From Mai Tais to Martinis and Mojitos to Margaritas, there is little reason, with sunny days and long nights in full swing, that you shouldn’t pop open a bottle of your favourite spirit and get mixing. From the finest gins for those refreshing tipples to tequila, rum and vodka that makes up some of your favourite drinks, now is the time to start thinking about what items you need featured in your drinks cabinet.
Perfect for whipping up some summery cocktails with friends on those long-awaited barbecues and get-togethers or simply for sipping solo through those sunny days, we have compiled a list of spirits that you should be stocking up on for a summer of fun.
Hernö Dry Gin is a round and smooth London Dry gin, with a juniper character, fresh citrus notes and a floral complexity which makes the gin very enjoyable on its own. This drink uses eight carefully selected botanicals from around the world, all of which are certified organic. Juniper berries from Hungary, coriander seeds from Bulgaria, hand-peeled Lemon, lingon berries from Sweden, meadowsweet from the United Kingdom, black pepper from India, cassia from Indonesia and fresh vanilla from Madagascar make up this tasty tipple.
Hernö Gin was the most awarded gin in Europe between 2013 and 2017 and was honoured with the World’s best Gin 2017.
Where to buy: masterofmalt.com
Rumbullion! is created by carefully blending tinctures of Madagascan vanilla, orange peel, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom into a base of delicious Caribbean rum. A multi award-winning spiced rum that stands proudly when mixed with cola but equally as delicious in all manner of cocktails, or neat with a squeeze of orange, Rumbullion! is a smooth, glorious tipple that makes you want to whip up more drinks before you’ve finished your last.
On the nose you will find extremely inviting scents of wonderfully sweet Madagascan vanilla with clove and cinnamon spices supported by intense orange peel. Once you take a sip you will taste rich sugars and spices, orange oil, clove, honey and cola cubes making for a flavourful drink that has a very long finish.
Where to buy: masterofmalt.com
Fok Hing Gin
This gin is a new premium craft gin that has become the talk of the town amongst amused gin lovers thanks to its creative name. The brand, inspired by the UK and Hong Kong’s past-colonial relationship, takes cues from historic landmarks in Hong Kong, including ‘FUK HING LANE’ in Causeway Bay. FOK HING GIN also just so happens to be an anagram of ‘GIN OF HK’.
Its signature EDITION 852 gin pays homage to its hometown Hong Kong, concocting a complexity of flavours that embodies the light, colour, sound, atmosphere, variety and mayhem of the city. A floral jasmine green tea scent greets with citrus notes at palate, finishing off with a spicy Szechuan pepper kick. All 10 natural botanicals are sourced from a century-old spice shop in Hong Kong and flown 9,629km to the UK where the gin is distilled and bottled. It has taken 13 formulations to build the perfect recipe and the right balance of flavours to produce this harmonious botanical blend.
Where to buy: Fokhinggin.com
Distilled and bottled in the UK, STRYKK is a London based non-alcoholic spirits brand and was the first to mimic the mainstream spirits. The expert STRYKK team carefully created NOT G*N, NOT R*M and NOT VODKA, providing the best non-alcohol alternative without missing out on any of the flavour or notes and aroma’s – STRYKK truly has all of the sprit but none of the alcohol. An authentic non-alcoholic gin with the same distilled flavour profile as a top-notch alcoholic one – that means nice botanical hits of juniper, coriander, sage and basil. Perfect for your next gin and tonic, Bramble, or any other alcohol-free gin cocktail you fancy.
Where to buy: strykk.com
Bullards Coastal Gin
Bullards Spirits is a unique, historic, Norwich-distilled gin that is leading the drinks business in sustainability with an innovative Eco-Refill Pouch. The Bottle For Life is elegantly hand-crafted and inspired by the original Bullard’s Brewery chimney that towered over Norwich for 100 years. Subsequent purchases of the gin can then be bought in a recyclable pouch, with Bullards Spirits partnering with Terracycle and Royal Mail, so empty pouches can be returned by Freepost back to the distillery with ease.
Bullards Coastal Gin is the newest addition to the gin collection and is a smooth and refreshing spirit featuring a host of unique botanicals hand-foraged from the Norfolk coast. Sea purslane, marsh samphire, sea aster and the rich woodiness of Douglas fir, lend the distinctive seaside flavour. This really is a refreshing tipple and perfectly paired with an unflavoured tonic and handful of ice, once you pour your first pouch, it won’t be long until you’re ordering your next!
Where to buy: bullardsspirits.co.uk
In distinctive contrast to the single grain or potato distilled vodkas which dominate the category today, Dima’s is a premium, craft vodka distilled in Ukraine using the finest three grains – rye, wheat and barley – and encourages people to re-think how they perceive and drink vodka.
A country renowned for its grain production, Ukraine’s unique climate and black ‘chernozem supersoil’ is one of the most fertile in the world. The terrain enables the finest rye, wheat and barley to flourish, and provides the optimum conditions to create Dima’s signature rounded flavour profile, crystal-clear clarity and velvety smoothness. Because of this exceptional quality and in-keeping with Ukraine tradition, Dima’s is intended as a ‘sipping’ vodka to be enjoyed with food and is typically served accompanied by a pickle to complement the smooth flavour whilst providing a satisfying textural crunch.
Price: £35 for 70cl
Where to buy: dimasvodka.com
Salcombe Gin Voyager Series ‘Daring’
‘Daring’ is the seventh limited-edition release in Salcombe Gin’s award-winning Voyager Series, this time in collaboration with Michelin-starred chef Paul Ainsworth. Inspired by Paul’s dish, ‘A Tale of Porthilly’, this latest release is distilled with whey and foraged Cornish botanicals, showcasing the spirit of the wild Cornish coast.
This exceptional gin has been developed to mimic the rich, smooth mouthfeel and fresh umami and zinc-like properties of the Cornish oyster used in the dish. Taking further inspiration from Paul’s carefully balanced plate of food, the gin combines the use of fennel, apple and lime to replicate the accompanying salad and create a complex flavour profile and exciting taste.
For the ultimate gin and tonic using Salcombe Gin Voyager Series ‘Daring’, fill a large gin glass with ice, add one large measure of gin to three parts premium Indian tonic water and garnish with thin slices of red or green apple.
Price: £75 for 50cl
Where to buy: salcombegin.com
Saint Benevolence Rum Clairin
Founded by a father-son team and created in partnership with their third-generation distillers, Saint Benevolence is a rustic, terroir-driven sugar cane spirit, with hints of hot wasabi, touches of green banana, briny green olive and spicy white pepper. Perfect for adding to cocktails, paired with a refreshing grapefruit tonic or simply sipped on its own by the rum purists, you could, for a true taste of Haiti, try mixing with sugar and lime for the unbeatable marriage of flavours that comes from a classic Caribbean Ti’ punch.
Saint Benevolence sends 100% of their profits to charity, directly funding life-changing medical services, educational programmes and economic developments benefitting the people and local communities of northern Haiti, work which the brand has been funding in Haiti for 20 years.
Where to buy: The Whisky Exchange
Caorunn is passionately handcrafted in small batches in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. This premium gin is quadruple-distilled and uses only the finest pure grain spirit, expertly infused with five locally foraged gin botanicals. A modern London Dry, Caorunn is clean, crisp, sweet, full-bodied and aromatic, with a long, refreshing and slightly drying finish.
Where to buy: masterofmalt.com
Born from an age-old recipe, Satryna invites you to sip a truly exquisite tequila, a product of female craftsmanship from one of Mexico’s finest distilleries. This small-batch tequila, made from 100% blue weber agave, originates from a family recipe passed down three generations to the founder’s great granddaughter, Nitzan Marrun.
Extraordinary levels of attention to detail is bestowed upon every hand crafted bottle ensuring a truly incomparable experience. Multi-award-winning, artisanal, ultra-luxury and eclectic, Satryna is best served sipped with or without ice or can be enjoyed in a variety of cocktails.
Price: Blanco (Triple Distilled) £62.50, Añejo Cristalino (Triple Distilled, Matured) £125.
Where to buy: harrods.com
Did you know that women are ‘supertasters’, meaning they have more taste buds on their tongues than men, perceiving tastes, especially bitter tastes, more intensely? That’s why the mother and daughter team behind Hustle Gin have given their premium gins a smoother taste – made by women, for women. Available in three sizes – 70cl, 20cl and 5cl – Hustle Gin is a smooth, sophisticated, totally moreish premium dry gin, with fresh pear and basil on the finish, while the pink grapefruit and raspberry and cubeb pepper and orange blossom versions offer those fruity flavours that work simply with tonic or mixed in a cocktail.
Hustle Gin is dedicated to supporting organisations that care for women and children in hardship around the world. Some of the brand’s profits will be going to causes relating to human trafficking, to make some contribution, however small, to give vulnerable women freedom. The beautiful bottle design also takes its inspiration from the 1920s, when women won the right to vote.
Price: £45 (70cl)
Where to buy: hustlegin.com/shop
The King of Soho London Dry Gin
Encapsulating the rich creativity and unique lifestyle of the effervescent London district, The King of Soho delicately combines citrusy grapefruit with classic juniper to create a perfectly balanced embodiment of the Soho spirit.
This refined London Dry gin defies the ordinary with its combination of 12 botanicals, including juniper, coriander, grapefruit peel, angelica root and cassia bark, to create a premium quality gin that is both smooth and complex. With a delicate sweetness, earthiness and a hint of grapefruit bitterness, The King of Soho gives a soft warming spice on the palate, balanced by soft juniper and the strength of the citrus. The King of Soho is ideal in cocktails where the spirit is King or served neat over ice.
Where to buy: ocado.com
Nuet Dry Aquavit
Nuet, the world’s first premium aquavit, has recently launched its Dry Aquavit in the UK, following its overwhelming success in the Norwegian market. Developed in Oslo over six months, and more than 100 test distillings, Nuet Dry Aquavit has been specially designed to work with tonic and in a dry martini. Nuet, which translates as ‘the now’, comprises grapefruit peel and blackcurrant influences accompanying the traditional caraway, along with a fresh, smooth finish unlike any aquavit, and any spirit, currently seen in the drinks industry.
Try this tipple as a spritz: Mix together ice, 4cl Nuet Dry Aquavit, 8cl cloudy lemonade and top with your choice of bubbles (prosecco, cava, crement or champagne). Gently mix together and garnish with a slice of grapefruit and rosemary.
Where to buy: 31 Dover
Monkey 47 gin
Monkey 47 is distilled from, you guessed it, 47 traditional and eccentrically unusual botanicals and blended with natural spring water from the Black Forest in Germany. This premium gin has a distinct aroma, complex taste and unparalleled quality which makes it an ideal base for both classics and bold cocktails, including with tonic, as a sling, martini or gimlet. This hand-crafted gin unites British traditions, the exotic allure of India and the magical, untouched roots of the Black Forest.
Sky Wave Orange and Madagascan Vanilla Gin
Launched last month, this Orange and Madagascan Vanilla Gin was crafted over the course of an entire year by Sky Wave Gin’s Master Distiller, Andrew Parsons. At 40% ABV, perfectly dry and juniper forward, it is most assuredly a fruit gin for grown-ups.
Created with fresh oranges, never flavourings or essences, the zest and orange segments are steeped in Sky Wave Gin’s Signature London Dry before being crushed to extract their zesty, alcohol imbued juice. It is this fruit juice, which brings just a touch of natural sweetness to the gin. Drinkers will perceive the warm, creamy hint of finest Madagascan vanilla, sourced directly from the growers. This luxurious spirit delivers a wonderfully refreshing tipple for a long drink or a short sipping experience.
Price: £35 per 500ml bottle
Where to buy: skywavegin.com