The gin industry is continuing to be the centre of stratospheric success, and here in St Andrews we’re lucky that many of our most-loved drinking establishments have equipped themselves with impressive selections of the spirit. However, with so many different varieties to choose from, it is too easy to become overwhelmed, meaning we often find ourselves reaching for the familiar bottles of Gordon’s, or, for some, a bottle of Aldi’s finest. But don’t worry, I’m here to save the day, and am swooping in with 5 of my top picks to tickle your taste-buds.
As the name would suggest, this gin is packaged in a distinctive blue, angular bottle. Distilled in Guernsey, in the Channel Islands, it is a little more expensive, but you get what you pay for, and the tasting notes are truly exquisite. The traditional juniper berry is complimented by sweet nutmeg and biting pepper, creating a deep, rich flavour combination.
Recommended Pairing: Pink grapefruit and standard tonic.
This gin is another whose bottle is sure to catch your eye behind the bar. The brightly coloured elephant and tassel on the bottle have obviously been chosen to evoke the oriental flavourings of this gin. Cubeb Peppers give a touch of heat, but the lasting note is that of Cardamom. This gin definitely isn’t for everyone, so if you don’t like cardamom flavoured deserts, you might be better off trying something else. However, for the rest of us, this is an excitingly different taste, and is sure to become a firm favourite.
Recommended Pairing: Clove studded orange or sliced ginger and standard tonic.
The team behind Brockmans have taken the juniper berry base of the spirit and run with it, A much sweeter option, the overwhelming flavour is the blueberries, making it perfect for the warmer months. Like Opihr, this may not be to
everyone’s taste, especially if you don’t like sweet drinks. To balance the sweetness, choose a tonic with a stronger flavour.
Recommended Pairing: Blueberries and Fevertree Mediterranean Tonic.
Distilled in Italy, this gin reflects its citrus flavours and Mediterranean routes with its vibrant blue and yellow bottle, and real oak stopper, It’s botanicals include Italian lemons, which give the gin a refreshing, zesty flavour, making it perfect for the warmer months. It also uses coriander ad Angelica to create more depth.
Recommended Pairing: Lemon slices and standard tonic.
Eden Mill Oak
I couldn’t complete a list of gins without including something from our local distillery. Perhaps the most popular Eden Mill Gin is their Love blend, but their Oak blend is similarly special. It takes its name from the oak barrels in which it is aged, and which give it its characteristic smoothness. With tasting notes of caramel and vanilla, Oak is surprisingly different from its much fresher and better known sibling, and makes a nice change from the norm.
Recommended Pairing: Orange peel and standard tonic.