This vintage revival of the highly popular spirit has also seen the number of gin brands more than double, since 2010, from 37 to more than 80 last year. We bring you a selection of those brands, now being served in your local Wetherspoon, in our gin palace collection. Among them are three premium brand gins: Martin Miller’s, Sipsmith and Tanqueray No. Ten.
Martin Miller’s – England/Iceland, 40% ABV, served with cucumber
Launched in 1999, after antiques dealer Martin Miller was so depressed by the quality of his G&T, Martin Miller’s gin has received more awards than any other gin. Miller and two friends set out to make the very best gin they could, using only the highest-quality ingredients. It has subsequently won the most gold and platinum medals at the big three spirits competitions (IWSC, ISC and San Francisco) in the last 10 years.
Martin Miller’s gin is completely handcrafted and uses traditional techniques in a two-part distillation process. Traditional botanicals are used, and the gin is finished with a small amount of cucumber distillate. It is then blended with the world’s purest Icelandic spring water, and the citrus notes are isolated from the earthier botanicals. The water captures the volatile elements, leading to a crisp, clean and smooth finish, with hints of liquorice and then that fresh cucumber.
Sipsmith – England, 41.6% ABV, served with lime
Launched in 2009, in Hammersmith, by Sam Galsworthy and Fairfax Hall, after many years working in the drinks industry, Sipsmith became the first copper-pot-based distillery to start up in London in over 150 years. The pair teamed up with Jared Brown to pursue their passion for handmade spirits, resulting in the creation of a gin full of authenticity, calling the spirits they produce Sipsmith, after the name they gave themselves ‘sip-smiths’ – a celebration of the craft of distillation and their artisanal methods.
Sipsmith London Dry Gin is made using 10 carefully selected botanicals from around the globe: Macedonian juniper berries, Bulgarian coriander seed, French angelica root, Spanish liquorice root, Italian orris root, Spanish ground almond, Chinese cassia bark, Madagascan cinnamon, Seville orange peel and Spanish lemon peel. The gin is distilled in a beautiful still, affectionately named Prudence, and produced in small batches of no more than 300 bottles at a time, using the traditional three cuts, where only the heart of the distillation run is retained. A particularly bold, complex and aromatic dry gin with a zesty, citrus finish, this is the quintessential expression of a classic, traditional London dry gin.
Tanqueray No. Ten – Scotland, 47.3% ABV, served with pink grapefruit
Tanqueray No. Ten gin, named after the still number of its origin (No.10), is a homage to the passion and attention to detail which its original producer Charles Tanqueray stood for. Tanqueray launched his distillery in the 1830s, on Vine Street, Bloomsbury, London, and his Tanqueray gin was distilled in the capital until the great air raid of 1941, when the London distillery was almost completely destroyed.
Now made in Scotland, the exceptionally smooth and fresh-tasting Tanqueray No. Ten gin was launched in 2000. It is handcrafted in small batches, using a unique quadruple distillation process, with the heart of the gin created in the affectionately named ‘Tiny Ten’ still. It uses fresh, whole citrus fruits during the process – greatly adding to the depth of character. The superior taste is the result of its ingredients, including whole fruit botanicals, such as fresh white grapefruits from Florida and whole limes from Mexico, along with juniper, coriander and chamomile. It has a full-bodied grapefruit and citrus hit, yet there is still plenty of juniper in the mix, but the smooth citrus finish is what makes it one of the very best on the market.