Tag Archives: spirits


    Gin. Twenty years ago, a drink that anyone under 40 would probably have sneered at, the tipple of the older generation, the least hip of all spirits. Vodka was the flavour of the day with rum also on the radar. Fast forward and gin is about as cool as it gets in the spirits world, with over 43 million bottles sold last year in the Uk, helping spirits overtake beer sales in the Uk, and a plethora of new distilleries popping up all over the Uk, double the number from 2010.

    I bucked the trend in my youth; I worked as brand manager for Smirnoff for a year in my early career, but never really got vodka. My spirit of choice was always gin, although in those days, choice was far more limited. But the scent, the botanicals, the flavours fascinated me, in a similar way to wine.

    The best news for me this month is that Great Western Wine, already well-known for their extensive range, have increased their number of gins to 101; gin lover’s heaven. But this in itself starts to make choosing a gin even more complicated than selecting a wine. With a plethora of styles from all over the world, from the big brands to tiny craft distilleries, where do you start? 101 gins is a bit of a challenge, even for me, so I decided to take things slowly and make a start on about a dozen of them.  Here are my top tips...

    As well as the myriad herb and spice botanicals that are used in gins all over the world, gins are now infused with fruit, leading to a totally different taste experience. If you like your gin fruity, in cocktails or even neat, then Brockmans Premium Gin with its intense aromas and sweet flavours of blackberries, blueberries and pink grapefruit would be the perfect Summer choice. Prefer the tropical style? Then try the super-hip Hoxton Gin, a sweeter style, dominated by coconut, pineapple and pink grapefruit.

    Personally, I’m a classic G&T girl, but, just like wine, I love the stories, and the difference in styles of every gin I taste.

    If you like your gin pure and simple, you won’t go far wrong with the memorably-named Death’s Door Gin, produced on the 22 square mile Washington Island, Wisconsin, named due to the reinvigoration of the island’s farming culture from 2005, after the island’s economical decline in the late nineties. With a local story at its heart, it’s a very pure style, savoury and clean with coriander and fennel at its core, and hints of citrus.

    Chase Elegant Gin, in its strikingly etched bottle, has been gracing the shelves of cocktail bars around the country for a while now, and is another soft, citrusy style, with hints of peach, grapefruit and angelica. Distilled from apples from Herefordshire orchards, and mingled with fragrant elderflower, it’s deliciously fruity, and silky smooth. Perfect for a martini.

    Staying with gins on the fragrant and fruity spectrum, Silent Pool gin, produced in the Surrey countryside, seduces with the bottle alone, and has a delightful fruity femininity, in tune with the eye-catching packaging. If you like your gin, fruity and fragrant, with a delicate edge, this is a very pretty one, full of citrus, kaffir lime, lavender and a gentle hint of honey. This one came into its own with Fevertree’s floral Mediterranean tonic, lemon and a sprig of thyme.

    Another gin with a lavender and citrus edge is the whistle-sharp Sipsmith London dry gin, super-clean and zesty, with a lip-smackingly fresh, bold citrus and wild herb aroma, with candied lemon and orange to the fore. A lovely classic.

    Gins cover botanicals and flavours from all over the spectrum. Whilst tangy and citrus-fresh styles are great Summer gins, as we approach Autumn, if more warming, spice-infused gins are more the order of the day, here are a couple, which could fit the bill.

    Bertha’s Revenge is a warm, soft, almost creamy style of gin distilled from whey in Ballyvolane, near Cork. With cardamom, cumin, orange peel and coriander at its heart, as well as local botanicals, it has hints of licorice, and clove, with a waft of vanilla and tonka bean. Try this with classic tonic, or in a warming, ginger-based cocktail.

    On a similarly spicy spectrum is Bathtub Gin, a robust navy strength at 57% alcohol, in its stubby, paper and twine-wrapped bottle. Despite the strength, it’s a remarkably fresh, crisp gin, with a strong juniper element and a herbal, almost salty tang, combining with the richer elements of coriander, clove, cinnamon and orange peel.

    Gin and food matching?  Well it’s not a mainstream idea yet, but when you look at the botanicals, a lot of it makes sense, particularly with spiced foods, such as Indian and Thai, with the warmth of coriander and cardamom to the fore in many. Try it. You won’t be disappointed. Or just explore; I’m constantly learning.

    By Angela Mount

  • Sipsmith Summer Spritzers

    Get in the spirit of summer this season, with these superb Sipsmith cocktails for you to try at home...


    London Cup Mule

    You need:
    50ml London Cup
    25ml Lime Juice
    10ml Sugar Syrup
    Dash Angostura Bitters
    Ginger beer
    Lime wedge to garnish

    1. Add all ingredients to mug with ice and stir
    2. Top with Ginger Beer
    3. Garnish with lime wedge



    You need:
    50ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin
    25ml Lemon Juice
    10ml Pomegranate Syrup/ Grenadine
    Seasonal Berries to garnish

    1. Shake first three ingredients with ice
    2. Strain into an ice filled glass
    3. Top with soda
    4. Garnish with seasonal berries and serve with a straw


    The Navy Rose

    You need:
    40ml VJOP Gin
    20ml Rose Tea
    20ml Lemon Juice
    15ml Sugar Syrup
    3 Raspberries
    1 Egg White
    Dried rose buds to garnish

    1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker and dry shake
    2. Fill shaker with ice and shake again
    3. Fine strain into a chilled glass
    4. Garnish with some dried rose buds

    Morning Glory

    You need:
    35ml Sipsmith Sipping Vodka
    50ml Tomato Juice
    25ml Carrot Juice, Celery Juice, Beetroot Juice, Lemon Juice
    1 pinch Thai Chili
    10ml Soy Sauce
    1/2 a barspoon Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
    1 pinch of Cayenne Pepper
    20ml Plum Wine
    50ml Jax Coco Calamansi
    Thai Basil

    1. Throw all ingredients into a shaker
    2. Double strain into a Hurricane glass
    3. Garnish with thai basil, a celery stick and dried beetroot rings

    All recipes from https://sipsmith.com/cocktail-recipes/

  • Spirit of the week

  • Spirit of the week

  • Spirit of the week

  • Spirit of the week

  • Spirit of the week

  • Spirit of the Week

    Spirit of the Week - Chase Vodka

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