Some of the gins featured below were kindly gifted. Article contains affiliate links.
What a year 2020 was. And what resilience, generosity and determination distillers have demonstrated; adapting events to online experiences, turning their hand to sanitiser production and continuing to not only make our favourite spirit, but create new ones too! Unsurprisingly, most of last year’s releases were line extensions rather than new brands, but my goodness, there were some crackers in there. So, without further ado, here are my top ten of 2020.
Provenance is undoubtedly popular these days – after all who doesn’t like the feelgood factor of buying something local? – but, like anything that matters, it’s not easy to get right. There’s confusion about names (my friend up north is forever confusing Slingsby and Harrogate gins); there’s the all-important matter of honesty and authenticity (it recently transpired Snowdonia Gin is actually made over the border in Warrington); and then, to really mean something, provenance needs to go beyond the name to the product itself. It’s not just what the gin is called and where it’s made that matters, but also what it’s made of and why. Provenance is about stories and people, botanicals and landscapes. And to do provenance properly it all needs to connect with that community.