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4 Delightful Gins From Around The UK & Ireland

Four master distillers deliver their own classic summertime drinks!

Personally, I’ve always been partial to a glass of gin. Apparently I’m not alone in that, as this classy tipple is enjoying a particular resurgence in the UK & Ireland right now. Of course, it’s most famous for its distinctive juniper flavour, but gin is so much more than that! Lots of people underestimate how beautifully versatile it is – that clear juniper makes a wonderful base for so many fascinating recipes. We’ve been making it here in Britain for centuries, and master artisans are constantly reinventing it to become sweet, herbal or spicy.

I’ve collected some of my favourite recipes for you below. Whether you’re a seasoned imbiber or you’re making your first foray into the world of gin, I guarantee you’ll find something you’ll like!

Sipsmith London Dry Gin

sipsmith gin

Sipsmith London Dry is an artisanal gin with a fascinating story behind it. The master at Sipsmith have distilled it in ‘Prudence’, the first copper pot still to be brought to life in London for over 200 years. What ‘she’ has produced is a wonderful spirit with a subtly complex flavour, courtesy of its 10 carefully selected botanicals. The dryness of the juniper berries is complemented by delicate hints of sweetness from lemon and orange marmalade, resulting in a gin that’s refined but not overpowering.

Recommended glass:

My personal serving suggestion:

I believe the best way to serve the London Sipsmith is to be simple and straightforward, letting the superb quality of the spirit speak for itself. Just mix it lightly with tonic water and add a slice of lime to garnish.

Boë Violet Gin

boe gin

Its distinctive vibrant shade is one of the hallmarks of this beautifully floral gin, produced by the esteemed Scottish distiller Boë. Scotland has a global reputation for being world-class purveyors and pioneers of the finest spirits, and Boë certainly lives up to that reputation! The Violet Gin is a wonderfully summery take on their traditional recipe, distinguishing itself with classic citrus-forward notes that cut through cleanly, leaving a beautiful taste for you to savour, while giving a fantastic pop of colour to your summer drinks.

Recommended glass:

My personal serving suggestion:

Mix 50ml of Boë Violet Gin with ½ an ounce of blueberries, and top them with 200ml of fever tree Mediterranean tonic water. It’s something I like to call the Purple Haze, and trust me – it is absolutely divine.

Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin

gunpowder gin

From the distillers at The Shed in the Irish County Leitrim comes Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin – a masterfully distilled spirit with a fascinating blend of notes that make it at once bright and citrusy, and subtly spicy. The juniper, orris, caraway, coriander and star anise are gently uplifted by oriental lemon and lime, as well as fresh grapefruit. Most gins are the products of years of experimentation, and the care and the quality that distillers at the Shed have taken is clear to sample in the finished product. It’s a beautifully complex taste – and quite the experience!

Recommended glass:

My personal serving suggestion:

Like the London Dry above, I’d recommend keeping things simple with this one. Again, it’s best to let the complex flavour of the Drumshanbo stand on its own merits. Mix 35ml of this gin with 100ml of tonic water, add a handful of ice cubes, and finish with a slice of grapefruit to garnish. Wonderful.

Pollination Gin

pollination gin

A Welsh gin through and through, Pollination has been hailed as world class quality gin by industry experts. The distillers use a canvas of classic gin botanicals, but add a little something special, too – blending it with wild flowers, aromatic leaves, fruits and conifer tips that are unique to the local area of Dyfi, where the gin is distilled. The ‘Dyfi Distillers’ are very careful about preserving the delicate balance of their environment as they collect their ingredients, so production of the Pollination Gin is limited to only a set time of year each year. It gives an air of exclusivity to an already very classy drink!

Recommended glass:

My personal serving suggestion:

If you’d like, you can enhance the exotic rural flavours of Pollination Gin, with bruised juniper berries, torn mint leaves, and a twist of lemon peel. Finally, add lime juice and a touch of tonic water, and revel in the results!

As I touched on above, the beauty of gin is that there are so many different things you can do with it, so many ways you can make it your own. You might even want to experiment with your very own serving suggestions, whether you’re enjoying your gin in the beautiful summer sunshine, or savouring it all year round!

Audrey Spencer, owner

My passion for cooking stems from my childhood growing up on my family's farm. Mealtimes would often involve being joined by friends, family and neighbours, all eager to enjoy the wonderful farmhouse fayre. As a professional chef I’ve worked in award winning restaurants, boutique country house hotels, and even the Royal Palace! Today, I hope my recipes can help you to enjoy good food, and good company, in style.