4 fabulous gins from around the world you may not have heard of8th Jan 19 | Lifestyle
Gins from unexpected corners that are well worth foraging for, says Sam Wylie-Harris.
With gin enthusiasts suggesting that in a few years time every town in the UK will have its own gin distillery, there’s no shortage of artisan distillers and revitalised big name brands vying for our attention.
But how about further afield? What does the rest of the world have to offer restless gin-fanatics looking for the next big botanical hit?
For sure, Spain has been a major player in the gin revival by reinventing the G&T – double the measure, a wide bowl copa (balloon) glass, plenty of ice, premium tonic water and far more imaginative garnishes than a slice of lemon or lime.
Elsewhere, newcomers are creating special distillations, gathering local botanicals, exploring gin’s broad botanical flavour map and tinkering with herbs and spices.
Here are four gins – each with a distinct character that reflects their terrain – that’ll mix up your drinks cabinet even more…
1. From France: Terres de Mistral Provence Gin (£31, 70cl, Majestic)
Somewhere among the olive groves three friends’ love of all things Provence has gifted us this beautifully presented pale pink gin. The glass bottle and stopper with its intricate floral design is inspired by the landscape and the palate is silky and rich.
With 12 botanicals to imbibe a Riviera lifestyle, top notes of thyme and rosemary blend with the zestiness of pink grapefruit, with citrus and lemon peel bringing a vibrant freshness.
2. From America: Aviation American Gin (£34.95, 70cl, Amazon)
Stylish and handsome with a nod to art deco, Hollywood A-lister Ryan Reynolds cites this, his gin, as “hands down, the best damn gin on the planet.”
Unlike London Dry, this New Western style of American gin has a far less strict approach to the dominance of juniper in the botanicals. Here, it’s allowed to take a back seat with cardamom, lavender, lime and coriander calling the shots. Soft and smooth with a floral lift, fresh bursts of citrus add an unexpected twist.
3. From India: Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin (£35.45, 70cl, The Whisky Exchange)
A classically styled gin using predominantly Indian botanicals, Jaisalmer (pronounced ‘Jessalmeer’) is made by whisky specialists Rampur and it’s their first craft gin.
Beyond the backbone of juniper, botanicals including coriander and vetiver (a grass) lend the drink a distinctive twang of complex spice and peppery notes, with sweet orange peel complementing citrus and floral tones. Angelica and liquorice are also present.
4. From Italy: O’Ndina Gin (£45, 70cl, Harvey Nichols)
To navigate the world of Italian gin, head straight to southern Italy where O’Ndina has been created to ‘embody the spirit of La Dolce Vita’ with its refreshing, herbaceous flavours and slick packaging.
After all, we drink with our eyes too, and you can’t beat a refreshing gin and Mediterranean tonic water garnished with fresh basil, and a spectacular view of the sea. With a whopping 19 botanicals – including juniper, sage, marjoram, thyme, orris root and fresh basil – this is a feel-good gin for escapists.
© Press Association 2019