Summer Gin: Picks Perfect for the SeasonBy Stephanie Moreno
When the temperature starts to rise, the drinks we crave tend to change. Citrus, berry and floral flavors start to come into play as do bubbles in our glasses. Of course you can up your cocktail game by muddling some summer fruits in the glass, but a simple Gin & Tonic works too. Gin Rickeys, Tom Collins and Gin Gimlets are also great for daytime drinking. These summer gin picks each have flavors of the season that make them wonderful additions to your home bar.
Bombay Bramble is made with an infusion of ripe blackberries and raspberries with no added sugar. It was crafted by Bombay Master Distiller Dr. Anne Brock and Master of Botanicals Ivano Tonutti. Its name comes from the Bramble Cocktail created in the 1980s by the late Dick Bradsell in Soho, London. This modern classic cocktail is essentially a Gin Sour with a splash of crème de mûre liqueur made from blackberries. This summer gin was recently released in the US so check your local retailer for availability.
Produced by Durham Distillery in North Carolina, Conniption American Dry Gin is produced in a two-step process. Aromatic botanicals — coriander, angelica root, cardamom and juniper — are vapor-infused in a German pot still. Next, cucumber, citrus and honeysuckle are vacuum-distilled at room temperature, then blended into the other gin base.
First released in 2017, Leopold’s Summer Gin is made by individually distilling each botanical. These include juniper berries, coriander, blood orange, lemon myrtle leaf and Helichrysum arenarium, which is also known as the immortal flower. Of course as a seasonal release, it’s only available from May to August each year so get this while you can.
Jardin d’Été is a recent addition to the Citadelle Gin lineup. It was inspired by the garden of Château de Bonbonnet in Ars, France — a passion project of Debbie Gabriel, wife of Master Distiller Alexandre Gabriel. Meant to be what the brand calls a “sensory postcard” of the place, the gin includes Charentais melon, whole lemon, yuzu zest and orange peel, along with the 19 other botanicals used in the standard gin. Significantly, Citadelle Gin now cultivates several hectares of juniper trees just across the road from the Château de Bonbonnet.
This flavored gin is made by the family-owned Italian company best known for its liqueurs, most notably its Maraschino Liqueur. The base for the gin is the brand’s London Dry Gin which is made using nine botanicals — juniper, coriander, iris, angelica, sedge, licorice, cinnamon, cardamom and bitter orange. The gin is then infused with Luxardo’s own Marasca cherry juice. These Marasca cherries are cultivated exclusively by the Luxardo family in the orchards of the Euganean Hills in Veneto.
The gin gets its name from the Sainte Marie lighthouse at the southern entrance to the Old Port of Marseille. Here 19th century Salcombe Fruit Schooners loaded citrus fruits and herbs that were bound for England. Incidentally, the pink hue of this gin is owed to the maceration of unsweetened red fruits added to the botanical mixture.
Hendrick’s Midsummer Solstice is a limited-edition release created by Master Distiller Lesley Gracie. It was made by infusing natural floral essences and was first released in the US in summer 2019. However, it’s still widely available so make sure to pick up a bottle just in case the brand ceases production. But if you’re unable to find it, look out for the brand’s recently released Lunar Gin which will also work well for your summer gin cocktails.
This California-made gin uses botanicals sourced along the migratory path of the California gray whale which begins in the Arctic and ends in Baja California. Also of note, all botanicals used here are hand harvested, wild foraged, or organically farmed along this route. These include: juniper from Big Sur; limes, lemons and oranges from Baja California; fir tree needles from Sonoma Valley; Kombu sea kelp from the Mendocino Coast; mint from Santa Cruz; and almonds from Central Valley. Another key point is that all proceeds from sales benefit Oceana to protect and restore the world’s oceans.
This flavored gin was inspired by an original recipe from Charles Tanqueray from his travels to the groves of Spain in the 1860s. It is made with bittersweet Seville oranges and orange blossom as the featured botanicals. But if you’re looking for an even easier summer gin serve, the brand released this product available as a ready-to-drink cocktail as well.
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