Make the most of the most of your nights wrapped up warm this winter with this selection of gins with appropriately wintery botanicals!
Christmas has concluded. But winter is still very much here, folks. The shorter, darker days. The seemingly endless cold. The dreaded heating bills.
But winter has its upsides, too. It’s the time of year for thick, cosy clothes, roaring fires and who-cares-if-it’s-healthy comfort food. It’s also the perfect excuse to indulge yourself with a few seasonal spirits. Some of the finest gins around are packed with ingredients that appear as the cold sets in, or warming botanicals that are ideal for those frosty evenings.
That’s why we’ve created this gin-tastic round-up of tipples that will keep you feeling jolly in the post-Christmas winter months.
The Wrecking Coast Honey Sloe Gin
With winter comes an abundant of sweet sloes, so what could be more appropriate than a delicious sloe gin? This beauty from Cornwall’s Wrecking Coast Gin is not only packed with the jammy joy of locally-picked sloes – but it also features a helping of Cornish honey for good measure.
Seasonal serve: Mulled Sloe Gin
A sensational winter warmer, the Mulled Sloe Gin is a great alternative to its wine-based cousin. Start by pouring 50ml of The Wrecking Coast Honey Sloe Gin into a hot toddy glass. Then, heat 100ml of cloudy apple and 100ml of clementine juices together gently, along with 3 whole cloves, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 cinnamon stick. Strain the mixture into the got toddy glass and mix together with gin. Garnish with clove-studded orange wheel, position yourself in a comfy chair and enjoy!
Icewine Old Tom (That Boutique-y Gin Company)
That Boutique-y Gin Company don’t do things by the book and this gin is no exception. You find any sugar or honey here in this Old Tom, only delicious Canadian icewine! The traditional dessert wine, made with grapes that are frozen on the vine and then pressed whilst still frozen, is combined with botanicals such as juniper, lemon, lime peels and liquorice to create a truly winter-ful and tasty tipple.
Seasonal serve: Icy Tom Collins
Add some winter wonderment to this classic gin cocktail by stirring 50ml of Icewine Old Tom, 25ml of lemon juice and 15ml of simple syrup in a highball glass. Then fill the glass with ice cubes and top up with soda water. Garnish with a slice lemon and drink while pretending you’re the Night King (look it up) from Game of Thrones.
Ginger Ninja Gingery Gin
A ginger-forward gin. Tell me that doesn’t scream ‘winter warmer’, people? Ginger is one of those aromas that is so evocative of winter and Christmas, and it’s put to good use here by the folks at The Lickerish Tooth in Yorkshire, England. Alongside botanicals juniper, coriander, angelica, liquorice root, ginger shines in this aromatic and warming gin. What a name, by the way.
Seasonal serve: Red Snapper
Gin’s answer to the Bloody Mary is absolutely wonderful in winter. To create, rim your glass (preferably a Collins) with 2 pinches of salt and black pepper each. Then add 30ml of Ginger Ninja Gingery Gin, 120ml of tomato juice, 15ml of lemon juice, 7 drops of Tabasco hot sauce and 4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into your glass before adding half a celery stick to garnish. Say ‘Red Snapper’ in a mirror three times and see if you can summon a perciform (look it up) fish.
Audemus Pink Pepper Gin
French spirit producer Audemus may be situated in the heart of Cognac, but the brand sure knows how to make a great gin! The wintery botanical featured here is a hand-picked punchy, crunchy pink peppercorn, which is not technically a peppercorn, but actually a ripe berry of the Brazilian pepper tree. It still packs a hearty kick of spice though, which, combined with a handful of other tasty botanicals including honey, vanilla and cardamom, makes this gin a tempting seasonal tipple.
Seasonal serve: Heated G&T
The classic gin cocktail in a form to enjoy in the colder months, the Heated G&T can be created by combining 50ml of Audemus Pink Pepper Gin and 25ml tonic syrup in a mug or heat-proof stem glass. Stir well top with boiling water, then garnish with an orange twist and listen to some Bon Iver (it’s from the French bon hiver, which means ‘good winter’).
Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin
When you think of winter, you probably don’t immediately think of Australia. However, the outstanding Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin, made in a small distillery in Yarra Valley, Australia, is packed with botanicals such as juniper, coriander, cardamom, lemon myrtle, lavender, angelica, star anise, fresh whole oranges, as well as Tasmanian pepper berry leaf and cinnamon. Those final two ingredients make this a real contender when you’re looking for a gin that can double as a winter warmer.
Seasonal serve: The Keating
‘The Keating’ is what Four Pillars co-founder Stuart Gregor dubbed this variation on the G&T. You make it by adding ice to a highball glass, as well as 45ml of Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin, 60ml of tonic water and a dash of Campari. Garnish with a wedge of lime to complete this refreshing and awesomely Australian cocktail.
Keepr’s Honey Gin
A London dry gin from The British Honey Company. No prizes for guessing what the key botanical is here. Keepr’s Honey Gin was infused with a hearty helping of 100% raw honey from the Cotswolds, Oxfordshire. Nature’s sweet nectar is often used as a remedy to combat the ills of winter, so enjoying its brilliance in a tipple at this time of year just makes good sense. Fun fact: each batch of honey is traceable to the hive it came from.
Seasonal serve: Honey I’ve Heated The G&T
Another Heated G&T, but for those with a sweeter tooth. Combine 50ml of Keepr’s Honey Gin and 25ml tonic syrup in a mug or heat-proof stem glass. Stir well top with boiling water, garnish with an orange twist and then raise your glass in honour of the bees!
Nordés Atlantic Galician Gin
Nordés Atlantic Galician Gin was created from Albariño grape spirit, made from the Spanish white wine grape, and 14 botanicals, including some rare and seasonal delights. Among caralleira grass, cardamom, salicornia tea, quinine and juniper there’s wintery goodness in the form of hibiscus, ginger, liquorice and eucalyptus. Singular, seasonal and sensational, what’s not to like?
Seasonal serve: Negroni
Add a dose of Spanish flair to this Italian classic by combining 25ml of Nordés Atlantic Galician Gin, 25ml of Campari and 25ml of Martini Rosso vermouth together in a cocktail shaker. Shake well with cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of orange peel and grate some fresh ginger on top.
Anno Cranberry & Gin
What began as a Christmas miniature is now a full-fledged winter treat! Spiced with sweet orange, cassia and cloves and infused with 400 kilos of fresh cranberries, Anno Cranberry & Gin is both delightfully seasonal and utterly delicious in equal measure.
Seasonal serve: Wintery Martini
The Martini wears a fine winter coat here in this wonderfully wintery variation. To create, combine 60ml of Anno Cranberry & Gin, 1 tbsp of Noilly Prat Original Dry and a little ice together in a cocktail shaker and strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with clove-studded orange wheel and resist the urge to sing carols.