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12 best flavoured gins to upstage the classic G&T

From orange or blackberry, you’ll want to add these tantalising tipples to your drinks cabinet

Stacey Smith
Friday 18 December 2020 12:07
<p>Whether it’s a limited-edition tipple or a brand new release, we never tire of the latest flavours to come out of our favourite distilleries</p>

Whether it’s a limited-edition tipple or a brand new release, we never tire of the latest flavours to come out of our favourite distilleries

Whether you’re in need of some gifting inspiration this Christmas, or something new to spruce up the drinks cabinet, here we’ve rounded up the best flavoured gins to drink over the coming months.

From limited edition tipples to brand new releases, we never tire of the latest flavours that come out of our favourite distilleries. 

All gin must legally contain juniper as one of its botanicals, but after that, pretty much anything is fair game – as is apparent from the seemingly endless flavours we’ve tasted.

Our favourite flavoured gins are those that use real fruit, herbs and spices to impart a pronounced yet natural, well-balanced taste.

When testing, we first tried them neat and then with the brand’s recommended signature serve. 

Whether you fancy a G&T bursting with seasonal botanicals, warming spice or ripe fruit, we believe we’ve found a flavoured gin for everyone.

You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent

Slingsby barrel-aged Christmas pudding gin, 42%

We’re big fans of Slingsby’s vibrant flavoured gins, but it’s this limited edition bottle that has found itself on permanent rotation in our reviewer’s home. It may be Christmas pudding flavour, but with a whisky-like, oak-aged quality, you’ll want to drink it long after the festive season is over. Rich and golden, expect subtly spiced cinnamon and zesty orange – it smells divine! We like ours with a splash of ginger beer, a wedge of clementine and a mince pie on the side. The added bonus is that during the Christmas period you can even get a bottle personalised with their (or your!) name.

Tarquin’s British blackberry gin, 38%

Blackberries are in season in the UK from the end of summer through to October. To get your fix the rest of the time, we’d recommend this Cornish gin, which is distilled in small batches and infused with fresh fruit. Sweetened with a touch of local honey, it’s smooth, zesty and wonderfully fragrant. This pack comes with a free bottle of Fever Tree mediterranean tonic water to get you started, but it’s also delicious served with old fashioned cloudy lemonade, a sprig of smacked mint and a fresh blackberry to garnish.

Villa Ascenti rosa gin, 41%

Villa Ascenti only released its original gin last year, and rosa is the brand’s follow-up flavour variant. This beautiful Italian gin captures the distinctive taste of peaches, which have been sourced from the hills of Piedmont. Using all natural ingredients, this elegant spirit has a subtle sweetness that reminds us of a bellini, with notes of juniper and undertones of elderflower, hazelnut and orange peel. Try it in a classic G&T or with a splash of prosecco and soda water, for a true Italian-style spritz.

Bombay Sapphire bramble personalised gin, 37.5%

Is it even your gin unless you’ve got your name on it? Bombay Sapphire may be a brand we’re familiar with, but this new fruity expression is worth another look. Infused with a medley of berries, such as tart raspberries and blackberries, the bottle can be personalised and there is a choice of three artist-designed labels.

6 O’clock Gin Romy’s edition – mango, ginger and lime, 40%

Made in collaboration with chef Romy Gill, this limited edition gin takes some of the herbs and spices often found in her dishes – cardamom and cumin, for example – and combines them with sweet, ripe mango. Rich and fruity, this made us nostalgic for tropical holidays, but the spicy ginger ensures it’s still a suitably wintery spirit.

One Gin sage and apple gin, 43%

In partnership with the One Foundation, One Gin helps fund sustainable water projects in the world’s poorest communities. Here the brand has taken its classic, award-winning sage gin and combined it with oil from the pip of the russet apple. The result is gloriously fresh, elegant and natural-tasting. A superb gin, this should appeal to those looking for something a little different, and, with 10 per cent of profits going towards clean-water projects around the world, it will also do some good.

Ginato pinot grigio gin, 43%

Ideal for those partial to a glass of pinot grigio, Italian gin brand Ginato has just launched the world’s first gin made with pinot grigio grapes. Rather than tasting like the crisp, dry white you know and love, it’s the Sicilian lemon that jumps out of the glass. Fresh and bright, it’s extremely refreshing, with plenty of junipers and just a touch of pear. Add tonic for a zesty spritz.

Tarsier oriental pink gin, 40%

Sales of pink gin show no sign of slowing down, but this example offers something completely different. Taking inspiration from Southeast Asia, raspberry and lychee give a rosy blush, while galangal and calamansi (a type of lime), add a citrusy complexity. Really smooth, this gin is ideal with tonic, mint and raspberry to garnish. Better yet, 10 per cent of profits are donated to the Philippine Tarsier Foundation, to help save the world’s smallest primate.

That’s the Spirit Co apple pie gin, 37.5%

If we can’t drink our favourite desserts at Christmas, when can we? With warming cinnamon and ginger, creamy vanilla and a whiff of buttery pastry, this is the first own-brand release from online drinks retailer The Bottle Club and we think it’s perfect for the winter months. Garnish with a slice of apple (what else?) and a sprinkle of cinnamon before serving.

The Apiarist gin, 39.5%

Made by husband-and-wife beekeepers Alex and Natalie Conti, this full-bodied gin is infused with surplus honey from their home hives. Despite being unmistakably honeyed, it stops short of sickly sweet as it’s balanced by zingy lemon tea flavours, making it surprisingly complex. The Lichfield-based spirit is now sold in restaurants across the west Midlands, including Michelin-starred British restaurant Purnell’s. Fancy.

Hospitality Gin bartender series – pineapple and pepper, 42%

The pandemic has hit the hospitality industry particularly hard. Hospitality Gin was created in March to support those most severely affected, with 100 per cent of its profits going to related charities and causes. This is the first flavour in its bartender series, taking freeze-dried pineapple, green bell peppers and pink peppercorns to create a spirit that’s as complex as it is inviting. We’re big fans of its savoury edge and the crisp, refreshing finish. It’s like having a bartender in your front room.

Salcombe Gin seamist and start point gift set

OK, so this one’s not strictly a flavoured gin, but we were so enamoured that we had to share. This pretty gift set includes a bottle of Salcombe’s award-winning, smooth and earthy gin, and a cut-glass atomiser, which wouldn’t look out of place on a dressing table. You make your G&T as normal, then give it a squirt with the cocktail finisher. With red grapefruit and coastal botanicals, according to the distiller it’s designed to elevate your “experience” and “encapsulate the essence of the sea”. Sounds like the closest we’ll get to a holiday this year, so we’re sold.

The verdict: Flavoured gins

If you’re looking for a Christmas gift for the gin lover in your life, it’s got to be the Salcombe’s cocktail set. However, for a gin we’ll be drinking well into the new year, we’ve awarded our best buy to Slingsby’s golden Christmas pudding gin. And yes, we will be getting it with our name on it.

Searching for a new tipple? Read our review of the best rums

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