Is there anything better than a refreshing gin & tonic? We certainly don’t think so… especially when the best gin is from the UK! Here are some of our favourite independent distilleries that really push the envelope when it comes to all things gin.
1. Puddingstone Distillery
Let’s start this list off with a winner! Owned by gin pioneers Ben and Kate, this distillery is imbued with a sense of adventure and innovation. They constantly play with unusual flavours that take your tastebuds on a journey with every sip.
One of the most interesting aspects of Puddingstone Distillery is that there’s a reason behind everything. Their award-winning Campfire is one of the UK’s best Gin. For example, was inspired by Ben and Kate’s love of drinking gin under the stars. And ‘puddingstone’ itself is a rock formation that was historically used to ward off evil spirits. Here, it’s keeping the good spirits in the distillery!
Our favourite is the Campfire Cask Aged Gin. This gin is extra special because it is rested in oak casks for 22 days, which adds delicious notes of vanilla, caramel and bourbon. If you want to give it a go, we think it’s best served neat!
2. Greensand Ridge
Greensand Ridge is a Kentish gin distillery that is obsessed with all things sustainable. They are the first carbon neutral distillery in the UK, and they use 100% renewable energy. You can literally taste their love for the planet in their gin, as many of their botanicals can be found within a mile of the distillery.
But their gin isn’t just good for the planet – it’s also delicious! We’re particularly partial to their Raspberry Ghost, which is made using wonky raspberries that supermarkets won’t take. However, our favourite is their classic London Dry Gin. The locally sourced cobnuts, oak moss and hawthorn berries give this gin an unusual nuttiness and gentle floral notes that are unlike anything we’ve tasted before.
3. The British Honey Company
Yes, you read that right. The British Honey Company doesn’t just make delicious, 100% British honey. They also create the best gin that is infused with honey and fruit. Made in small batches, their gin is incredibly smooth and easy to drink, with an added distinctive sweetness of honey.
All of their gins are incredible, but right now we are obsessed with their Green Tea and British Honey Gin. They’ve infused their Extra London Dry Gin with single-estate Chinese green tea and British honey. The delicate fragrance of green tea is complemented by lemongrass and star anise. Drink this as a gimlet – you’ll thank us later!
4. Poetic License
Now, this is a distillery that you’ll write home about. Poetic License is known for using big, bold flavours to make gins that really pack a punch.
You need to expect the unexpected from this distillery, particularly with their seasonal and rarity ranges. Right now they’ve got a Tutti Frutti gin liqueur, which is actually delicious! They’ve mixed the vibrant taste of tropical fruit with more mellow stone and berry fruits to create a delightfully irreverent liqueur.
Right now we’re also drinking their Northern Dry Gin, which balances cardamom, lemon and eucalyptus with Persian lime. Check out their best gin recipes for a Northern Sour – it absolutely changes the gin game.
5. Portobello Road Gin
It wouldn’t be a proper list of gin distilleries without mentioning Portobello Road Gin. One of London’s best gin distilleries, nestled above a 19th century drinking den on Portobello Road.
One of the things that we love about this distillery is their attention to detail and their love of gin history. Right now we’re drinking their Celebrated Butter Gin, which was inspired by Dickens’ short stories. In one, he describes gin names, such as ‘the real knock me down’, ‘cream of the valley’ and the ‘celebrated butter gin’. (Whether this actually had butter in it is lost to time!)
You can see their love of all things gin at their Ginstitute, where you can go and take a gin masterclass. They cover the history of gin in London (along with cocktails, naturally), and you can make your own gin blend. Trust us, if you’re a gin fan, you need to go here!
6. Sacred Gin
If you’re looking for a true connoisseur’s gin, you’ve come to the right place! Sacred is a microdistillery in London that only produces a few hundred bottles of gin at a time. This means that owner Ian Hart can make sure that every bottle of gin is absolutely perfect.
One of the ways that Sacred Gin stands out from the rest of the crowd is that they distill their spirits using vacuum distillation, which uses a lower temperature than traditional stills. This allows the freshness and true of botanicals such as juniper to really shine through.
Our all-time favourite of theirs is the Sacred Old Tom. Bold juniper and sweet liquorice root are mixed beautifully with notes of Spanish sweet orange peels. We recommend going to their website and taking a look at their recommended recipes – their London Mule (a take on the classic Moscow Mule) is one of our particular favourites!
7. Sibling Distillery
Gin is a family business at this distillery! Run by four siblings, this Cheltenham-based distillery is known for its exceptionally high-quality gin. For example, they produce their own base spirit which is triple-distilled and diluted with pure spring water from the Cheltenham hills. This is then mixed with botanicals to create their award-winning gins.
While we love their Original Gin, we think it’s their special edition spirits that are truly special. For example, we love their new Autumn Edition Gin, which is infused with apples, blackberries and cardamom to bring the feeling of autumn to your tastebuds.
8. Cambridge Distillery
Cambridge Distillery is known as the most innovative distillery in the world. Don’t believe us? Well, they’re the inventors of the decadent Truffle Gin. Here they use white truffle from Alba, Piedmont (which is worth more than gold per gram) to create a truly indescribable digestif gin. If you want to try this, they recommend drinking it neatly over ice, with a twist of orange.
They also have a gin laboratory, which is just as incredible as it sounds. There’s a classroom for gin education, a tasting room, and they offer a wide variety of classes, including molecular cocktail making! It would be worth heading up to Cambridge just to try this.
9. Tarquin’s Cornish Gin
Provenance and independence are what make Tarquin’s Cornish Gin truly special. Every step of the gin-making process is done by hand. Tarquin (a Cordon Bleu-trained chef) chooses every botanical himself, and every bottle is hand-labelled and stamped.
We are obsessed with their ‘The Seadog’ Navy Strength Gin. There’s a reason why it is called ‘navy-strength’ – it sits at a punchy 57% ABV! It’s a fantastic gin with notes of Devon violets, liquorice, coriander and grapefruit peel. We’d recommend drinking it as a classic g&t.
10. Two Birds Spirits
Finally, we have Two Birds Spirits which is a classic artisan producer of gin. They produce tiny batches of 100 bottles of gin at a time, which allows owner Mark to make sure that every bottle is up to his exacting standards! We love their attention to detail, not only about what goes into each bottle of gin, but also what is on the outside. Every bottle is hand-decorated using natural and organic inks. This really gives Two Birds Spirits a special touch.
Their Winter Fruits gin is perfect for colder weather, as it balances sweet fruits and warming spices. We tend to mix it with tonic water or ginger ale and top the cocktail with cranberries or orange peel.
The next time that you want to be under the influence, why not try one of these fantastic independent gin companies?
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