Fancy a G’n’T…?
Our drinks contributor runs a humorous and careful eye over a selection of the best Mother’s ruin
Article by Rupert Watkins
Ahh gin…….. The life giving and sociable tinkle of ice and comforting hiss of tonic. That first sip – the point when you realise however depressing your day’s been it’s worth staggering on – if only for a second drink. Over the past few years, gin has seen an enormous resurgence of interest as ever more distilleries set up and bar tenders re-create and re-imagine old classic cocktails.
It’s been calculated there’s currently a new gin makers opening every week in this country at the moment; Ian Buxton reckons there’s about 500 different brands and varieties out there once you include the micro distillers and flavoured examples. In this well put together pocket guide, Ian runs over 101 varied British and international gins that cover the full breadth of the gin distillers craft and the mix of botanicals and flavours found in modern gin.
As one might expect, there is a huge preponderance of UK gin though Ian does discover a number of delicious overseas examples; Black Robin gin from New Zealand, Aviation American Gin from Oregon in the US, Citadelle gin and Saffron gin from France and Santamania gin from Madrid just give a flavour (juniper lead obviously) of what he has discovered in his researches. The gins range in strength from 35 per cent abv through to some traditional Navy strength examples coming in at over 55 per cent abv. Ian makes clear throughout whether the gin is more cocktail oriented rather than one to be found at the bottom of a crisp G’n’T.
In such a crowded and rapidly evolving industry – as Ian makes clear, another half a dozen examples probably came out whilst his book was being printed – there will always be debate and frustration that some examples did not make the cut. The slightly cultish Death’s Door gin from the States does not make an appearance for example and whilst Ian will mention when a distiller does a range of variations, individual flavoured examples (elderflower, raspberry, sloe and so forth) are not reviewed in detail.