Culture Lifestyle

The Best Gins For Summer 2021

Comte De Grasse No. 44°N (46% Abv)

Comte De Grasse No. 44°N

Essentially, this is inspired by how perfumes are made, but they decided to make gin instead. It may sound high-tech and fancy, but in fact this method is incredibly sustainable and efficient which can only add to the intrigue of what is inside the bottle. The list of botanicals is vast, with cade (a species of juniper), verbena, everlasting (a golden flower), horse parsley, samphire, lavender, mimosa, grapefruit, patchouli and Sichuan pepper to name just a few. In summary, modern distilling methods meet cutting edge perfume extraction to create a fusion of flavours that will play with your senses. They did their homework and it shows. Bonus points if you wear it as a perfume (please don’t).

£75, available at Master of Malt.

Beaufort Gin (57% Abv)

Beaufort Gin

Here’s something a little bit different and for all the right reasons. Inspired by Heston Blumenthal, Beaufort Spirit have created a ‘whisky barrel’ smoked water as part of their Smoked Sipping Gin. Szechuan pepper, pink pepper and citrus oils combine once poured to give the illusion of gunpowder smouldering in the glass. At 57% this gin certainly passes the ‘gunpowder’ test and has taken its place as the new ‘big smoke’ in town. Definitely one to discover if you like sipping gins.

£40, available at Master of Malt.

Mirabeau Provence Rosé Gin (43% Abv)

Mirabeau Provence Rosé Gin

When it comes to rosé my top choice for quality and value is always Mirabeau, which made me pretty God damn excited when they announced they were making a gin. While the base botanicals consist of juniper, citrus, orris root, angelica root and coriander, it’s the Provençal twist containing a variety of herbs such as bay, thyme and rosemary alongside the neutral grape spirit and base distillate of Mirabeau Classic Rosé that really makes this gin stand out from the crowd. The result is a fruity and textured gin with lemon, coriander and citrus bursting with floral notes, rose petals and lavender. The story ends on a final note as those herbs add an extra kick of character to the blend.

£36, available at Majestic.

Wildcat Gin (37.5% Abv)

Wildcat Gin

Who would have thought, the same company that creates world-class The Dalmore also produces a gin! Based on the scandalous tales of Captain Dudley Bradstreet who was determined to find a way around the banishing of gin in the early 1700s, this wonder is packed full of personality. Cat’s claw is the wondrous ingredient that binds everything together, a woody vine found in the tropical jungles of South and Central America. This is the perfect gin for mixing up some quality cocktails where you want to be able to get the nuances of the actual gin itself.

£24, available at The Bottle Club.

Silent Pool Colorado High CBD (40% Abv)

Silent Pool Colorado High CBD

Demand for quality CBD has taken off over the past year, so it was only a matter of time before two trending categories came together. We’re talking award-winning gin blended with CBD that is sourced from hemp grown within the fertile hills and fresh air of the Colorado Rockies. Each 50cl bottle is packed full of 200mg of Green Stem cannabidiol (much higher than other CBD drinks currently on the market).

This enables the drinker to benefit from a variety of therapeutic properties such as relieving muscle pain and anxiety to a helping them have a more restful night’s sleep. Simply mix with your favourite tonic to get the most out of it. The oil has a subtle bitterness kind of like grapefruit that works perfectly alongside the citrus botanicals in the gin. Hey, I’ll try anything once – thing is, you’ll probably come back for more.

£65, available at Silent Pool Distillery.

Whitley Neil Rhubarb & Ginger (43% Abv)

Whitley Neil Rhubarb & Ginger

This is one of the first gins I fell in love with. If you’re looking for a gin packed full of flavour that is equally as good when it comes to value for money, look no further. Now, I did grow up in Yorkshire so I may be a little bias to anything with rhubarb in it, but this really is the perfect addition to a thirst-quenching G&T on those warm summer evenings. Just remember to fill your ice to the top of the glass – your first sip should be as cool as your last!

£26, available at Sainsbury’s.

An Dúlamán Santa Ana (57% Abv)

An Dúlamán Santa Ana

Say hello to Ireland’s first Navy Strength gin. Barrel aged and bottled at 57% ABV, there’s only four to five batches of this stunner released each year. It derives from Sliabh Liag Distillery, which in my opinion is one to absolutely be aware of for so many different reasons. They take their signature gin before ageing it in Rioja wine casks for up to 12 weeks and the result is a golden rose liquid with complex maritime notes and soft red berries with a warming orangey finish. Makes for an incredible martini with a twist.

£45, available at Master of Malt.

In the Welsh Wind Palo Cortado Limited Edition (43% Abv)

In the Welsh Wind Palo Cortado Limited Edition

It’s not just whiskies that can benefit from a little cask ageing. This limited edition bottling from the ever-patriotic distillers at In the Welsh Wind takes their signature award-wining recipe and rests it in casks originally used for Fino or Amontillado sherries. The result is a bronze liquid that underpins the cask’s wood spice and stone fruit with botanical warmth. It’s like a sip of the exotic, and just as limited given the distilleries only aged 400 litres of it. It’s an experiment that’s paid off though, so here’s hoping there are a few more variants – bourbon maybe? – in the future.

£45, available at In the Welsh Wind.

About the author

Aidy Smith

Aidy Smith is a wine and spirits personality and one of the presenter trio behind Amazon Prime TV Series, The Three Drinkers. In better times, he is often found scouring the globe for his next tipple. It’s a hard life, but someone’s got to do it. You can follow his adventures on Instagram at @sypped.

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