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Top 10 Gins to Commemorate Global Gin Day This Season

Originally crafted as a curative elixir called ‘genever’ by a Dutch pharmacist in the 16th century, gin has quickly escalated to one of the world’s most beloved spirits.

Famed for its minimal caloric content and versatility in cocktails, continuously inventive additives are infused into its concoctions, incorporating elements ranging from jasmine flowers to oceanic botanicals, and from persimmons to the cocoa bean.

In expectation of Global Gin Day on June 8, we introduce our ‘innovation map’ that features the diversity of botanicals utilized by various spirit brands across Europe from different countries, with several providing tours to the public and even gin-making workshops.

Monkey 47 – Grains of paradise

Originating from the Black Forest in Germany, a distillery dubbed The Wild Monkey—Black Forest Distillers—boasts a gin comprising 47 unique botanicals, which is reflected in its name. Ingredients in their concoction encompass grains of paradise, sweet almond, spearmint, allspice, elder blossom, pomelo, orange, blackberry, clove, anise, wormwood, acacia flower, galangal, jasmine, rosehip, lemon verbena, and chamomile. Their supplier, The Bottle Club, describes it as ‘emphasizing floral notes, layered with intricate spices, and a hint of fruit.’ Due to its complexity, it is suggested to sip with sparkling water or simply over ice cubes

An Dúlamán – Seaweed

Mixing five kinds of hand-harvested local seaweeds with six traditional botanicals, Sliabh Liag Distillers has crafted the inaugural coastal gin out of Donegal in the northwest of Ireland. At a robust 57%, it’s aged in Rioja casks. The co-founder, Moira Doherty, describes the gin as having a “pinkish hue,” with the Spanish wood adding “petal-like spices and a citrus sweetness reminiscent of Madeira, combined with briny notes, succulent boysenberry, star anise, and sweet citrus peel.” Symbolizing the Spanish Armada period, the wax-dipped bottles display a sophisticated Celtic design by talented drawer Sean Fitzgerald.

1777 Gin – Rowan berries

Situated in the serene hamlet of Tenure in the midst of Ireland’s Boyne Valley, Listoke Distillery & Gin School produces a 9-botanical beverage. Bronagh Conlon, the originator, characterizes it as “robust and well-balanced, with a notable tang,” adding, “the fusion of jasmine with pine tree, karisimbi spices, and rowan berries results in an enduring fizz and toasty sensation.” Their other creation is the Cacao & Raspberry Gin, a mix of raw cacao beans and raspberries, delivering berry aromas with a somewhat tangy twist. Their emblem, an owl, pays tribute to the birds residing nearby.

Rhuberry gin – Rhubarb

Copeland Distillery is positioned near the northeastern coast close to Donaghadee in Northern Ireland, established half a decade ago through a community-supported crowdfund that united 390 backers. Taking place in a location previously unoccupied for two decades, which once housed a cinema and a packaging factory, this expansive 6,500 square-foot area sits just a stone’s throw away from a historical wharf. Locally grown rhubarb and blackberry are the main components in their Rhuberry Gin, in addition to natively grown coastal herbs such as thrift from the nearby Copeland Islands. Their Jones 1778 Navy Strength gin experiences an aging period of 120 days in bourbon casks from Kentucky, with an additional 20 days in Oloroso sherry barrels.

Great bustard – Rocket

In close proximity to Salisbury in the southern part of England is the village of Downton, hosting the old dwelling of the esteemed 16th-century explorer Sir Walter Raleigh. Today, his former carriage house is the site of Downton Distillery, launched by Hugh Anderson and recently moved to Botley Farm, where they distill a 15-botanical gin (including timur from the Himalayas and Sichuan pepper) named Explorer’s, in tribute to Raleigh. Their cooperation with conservationists who focus on protecting the endangered great bustard led to the gin’s name. Notably, four of the ingredients in this award-winning blend, aptly named Great Bustard, replicate the bird’s natural foraging on the nearby Salisbury Plain, such as rocket, yarrow, lucerne, and clover.

Bertha’s Revenge – Alexanders 

The Ballyvolane House Spirits Company pays homage to a legendary Irish cow, believed to have been amongst the most aged, with their celebrated artisanal ‘milk’ gin. Created by partners Justin Green and Antony Jackson, this spirit combines whey alcohol from local dairy farms with a palate of sweet orange, coriander, and zesty alexanders, alongside caraway, cloves, and cardamom for a piquant, velvety finish. Stationed in Cork, Ballyvolane also produces a slow gin named Sloe Bertha, made from berries often picked on their own land.

Xin Gin – Persimmon

After an extensive sojourn in Asia, Michelle and Gareth McAllister yearned to merge their enthusiasm for both European and Asiatic traditions. Their establishment, Ahascragh Distillery, tucked within a refurbished 19th-century mill in western Ireland’s County Galway, offers Xin gin—the title signifies ‘heart’ or ‘emotion’ in Mandarin. Infused with rose, persimmon, lemon peel, and an array of oriental spices, the duo takes pride in running Ireland’s first carbon-neutral distillery, refraining from the use of any fossil fuels or natural gas through their production process.

Runway 28 – Chocolate

The niche gin label Runway 28, founded four years ago by professionals from the aviation sector and romantic partners, was inspired by former aviator Colm O’Dwyer and airline employee, MarieAnn McLoughlin Dwyer. In collaboration with Listoke Distillery, they concoct a classic ten-botanical gin comprised of juniper, angelica root, coriander seeds, cubeb, sumac, fennel, amongst others. Another variety commemorates ‘Women in Aviation’ with a ‘Chocolate and Raspberry’ theme. Launched in 2020, the appellation references a notable runway in Dublin.

Thin Gin – Hawthorn

Gazing upon the town hall in Waterford, a southeastern Irish city, stands an elegant Georgian building, known as the initial location for the hoisting of the Irish tricolor. Currently, this premises is the home of Anchor Spirits, which distills a lively gin named Thin Gin. Inspired by Isacc Thin, a gentleman known for his potent homemade spirits at parties in the 1920s, this beverage includes apple, tansy, Roman chamomile, hawthorn, and peppermint, boasting “an essence ignited by age-old Irish concoctions, legends, people and places that were never meant to fade.”

Arctic Blue Gin – Bilberries 

Craft distillers Asko Ryynänen and Jaakko Sorsa from Arctic Blue Beverages in the picturesque village of Ilomantsi in the eastern stretches of Finland have diligently crafted a gin highlighting bilberries as its distinctive feature. The Bottle Maker, a merchant, characterizes it as “refreshing, nurturing warmth interlaced with juniper, forest berries, and hints of cardamom with a touch of conifer.” Harvested in the serene woodland areas, the berries blend with pine fragrances and botanicals, resulting in a milky blue hue when combined with tonic.

Image Source: Igor Normann / Shutterstock

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