Gin & Vodka

Our selection of the new and the notable from the best British drinks producers.
Visit Drinks of the Month for this month's Variety Show

Langtons No 1 Gin

A soft, smooth gin, with a bright palate which is well worth trying straight.

Langtons No.1 hails from Skiddaw in Cumbria, where two local lads, intent on creating a gin that reflected their roots, discovered a million year old aquifer, or underground water source.

40% / 70cl, £38, from Booths, Harvey Nicols, and specialist retailers.

Kamm & Sons Ginseng Spirit

Bitters are very much in vogue. Their distillation of myriad specially chosen botanicals into a liquid that can transform a drink, soft, spiritual or otherwise, with just a splash, are finally being appreciated.

This little brown bottle, which looks decidedly antiquated and medicinal, contains some home-grown bitters crafted by enterprising bartender and drinks consultant Alex Kammerling.

Previously of London’s 69 Colebrooke Row, that hotspot of cocktail creativity, Alex has been devising this recipe in his north London flat for some time now – around five years I believe! The end result is a liquid that’s been infused with over 45 botanicals, and is an aromatic and complex as you might imagine.

 

Sacred Spirits - Traditional & Contemporary Collection

For those who fancy creating their own blend of gin, Sacred Spirit brings you its Traditional and Contemporary Collections of distillates.

Whitley Neill Gin

Whitley Neill ginCreated by Johnny Neill whose family has been in the gin business for four generations, the botanical mix in Whitley Neill is both deft and delicate, with a nod towards the South African homeland of Nikki, Johnny’s wife’s.

Scooping the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Gin Trophy this year, alongside the expected juniper berries, it's Cape Gooseberry – aka physalis – and the fruit from the Baobab tree – aka the Tree of Life – that join half-a-dozen other botanicals.

Chase Marmalade Vodka

With an intense Seville orange nose, it's no wonder one of Chase Marmalade Vodka's favourite going-out guises is the Breakfast Martini.

Gallons of homemade Seville orange marmalade go into every batch of vodka prepared using Chase's unique system: first the marmalade is distilled with the vodka to fully lock in the amazing flavours, before second, further steeping takes place to intensify the aromas.

£34-37, Waitrose & selected independents; distillery

Adnams First Rate Finest Cut Gin

Adnams First Rate certainly is first rate. Best known for its beers, chairman Jonathan Adnams – also a brewing engineer – got inspired by the craft distilling scene in the US, deciding to convert the family firm's orginal brewhouse into a distillery.

£24.99/50cl; Adnams website, Cellar & Kitchen stores, some Adnams tied pubs & free trade pubs

For more on the story of the distillery's birth, see here.

Chase Vodka

Chase Vodka beat off 100s of other contenders to scoop the World's Best Vodka title at the prestigious San Francisco Spirits Competition in 2010. But then, this Herefordshire spirit has been a bit of a head-turner from the start.

RRP: £33/70cl; Waitrose, Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges & leading bars

Beefeater Winter Gin

Master distiller Desmond Payne has modified his traditional recipe for Beefeater's Winter Edition. Along with extra Seville orange peel, he's thrown in cinnamon, nutmeg and pine shoots for this great wintry interpretation.

Good solo and in G&Ts,  it's definitely most fun in cocktails .

40%, limited edn, RRP: £17.99/1 litre, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Fortnum & Mason, Harrods, World Duty Free