It is testament to the enduring appeal of, and fascination with, whisky that Whisky Live has been running for 19 years and is now held in over 25 countries. And it’s a measure of the extent to which gin has shot to prominence in recent years that, on 29 and 30 March 2019, the first Gin Live London shared the bill with its well-heeled forebear. Both festivals were held in the stunning grounds of the Honourable Artillery Company; considered the second oldest military corps in the world and, today, a registered charity whose purpose is to attend to the “better defence of the realm” … [insert Brexit joke here]
You might just about tempt me with gin-cured salmon during the festive season but, to be honest, the only place I really want to find gin at Christmas is under the tree or in my glass! Here are seven cracking cocktails to see you through the bleak midwinter.
In 2010, John Savage-Onstwedder became one of the first UK recipients of a 350-litre still license, but it wasn’t until 2012 that the Dà Mhìle organic farmhouse distillery was opened in Ceredigion, Mid Wales. Having endured months, if not years, of building works and bureaucracy, success came to the distillery quickly as their first product, the organic Orange 33 liqueur, won a True Taste Award for its very first test batch!
Charity gifts have been gaining in popularity since Oxfam’s first goat herds went up for grabs. Alongside this, we’ve seen an increase in brands that do good, and gin is no exception. There’s Ginerosity, the profits from which go towards helping young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds; One Gin, which funds water projects in the world’s poorest communities; and Graveney Gin, which gives 10% of its profits to conservation charity Gearing Up For Gorillas. But what if you’re looking for a gift that’s a little more generous or rather more tangible? Well, The National Trust for Scotland, the country’s largest conservation charity, have just launched the Love Gin Hamper and it could be just the thing you’re looking for for the gin-lover in your life.
It is fairly common for a new distillery to start making gin before moving onto whisky. Gin, which can be sold as soon as it is made, offers a relatively quick financial return in comparison with whisky which (due to legal requirement) must be aged before it is commercially viable. This helps to explain why approximately 70% of the gin produced in the UK is made in Scotland. What is much less common is for a gin to have its origins in whisky production, but this is the case in the story of Welsh distillery Dà Mhìle.