Our Favorite Spring Gin Picks for 2020By Stephanie Moreno
When temperatures begin to rise, it’s a great time to move away from stirred gin cocktails like Martinis and Negronis. Drinks like a Gin Fizz, Tom Collins, or even a Gin & Tonic make great spring gin cocktails. These refreshing beverages all fit the bill on a warm day. As for selecting a gin to use, that can be overwhelming. These days there are so many brands on the market that sometimes it’s easier to just choose an old reliable favorite. Fortunately, we’ve done the “hard” work of taste testing for you. These gin brands have piqued our interest as of late and we encourage you to add them to your home bars.
This is the inaugural spirit from Isle of Harris Distillers which opened in 2015. The gin is made with nine botanicals that are steeped in neutral grain spirits. Notably, the brand also uses sugar kelp which is hand-harvested by a local diver. Additionally, juniper, coriander, angelica root, bitter orange peel, orris root, cubeb, cassia bark and licorice are used. After the maceration is complete, the sugar kelp is removed and distillation takes place in a copper still named “The Dottach”.
Dingle Gin is technically a London Dry gin, but the botanicals lean toward a modern style. For example, rowan berry, fuchsia, bog myrtle, hawthorne and heather, among others, are incorporated. It is made in the distillery’s copper pot stills and brought to proof with water from their own well 240 feet below the distillery. Dingle is a town located on the rugged Dingle Peninsula on the west coast of Ireland. The distillery makes whiskey and vodka in addition to the gin and all are now available in the States.
Silent Pool Gin is made in Surrey, England on the Albury Estate adjacent to The Silent Pool, a spring-fed lake. It is made with 24 botanicals using both maceration and vapor distillation. Some notable botanicals include fresh orange peel, pears, chamomile, rose petals, Kaffir lime leaves, linden flowers, elderflower and local honey.
Translated to “prince of the apostles”, this gin is produced at Sol de los Andes, a family-run distillery in Mendoza, Argentina. It is distilled in a German copper still, with each botanical macerated separately in a wheat alcohol base. Botanicals used include peppermint, eucalyptus, pink grapefruit skin and yerba mate from Misiones, the national capital of yerba mate in Argentina.
The first gin released by Suntory, the name “Roku” is Japanese for “Six” which refers to the six Japanese botanicals used. For example, sakura flower (cherry blossoms), sakura leaf (cherry leaf), sencha tea (green tea), Gyokuro tea (refined green tea), sanshō pepper and yuzu are utilized. Additionally, eight other traditional gin botanicals are used. Notably, the label for Roku is printed with Japanese washi paper.
Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin uses twelve botanicals in total. The botanicals are incorporated using two different processes. Firstly, the cardamom, juniper, coriander, angelica root, orris root, caraway, star anise and locally-sourced meadowsweet all go directly into the copper pot stills. Then, the kaffir lime, oriental grapefruit, Chinese lemon and gunpowder tea are vapor infused.
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