Finally a World Day of something I can really get on board with. Saturday is ‘World Gin Day’ and to celebrate, let’s get a giddy with a round-up of the best special gins crafted right here in Bucks & Oxon.
THE OXFORD ARTISAN DISTILLERY (OXFORD)
Oxford Dry Gin
Flavour: ‘A classic Juniper-forward gin with layers of bright citrus and aromatic botanicals.’ Created from the field, straight to the bottle using exclusive heritage grain.
What else: TOAD has gained traction quickly with its funky copper distillery and eye-catching beardy founder, is now making artisan gins for The Ashmolean Museum no less (oooooh!). Ashmolean Dry Gin was inspired by the museum’s collections from around the world and is flavoured with 17 botanics. It will automatically make you more intelligent and fluent in Ancient Greek and you can see if this is (*cough*) true on the forecourt on Sat 9 June for World Gin Day – samples on the go from 12-4pm and cocktail making from 12-2pm. Have children? Buy them an ice-cream while you’re there!
Best Served: Classic G&T fashion for these elegant gins – a tonic and a slice of lime.
HOBBS OF HENLEY (HENLEY, OXON)
Mr Hobbs’ Highly Spirited Gin
Flavour:‘Based on Harry HobBs original recipe’ but with a modern twist of Orris Root and Lime Leaf Oil to create a ‘distinctive taste’. It’s a top secret recipe.
What Else: There’s only gin flavour to choose from, but begads it’s a popular one, stocked locally at Cliveden House, Tom Kerridge’s The Hand and Flower, Hurley House and The Leander Club.
Best Served: Hobbs of Henley recommend pairing the gin with Fever-Tree tonic and a curl of orange peel to bring out the citrus notes.
TWISTING SPIRITS (SOUTH STOKE, OXON)
Kaffir Lime and Lemongrass Distilled Gin
Flavour: This award-winning gin is exotic and fragrant with flavours of botanical grasses, zest and floral notes. Cool packaging too, don’t you think?
What Else: Create and nurse your hangover at the same time with an Earl Grey Distilled Gin, with a flavour of crisp citrus, floral hints and high tea.
Best Served: Twisting Spirits suggest serving with a slice of a jalapeno pepper and a slice of ginger and star anise to hit those Asian spicy high notes.
GRIFFITHS BROTHERS GIN (PENN ST, BUCKS)
Gin No.1 and Gin No.2
Flavour: This gin apparently takes you on a journey from ‘zesty citrus and fragrant orange blossom and elderflower, to herbaceous and earthy notes, from bay laurel and licorice root’. Toot toot!
What Else: Gin No.2 is an ‘export strength gin’ with flavours of soft juniper, grapefruit, warm spice and vanilla notes. Translation: line stomach before attempting.
Best Served: Chilled and on the rocks or in a G&T with orange peel and fresh Bay leaf.
FOXDENTON ESTATE (BUCKINGHAM)
Flavour: This gin promises ‘Summer fruits and herbs on the nose with well rounded acidity and plenty of rhubarb on the plate.’ And isn’t that shade of pink dreamy?
What Else: Foxdenton have a range of gin fruit liqueurs including Lemon and Cucumber Gin, the newest addition to Foxdenton Liqueur and limited edition for this summer only. Lead the way, I’m all yours.
Best Served: Foxdenton suggest using this gin as the perfect base for a summer cocktail, sparkling or otherwise.
World Gin Day, Sat 11 June. Mind you, in my book every day is gin day…
Research and additional writing: Rebecca Smithson