Everyone knows Bombay, Beefeater, Hendrick’s and Tanqueray, but here are a few you may not have tried
The Brits are often regarded as the official representatives of gin (and they’re definitely deserving of that title). But they actually discovered gin thanks to the Dutch, who made a juniper-based spirit for years before England started distilling its own. Gin is a spirit that is steeped with a range of botanicals, always with juniper at its heart, giving it that piney taste and aroma. After that, distillers can go wild, adding lavender, rose, lemongrass, cucumber or black pepper.
Everyone knows Bombay, Beefeater, Hendrick’s and Tanqueray, but here are three gins you may not have tried.
This gin is made with a blend of six Arctic botanicals, including cloudberry, labrador tea and rose hip. It has a golden colour, reminiscent of honey that you don’t expect when you think of gin. The botanicals are hand-foraged and steeped for five weeks, giving it an intoxicating aroma of spiciness and tartness. It’s a gin designed for experimentation, so use it for a classic gin and tonic but add grapefruit and a sprig of rosemary.
Corby Spirit and Wine, Canada. $36.95/750 ml. Get it at the LCBO (lcbo.com)
Malfy attempts to embody la dolce vita of the Amalfi coast. Steeped with grapefruit, this variation smells of rhubarb, anise and citrus. It tastes clean and fresh, invigorating the senses. Whisk yourself away from the grey skies and lockdown, even if just for a sip.
Torino Distillati, Italy. $41.45/750 ml. Get it at the LCBO (lcbo.com)
For those of us partaking in Dry January or February, Ceder’s alt-gin offers a middle ground between craving the flavours of your favourite gin cocktail and drinking alcohol. With a base of juniper, coriander and geranium, it’s designed to mimic a typical gin. Mix with tonic and go heavy on the garnish and it’ll almost feel like the real thing.
Ceder’s, South Africa. $25/500 ml. Get it at Jacobson’s (jacobsons.ca), Harvest Wagon and the Mercantile.