distillery. But no. This gin, inspired by the annual heather burning on the Yorkshire Moors, was conceived before the fire. Spooky huh?!
My Month in Gin
I had the pleasure of celebrating the end of #GinADayMay at a terrific Tarquin’s tasting with my good friends at Subplot 57. If you still haven’t visited this super speakeasy-style bar in south London’s Forest Hill they are now open every Friday and Saturday night with a different gin of the week.
There were loads of great events happening for World Gin Day but I chose to spend mine at Junipalooza and quite wonderful it was too. My stand out gin was Never Never’s Juniper Freak but check out my review to find out what else took my fancy.
And then there was Think Gin at the Honourable Artillery Company. As well as attending the debate, catching up with familiar faces and trying lots of tasty gins I joined Monica Berg (of Tayēr + Elementary fame)’s marvellous masterclass, The Creativity of Drinking, and even got to enjoy one of her wonderful one-sip martinis!
Welcome to My Collection
So many gins so little time! Huge thanks to Merchant’s Heart for this incredible gift box featuring Roku Gin alongside their tantalising tonics and gorgeous glassware. And thanks also to The Ice Co. for their official gin cocktail box, and to That Boutique-y Gin for inviting me to join their Dram Good Club. As you can see they’ve all given me the perfect excuse to enjoy a hell of a lot of cocktails lately!
Thanks also to all the brilliant brands who’ve sent me 6 O’Clock Gin Jekka’s Edition Bouquet Garni, Theodore Pictish, Puerto De Indias Strawberry Gin, Greensand Ridge London Dry, GWYR: Rhosili, Wessex Gin, Highclere Castle and Íon Curious Citrus Gin. And thanks to me for Never Never Juniper Freak Gin! Yes, I liked it that much I put my hand in my purse for it!
Ooh and I’ve also got loads of new gin pins too! Which has got me working on a fun new little project…!
Catching Up and Looking Forward
And if you’re looking for your next gin event check out The Telegraph Gin Experience at the Hurlingham Club in south west London on 31st July and 1st August. Tickets include an introductory tasting session with expert hosts, a Cape Town Classic Dry Gin and tonic, the opportunity to sample over 50 gin brands, a two-course meal and a goody bag. And you can get 20% off tickets with discount code GINADINGDING20!
See you there! 🍸🛎🛎