What better for Mother's Day than a bottle of 'Mother's Ruin'? We've selected seven of the finest gins on the market which are sure to give your long-suffering parent a treat.
While most of the Country Life team loves Earl Grey tea, one of our tasters is decidedly not a fan. Yet even for him the bergamot flavour was delcious and incredibly welcome in this lovely new gin, which comes in a strikingly coloured bottle. (The colours are apparently some sort of bar code showing the proportion of the various botanicals.) Highly recommended.
This new distillery in North Wales has started production of whisky, which won’t be available for several years. In the meantime, they have been producing a range of gins of which this is the star. Bear in mind that this really is one for the marmalade-lover: the flavouring is extremely distinct, but one of our orange-loving testers was utterly delighted by it.
This Scottish gin, made in small batches at a distillery in the Highlands, intrigued us with its somewhat outlandish list of ingredients – or ‘botanicals’, as gin-makers insist on calling them. Dandelion, heather, coul bush apple, bog myrtle and rowan berries. But it’s far from a gimmick: the combination of flavours is smooth, fruity and refreshing, and the fact that this is perhaps the prettiest bottle on this page makes it a particularly good present.
You read the name correctly: Britain’s most famous wine merchant has made their own gin. It’s not a case of bandwagon-jumping given the current gin boom, however – more a case of jumping back on the bandwagon, as this is an early 20th century recipe that has been resurrected from a single remaining sample bottle from the 1950s. The science of how that recreation happened is fascinating; the result is a super quality London dry gin, not unlike a Gordon’s in that it’s a clean, unfussy and straightforward drink. Excellent stuff.
Having made a huge splash in the world of single malt whisky, the Bruichladdich Distillery turned their hand to gin for this now-well-known. Gin-lovers will probably have tried this already and know if they like it; if you haven’t, it’s bold and different, with notes of apple, coriander, citrus peel, honey, coconut and wild mint. It’s also ferociously strong (46%) so needs mixing with care.
Adding an overt flavour to a gin can be a tricky business. Some, such as Whitley Neil’s rhubarb and ginger gin, get it just right. Others fall foul – Heston Blumenthal’s Cirus Sherbet Gin, for example, left many people underwhelmed. Warner Edwards have nailed it with this one: made on its distillery in Harrington, Northamptonshire, they use their own natural springs and ingredients from local hedgerows and their own botanical garden. Absolutely delicious.
Conker Gin, with it’s marvellously distinctive bottle, is distilled in the New Forest with a range of ingredients that include gorse flowers, samphire and elderberries. If you’ve not tried it yet you really ought to, as it’s a fabulously well-balanced drink. (Indeed, the mother of one of our testers admits it’s her favourite and insists on having a bottle in the house at all times.) That cute bottle is both a plus and a minus, however: pretty it might be, but we have found it decidedly awkward to pour from.
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