Craft distilling is booming around the country
The rise of ‘mother’s ruin’ seems to be unstoppable – once the reserve of more elderly or traditional types (the Queen Mother was a famous fan), gin and tonic is now one of the most ordered alcholic drinks across the country. Jumping on the bandwagon behind the big brands, locally distilled gin has more recently, been building a steady momentum. The number of gin distilleries in the UK has risen from only 5 in 2009 to around 20 now.
Though historically gin’s UK origins lie in London, there’s now an explosion of distilleries around the country, which has lead to a diversification of gin’s flavour profiles. Countryside distilleries use local botanicals to flavour their gin and nearby water sources to distil it, creating a range of different flavour tones which reflect their origins.
Cornwall-based Southwestern Distillery uses handpicked Devon violets as a key botanical in their gin. Founder Tarquin Leadbetter says that the local terroir, as well as the fact that they get some of the freshest rainwater in England, impacts the flavours of his gin positively. Cotswold Distillery also uses a mix of local botanicals (such as Cotswolds lavender) together with the classic botanicals, to make their innovative London dry gin. DYFI Distillery, based in Wales, uses local, hand foraged myrtle and conifer tips mixed in with other classic botanicals to give their gin a flavour inspired by the local surroundings.
Back in London the East Liquor Company has created a signature dry gin with botanicals sourced from across the world.
If all this talk of botanicals and juniper berries has whet your appetite why not try three local varieties. All of these are available from Craved.com, the curators of craft food.
Tarquin’s Dry Gin made by Southwestern Distillery, £36
Sibling Triple Distilled Gin made by Sibling Distillery, £34
Cotswolds Dry Gin made by Cotswolds Distillery, £36.90